Ayaulym Sarybayeva, Kazakhstan: South European Studies (EUROSUD)

Where is your home? The Life of an Academic Nomad.

It is hard for me to explain where I live now. I call myself 'Ayasha Worldwide'. It all started when I was nominated for an Erasmus Mundus scholarship to study in the South European Studies programme a year ago. I spent my first semester at the University of Glasgow, now I am at the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, and next semester I will go to the University of Aix-Marseille on a professional path.

Becoming an Erasmus Mundus student gave me the opportunity to challenge myself. Every semester, moving to a new country with a completely different education system and culture, I have become a real ‘worldwide’ citizen. An achievement was understanding the Scottish accent and then the instantaneous switching from Spanish to French. All jokes aside, another skill I didn't know I had was the ability to write multiple essays at the same time while staying up in the library until midnight.

In addition, I got the chance to discover professional opportunities. In December, I started my first internship at the University of Glasgow as an Erasmus Mundus Promotion and Social Media Officer. I am committed to sharing my knowledge and the experience gained in my academic and professional life with others, and I lead a personal blog to inspire the younger generation to reach their potential.

Being an academic nomad means I keep a piece of every country where I live in my heart and personality.

Where is my house? Well, being an academic nomad means I keep a piece of every country where I live in my heart and personality. Therefore, I understand that I will never be the same and will be more open to looking at the world from a different angle. I'm excited to see what the future holds for me and explore other hidden parts of the Earth to support the "Worldwide" lifestyle.

And for my readers: Travel, Explore, Learn and stay Curious. The world is much smaller and cozier when we have mutual respect and understanding.

This article was written by Ayaulym (Ayasha) Sarybayeva and published on the Erasmus Mundus Association (EMA) website: https://www.em-a.eu/post/ayaulym-sarybayeva-kazakhstan-south-european-studies-eurosud

Mariam's Internship at the Hellenic Foundation for European and Foreign Policy (ELIAMEP)

INTERNSHIP: Hellenic Foundation for European and Foreign Policy (ELIAMEP)

Mariam Gugulashvili (from Georgia), a EUROSUD student (2021-2023 cohort) on the Athens-Rome pathway, has started her 6-month Research Internship at the Hellenic Foundation for European and Foreign Policy (ELIAMEP).

ELIAMEP is Greece's leading think-tank, established in Athens in 1988. Its mission is to conduct policy-oriented research and provide policymakers, academics, and the public at large with authoritative information and substantiated policy recommendations to contribute to the development of evidence-based responses to major European and foreign policy challenges.

What a great opportunity! We wish her all the best.


Alumni Talks -Lisa - I finished the programme by marrying a classmate!

Ayasha Interviews Lisa Monastyrova

1. Can you tell us about yourself, your hobbies and interests?

Hello! I am Lisa, a PhD student from Ukraine and a graduate of the first EUROSUD cohort 2019-21. My academic interests lie in the area of social exclusion, inequality and belonging in contemporary European societies. I am also keen on languages, poetry and painting – which altogether probably explains why studying Southern Europe was one of the best decisions I had ever taken.

2. Could you share your experience of becoming an Erasmus Mundus student?

Pursuing an Erasmus Mundus master and doing it in Southern Europe were for me two parts of the same story: I first learned about EM programmes during an academic exchange in Spain as an undergraduate. As I discovered the region and grew aware of its relevancy to the themes I felt most strongly about as a researcher and citizen, I began to cherish what seemed then a wild dream. In fact, this geographical choice was not that remote from my homeland. Ukraine can boast, historically, a robust South European spirit: from having hosted ancient Greek colonies in the Mykolaiv and Odesa regions, to Genovese settlements in the medieval Crimea, to the entirely Mediterranean port city of Odesa, founded by a Spaniard José de Ribas and governed by a French duke de Richelieu.

