Laura Sophie Wiegele - EUROSUD Career Development Fund

EUROSUD students may apply for funding for activities linked to the programme and/or their related career development that reflect the ethos and learning objectives of the degree programme. Below, we hear from Laura, one of our Research Track students, on how she was able to conduct field research in Italy for her Master’s thesis. 

Thanks to financial support from the EUROSUD Study and Career Development Fund, I conducted field research in Italy for my Master’s thesis. As a student of the research track, I am currently in the process of writing my dissertation in the fourth and last semester of the EUROSUD program. My topic is how the Italian North-South divide and the stereotypes associated with it affect the lives of students.

Since I studied Italian as a subject in school, this issue drew my attention from a young age. Thus, in my undergraduate thesis, I already decided to write about this divide and its representation in Italian cinema. While writing the thesis, I realized a literature gap regarding stereotypes and how they affect young individuals. Thus, I decided for my master’s dissertation to bridge this gap by conducting fieldwork. For this, I spent two weeks at an Italian university both in the north in Padova near Venice and in the south in Catania in Sicily.

As a research method, I conducted individual interviews and focus group discussions with students from different faculties on-site. I recruited participants by approaching students directly at various faculties and by presenting my project in lectures. I am very pleased with how it went, as I found significantly more participants than I had set as a goal and the results are very interesting. Overall, it was an intensive time in which I learned a lot, both about the North-South divide and about conducting field research. This experience broadened my horizons, deepened my understanding of different cultures, and enriched my personal and professional development. Therefore, I can only recommend to everyone to leave their comfort zone and take the opportunity to do field research during the Master’s thesis.

I am very grateful that the students gave me their time as well as their trust and shared their thoughts with me. In addition, a special thanks go to the Departments of Political Science of both Universities of Padova and Catania for their support in the research by connecting me with students and providing me with rooms. Above all, I am beyond thankful to the Career Development Fund for giving me this opportunity! Now it’s time to analyze the results and write that thesis!

By Laura Sophie Wiegele

Julen Studies French with help of Career Development Fund

One of the most exciting aspects of being a student of an Erasmus mundus programme like EUROSUD, it is the opportunity to spend two years with students from many different countries and cultural backgrounds. This multicultural environment provides EUROSUD cohorts to develop very important working skills in areas like teamwork. The international features of this master motivated me to improve my French skills. That is why I signed up for a B2 course of this language. Now, thanks to the funds provided by the Career Development Fund, I am willing to apply for the DELF B2 exam, in order to improve my linguistic competencies.
EUROSUD is a master where I believe the knowledge of languages is extremely important. Students from EUROSUD have a background in political sciences, international relations and political economy have a very complete international training. Thus, thanks to this master, we will be able to obtain jobs in many international companies or organisations. Therefore, languages are a really remarkable tool to develop the skills we are achieving while studying this master.
Now, part of our cohort are currently studying in Athens, in the National and Kapodistrian University. We are learning about Yugoslavia, its dissolution, and all the ethnic conflicts as a result of it. After years of war and tensions, diplomacy had to prevail in order to put an end to these terrible events that happen in the 90s. Thus, in order to participate in international events and summits whose objective is the settlement of disputes, the knowledge of languages is a significant value. French is one of the most important languages worldwide, so being fluent in it could be very useful in international conferences. As, knowing this South European language enables me to approach more confidently to people from other nationalities and interact with them in their native language. This may allow me to develop closer ties with them rather than limiting myself to one language, like English.
In conclusion, EUROSUD is a master where intercultural communication is learnt very deeply, due to the enriching international atmosphere you are in while studying the master. The opportunity to live and study in three different countries is something I had never thought about. But, thanks to EUROSUD, this is possible. Therefore, I certainly believe that studying French will help me a lot to develop a good future career.

By Julen Ortiz Villar