Niels Boehm and Oliver Loeffler traveled from Berlin, Germany to spend Fall quarter here at the Luskin School as part of a reciprocal international exchange program with the Hertie School of Governance. The Hertie School is a private governance and political science school in Berlin. Two Luskin students, Naoki Yamazaki and Hirofumi Kyunai, returned from Hertie in January.Boehm’s focus is on climate change policy, including energy and transportation policies. Loeffler studies international labor governance, looking at how governments can induce transnational corporations to uphold human rights standards. Before the two students returned to Germany last quarter, we asked them to share their experiences and unique perspectives with us about living and studying at UCLA and the Department of Public Policy at the Luskin School of Public Affairs.-----Luskin: Why did you choose to come to Los Angeles? Loeffler: I thought living in a mega-city such as LA would be interesting from a policy perspective. Luskin: Did you feel you could venture out into the city and get to learn about public policy that’s actually happening in LA?Boehm: I had a great course about transportation policy planning. Urban Planning professor Brian Taylor was very engaged in giving us the opportunity to get to know what we were learning about in class in real life. So we did a one day field trip and visited the major transportation policy and planning institutions around the city. That was a good experience because it linked the theoretical class debates to the real world.Loeffler: I think what’s good also about the Luskin school is that it offers programs which are directly related to the challenges here in LA and offers connections to other public policy courses.Boehm: This is also a great opportunity for us because we can take courses from different departments. I think that was also one of my major motivations to come to UCLA, that you offered students the opportunity to pick courses out of this really impressive curriculum. Loeffler: That’s a great point. My policy focus is on the frontier between the public and private sector. The exchange program offered me opportunity of studying at the management school (Anderson) which I would have never had studying in Berlin only. That’s a big asset of the exchange program -- that you can pick courses you’re really interested in and help you advance your focus area.What’s also great about my stay here is that my girlfriend was able to visit me for a month. The scheduling of the university was flexible which allowed us to travel a little bit. We got a tent from the outdoor recreation center here at UCLA, rented a car and drove up the PCH.Boehm: Yeah I would also underline you have this great combination of studying and opportunities to do all kinds of things, whatever you want.Luskin: Was there any cultural shocks or things you thought were strange or funny about studying in America?Boehm: We’ve both traveled around the world to a lot of countries... but we got to see how things differ in terms of daily life. You have these dining halls here on campus, all this school pride for example. I mean we knew it existed, but to live it and to go to a college football game and tailgates was different. It was a cultural shock I would say, how huge the identification with the school is.Loeffler: In Germany we would watch American TV shows…and are aware of what’s going on in politics and society in the US. But living here and experiencing some of the major political and social discussions was a great experience. I got a much better feel about the inner functioning of this country.Luskin: Can you elaborate on the difference between studying in LA as opposed to Berlin? Loeffler: The structures of the courses are sometimes a little different and also in terms of class discussions, there’s a different style to it. But it’s not a difference of quality, just maybe the difference between the European and the American system.Luskin: Would you recommend your other classmates to come here in the future?Both: Yes. Definitely. Boehm: We had a presentation on the Hertie School because there’s discrepancy between the students who go to Berlin and the students who come to UCLA and want to come to UCLA. We have like 20 to 30 applicants for the few spaces here, but there are very few people who would come to Germany, so we try to promote it and engage people moreLuskin: So, can you give your pitch for why your German friends should come to UCLA and why your American friends should go to the Hertie School?Loeffler: UCLA is the policy capital of the US and in the US there are a lot of policy challenges, especially topics related to urbanization and social inequality, which really crystalize here. We are in California, where a lot of innovative solutions are explored. UCLA offers a lot of resources to students and is a great campus and it’s a fun place to be. It’s California. Boehm: I think for Germany, my pitch is if you want to get to know Europe, Berlin is the best place to do it. Berlin is currently the most exciting city in Germany. Politically, its the most relevant city for both German and European politics. Also, it would be a great opportunity because it’s an English-speaking environment and Berlin has an international character, so you wont have any issues to get along with your language skills which can be a major barrier for people.-----
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By Angel IbanezUCLA Luskin Student Writer Public Policy and Electrical Engineering professor, John Villasenor, was recently featured in the media on the topics of selling used digital media and the growing danger of hacked hardware. He also co-wrote a blog post for the Brookings Institute on the role of the global financial system in helping the poorest and most vulnerable.
By Adeney ZoUCLA Luskin Student WriterFrom L.A. to D.C., students in the David Bohnett Fellowship program are making an impact wherever they go.This fellowship program, sponsored by the David Bohnett Foundation, gives UCLA Luskin students the unique opportunity to work in the L.A. Mayor’s office.
The Ronald Reagan Public Policy Fellowship, underwritten by The Draine Family Charitable Foundation, supports graduate students at the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs Department of Public Policy in studying Ronald Reagan and the effects of his economic, social and international policies on the State of California, the Federal Government and the world.
By Alejandra Reyes-VelardeUCLA Luskin Student Writer On Feb. 10, UCLA Luskin students and Senior Fellows were brought together for a mid-year reception focused on mentoring and networking with a presentation from John Kobara, chief operating officer of the California Community Foundation and a former vice chancellor of external affairs at UCLA.
By Adeney ZoUCLA Luskin student writer Despite heavy competition from 24 other teams made up of MBA students, an interdisciplinary team of mostly Luskin MPP students won first place at the UCLA Anderson School’s Net Impact Consulting Challenge.
By Angel IbanezUCLA Luskin student writer Nurit Katz MPP '08, UCLA’s first Chief Sustainability Officer, has been selected as the new Facilities Management Executive Officer. Katz's appointment is effective February 1, 2015.
This winter and spring quarter, UCLA Luskin will host a series of skill-building workshops, career talks and networking events to prepare students for success in the working world. Some of the main highlights in the series of events include “LA County: Challenges and Opportunities,” featuring high-level speakers like Governor Brown’s director of economic development, and a career fair for students to “speed network” with alumni and professionals.
development scholar Ananya Roy will lead a new institute examining inequality
and democracy at UCLA Luskin as its inaugural director, Dean Franklin D.
Gilliam, Jr., announced today. Roy’s appointment is effective July 1, 2015.