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Professors in Conversation: Prof. Batsaikhan
by Hamza Iqbal  29 Apr 2013
Professors in Conversation: Prof. Batsaikhan


Professor Mongoljin Batsaikhan is an Assistant Professor of Economics at the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service in Qatar. He started his Academic career at the University of Tokyo and holds a Ph.D. from Brown University. His major research field is Developmental Economics and Entrepreneurship with particular focus on Micro-Enterprises in developing countries. Professor Batsaikhan has been an active part of the Academic Community at SFS-Q since Fall 2012. He shares with us his perspective on academics and reflects on his own college experience and life in the Middle East. 
1. What was your nickname growing up?
When I was a little kid, I could not say my entire first name, so I think I said the middle 3 letters and that’s how my family started calling me “Goloo”. They don’t call me that often now, but I do hear it from time to time.
2. Favorite memory of College? 
Playing games with my friends at the dorm. It was how I got very close to my friends at college; we learned about each other a lot that’s probably why I still remember those nights, a lot of laughing, joy. 
3. What kind of student were you back then?
I was the student who would always sit in the very last row, at the back, in the corner! In case the class gets boring, I could leave without disturbing the class. Plus I don’t wear any glasses, so I could see everything from the back. I tried to be someone who could study and contribute to society outside of class and interact with local culture and international students on campus.
4. How do you think the academic environment in Education City is different from what you experienced in The United States and in Japan?
I think the students here are completely different, I feel students here are a lot more respectful to professors than students in the US; it is probably pretty close to how students interact with faculty in Japan. However since we have a smaller class size, there is a lot of interactions between faculty and students, only just in class but also in a very casual way.
5. Any advice to Int’l Econ majors and some other of your students
  Start Early, and finish your work every week!
6. What brings you to Qatar?
The work environment, and the Georgetown community.
7. How often do you go to the Souk? 
These days, probably once a week. This is all very recent. It’s very crowded but I like going there and watch people or just hang out with new friends. I also like to stop there and eat a couple of Kaftas at night.
8. Qatar is an exception to the rule, in so many different ways, what do you think is the most promising aspect of its economy? 
The one thing I have noticed is that Qatar does try to implement state of art technology in many fields; Education City is a prime example. Now, whether or not it will be successful, I’m not sure, it’s a new concept; it’s hard to tell what the future holds. But it’s a very interesting approach to see how it grows, because this kind of way of building a country is very unique, even in Economic Literature. In that sense it’ll be very interesting to see how Qatar prepares itself for the future.
9. What’s that one word in Arabic that you use most often?
I’ve recently noticed that I don’t use Arabic at all, and I learned “ Yalla” just last week. It was actually at this Arab restaurant where I heard someone yelling that word so I asked a friend what it meant. That’s probably the second Arabic word I know, after InshAllah!
We asked Prof. Batsaikhan to share with us a picture of him in college; he shared with us the following photograph: 
“My Japanese host mom is a tea ceremony teacher, so I learned how to serve tea (Sa-Dou) in Japan. This picture was taken when my Mongolian mom (in kimono) visited Tokyo and I served tea for her, at my host family’s garden”
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