The Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences

Students travel abroad over winter break for experiential programs

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Excerpt from "Students travel abroad over winter break for experiential programs" by Coalter Palmer in The Dartmouth. Read full article here.


Students in PBPL 85, “Global Policy Leadership,” led by government professor Herschel Nachlis, traveled to Europe to investigate international responses to the global financial crisis, Eurozone crisis and the rise of populism across Europe. In Athens, students had group meetings with prominent figures in Greece’s government, meeting with former deputy prime minister Evangelos Venizelos and former finance minister Gikas Hardouvelis, in addition to meeting with the director general of Greece’s leading think tank, the vice president of the largest nonprofit in Greece and the chief economist of the Bank of Greece.

After Athens, the group traveled to Frankfurt, Germany where they attended a lecture at the European Central Bank. Additionally, they were able to speak with leading filmmaker Alison Klayman — whose most recent film covered Steve Bannon’s work in mobilizing far-right parties globally — and an official from the International Monetary Fund. 

From Frankfurt, the group traveled to Basel, Switzerland to meet with an array of economists from the Bank of International Settlements. 

In the final major leg of the trip, the group visited Berlin to visit the Bundestag, Germany’s national parliament, and German television network DW-TV. Throughout the entire trip, the students were also able to meet with a variety of Dartmouth alumni. 

“To my mind, there were few things as important as understanding the political, economic and social lessons of the last economic crisis for future generations of policy makers,” Nachlis said.

Of the objectives of the class, Nachlis said that he saw the trip as an “opportunity to hopefully impart some lessons on Dartmouth students, so that when they’re sitting in the seats of the people that dealt with the last crisis 10 or 20 years from now, they can hopefully on the margin improve upon some of the dimensions they learned about.”

Students on the trip said they came away from the class appreciative of the real-world, first-person experience the program had to offer. 

Bethany Burns ’20 called the trip a great way to better understand the issues discussed in the classroom at a deeper level, and said that the experience helped her “either confirm or complicate some of our previous findings.” 

Luke Cuomo ’20 agreed that the trip had enriched his classroom experience, stating that “the class built up to the trip, and then by the time you’re in Europe and talking with people, the picture comes together.”

“You can read and read, but without the first-person experience and the conversations you’re able to have when you go on this trip, there’s a piece missing,” Cuomo said.

As a final deliverable product, students submitted a 128-page memo on their findings, laying out how the financial crisis unfolded and how the countries they visited responded. 

The Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences