Laura Silva

Student spotlight details

Laura is from Uruguay and accepted a post in Beijing thanks to the confidence and knowledge she gained from her time on the Foreign Service Programme (now called the Diplomatic Studies Programme). As part of the DSP 50th anniversary we asked Laura to reflect back on her time here at Oxford (2013-14). 

'Before joining the programme I was working at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of my country. Many Uruguayan diplomats were part of the FSP and all of them had wonderful experiences and have made a remarkable career. Their comments and love for the programme inspired me to apply.

'I come from a very small country, geographically isolated, with strong links through Europe. The course gave me the chance to be in touch with other cultures and to understand how the world has shifted in the last decades. My biggest gain was my friends, which I have already visited and who I love to see by surprise in international meetings. 

'I think the tutorials were the most rewarding aspect of the programme as they provided a chance to apply everything we learned in class and contribute with our own perspective. I also enjoyed our trips very much because I did not only learn but spent more time with the class. 

'I could not choose only one favourite memory from my time on the course. They are so many, so precious. I think one of the most touching ones was one informal dinner we had with the Programme Director at that time, Ambassador Jeremy Cresswell. We talked about professional ambitions and most of all, about the personal impact diplomatic life may have on us.

'I am still working as a diplomat and the FSP inspired me to accept my first post offer, which was to Beijing. Without the programme I would not have been so brave to move to Asia but after meeting Chinese colleagues, and learning their impressions of their own country and its current path, I decided to accept the offer and I am so happy about that decision. After China I was posted to Geneva where I am currently working.

'To anyone considering applying for the programme I would say do not consider so much and apply very soon!'

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