World of learning: Tommy Lopez

Tommy Lopez

Tommy Lopez, a member of the class of 2010, is spending a total of six months in Santiago, Chile, through study abroad over the spring term, followed by an internship this summer. A concentrator in the Woodrow Wilson School, Lopez has pursued several opportunities abroad while a Princeton student. (Photo: Courtesy of Tommy Lopez)

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Tommy Lopez
Class of 2010

Writing from Chile

Why go abroad:
My principal motivation for going abroad was to study for a semester at the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile. I wanted to have a college experience away from Princeton to catch a glimpse of how other students around the world live and study. My secondary motivation was to complete an internship after the end of the semester in Chile. Working with the Economic Affairs Directorate, I'm learning about the economic affairs of Chile and the region. International economic affairs interested me especially because of the current crisis.

Key responsibilities:
My internship involves two projects. The first is researching international bilateral and multilateral agreements that Chile keeps with other Latin American countries concerning the recognition of university degrees obtained by foreigners who wish to work in Chile. These agreements regulate whether a degree obtained outside of Chile will be recognized in order to pursue a career in Chile. These agreements are antiquated, and my responsibility is to research improvements using agreements from European countries as a model. My second project is examining the bilateral and multilateral foreign investment agreements that Chile maintains.

Tommy Lopez

For Tommy Lopez (right), one of the highlights of his experience in Chile so far has been participating in a Woodrow Wilson School task force on crime and human rights in Chile taught by Hugo Frühling (left), a professor at the University of Chile. (Photo: Courtesy of Tommy Lopez)

Academic connections:
During this past semester, I took courses in Latin American history, international economics, and the politics of armed conflict, along with a required Woodrow Wilson task force on crime and human rights in Chile. Also, my internship serves my studies because it involves international relations.

Long-term goal:
I am very interested in public service, and I hope to pursue a career in the U.S. foreign service. I would also be interested in working for an international NGO [nongovernmental organization] or the UN. The internship in the Chilean Ministry of Foreign Affairs gives me the experience of working in the public sector.

A highlight:
The task force on crime and human rights issues in Chile was very memorable. It was our responsibility to research a current crime prevention policy and make policy recommendations to the Chilean government. I enjoyed this task force for two reasons. Firstly, I enjoyed immersing myself in the research and interviewing various government officials. Secondly, the task force was a great chance to work alongside other Chilean students (the class had four Chileans and four Princeton students). It was a fun cultural and language exchange. Our professor was also very welcoming.