3. What was your study track on EUROSUD? How was your experience?

I was confident about my preferred track since applying: it was Universidad Autónoma de Madrid – LUISS Guido Carli (Rome). A semester at the UAM was a chance to add the North African dimension to our study focus. On a different note, living the first wave of the pandemic as a Madrilenian was unforgettable – and would have been much more challenging without the pastoral support of our programme. The second year in Rome was equally rewarding; I would recommend LUISS for students interested in the institutional and economic workings of the EU.

4. What is one of the most memorable experiences you had while studying in the EUROSUD program?

The deepest gratitude I feel to these two years relates to a completely non-academic aspect: I finished the programme by marrying a classmate! For the two of us, EUROSUD has definitely been a life-changer.

5. What are your future projects and aspirations?

Pursuing a research track allowed me to conduct an independent project on the topic of my utmost interest – human trafficking, labour exploitation and social exclusion and encouraged me to apply for a PhD studentship on this subject just as I was preparing for the dissertation viva last July. In February 2022, I started a three-year funded doctorate at the Open University in the UK. Getting through the proposal drafting, interviewing and eventually, the bureaucratic pains of the visa application would have been impossible without the expertise and skills I had gained, and support enjoyed throughout the master’s. Where this PhD in Law (an unexpected turn for an IR student) will take me, remains to be seen – but for now I do have an ambition to meaningfully add to the (hopefully, not only scientific) knowledge.

6. Your advice and recommendations for current and future EUROSUD students

Trying out as many opportunities as you can is a great way to understand your aspirations, but relaxing for a while, travelling and knowing people, is an equally important contribution to your journey. In a nutshell: being an Erasmus Mundus student will not always like you may have imagined, but it is up to you to make this experience uniquely yours.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By Ayasha Sarybayeva, EUROSUD Erasmus Mundus Social Media and Programme Promotion Officer


Alumni Talks - Madina - It all started with Enrique Inglesias!

Ayasha interviews Madina

1. Could you tell us about yourself, your hobbies and interests?

I’m Madina from Kazakhstan. I have my background in International Relations and recently received my master’s degree in South European Studies. I am a huge coffee lover and can speak four languages. My area of interest is Central Asian and Turkic anthropology, history, and politics.

2. Could you share your experience of becoming an Erasmus Mundus student? Coming from Kazakhstan, how did you decide to study Southern Europe?

I will never get tired of telling everyone that everything started from Enrique Iglesias (giggling). As a teenager, I was fond of listening to his music in the Spanish language on loop. That’s how my interest and passion for Spanish culture took a start. Afterwards, during my bachelor's degree, I had been studying Spanish as my second professional language for two years. As an undergrad student, I had a class on Introduction of World History where I discovered that history and nations of South European countries went through the same political route that Central Asian states are currently passing, namely hybrid or authoritarian political regimes, ethnic cleavages, corruption, and migration. Apart from that, I also noticed mental and cultural similarities between these two regions such as hospitality, strong family ties, and friendliness. These factors in sum nudged me to press the ‘apply button’ when I bumped on the EUROSUD Program. I was preparing myself very deliberately and started collecting necessary docs before two months to the deadline. Other than that, I spent the same amount of time preparing for the IELTS and passing it.

3. What was your study track on EUROSUD? How was your experience?

I chose the academic track (Glasgow-Madrid-Italy). I must admit I regretted it a bit at the beginning because we had more classes to study and more workload to do. Nevertheless, the heaven-like climate of Italy in combination with gelato and high-quality education delivered by LUISS made me forget regrets in a flash. Initially, I should have studied in Greece, but in the middle of the second semester, I realised that my areas of interest had been altering. When I was applying to the program, I had a huge interest in the Balkan countries and I was eager to learn the political development of these countries after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Moreover, courses in Greece also covered contemporary Turkish politics which topped up my desire to choose Greece because I studied in Turkey for a while and became aware of the importance of Turkey in the Central Asian region. Nevertheless, while studying at the program my visions and goals have changed: somehow it became clear to me that I would like to explore a tangled, diverse but united institution named the European Union. I want to thank the EUROSUD’s executive board for allowing me to change the path because it had an invaluable effect on my life afterwards.

