My life changed quite a bit in 2010, when I got accepted into the Erasmus Mundus Global Studies Master’s program (EMGS), part of the European Commission’s big push for international academic exchanges and cooperation. I quit my job as a journalist at the StarNews in the U.S. city of Wilmington, North Carolina, sold all my furniture and got rid of my car.
I flew to Roskilde, Denmark – my first study place in the program – with just two suitcases and the university address, without ever having been there. I had no idea how it’d turn out, but had never been so certain about anything in my life up to that point (and probably haven’t been since).
Being very interested in the study subjects and European places and cultures, wanting a change of direction in life and career, I felt I needed to make that leap. Getting the degree at the end was nice, as well, of course.
It’s admittedly not easy to land a career in the social sciences or international organizations, but this study experience will at the very least give you an important educational basis, an international degree and possibly connections to pave such a path. I place great value on the people I’ve met from all over the world through EMGS, the academic knowledge I’ve gained, the unforgettable experiences locally in Roskilde (first year) and Wroclaw, Poland (second year), and the great amount of travel and learning about life and myself.
Depending on your personal preference and background and that of the universities, and what’s available, you can study – besides at Wroclaw and Roskilde universities – at Vienna, LSE and Leipzig, in any combination, respectively in each of the two years. (I ended up in Leipzig after the program because I decided to continue my studies at the PhD level with a similar study theme.)
Through the program, students have also been able to go further abroad for a semester, to Dalhousie (Canada), Macquarie (Australia), Santa Barbara (U.S.), Stellenbosch (South Africa), Fudan (China), Jawaharlal Nehru (India), and Addis Ababa (Ethiopia).