Many Different Walks of Life

Matthew Ness

Matthew Ness '09
BA in International and Comparative Politics

I love to travel and meet and experience different people and cultures. I was an 18-year-old freshman in school in Connecticut when the September 11th terrorist attacks occurred, and, like all Americans, I was greatly affected seeing the Twin Towers crumbling in New York City. I remember sitting in my dorm room the rest of the day unable to take my eyes off the awful events unfolding before me. So I decided to do something about it; I completed the rest of the school year, took a break from college life, and signed up to serve my country in the United States Army as a combat infantryman. After four years and two deployments to the Middle East, I came back to America with a newfound sense of maturity and a new outlook on life. It was my first time traveling outside the United States and my exposure to a culture so vastly different than what I was used to left me wanting more.

With over a thousand students from so many different cultural backgrounds all learning together, AUP impressed me immediately as the right place to develop my interests. What could be a more amazing and dynamic place than AUP for someone interested in studying politics and exploring new cultures? That only about 40% of AUP’s undergraduate student body are American made me feel privileged to hear the perspectives of people from so many different walks of life. I strongly feel every young American citizen would benefit from studying in such a diverse and multicultural environment.

From an academic standpoint I decided to major in International and Comparative Politics. It wasn’t an easy decision. I have always been interested in politics, but I was also seriously considering other majors as well. My decision was almost instantly made when I met my academic advisor, Professor Susan Perry. Her passion for politics and especially human rights was palpable and I became hooked. As busy as she was, she always took the time to listen to my interests and worked with me to develop a curriculum track tailored to my interests. Even to this day I look back fondly about how passionate she was about her work. 

Through the help of the Internship Office, I was able to land an internship working for a British/American international law firm in Paris. It was not your typical internship experience in that I found myself on a daily basis working on high-profile international disputes, using the knowledge I learned at AUP. It was truly an amazing experience.

That only about 40% of AUP’s undergraduate student body are American made me feel privileged to hear the perspectives of people from so many different walks of life. - Matthew Ness

After graduating from AUP in 2009, I continued my internship while I searched for a job in the US, focusing particularly in New York and Boston. I was fortunate enough to land a job working with a large international bank in Boston, providing regulatory support for their global wealth and investment management division. It was a great introduction to the world of politics and regulation, two areas that almost always go hand in hand. I later asked my boss what set me apart from the numerous other candidates that applied for the job and he said one of the primary factors was my international experience. 

In 2012 I left the banking industry to work for a rapidly growing Fortune 1000 healthcare company based in Nashville. As the healthcare industry in the United States undergoes tremendous changes, I am proud to be a part of a company that is playing a major role to make healthcare more efficient and cost effective for all Americans. My current role is leading our our State Government Affairs department, where I enjoy the opportunity to travel across the US speaking and testifying to law makers at both the state and federal levels. Although it has been a few years now since graduation, I continue to draw on my academic and social experiences that only an institution as diverse as AUP can offer. 

Matthew Ness

Matthew Ness '09
BA in International and Comparative Politics

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    A Journey of Growth

    We are a community of complete strangers, coming here knowing no one, yet leaving as if we have travelled the world just by befriending representatives of every corner of our societies. Read more...

  • Ruby Veridiano

    Igniting Social Change in Fashion

    Many of my classes at AUP left me inspired, and confirmed that I was truly on the right path. Read more...

  • Cassandra

    Second Time Lucky

    AUP was my second shot at University. I wanted to continue to meet people from all over the world and study in a more intimate class setting. Read more...

  • Shalise Barnes

    Finally, At Home in the World

    The relationships I’ve had with my professors have progressed into friendships and will allow me an advantage into the job world that I would not have at any other university. Read more...

  • Ryan Blum

    From the Middle East to the City of Light

    When I reflect on my time here at AUP, I think about how much I owe my academic and personal success to the professors and staff. Read more...

  • Emilie Quenensse

    Exploring LGBT Rights

    I am currently completing a 6 month internship working on the OECD’s first project on the LGBT population. This is my dream internship! Read more...

  • Erielle-cropped

    Reconnecting to Russia

    Being among such an international student body at AUP has encouraged me to become fluent in Russian and French so that I may be able to connect with the world on a deeper level. Read more...

  • Kelly Nault

    Between Literature and Psychology

    I use the freedom allowed in literary work and the precision needed in psychology research to make the most of the learning opportunities I have here at AUP. Read more...

  • Sarah Harper-Johnston

    A Passion For Travel

    AUP is a unique community of people from all over the world that have one thing in common – a love for traveling, exploring, and experiencing different cultures in everyday life. Read more...

  • Jean-Baptiste Matton

    From Afghanistan to AUP

    Every morning, when I walk to AUP, I cross the Atlantic Ocean. I'm a French student who has spent the last fifteen years in the French army. Read more... 

  • Picture of Karina Klindtworth in Art Studio

    A Fine Arts Education

    Did you know the chemical formula to make rabbit skin glue? Twenty bucks says you don’t and you need to take this class. It is a whole new level of applied knowledge of art. Read more...

  • Tania Varela

    Major Inspiration

    The courses came with a warning label. The content and the syllabi were meant to challenge the most ambitious of students, and professors made sure we knew that … but in the end, they were all extremely rewarding. Read more...

