Grace Gott, a second-year student at the Hamilton Lugar School of Global and International Studies, has recently accepted an internship at the U.S. Embassy in Bangkok. She has prepared her entire academic career for the opportunity and credits the Hamilton Lugar School and the International Law program with providing her an invaluable community and key resources. She also credits her fellow students for encouraging her to pursue the achievement.
“I’ve always been really interested in Southeast Asia, specifically Malaysia and Indonesia,” Grace says. “Since coming to IU, I’ve had more of a passion for human rights and international law [my concentration]. In those classes, I leave wanting to change the world. I hear about these problems, and I think about what I can do to solve them.”
Grace found the Hamilton Lugar School in her search for a niche, in-state university that would align with her specific interests in Southeast Asia and Indonesia. The Hamilton Lugar School at Indiana University was a natural fit, with the most foreign languages offered in the country, and the Southeast Asian and ASEAN Studies (SEAS) Program. Grace has found her belonging at HLS and is preparing alongside the next generation of global citizens and international lawmakers.
Grace will begin her internship at the U.S. Embassy in Bangkok in the summer of 2022. The Bangkok internship may be virtual, depending on the uncertainty of the pandemic. Regardless, Grace is optimistic, preparing for a positive and holistic experience.
“I feel like through getting this internship, I’m going to be able to take international relations theories and things that have happened historically and apply them to things that are happening right now. Also, I will gain hands-on experience of cultural differences and working with Thai officials and meeting with U.S. embassy workers.”
Motivated by her area of study and passion for human rights and culture, Grace is more than prepared for her internship. She credits the HLS community with her success.
“The students I meet in my classes are great mentors for me. But my professors have also been amazing. It’s one of those things where I have to step back and say, ‘I can’t believe I’m going to school with an ambassador right now, this so cool.’ I look up to them. And the Director of South Asian Studies [Margaret Peg Sutton] has helped me a lot as well.”
In addition to her internship, Grace is already gaining experience in her field by volunteering at the Indian Health Service, a virtual internship studying the health factors of Indigenous people in the Americas, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Papua New Guinea. Grace will be busy, but she’s up for the challenge and more than qualified.
About the Southeast Asian and ASEAN Studies (SEAS) Program
SEAS offers an undergraduate minor in Southeast Asian Studies and courses in Burmese, Indonesian and Thai languages. Dr. Margaret Sutton is the Director of SEAS and ASEAN at the Hamilton Lugar School.