GSPians


Alumni

Julten Abdelhalim

Julten is a postdoctoral fellow at the Institute for Asian and African Studies in Humboldt University, Berlin. She obtained her Ph.D in political science from Heidelberg University (Germany). Before that she had studied at the universities of Cairo (Egypt), Freiburg (Germany), KwaZulu Natal (South Africa) and Jawaharlal Nehru (India). Her Ph.D thesis has been transformed into a book, titled “Indian Muslims and Citizenship: Spaces for jihād in everyday life” (London: Routledge, 2015). Her research interests include revivalist Islamic movements and gender issues, citizenship studies, and youth in India and the Arab World.


Having studied in Egypt, GSP offered me a unique opportunity to complete my studies in places which would have been impossible for me otherwise. The versatile background of both the academic staff and students made GSP a true experience on all grounds. GSP offered an academic and physical chance to escape the Eurocentric trap of studying Social Sciences in Europe. As a GSP student, one actually lived the global processes under study and was an integral part of an academic platform of self-expression.

Andreza de Souza Santos

Andreza is a Senior Lecturer in the Latin American Centre and a fellow at St. Antony’s College, University of Oxford. She is also the Director of the Brazilian Studies Programme. Her work focuses on political ethnography, incorporating themes of extractive industries, housing, infrastructure, and participatory city planning. Andreza’s book: “The Politics of Memory: Urban Cultural Heritage in Brazil”, by Rowman & Littlefield International (2019) discusses the limits of participatory politics in Brazil. Andreza also edited the books, “Urban Transformations and Public Health in the Emergent City” and “African Cities and Collaborative Futures”, both with Manchester University Press. 


I have no doubt that having studied in Germany, India and South Africa as part of the GSP programme expanded my research interests and analytical tools. I learned by living in different cities and talking to my colleagues coming from all parts of the world just as much as I learned from classes and books. GSP was the beginning of my ethnographic thirst. I recommend the programme because it is academically rich, it opens unexpected career paths and it is a place to make friends for life.

Michael R. Kinville

Michael has a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities and received his Master of Arts as part of the Global Studies Programme at Albert-Ludwigs-University in Freiburg and the University of KwaZulu-Natal in Durban. After completing his doctor philosophiae at the Institute for Asian and African Studies at Humboldt University, Berlin, Michael has been working as an educational consultant in both the public and private sectors. His research and professional interests include the sociology of education, inequality and new learning.


Participating in the Global Studies Programme exposed me to new and challenging perspectives at several different levels. The theoretical and methodological emphases in the programme’s first semester provided an excellent foundation for experiencing and understanding the novel situations, structures and ideas that were to unfold in the second, third and fourth semesters. Going through this process with 25 equally curious peers from 17 different countries resulted in challenging yet highly enjoyable and worthwhile processes of intra- and interpersonal understanding.

Bruno Magnus Kossman

Magnus has a Bachelor Degree in Social Anthropology and Film Studies from the University of Cape Town and a Masters from the Global Studies Programme, Albert-Ludwig-University in Freiburg, Germany. He has worked on topics including public health, education and media development in Africa, Latin America and Germany. He is passionate about the use of media for social change and education, including audio-visual, radio and print media. He formed part of the founding team of the Lesotho Film Festival and has been involved in the production of several award-winning documentaries. He currently works as Project Manager for DW Akademie in Ecuador, a project focussed on strengthening the community media sector in the country.


Apart from offering me the opportunity to study at three different universities on three continents, GSP provided me with insight into different ways of viewing the world and academic approaches. To me, the most valuable aspect of GSP was travelling and learning together with, and as a part of a diverse group of students; and having to integrate into local university and social structures together, each person bringing their own background and set of ideas. In terms of intercultural learning as well as understanding and accepting difference, the lessons have proven essential for my future work and personal life.


PhD

Sophia Harris

Sophia is a PhD student in the Sociology Department at the University of Colorado, Boulder. She previously earned a BA in International Studies from the University of Washington, Seattle, and a MA in Global Studies at Humboldt University of Berlin. Her research interests include political inequality and the sociology of technology, science, and knowledge. She wrote her MA thesis on populist attitudes in South Korea, and she is currently a teaching assistant for the course “Deviance in US Society” at CU Boulder.


My time in GSP was the most pivotal and impactful of my academic career, cementing my interest in research. Through the flexible format of the program, I was able to dig deep into my specialized research interests and able to make every credit count toward my academic goals. The professors and administration worked hard to minimize bureaucratic hoops to ensure students gained the academic experience that helped them grow as researchers and individuals, rather than only checking off requirements. As I followed my specific research interests, the program provided me with the guiding framework of intersectionality and critical theory. Our cohort was incredibly supportive, helping each other through the yearlong (plus!) process of writing a thesis.

Zachary Lowell

Zachary Lowell is currently a PhD candidate at University of Melbourne. He holds a BA in psychology from University of New Hampshire, and an MA in Global Studies from Humboldt University in Berlin. Before joining GSP, he lived and worked in China for more than 10 years. During that time, he studied Chinese language at Suzhou University and East China Normal University. His research covers global China, human geography, development studies, resettlement and displacement. His MA thesis covered urban redevelopment and the spatialization of inequality in contemporary China. His PhD research explores the global traveling and socialization of Chinese development norms. 


