Name: Léa Surugue
Birth place: Paris, France
Occupation: Recent graduate from City University in London with a master’s in international journalism
Languages: English, French, Spanish, Portuguese
Currently reading: “Too big to fail,” by Andrew Ross Sorkin
Most memorable international experience: Recently I had a particularly memorable experience which I think will stick with me for a long time. Last spring I went to Morocco to film a short report about sub-Saharan migrants entering that country. Before that I do not think I had been confronted, at least to such an extent, with such cultural differences and such completely different views of the world. I met people whose daily lives were very different from mine and who nevertheless shared their often emotional stories with me. I learned more in that week than in many months of studying.
How did you become interested in international affairs?
I am very lucky to have lived nearly half of my life abroad — nine years in London and one year in Madrid. As unoriginal as it may sound, growing up in those multicultural cities and meeting people from all around the world made me more open-minded. Thanks to the encounters I had, I was able to imagine a very different world outside my own comfortable life. As I became older, I became interested in international politics and the global economy, and I finally decided that international affairs would be central to my professional life.
What international issue is of greatest interest to you today? Why?
It is hard to choose a single issue, but one of the most important topics for me right now is the plight of clandestine migrants and refugees. Migration is a global phenomenon, with many causes, and it sadly triggers more political tensions than collective solutions. Too often we focus on its political and economic consequences, and we forget it is above all a terrible human tragedy.
I am also fascinated by Latin America, its society, economy and politics. Recent developments in Cuba and peace negotiations between the Colombian government and FARC rebels are two stories out of many that I want to follow as I move into journalism.