Brian Israel

University of Bristol
UK

Brian Israel
International Studies

Brian is majoring in International Studies/Political Science, with a minor in European Studies, at UCSD’s Thurgood Marshall College. Eventually he plans to practice international law.

The current year of study at the University of Bristol School of Law is by no means Brian’s first experience in international living. For the past three years he has been traveling and living in many countries of Latin America and Europe, “fascinated by the very tangible difference that is felt when crossing a border.” In addition, he has served on the board of directors of the Sonoma Education Foundation, worked as an intern for the “Legends of China” program at UCSD, developed a technology project called “The Internationalist”, was active in student government, and participated in creating a student group focused on career opportunities in fields related to International Studies.

For me it is both challenging and at the same time immensely stimulating to step outside of my North American ideology and into one very different from my own to make sense of events in the world. I much prefer to view the world as a primary text rather than reading someone else’s account of it, and my travels have allowed me to do this.

Brian wrote this before leaving UCSD. This past summer he crisscrossed Europe with international friends and family, finally settling in Bristol with a Portuguese and a Serbian roommate. Before classes began, he wrote that his “academic life is going to be radically different than it is in San Diego- the style of instruction as different as the place in which it is set.”

He continued:

This year I hope to gain a lot of insight into an interest and possible research topic of mine. I am interested in the way in which many Central/Eastern European countries are having to reform their legal/economic systems to fulfill their EU aspirations and/or to attract foreign investment. I became especially interested in this during my recent trip to Belgrade, where I spoke with many international lawyers about the subject. I am thus taking classes in EU Politics and European Law, and hope to follow up my research in Belgrade next summer (…currently working on landing an internship at the U.S. Embassy).

I am also looking to get involved with the Student Union (equivalent to student government). University of Bristol Union is the most active in the U.K., and, having been an Associated Student Senator in San Diego, I am hoping to gain some international perspective on something that consumed a lot of my time in the States.