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Cérémonie de remise des diplômes à l’ENA

July 29, 2011

On Wednesday, my colleague Tiina Bieber and I had the pleasure of attending a graduation ceremony at ENA here in Strasbourg.  An American diplomat was a member of this year’s graduating class, which was composed of French civil administrators and foreign students from 30 countries.  As I had not yet had the opportunity to see the school, I was looking forward to visiting the hallowed ground where so many famous French political leaders receive their training.

The building itself even seemed representative of the institution, at least in my personal interpretation, as the exterior resembled older Strasbourg architecture but the space was modern and sleek inside.  To me, it was a statement of strong links to the past, and tradition, as well as a gateway to the future and innovation.

The ceremony, which was for the promotion Mahatma Gandhi, featured several speeches, flags representing the countries from which the students hailed, and a few “bravos” from a small child in the audience happy to see a family member graduate!   

The numerous, colorful flags dotting the stage were one of my favorite aspects of the ceremony.  While they were inanimate objects, I appreciate what they represented – an international program where students from all over the world can come together to study and forge bonds.  The cultural diversity seems like it would be a nice benefit to participating in the program, and I particularly liked that the class had chosen to name itself after Gandhi, an impressive leader who can serve as an example to us all.

And of course, as a college student always on the hunt for her next free meal, the delicious sandwich at the post-ceremony reception wasn’t a bad end to the afternoon…

Je souhaite un très bon week-end à tous!

Molly Rapaport

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