Laura Schiemichen, 2019, Germany

On the MATA: Moving every two years, I grew up in Europe but spent my undergrad and professional years in the United States. Both culturally and professionally, I feel like I have been walking a transatlantic ‘tightrope’ my entire life. The MATA program was perfect for me in this way: it enabled me to explore this part of my identity on an intellectual level. Spending one year at Fletcher and one year at the College of Europe allows me to investigate where and how I want to build my future, and of course gives me the chance to spend some time in beautiful Bruges. As a member of the first MATA cohort, I recognized that there would be challenges associated with getting a new program set up. At the same time, I was excited about the flexibility that this program offered. There was a constant line of communication between my cohort and the Fletcher/CoE administrative teams and faculty, enabling me to enjoy personal support and have a voice in structuring the program.

On the classroom experience:  MATA students are required to take the course ‘US-EU Relations in the 21st Century,’ which is fascinating and dynamic in many ways. While the professor and the class are physically at Fletcher, College of Europe students are Skyped into the classroom. The coolest part is that the faculty is rotating: every week we are taught by a different member of both the Fletcher and CoE faculties, including Dean Stavridis, who teaches the session on NATO. This truly enables us to not only delve into topics like history, legal frameworks, refugee policy, financial crises, and national security, but it also gives us meaningful exposure to professors.

Favorite magazine
The New Yorker

Favorite landmark
The Grand Place in Brussels

Moment when you felt the furthest from home
Riding horseback while visiting my friend’s grandmother at her cattle ranch in Argentina


Most interesting person you’ve met at Fletcher
A classmate who worked for the Red Cross in Mosul before coming to Fletcher. We had a great conversation about mental health in humanitarian aid.


Favorite lecture attended
Susan Landau on Women in Tech

Activities at Fletcher

The Gender Initiative


Euro Club

Education before Fletcher

BA, Economics and Sociology, Wellesley College

Experience before Fletcher

Monitoring and Evaluation Analyst, Millennium Challenge Corporation, Washington DC, USA

Data Analyst, Compass Lexecon, Washington DC, USA

Trainee, European Parliament, Member of International Trade Committee and Member of Gender Equality Committee, Brussels, Belgium