Monday, November 18, 2013

VIPs at Tallinn University

This week there were some awesome guest speakers at Tallinn University.  Tallinn University is located right in between the foreign ministry and the presidential palace.  Often dignitaries add a stop at Tallinn University while they are on the way.  Other universities in Estonia are a bit too far and don't get as many awesome visits, at least it seems that way. 

 On Friday the US ambassador Jeffrey Levine came to visit my Comparative Foreign Policy class.  US foreign policy was part of the curriculum.  The ambassador was great and the students loved the visit.  He gave some really good insight into US foreign policy, as he has been a career diplomat.  I especially liked some of the things he said about the US intelligence community.  He said that the US does not use data for anything malicious, no economic espionage for example.  When US allies come to the US for help they don't ask where the intelligence came from, they are just happy to have the help.  This was the situation with Estonia some years ago when Estonian citizens were kidnapped in Lebanon.  The visit was scheduled for earlier in the semester but was postponed due to the government shutdown.  I'm glad that the ambassador took the time to come to our class! 

On Saturday the UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon came to visit Tallinn University!  It wasn't an open lecture, but I was lucky to find out about it and register before the spots filled up.  He was very nice and kind, saying good things about Estonia and sharing a nice message about reducing global poverty and dealing with climate change.

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