Euroculture Spotlight #10: Jennifer Jun
21 Feb 2017
The tenth edition of the Euroculture spotlight introduces Jennifer Jun, Euroculture alumna working as assistant director of visiting fellowships for the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, an international affairs think tank.
Thanks, Jennifer, for taking the time to answer our questions!
What is your affiliation with Euroculture?
I was a Euroculture masters student from 2006-2008, hailing from Chicago, Illinois. I was very fortunate to have received the Erasmus Mundus Scholarship from the European Commission to facilitate my graduate studies in Europe. Without this financial assistance, I would not have been able to pursue higher education in Europe.
What did you do before Euroculture?
I went straight from my undergraduate studies in Cultural Anthropology and Comparative Literature at the University of Pennsylvania to enrolling in the MA Euroculture program. The summer before the program, I had been in The Netherlands as part of a transatlantic human rights fellowship program called Humanity in Action, and it was actually a Dutch participant from Groningen who encouraged me to look into studying at her university.
What is your current occupation?
I recently moved back to my hometown of Chicago to work for an international affairs think tank called the Chicago Council on Global Affairs. I manage the Chicago Council’s various fellowship programs, including one that focuses on next generation leaders from the United States and Germany.
Where have you studied during Euroculture?
I completed the first portion of the program in Groningen, located in the northernmost province of The Netherlands, and the second at the University of Deusto. Back then, Deusto’s Euroculture programme was located in the Basque coastal city of San Sebastian, Spain. My capstone traineeship was in Geneva, Switzerland at the International Organization for Migration headquarters. These cities are, as you can imagine, very different from one another. As a result, in the span of only one and a half years, I feel as though I rode a bullet train across Europe’s vast and diverse cultural landscape.
Would you like to share something special about your Euroculture experience?
Back in 2007, I wrote my master’s thesis on the social integration of Ghanaian immigrants in The Netherlands, without realizing that the integration of immigrants and refugees would constitute such an enormous and pressing challenge for Europe ten years later. The research questions on my mind back then are now policy questions for me now as a mid-career professional working in the transatlantic space, and I’m glad Euroculture provided an academic platform for someone like to me to be inquisitive about these questions in the first place.
What did you like the most about Euroculture?
For me, this is the easiest question to answer: my fellow Euroculturians. Euroculturists? Lifelong friends. We are students of history; we share a sense of curiosity and open-mindedness; we are optimistic about the future of Europe. I am still very close to many of my former classmates who came from all corners of Europe and beyond. Earlier this year, I was in Brussels as part of the European Union Visitors Program, and the best part of the trip was reuniting with a wonderful group of alumni, now movers and shakers working in this exciting city. I was so proud of them.