Recent Grad Pursues Passion for Peacebuilding and Governance in Europe

Recent graduate Yong June Kim (CONF, ’23) epitomizes the essence of a well-rounded scholar. Having made the most of his Mason experience, he now embarks on an exciting journey to Europe for his next chapter.

This fall, Kim will be beginning his Erasmus Mundus Joint Master (LL.M.) in International Law of Global Security, Peace, and Development (ILGSPD) with a specialization in International Economics, Sustainability, and Governance. The program will take him to study in Scotland, Spain, and Germany, forming a joint program that promises extensive exposure to diverse perspectives. Kim secured a full tuition waiver for the program.

Internship at EAAFP Secretariat

"I became deeply interested in peacebuilding through sustainable governance during my internships at the Hanns Seidel Foundation (HSF) Korea and the East Asian-Australasian Flyway Partnership (EAAFP) Secretariat," said Kim, a Conflict Analysis and Resolution major. “However, my experiences at the Fairfax campus were pivotal in shaping my decision to pursue a master's degree in Europe,” he added, citing the new connections he forged with both local and international students that broadened his perspectives and kindled his ambition to thrive in a global environment.

Venturing into new territories and stepping outside his comfort zone has been a recurring theme in Kim's life. From the outset of his time at Mason, he eagerly sought out new opportunities and people. At Mason Korea, he seized an internship opportunity at the 2018 Pyeongchang Olympics and later interned at the Peace and Conflict Studies Center Asia (PACSC Asia) on campus. 

Music has also played a significant role in Kim's life. "Since I love performing, I founded the student band SKETCH after completing my military service," said Kim, an electric guitar enthusiast. The band has since flourished in size and professionalism, performing at regional concerts. “Leading the team not only honed my musical skills, but also developed my management skills,” he added.

Kim continued his musical pursuits during his year of study at the Fairfax campus, where he became part of Mason's renowned pep band, the Green Machine, as well as the Green & Gold Soul ensemble. While in Fairfax, he took the initiative to propose and organize a "Food & Culture" event through the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Committee at the Carter School.

Kim encourages current students to fully embrace the global education offered at Mason. "When you're at Mason Korea, seek out internship and student club opportunities that align with your interests as they can lay the groundwork for your career development," he advises. "When you're at the Fairfax campus, engage in conversations with local peers as much as possible. While being in a foreign environment can be challenging at first, I guarantee it will boost your English skills. Lastly, be proactive and cultivate close friendships with people who can motivate and support you."

Enthusiastic about starting his graduate studies, Kim eagerly anticipates gaining deeper insights into the European perspective within his field. He looks forward to enriching his cultural experiences by interacting with local communities and collaborating with highly competent peers from around the globe.