THE PERKS OF BEING A STUDENT OF EURUS PROGRAMME – BOJANA (CROATIA)
My academic adventure is slow but safely approaching its end. That is why I have decided to reflect upon my past two years within MA European Union-Russia (EURUS) programme at the Johan Skytte Institute of Political Studies. For those interested in political science and international relations, I recommend reading this article until the very end. For others, it will be enough to skim over photos.
For all of you who are thinking of embarking on an adventure called ˈStudying at the University of Tartuˈ, two years might seem like a really long time to be away from home, family, friends and everything you hold dear. I also felt that way, but never imagined to find some of it in Tartu. I owe that to the amazing group of classmates with whom I shared so many things. At EURUS programme I ended up meeting with an interesting and diverse group of people coming from all around the world (the US, China, France, Ukraine, Germany, Russia, Kazakhstan, Lithuania, Finland, Estonia, Georgia, Belarus, Latvia, etc.). How great is that? What is even greater is that I got to learn about things I always wondered but never had a chance to ask.
One of the best parts of studying at EURUS programme is the unique and individual approach during the study process. The programme is multidisciplinary and adopts innovative teaching techniques. Through one-on-one mentorship, the professors have the chance to understand what our priorities and academic goals are in order to help us in achieving them. The fact that the groups consist of 15 students per year only contributes to the facilitation of the studying process.
Although we come from different academic backgrounds which are not necessarily related to political science (anthropology, sociology, Russian language, English philology, pedagogy, journalism, etc.), our adaptable curriculum enables each of us to get the most from our courses. Everything is aimed at supporting the personal and academic development of an individual. You learn how to adapt to a new situation and co-exist with people with whom you do not necessarily share the same point of view. In light of academic discussions which were diverse and numerous, you learn to respect classmates’ opinions and make a valid argument out of it.
In every activity that Johan Skytte Institute organized for us, we learned something new which gave us additional motivation for going further and wanting more. I got the chance to attend autumn school in Ukraine, summer school in Norway, a study trip to Latvia, a visit to the European Parliament, I did an exchange semester in Belgium and am currently undertaking an internship in Sweden. I participated in Tartu UN Model organised by our Institute and in other international conferences held in Tartu. I don’t know how about you, but I have definitely seized every academic opportunity thrown at me. And as you can see, there were plenty of them.
Fun parts! We had so many of those. I will always remember our celebration of Thanksgiving Day, us harvesting potatoes in Latvia, or our gathering in the underground room of our Institute, where we experienced the perks of Estonian sauna tradition and indulged ourselves in other activities which, of course (!), carried an academic accent.
Now I and my colleagues are preparing for the most important day in our two-year studies –thesis defense. I am so looking forward to that day, not because of the defense as such (that can get a bit stressful, as you know), but because I will see my classmates again. Just like old times, followed by a proper celebration.