Dear fellow students at Epoka,
I am very pleased to share with you part of my experience as an exchange student here at Sam Houston State University, in Texas, US.
I have had a very tight schedule, taking 18 hours per week, studying hard and mostly concentrating over class related activities. But recently I took part in an activity which I thought to share with you.
I was invited into a think tank of the Rice University Houston's (ranked the 18-th university in the US), Baker Institute for Public Policy, "Ambassadors Series", a series of meeting where important foreign service diplomats lecture to a audience of journalists, political scientist, governmental officials professors and students, over the American foreign relations, the challenges to come and proposed academic solutions for them.
In the meeting I took part, the speaker was the famous ambassador William J. Burns, one of the most senior ambassadors of the foreign service, twice ambassador of US in Russia, ambassador to Jordan and recently, under Secretary Kerry, deputy Secretary of State. He was the leading member of the negotiation team from the American side in the nuclear proliferation agreement with Iran, last year.
He talked for this agreement and other hot topics in the US foreign relations in the next decade.
He answered a question I did regarding the Russian influence in the Balkans, and mentioned the visit of Secretary Kerry in Albania last month, as a confirmation that the US considers Albania a very important ally in the region.
Than I had the huge privilege of meeting ex-secretary James Baker, the founder of the institute who was present in this lecture. I expressed to him the consideration and gratitude of the Albanian people for his historical visit in 1991 in Tirana, and his work to consolidate democracy in the post communist Albania. He expressed me the memories of that visit and the hope he felt in the Albanian youth for a new democratic country in Europe.
Than I participated in a rally of the republican presidential candidate, Senator of Florida, Marco Rubio, in Marriott hotel, southern Houston. That was a special experience too, considering the fact that he is a UsS Senator running for the oval office.
Wishing you all the best for the new semester to come, as well as good health,
With kind regards,
***Note from IRO – Bjorn Kamberi, student of the Political Science and International Relations Department at Epoka University is spending the 2015-2016 academic year at Sam Houston State University, in Houston Texas, US, as an exchange student in the framework of the Memorandum of Understanding in force between the two institutions.