Barbie Jane Rosales
Student spotlight details
After working for the Philippines government for six years Barbie felt the time was right to pursue graduate studies and studying in Oxford during Brexit has helped her learn about the ever-changing global landscape.
'Prior to joining the Diplomatic Studies Programme, I was the Assistant Director of the US Division at the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs. Our division handles the full range of bilateral issues - be it political, defense, and economic - between the Philippines and the United States. I had also worked for the Office of the President for four years before becoming a foreign service officer.
'After working for the government for six years, I felt that I was already prepared to pursue graduate studies. I have always known about the stellar reputation of the FSP, so I took the chance to apply for the program. The FSP curriculum also perfectly blends theory and practice, which makes it extremely useful for my diplomatic career. What inspired me even more to apply for the DSP was the fact that a great number of accomplished Filipino diplomats are alumni of the prestigious program.
'It has been a wonderful privilege to represent the Philippines and be part of this world-renowned institution. I can say that my year in Oxford was not only a tough test of intellect, but it was also a great test of character. Through its wide range of activities, the DSP has equipped me with a rigorous training in diplomatic practice, an enriching experience through study tours, and a deeper understanding of contemporary global issues. Studying in Oxford was definitely not a walk in the park, and fulfilling all our requirements challenged my grit, patience, and discipline. This I think is what makes the experience truly worthwhile and personally rewarding.
'I would say that our cohort has been extremely lucky to be studying at Oxford in these particularly exciting times. Learning about the ever-changing global landscape is one of the main objectives of the program, so to be in the United Kingdom while Brexit is happening is like winning front row seats to a new episode in British history.
'What makes it significantly better is the diversity of our group, which meant diverse perspectives on global events from every part of the world. The interactions can and have often become quite intense and passionate, while still maintain to be amicable and respectful. These unforgettable moments have truly become an eye-opener as I listen to divergent opinions in class.
'The study trips will always be my favorite memory of the program. We travelled to Belfast, London, Brussels, The Hague, and Geneva to gain refreshing insights on domestic issues such as the Northern Ireland peace process and British politics, as well as the inner workings of international organizations like the United Nations, the World Trade Organization, and the European Union. It is one thing to learn from textbooks and lectures, but it is an entirely different experience to actually observe firsthand how things happen on the ground and have the opportunity to personally engage with key officials on critical issues.
'For anyone considering the programme - take the leap and file your application! A very rewarding year lies ahead of you.'
- Oxford University Diplomatic Studies Programme (formerly known as the Foreign Service Programme)