31May2020

My Personal and Professional Development with the University of Tartu – Mariam (Georgia)

My Estonian journey started two years ago when I became a student at Johan Skytte Institute of Political Studies at the University of Tartu. When I see my path now, I am glad that I have managed to get academic and practical knowledge on the one hand, and to connect with many interesting people from all over the world on another.

From Tartu to Spain and Latvia and Lithuania and all around.
Bilbao 2020,
Photo Credits: Mariam

Academic Environment at the University

One of the most important factors why I really liked the student life in Tartu was my timetable, which was suitable and adequate to my interests and needs. I have managed to register and accomplish all courses which I found interesting and useful. The structure and the general format of classes at Skytte Institute gave me a chance to develop presentation, academic writing and team-working skills, which are crucial in my understanding and in my career. Therefore, most of the time I enjoyed the courses and the academic environment created by professors, staff and other students in the classes.

What the EURUS Programme and the University Gave Me

Life in Tartu turned out as I was expecting. Aside from the fact that I became a member of an international “family”, I would like to emphasize the opportunities that were given to us with the different extra-curricular activities in and outside of the University.

The very first steps of my development outside of our classrooms started as soon as I became a member of the International Student Ambassadors. This decision helped me to become better integrated into the University’s wider society by having the chance to meet people from other faculties/programmes of our University.

Ambassador Mariam
Photo Credits: ISA

I am happy to say that while organizing different events, writing posts or promoting the University, the ISA membership has enriched my experience in many different ways.

You can find my profile following this link: https://isa.ut.ee/ambassadors/managers/mariam-georgia/

At the same time, I started to use all the opportunities that were offered by our Institute and our programme. First, the European Union- Russia Studies MA programme is designed so that we need to accomplish internal and external internships. In light of this, my internal internship as a MOOC- “Understanding EU-Russia Relations” teaching assistant allowed me to be a part of this amazing MOOC team. It helped to better understand how online learning tools work and how much effort is put by organizational team of these e-courses which, as students and interested profesionals, enriches our knowledge around different relevant issues.

On the other hand, the external internship was an important starting point to get to the places where you desire to work in the future. Personally, I am interested in environmental topics and always try to have some activities which are connected with this field, so, I used this chance and completed my internship, supported by Erasmus+ at the Foundation for Environmental Education Latvia, as a Project’s Manager’s assistant. This internship has widened my horizons and and my network, while giving me an opportunity to work on two big projects alongside other daily tasks. As a result, I have gained skills which I consider crucial for today’s labor market: experience of working in a truly international environment and experience managing wide-scale projects. I am happy that I managed to be a productive member of the FEE team in Latvia.

Happy Working Hours
Photo Credits: Mariam

Photo credits: Mariam Tlashadze

In addition to the tasks which were required according to our timetable, I was honored to be a representative of the University of Tartu and Estonia in various projects all across Europe. Two of the biggest projects I have participated in were “Civil-Society Meet Up in Vilnius” and “Schuman 2.0” project, which were organized by the Union of European Federalists. I had the pleasure to attend the grass-roots events together with many important figures, politicians and civic activists from different European countries to talk about the future of the European Union.

We are Europe! Vilnius, 2019
Photo Credits: Mariam

As a final point, I am delighted to express my gratitude to the staff of my programme and to the whole Institute for creating a friendly and very collaborative environment, which keeps us, students, motivated and helps us in our climbing of the career ladder.