Experiential learning is at the heart of our curriculum, which is enriched with simulations, networking trips and fieldwork. While at Heller, students participate in two conflict assessment days that allow them to test the skills they need in challenging real-world situations. Then, they embark on a three- to six-month field practicum where they apply and refine skills on the ground with international agencies, government and non-governmental organizations that are dedicated to coexistence, nonviolence and conflict resolution work, such as UNICEF, the International Committee of the Red Cross, Search for Common Ground, the Institute for Inclusive Security and the Max Warburg Courage Curriculum.
COEX students are part of a community of peacebuilding professionals, both at Heller and off-campus. We collaborate with other Heller School programs through our dual-degree options for students who want to combine their coexistence work with other policy areas, such as development or nonprofit management. We also have strong partnerships with external organizations and agencies, like the Harvard Program on Negotiation in nearby Cambridge, Mass., the United Nations-mandated University for Peace in Costa Rica and the Department of Peace and Conflict Research in Uppsala, Sweden. These multiple opportunities build our students’ networks as well as their expertise.