I remember my first day of my Masters program at the department; slightly geared up yet anxious about being away from home and making friends; a little nervous and a little excited, about enrolling for a program, diverse from my undergraduate studies. With limited knowledge of Europe and European Union, I was not sure if I would be able to sail well through the program. Having studied Psychology during my bachelors degree and subsequently taken up French and Spanish certificate courses, a full time degree in European studies was a different yet an exciting prospect! Through my first semester, I was introduced to various economic, political, social and cultural elements of Europe and European Union. Steadily by the second semester, I developed a strong curiosity towards understanding different aspects of the European society and culture. Having blessed with ardent professors during my first year, I was fortunate enough to participate in an international conference under their training and guidance. It does not happen every day that students get an opportunity to be a part of international conferences and publish papers, with absolute support from the faculty and the department.
I pursued my second year in Leiden University, Netherlands with an Erasmus Mundus scholarship. I would reckon it was one of the best years of my life. It was a complete learning experience; with exposure to different pedagogical and learning methods, exchanges with international students and professors, a lifetime chance to explore new countries across Europe. During these two years of Masters in European Studies, I was fortunate enough to interact with professors who instilled in me a sense of importance and confidence to pursue research. I was concretely trained to write research papers, which eventually propelled me to take up research after my Masters.
With an exposure to the Indian higher education and a brief introduction to the European higher education during my Masters, I was intrigued by the similarities and dissimilarities in the education systems in both the contexts. Presently, I am a doctoral student at the Department of European Studies and my area of specialization is Internationalization of Higher Education in the Indian and the European universities. I have had the opportunities to participate in national conferences and apply for international conferences.
When I look back at the past two years, it is hard to believe for someone who was not sure if she could do justice to reading and devote herself sincerely to research, I am currently doing my PhD at the department. I would like to thank the Department of European Studies and Manipal Academy of Higher Education (MAHE) for having provided opportunities and support at different points, which have essentially enabled me to come this far. Thank you.
– Pranjali Kirloskar, Research Scholar