Zach Przystup, 2014, United States

On the learning environment at Fletcher: Scarred by friends’ stories of library books with whole chapters torn out and students making beelines from their home to class and back, I had always thought that graduate school and fun were mutually exclusive terms. Seeing the enthusiasm of Fletcher students made me re-think this assessment. Additionally, during my graduate school search, the Fletcher community dispelled this notion convincingly. Ultimately, I chose Fletcher for its distinctive learning environment. During the open house I attended, I couldn’t help but notice the intellectual curiosity and genuine spirit of collaboration exhibited by students, professors, staff, and alumni. They assured me that at Fletcher I could work hard, learn a lot, and have fun in the process. Now that I’m on the other side, I can confirm the truth of this claim. Fletcher is a vibrant and fun place, full of energy for debating ideas, and learning with and from people from all over the world.

Fletcher is collaborative: After reading an interesting article on a foreign policy, region, or culture, I often find myself wishing there was someone with an appropriate background to whom I could ask follow-up questions. At Fletcher, there’s a good chance that such a person is sitting at the desk next to me. It’s a great luxury to be able to ask a classmate with a different culture, perspective, and background, “What do you think about that?” Through these conversations, I have the opportunity to challenge my own perceptions and broaden my understanding of a given issue. Fletcher fosters collaboration among people with real differences on policy issues, and I can’t think of better preparation for tackling the international challenges that will shape the world in the years ahead than doing exactly that.  

Favorite magazine:

Sports Illustrated

Favorite Authors:

Haruki Murakami, Roald Dahl

Favorite movie:

Saving Private Ryan

Favorite food:

Sushi, pho, seafood

Global issue that brought you to Fletcher:

Diplomacy and Conflict Resolution

Fields of Study

  • International Negotiation and Conflict Resolution
  • Pacific Asia

Activities involved in at Fletcher

  • The Fletcher Forum of World Affairs
  • Fletcher Graduate Writing Program Tutor
  • Diplomacy Club
  • Asia Club

Education before Fletcher

  • BA, Political Science and Spanish, University of Notre Dame

Experience before Fletcher

  • U.S. Program Manager, Atlas Corps, Washington, D.C.

  • Assistant Language Teacher, JET Program, Hiroshima-ken, Japan

  • Corporate Litigation Paralegal Hughes, Hubbard, and Reed LLP, Washington, D.C.


  • Spanish
  • Japanese
  • English