Laura Schiemichen

Laura Schiemichen




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 were taught by a different member of both the Fletcher and CoE faculties, including Admiral James Stavridis, Dean Emeritus, who taught 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.

Activities involved in at Fletcher

  • The Gender Initiative
  • Tech@Fletcher
  • Euro Club

Education before Fletcher

  • Bachelor of Arts, 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


German, French, Spanish, English