Punting in Cambridge

The lectures today started with an introduction to “International Relations – the World Trade Organisation (WTO)”. The WTO is the only international organisation dealing with the global rules of trade between nations. 
Its main function is to ensure that trade flows as smoothly, predictably and freely as possible.

The WTO is an institution that has the goal of uniting countries and bringing people together. Uniting citizens from different countries creates a shared understanding, which results in a reduction of political and military conflicts.

Dr Catherine MacKenzie, from the University of Cambridge, was our lecturer today and has worked for the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank and the United Nations through Africa and Asia. She graduated from Oxford and Sydney University and also completed her PhD in International Law at the Australian National University. A powerful mind that introduced us to WTO.

After the introduction all the students were invited to punting. Punting includes a long, narrow boat, moved by a person standing on one of the boat and pushing a long pole against the bottom of the river. Punting is a long tradition in Cambridge. It was firstly used to carry goods from the sea to London. It was a logistic system that secures economic growth of former times.

I shared a punt with students from Denmark, Lebanon and Singapore. We spoke in English, German and French. While enjoying this experience together, I realised that there is a generation of young people who are already united through language and empathy for each other. We are a generation that greatly benefited from the political steps taken by the WTO to bring different nations together.

In the evening Dr Theresa Dahm offered a talk about self-motivation. Dr Dahm was one of the most likeable person that I have ever met. She was charismatic, humorous and showed an real interest in people. Her humanistic approach – not only caring about the content of her talk but also adapting to the audience – made her a particularly special speaker. Listening to Dr Dahm speak about how to create a better self was a fantastic experience provided by CSI.

After my bachelors degree I was not exposed to psychology for some time. Theresa Dahm relit a fire and made me think about why psychology is such an important and relevant discipline. It has motivated us to find the middle ground between hard work and rest. Hence, the best rest is to find what you love – then your work becomes rest and life will turn be happy day by day.

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