Rohil Vaidya | Department of International Relations and Governance Studies

Rohil Vaidya

Major: Chemistry (Class of 2020)

'As a student with a background in the natural sciences from senior school to my undergraduate education, the minor in International Relations (IR) was to be the spark of multidisciplinarity I was expecting when I first joined university. The international sphere is commonly thought to be a distant realm of politics, where suits and powerful actors dominate, and only distinguished academics and experts can ever hope to understand or influence its workings. The minor in IR dispelled such misconceptions from the very first introductory course I enrolled in. The other courses that followed sharpened my analysis and allowed me to notice the degree to which the international is interconnected and enmeshed with the domestic, and shapes the life of the "common person". Being able to parse the threads of social fabric from the perspective of the international, structured by a foundation in IR and economic theory makes me a better academic even though my major is seemingly unrelated. The ability to have an intelligent conversation about the international in the context of an ever changing political environment is a valuable skill, beyond the enjoyment of knowledge for its own sake, to allow one to recognise the norms and institutions that are always present, ever changing and almost invisible if one forgets to look.'