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Maxime Le Lijour

My story

Born in Italy with French heritage, I’ve always felt I had a dual identity—although more than anything, this made me feel that I was neither Italian nor French. From a young age, I knew that I wanted to leave my country as my father did when he was young, but I never imagined I would end up at a university like IE. That said, I’ve always been passionate about contemporary global affairs which, together with my fascination for the Italian literary tradition, has played an important role in shaping my identity as a living oxymoron.

Maxime Le Lijour, Italy and France


Team Leader at Action Contre la Faim


I ventured out into the world as soon as I could. My higher education journey began at Leiden University in The Hague, where I majored in international studies while also specializing in Latin American studies and minoring in psychology.

Following my undergraduate degree, I became involved in activism with an organization called Action Contre la Faim, a French NGO that works to end world hunger. Before being admitted to IE for the master’s program exactly a year ago, I was in the streets of Milan training up a team of fundraisers for Action Contre la Faim. It’s incredible how much life can change in just a few months.

When I initially began the application process for a master’s at IE, I was considering the Master in International Relations. When I discovered that the university was launching a program in international development, I knew IE was where I needed to be.

IE University stood out to me for its professional orientation and incredible global network. Having worked for two years as an activist, it was important to me that my studies blended both theory and practice. In this sense, IE was clearly distinct from the other institutions I was exploring.

“I believe that being in diverse settings is crucial to personal development, so I relished the opportunity to immerse myself in the international environment here at IE.”

Additionally, the opportunity to be an IE club coordinator was appealing to me from the start. I now hold positions as Vice President of the IE Global Transformation Club and Sustainability Ambassador of the IE Tourism Industry Club, which have provided me with some of the best experiences I’ve had throughout the year. In addition, Spain always struck me as a place where I could lead a very full and varied life.

Being from a mixed background and a strong advocate for diversity, I needed to pursue a master’s that offered a truly international learning environment. IE certainly didn’t disappoint! I’ve never been cut out for monocultural places, which is probably why I was so eager to explore the world as soon as I turned 18. For me, the experience of studying alongside people from all over the world was amazing. I believe that being in diverse settings is crucial to personal development, so I relished the opportunity to immerse myself in the international climate that exists here at IE.

I could summarize my overall experience at IE in one word: challenging. The master has been a crazy experience that pushed me to grow in new ways. Thinking about all the pages I read, pages I wrote, people I met, and events I organized for the student clubs, it’s hard to believe that it all happened in less than one year. Fortunately, I’m the kind of person that gets bored without a challenge, so I’m thankful to my professors for having made this past year incredibly demanding and, above all, enriching.

Moving forward, I’m enthusiastic to continue my work as an activist, although ideally on a larger scale. First of all, I want to go to the front line and learn as much as I can about the global challenges facing humanity today. By working directly with people to truly understand their needs, I hope to better represent them in negotiations and campaigns. My long-term overarching goal is to serve those in need—but for that, I still have a long road ahead of me.