#IncomingElliott: Sara Huzar

#IncomingElliott: Sara Huzar

Sara Huzar, M. A. European and Eurasian Studies, 2024, #IncomingElliott

Sara Huzar is an incoming Masters student in the European and Eurasian Studies program at the Elliott School. She earned a B.A. in History and Global Affairs from George Mason University, and during her undergrad completed internships at the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine, Rise to Peace, and the Caspian Policy Center. After graduation, Sara traveled to Bulgaria as a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant and later served as Assistant Director of the Bulgarian English Speech and Debate Tournament (BEST) Foundation. After returning to the U.S., Sara spent time working for One To World, a non-profit that helps international students and Fulbright scholars in New York City deepen their involvement in the community. Now, in addition to being an incoming student, Sara is also a proud Elliott School staff member, serving as the Program Coordinator for PONARS Eurasia at the Institute for European, Russian, and Eurasian Studies (IERES).

What has been your most rewarding academic or professional experience so far?

During my sophomore year, I interned at the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv, Ukraine. It was my first time leaving the U.S., so as you can imagine I had no idea what to expect. It turned out to be an immensely fulfilling opportunity, both personally and professionally. I got to connect with my family’s heritage, develop a love of travel, and explore my interests in diplomacy and international affairs. My time there was brief, but it’s unquestionably defined my entire career trajectory since, and I look forward to returning soon.

What is your favorite neighborhood in the DC-Maryland-Virginia (DMV) area?

My favorite neighborhood is whichever one I happen to be in at the time. There is so much to love in DC! But if I have to make a choice, I would choose 14th St. There’s an eclectic mix of small businesses, a fun variety of food options, and gorgeous murals – all the best DC has to offer. I also maintain (and I know this is a hotly debated topic) that Commissary near P and 14th has the best brunch in the city.

Is your grad program related to your undergrad degree? If so, how?

I feel like my grad program is the next part of narrowing my professional focus and building specific expertise. I have a B.A. in History and Global Affairs from George Mason University. My degree offered a good overview of international affairs in general and I loved my professors and classmates at Mason. Now, I’m looking forward to complementing my professional experience in the region with coursework that focuses specifically on Eastern Europe, the Caucasus, and Central Asia.

Why did you choose to commit to the Elliott School for your graduate program?

Working while getting my degree was absolutely essential for me and the Elliott School far outpaces its DC counterparts in terms of being professional-friendly. The evening classes are obviously an advantage, but I also felt that the Elliott School has a supportive culture for working students. For example, it’s really comforting to know that a lot of Elliott School students are full or part-time employees while pursuing their degrees, because it reassured me that I wouldn’t be the odd one out in group projects, or risk not fitting in with my classmates

What is your favorite city/region that you have visited and why?

My favorite travel experience was to Markovo, Bulgaria. It’s a village in the center of Bulgaria, and I spent a weekend at a friend’s house there during my second year as a Fulbright ETA. We didn’t do anything “exciting,” just stayed in their family home and ate almost non-stop, but it felt special because I was treated like part of the community. On one of our mornings there, I and my other American friend made American pancakes (which are very different than Bulgarian pancakes, or palachinki).  Seeing our American dish set up alongside the spread of Bulgarian foods, it felt like we were practicing cultural exchange in its purest form, which was a gratifying feeling, to say the least.

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The #IncomingElliott profile series is managed by the Elliott School Office of Graduate Admissions and highlights newly enrolling students to answer common questions posed by prospective and current students. For more information on this series or to submit questions, e-mail the Office of Graduate Admissions at esiagrad@gwu.edu.

The views expressed by students profiled do not necessarily represent those of organizations they work for, are affiliated with, or the Elliott School of International Affairs.