With three aca­d­emic trips to Egypt, one to Geneva, and a co-​​op in Por­tugal under his belt, North­eastern grad­uate Edwin Figueroa is ready to take on the world. In fact, it’s hard for the inter­na­tional affairs major to recall a time when he was intim­i­dated by the thought of inter­na­tional travel. Now he rel­ishes the chal­lenges and excite­ment of living and working abroad.

Figueroa, a native of New York City, says he has a pas­sion for both finance and inter­na­tional law. But it’s a pas­sion that was fueled as much by his expe­ri­ences in the class­room as it was by his travel over­seas. He says his courses in finance, inter­na­tional law, and inter­na­tional affairs at North­eastern gave him the foun­da­tion for richer, more mean­ingful expe­ri­ences abroad. In turn, his time spent abroad brought his course mate­rial to life.

(Hear what Figueroa has to say about Northeastern’s unique approach to global education):

http://​www​.north​eastern​.edu/​n​e​w​s​/​m​u​l​t​i​m​e​d​i​a​/​v​i​d​e​o​.​h​t​m​l​?​c​o​n​t​e​n​t​I​D​=​I​E​w​l​c​z​z​J​6​k​y​V​y​7​m​m​y​B​n​QzA

He was drawn, in par­tic­ular, to Egypt, where he spent two five-​​week Dia­logue of Civ­i­liza­tions trips—one in 2006 and another in 2007. These trips offer a com­bi­na­tion of inten­sive study, as well as expo­sure to the region’s cul­ture and values.

Figueroa brought so much to these trips that he was invited back in 2009, as an employee: a professor’s assis­tant. “That was a very exciting expe­ri­ence,” Figueroa says of the trip, which took place this past spring. It was his chance to share what he had learned with stu­dents, as well as an oppor­tu­nity to help guide their trip.

I would love to return to Egypt again,” he says. “I love the cul­ture and the people there. They have such a sense of hos­pi­tality in the way they wel­come you to the country.”

Egypt wasn’t his only calling, though. Figueroa also did a Dia­logue of Civ­i­liza­tions trip to Geneva in 2008. Later that year, he did a co-​​op in Lagos, Por­tugal, over­seeing oper­a­tions at the hostel RC International.

I did every­thing from han­dling reser­va­tions and man­aging staff to working on Internet adver­tising and mar­keting projects on behalf of the facility,” he says of his duties at the 100-​​guest facility. “Everyday was different.”

Figueroa also did a co-​​op state­side at Mer­rill Lynch in 2007. There he learned the finance ropes as an equity ana­lyst man­aging accounts and preparing finan­cial research for administrators.

With this unique com­bi­na­tion of in-​​class and hands-​​on global edu­ca­tion, Figueroa is looking toward an exciting future in inter­na­tional law studies or micro­fi­nance. “North­eastern exposed me to a lot of oppor­tu­nity,” he says. “Now, I’m open to anything.”