Staff Spotlight: Grahaeme Hesp

Regional Director, Institutional Relations


What is your favorite travel memory?

Seeing the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco for the first time.

What is the best story you've heard from a return student?

"The FIE Peace and Conflict program was a great cultural experience and an incredibly eye-opening opportunity.

From the discussions with guest speakers to the insights provided by our teachers, Jordanian host families, and everyday conversations with new people, the program provided me with a new viewpoint that has fundamentally changed the way I look at International Affairs.

You can attend lectures and study textbooks, but you can’t understand conflict and the ways in which it affects countries and their peoples until you listen to their thoughts, fears, and concerns."

Ryland Arnold, Summer 2016 Student, University of Arkansas

If you could go on any program that your company offers, which one would you choose and why?

Our summertime "Conflict and the Struggle for Peace: Explorations in Ireland and the Middle East" program is absolutely life-changing, allowing participants to critically analyze and explore some of the most daunting issues of our time.

The program begins in Dublin with an introduction to peace and conflict theory, using the Irish peace process as a case study. In Amman, the focus turns to Middle Eastern issues as participants examine how various countries in the region are addressing the Arab/Israeli conflict, inter-regional conflicts such as those in Lebanon, Yemen, or Iraq, as well as inter-tribal conflicts.

Following the conclusion of the Conflict and the Struggle for Peace program, participants can stay in Amman for an additional four weeks and study intensive Arabic from beginner through to advanced!

What makes your company unique? When were you especially proud of your team?

FIE is committed to the development of creative learning environments wherein an understanding of, and appreciation for, the privileges and responsibilities of international citizenship is fostered. This commitment is driven by the belief that interaction between people of diverse cultures is the base upon which empathy among nations is built.

From our formal mission, FIE has devised specific values which underpin and motivate all aspects our organization: Knowledge and Inclusivity; Ethics and Human Rights; Social and Cultural Reflection and Action; and Commitment to the Environment.

Whether it's our energy-saving residence hall "Student Switch Off" competition each semester, FIGs (FIE Interest Groups), or carbon offsetting of all staff airline travel, we 'walk our talk.'

What do you believe to be the biggest factor in being a successful company?

We listen to our partner campuses; we try to do whatever we can to ensure student learning; we challenge students in their classes, in their internship placements, and in co- and extra-curricular activities to experience differences in terms of culture, religion, food, language, etc.