READ UP!

In addition to providing some indication of the breadth and depth of current conversations surrounding your discipline, major, research proposal, and so forth, it is exceedingly important to be well-read on current events and issues, especially as related to the work you are proposing to do and/or the host-country in which you plan to undertake that work.

Of course, keep reading (and listening) to your normal selection of local, national, and international news rags and news-worthy reporting, relevant peer-reviewed journal articles, etc., but also keep up with things as reported by: