Friday, November 5, 2010

Wow - after 15 months I am back at uni, just started with my Masters  at the University of Bath in the UK and now five weeks are past already! In a few hours I am going to hand in my first essay
time to reflect: 

First of all, I am just impressed by this new feeling that studying here in the UK gives me. I am discovering a whole new world. My professors encourage me to question everything. They want us students to challenge them, think critically and voice doubt about long-established principles. I am realising only now some further aspects of many things that I learned during my undergraduate studies. It is so new for me to explore things myself ... I was used to learn subjects just as they were presented by the lecturers. I indeed enjoy the system here: read, "think actively", analyse, discuss, reflect, ...

  • It is just soooo motivating to have professors who work with the EU or write for the magazine Foreign Affairs ... couldn't believe my eyes when I received the e-newsletter from this mag this evening, listening the headlines of the newest articles. There he was: Scott M. Thomas writing about "A globalized God" (...rising importance of religion and its role in international politics - one of my favourite topics), just next to Hillary R. Clinton "Leading through Civilian Power". 
  • Awesome is also to hear "insider news" from my lecturer, working for the EU in Brussels. 
  • Great to know that another one is a researcher for Chatham House in London, The Royal Institute of International Affairs.
  • Others are working on research projects concerning terrorism, security in Europe, international security, etc.

Well, I have written 4000 words on the relevance of Marxism today: evaluate the extend to which forms of Marxism are still relevant for understanding international relations. It may not sound too exciting but I have to say, the more I read about it, the more interesting the whole topic became, the more I wanted to know about it. Marxism is just not what I was thinking, there is so much more in it than Lenin, Stalin, Mao, North Korea and Cuba. Marx was a great philosopher  (some would say scientist) and has considerable influence on a great number of  disciplines  (politics,economics, arts, literature, philosophy, religion, education, etc.) down to the present day. 

I can't remember when it has happend the last time that I was done  (relatively well) with an assignment before the deadline expired (wait, let's not talk about these people who were done 10 days before the deadline and started with the secod essay right away *tztztzzzz*). I do remember the day I had to submit my Bachelor's Thesis: It was a Tuesday and the "physical" paper had to be in the office by 2pm. Guess what - I was doing the last amendments until noon, ran to the print shop and arrived at uni at 1:45pm ;-)
Well, I hope this was just the start of a nice series of well-timed essays ... 4 are to be submitted, the last on January 14, 2011  *so, let's keep fingers crossed*

What has certainly played a role in my "relaxtness" is that I've kept telling myself that I am enjoying what I am doing, it was my own decision to study  European Affairs and International Relations and it's for my personal "enlightenment". 
Have fun at what you are doing and it's not a burden ... 

Another factor contributing to that is for sure,
that I am living in my beloved Funky Backpacker's Hostel ... so many funny people, globetrotters and story tellers - lets me get other ideas apart from thinking as a student ;-)
Thanks for sharing this hilarious phase in life Darek, Yuko, Nobuko,  Kamil and ... to quote Jess: "I don't know anybody else who is getting his/her Master's in a backpackers" ;-))

I can just emphasise again how happy I am with the decision to do this awesome Euromasters here in Bath!

Well, let's see what our "reading week" holds for me ... there are no classes next week - we're supposed to read and digest these masses of "food for thought" :-)))

I am off to London for the weekend and  look forward to see Geri in a few days in Bristol, from where we will start our roadtrip through England' Southwest!!!

...many greetings from Great Britain

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