Congratulations to our 2023 Graduates!

A huge congratulations to our 2021-2023 cohort for graduating last week. It was a great, joyous day full of celebration, and you should all be so proud of yourselves for your achievements and we can’t wait to see what comes next for you.

Below are the photos that we captured from the day. If you’d like a copy of one of your photos, or would like any photos removed, please email fraser.wilson@glasgow.ac.uk.


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