Learning from the Best

This session at DIS, I am so excited to be in a class called Understanding Terrorism: Causes, Solutions, Dilemmas with Hans Martin Brun. Not only is this topic extremely interesting, but it is also incredibly relevant to the current international environment (and it counts towards my Political Science major :)).

Being able to learn about the historical context and modern-day examples of terrorism in an international setting has been such an eye-opening experience – studying terrorism within a global lens has given me a better understanding of the complexities of the subject.

A large portion of our class has been dedicated to examining case studies of distinct terror groups. In pairs, we are assigned different groups and instructed to give presentations based on the history, motivation, and tactics of each group. Each day, our professor picks one group to give their presentation and then, afterward, he fills in any gaps we might have missed or highlights important points for us to take away. I have found this teaching style of allowing students access to the material first to be incredibly beneficial. It allows me to work with my classmates to research, uncover, and digest our own information and then check back with the professor for any additional help.

Some of my classmates giving a presentation on their assigned group.

What makes this class even more amazing is that Hans brings knowledge from his professional field into the classroom. Hans works as a consultant and researcher for counter-terrorist forces and, as such, is able to bring first-hand knowledge to the course. Moreover, Hans’ personal connections to the field have led to some incredible Field Study opportunities – we are planning to go and interview professionals at the police station here in Stockholm! Hans has worked in this field for years and some of the stories he shares are incredible – we are truly learning from the best.

Overall, this class has been amazing in that it allows me ample opportunity to collaborate with my classmates, to learn about such a relevant topic in an international setting and to take in knowledge from an expert in the field. I am so beyond grateful for this once in a lifetime classroom experience.


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