Living the international dream

18 May 2022

Old Boy Tomohiro Harada (13120) firmly believes life is an adventure – if you let it become one.

A student at College from 2003–2007, Tomo is now married to a Norwegian diplomat who speaks fluent Spanish. Referring to himself as “a diplomatic spouse”, he lives in Santiago de Chile, where he works as a doctoral researcher for the Norwegian University of Life Sciences.

Originally from Japan, Tomo spent eight consecutive years of his young life away from his parents and family in boarding schools overseas, placing his faith in his Housemasters, matrons, sports coaches, tutors, teachers and friends to guide his personal and intellectual development.

A College trip to Vietnam in 2005 had a big impact on Tomo, inspiring him to keep learning more about the world and its peoples.

“My life, it seems, has always been embedded in international relations and relationships,” he explains. “I didn’t know what I wanted to do when I left College, but I always wanted to pursue knowledge to understand and account for my experiences.”

Tomo read International Relations at the highly ranked University of St Andrews in Scotland.

“And, rather controversially, completed my postgraduate degree in International Relations at Moscow State Institute of International Relations. Obviously, I have been reflecting on my education in Russia these days, because many alumni now sit behind the walls of the Kremlin and are directly responsible for Russia’s aggression in Ukraine. The independence of academia in Russia – if it ever had one – is now fast disappearing. It is an inner struggle I am dealing with right now.”

Today, Tomo is studying the roles of indigenous peoples in international relations. He works with the concept of indigenous diplomacies to understand how indigenous peoples manage relations with other people around the world, and affect international relations, especially within international institutions.

“I focus mainly on indigenous diplomacies in the issues of climate change and participation in the UN system.”