  • Picture of Alexandra Swies

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  • Picture of students on a rooftop in Morocco at sunset

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    The kinds of things I was studying in the global communications department and in my minors only fed the fire, getting me more interested in how video worked as a medium. Read more...

  • Lindsay Young

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    I decided that I wanted the experience gained through volunteering to be more than just a priority: I wanted it to be my career focus. This year at AUP, I've been able to take some important steps towards making that become a reality. Read more...

  • zeniab3

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    Coming from an Arab background to an English speaking institution, I was worried whether I would be able to succeed in my classes with the language skills I had acquired in my home country, Libya. Read more...

  • Catherina Reuter

    The World is Yours

    AUP brings so many different cultures together that in class discussion you don’t only learn about the readings but the world and different cultures as well. Somehow, I felt like I was starting to close a culture gap. Read more...

  • Jorge France World Spif

    Academic and Artistic Balance

    Paris is a breeding ground for artistic expression, and it wasn’t long before I had established relationships that are now vital to the work that I do. Read more...

  • Perfect_Bilingual_Balance

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    For people who are bilingual in English and French, the American University of Paris is the perfect balance – you can use English in a university structure and have French as your everyday experience. Read more...

  • Sarah Root

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    The course prepares students to write about various aspects of fashion, ranging from trend forecasting, sustainability, street styles, graphic design and business. Read more...

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    Students take advantage of the University’s location to visit the ruins of Roman baths, the sewers through which Hugo’s Jean Valjean escaped and the former locations of palaces and barricades. Read more...

  • Paris Summer School Design Workshop

    The Paris Summer School in Design

    The Paris Summer School in Design at AUP gives students a unique chance to participate in an international teaching–led research workshop on design and performance. Read more...

  • mouse

    Online Privacy: the PRIPARE project

    A woman enters a liquor store. Within seconds, the man behind the counter has figured out her name, where she lives and her birthday. Read more...

  • Shadows

    Warhol's Shadows

    This fall, a landmark exhibit of Warhol’s work is opening at the Musée d’Art Moderne, co-curated by Professor Hervé Vanel. Read more...

  • Jura

    Food and Culture

    Nibbling on a piece of rich, milky, nutty cheese might have more cultural implications than you think. Read more...

  • Varda

    Varda from 4 to 6

    “Marie Regan, c’est Agnès Varda!” Professor Marie Regan had just received a voicemail from reknown filmmaker Agnès Varda and was playing it back to students. Read more...

  • Drawing

    The Language of Drawing

    Tired of studying art through slide projections? Come to AUP and learn from sitting in front of the original works themselves. Read more...

  • Opera Garnier

    Paris Through its Architecture

    What course enables you to discover Paris' rich architectural history while bonding with fellow students? Read more…

  • bouquiniste

    Summer Creative Writing Institute

    The Summer Creative Writing Institute offers students the opportunity to practice writing well-crafted fiction and literary nonfiction under the guidance of highly accomplished writers. Read more...

  • Eagle

    AUP’s webzine “Nature and Cultures”

    Professor Oleg Kobtzeff recently published the first issue of the webzine he created along with AUP colleagues, alumni and students. Read more...

  • Macarons-Workshop

    Macaron and Chocolate Making Workshop

    Each year, students of French Language and Culture of Elementary Level 1 make a visit to the macaron and chocolate making workshop of French patissier Gerard Mulot. Read more...

  • Paris

    Cultural Mapping in Paris

    Associate Professor Stephen Sawyer recently received attention following the results of his research project on Paris. Read more...

  • Naz-Oligarchy

    Billionaires in World Politics

    Professor Hägel has developed a course that combines a research seminar with watchdog activism in order to scrutinize the power of the ultra-wealthy: “billionaireswatch.org”. Read more...

  • Picture of Proust and Beckett Book

    Proust and Beckett

    In “Proust and Beckett: The Art of Failure,” students read a selection of works from both authors, who are undoubtedly two of the twentieth century’s major prose writers, and explore their stories through museums and exhbitions. Read more...

  • Fez

    Fez Practicum

    The Fez practicum takes students to Fez, Morrocco to provide them with training in cross-media platforms and an introduction to the workings of cultural and social life in an unusual and complex historic city. Read more...

  • Picture of student filming

    Video Production

    Over the course of the semester, the student pairs learn their way around HD cameras, microphones, and the ins and outs of the editing program Final Cut Pro in order to produce two video projects. Read more...

  • Picture of students and visitors in the Louvre

    Les Jeunes ont la Parole

    The program's goal is to enter into dialogue with Louvre visitors around a work of art. The program was conceived to draw youth into what are often perceived as discouragingly daunting walls. Read more...

  • Fashion Journalism

    Fashion Journalism

    The course prepares students to write about various aspects of fashion, ranging from trend forecasting, sustainability, street styles, graphic design and business. Read more...

  • Picture of bookshelf

    Paris Through its Books

    Students take advantage of the University’s location to visit the ruins of Roman baths, the sewers through which Hugo’s Jean Valjean escaped and the former locations of palaces and barricades. Read more...