4. What is one of the most memorable experiences you had while studying in the EUROSUD program?

Definitely, writing the dissertation. Owing to this experience I revised the whole Research Methods class within a week and learned how to conduct qualitative analysis in three days. Furthermore, surprisingly for myself too, I mastered coding sentences and using a software program in a couple of weeks. I would sum up by saying that this experience taught me self-discipline and self-study. Besides, I really miss every now and then the classes of Ignacio and Leila when you could have a decent cup of Arabic tea with spices and biscuits aside. I was literally feeling like I was in the Middle East.

5. What are your future projects and aspirations?

So far to enrich my working experience.

6. Your advice and recommendations for current and future EUROSUD students

Enjoy! Study! Travel every two weeks! Save up the money! Be Grateful! Try Arabic tea with spices.

 

by Ayasha Sarybayeva: EUROSUD Erasmus Mundus Social Media and Programme Promotion Officer 


PhD Opportunity - University of Glasgow


Application tips from Sergio

Application tips from Sergio

Sergio Reina Pastor our 2021-23 Cohort 3 student has taken the time to provide some application tips for those keen to apply to join the EUROSUD programme.  We hope you find it useful.


Publication (2021) - José Pedro Martins Lopes

EUROSUD 2020-22 Cohort 2 student José Pedro shares his recent publication:

Lopes, José Pedro (2021) Listening to the wind of change: The implications of the 2019 general election for the Portuguese party systemInternational Journal of Iberian Studies, Volume 34, Number 1, 1 March 2021, pp. 47-64(18)

Abstract:

This article offers an overview of the Portuguese general election of October 2019 and of its impact in the ongoing evolution of the Portuguese party system. The election results are interpreted by looking at the socio-economic and political context in which it took place, as well as the protagonists, issues and party positions of the electoral campaign. Additionally, the process leading to the formation of the socialist minority government is also examined. It is argued that changing patterns have mostly been reverted and that the party system that comes out of this election is a more stable one. This was mainly due to institutional constraints that limit the potential of change. Nevertheless, the increasing role of the left-right cleavage, alongside the entrance of new parties in parliament might pave the way for future realignments of the Portuguese party system.


Publication - Zine Labidine Ghebouli

Our International Master student from 2020-22 Cohort 2, Zine Labidine Ghebouli shares his recent publication with the Middle East Institute on Algeria:  https://www.mei.edu/publications/algerias-opposition-after-hirak-limitations-and-divisions.

Zine Labidine Ghebouli is a political analyst and postgraduate scholar at the University of Glasgow, where he focuses on Euro-Mediterranean affairs. His research covers political and security dynamics in Algeria. Zine previously worked as a junior consultant at the Asfari Institute for Civil Society and Citizenship. The views expressed in this piece are his own.


Afaf attends Nile University Model United Nations (NIMUN)

𝐀𝐟𝐚𝐟 𝐒𝐞𝐛𝐛𝐚𝐫 - 𝟐𝟎𝟐𝟏-𝟐𝟑 𝐂𝐨𝐡𝐨𝐫𝐭
This year’s Nile University Model United Nations NIMUN invited me to join them in Cairo, Egypt; To occupy the role of director for their Model UNFCCC COP27 council, the first one of its kind worldwide.
The topics we discussed ranged from sustainable construction to the role of nuclear energy in combating climate change. In hope that our resolutions would contribute towards this year’s COP27 held in Sharm el Sheikh.

Walking Tour on Final Day of Winter School in Lisbon

Walking Tour - Final day of Winter School

The final day of the Winter School at ICS-ULisboa, the students went on a walking tour led by Andrea Pavoni, assistant research professor in geography at Dinamia'CET, ISCTE-IUL to discover urban art, conflict and change in Lisbon. It was a great end to brilliant Winter School experience for all.

Our student Zine Labidine Ghebouli expressed the sentiment perfectly "it was a joyful, engaging event and I truly appreciated the opportunity to meet everyone finally so Bravo to each and all!"

A selection of photos from the Tour

Walking Tour Winter School Lisbon Feb 2022