February 13 2013
Laura Bakst, BSILR ‘15
As part of the select few undergraduate students to be chosen from the United States to participate in one of the multiple US-UK Fulbright Commission Summer Institutes, Laura Bakst BSILR ’15 attended King’s College for three weeks to be a part of an intensive cultural and academic immersion program in the heart of London. Bakst became interested in the opportunity through an email from the International Programs office and she was inspired to apply because of the unique opportunity it presented to explore the culture, heritage and history of Europe while also focusing on research related to the UK.
The opportunity to participate in this prestigious international academic program has changed Bakst’s perspective in a variety of ways by giving her an international learning opportunity while also helping her gain a deeper understanding of perceptions of the United States related to other countries.
Bakst’s broad ILR education in economics, labor and sociology also gave her a competitive advantage while she was at King’s College because she was able to merge her experiences and education together. Her course was dedicated to determining the implications of the Olympics on host cities. Specifically she analyzed the potential short and long-term impacts by increased tourism, employment opportunities on the local community as well as the wider area of previous host cities. Bakst’s experience in London has also left her with the desire to explore other international opportunities and it has allowed her to step out of her "comfort zone" where she says she "developing an affinity for London's culture".
Bakst says her time in London was one of the best experiences she has had to date because she was able to immerse herself in to the London culture and meet people from diverse backgrounds. When asked about what insight she would like to share with other students who are interested in similar opportunities, Bakst says, “certainly apply to all opportunities you are interested in…and be sure to utilize the invaluable services provided by the ILR International Programs office. When on such programs, be open to new experiences and don’t be afraid to try new things!”
Laura Bakst is thankful to the ILR International Programs Office, Fulbright Commission, and King's College for their invaluable role in creating this unique opportunity. This summer she will be participating in a global service learning project for six weeks in Israel though the Employment and Disability Institute at the ILR School.