The Global Studies Programme was an incredible experience, both academically and personally. A degree course with such a vast scope — in terms of subject matter, as well as geographic reach — is almost impossible to capture in a few sentences. It’s not a programme that can be reduced to a finally tally on a balance sheet; but this is precisely what made it so compelling and life-changing. GSP defies easy categories and pushes established boundaries, and the programme asks students to have the courage to do the same. GSP gave me the freedom to follow my interests and forge my own path, while also being exposed to a diverse range of knowledge along the way. The opportunity to study on three different continents was also a huge advantage: I learned so much simply through being in different environments and encountering local students and academics. I also found amazing and inspiring friends in my cohort as well: whether in seminars, sitting around the kitchen table, or exploring the South African countryside, I learned much from them. I would not trade our adventures together for anything.

Andrés Bateman

Andrés is a doctoral student at the Institute for Asian and African Studies in Humboldt University, Berlin (Germany). Before enrolling into the Ph.D he obtained a master’s degree in Global Studies at the Institute for Asian and African Studies in Humboldt University, Berlin (Germany) and a master’s degree in World History at the Pompeu Fabra University, Barcelona (Spain). His research interests include critical social science, developmentalism and epistemologies from the Global South. Since he graduated as anthropologist from the Andes University, Bogotá (Colombia) in 2008, he works as researcher in different institutions focused on poverty and vulnerability in Colombia, with emphasis on the nation-wide provision of services and goods.


After having studied in Colombia and Spain, GSP offered me a unique opportunity to broaden my perspective on different educational strategies, focuses and interests. The diverse backgrounds of the students and professors promote the academic and the life experience the GSP stimulates. This diversity of backgrounds and locations helps challenging the hegemonic and Eurocentric perspective under which the Social Sciences then to approach to the phenomenon under study. As a GSP master student and a current GSP Ph.D student, I can say that with the program one lives a truly global experience that encourages and promotes critical thinking.

Francisco Javier Ardila Suarez

Francisco is a doctoral candidate at the Humboldt University of Berlin working on the reproduction of socio-economic inequality. He finished the Master of Global Studies at HU Berlin with exchange semesters at FLACSO Argentina and the University of Chulalongkorn in Bangkok, and has a bachelor’s in economics at Universidad de los Andes in Colombia. His passion for sharing knowledge led him to co found the Mal Economista at El Espectador and to become the coordinator of the Inequality Working Group at the Young Scholar Initiative from the Institute for New Economic Thinking. He has also been a lecturer of the course “Culture and Identity in Latin America” at FLACSO Argentina and has worked with different governmental and non-governmental organizations. His research interest includes inequality, social replication, migration, political economy, and Latin America.  


After finishing my bachelor’s in economics, the GSP greatly broadened my academic perspective by introducing me to a diversity of subjects, theories and disciplines that are often overlooked by the economic orthodoxy despite closely relating to critical issues such as poverty and inequality. The exchange semesters and the diversity of the cohort presents an unmatched opportunity to interact with academics from different traditions and backgrounds, and get firsthand experience in different parts of the world. The GSP encouraged me to work from and with the academic heterodoxy as well as with institutions that present alternatives to the established paradigms and challenge the global north hegemony on social sciences, economics, and international institutions. I am confident that the GSP program gave me a collection of knowledge, social connections and soft kills that are hard to match by any other program.

Oluwatobiloba Adeleke 

Oluwatobiloba is a doctoral fellow in the Department of Society and Transformation in Asia and Africa at the Institute of African and Asian Studies at Humboldt University of Berlin. Her PhD research focuses on the intersection of class, gender, racial and ethnic inequalities in Nigeria and South Africa. She graduated from the Global Studies Programme in 2017 during which she studied at the University of Pretoria, South Africa and Chulalongkorn University, Thailand. After the GSP programme, she managed a research project on Data Analytics for Good Governance and Efficiency in African institutions. She also has a bachelor’s degree in History and International Studies from Babcock University (Nigeria). Her research interest includes intersectional inequalities, gender and racial injustices, and cultural relativism.


Besides offering me the opportunity to study at three prominent universities across three continents, GSP provided an interdisciplinary background and broadened my understanding of the multidimensional impacts of globalisation on marginalised social groups. Studying abroad provided me with the unique opportunity to carry out empirical research projects on pertinent global social issues, global politics, and cultural change in the twenty-first century in three different countries. Thus, offering a comprehensive approach to issues discussed. Being an interdisciplinary and multicultural master’s programme, you will be able to carve a niche for yourself across diverse relevant and essential global topics. The programme is further structured to prepare GSPians for both high-ranked professional positions and further research in academia. The advantage to study, travel, and experience the social world from a global perspective with a diverse group is a valuable aspect of the programme.

Adrian Scholz Alvarado

Adrian is a doctoral student at the Social Sciences Department of the Humboldt University in Berlin and holder of a doctoral scholarship granted by the Hans Böckler Foundation. His research focuses on the analysis of social classes, habitus-types and the reproduction of social inequality in Mexico. During his PhD he was enrolled as a guest student at the Investigation Centre for Social Anthropology (CIESAS) in Mexico-City. He completed his Master’s Degree in Sociology at the Friedrich Schiller University in Jena and his undergraduate studies in Sociology as well as in Social and Economic History at the Georg August University in Göttingen. During his studies in Jena he was employed as a research assistant within the DFG Research Group: “Landnahme, Acceleration, Activation. Dynamics and (De)stabilisation of modern growth societies.” Adrian’s research interests encompasses the fields of social structure analysis, social inequality research, qualitative social research and Latin American studies.

Azakhiwe Zienna Lawrence

Azakhiwe is a doctoral student at the Institute for Asian and African Studies at Humboldt University, Berlin (Germany). Her Ph.D. research focuses on the intersection of class, gender, race, and othering of Africans within the context of Migration in South Africa and the United States of America. Her research seeks to comprehend the underlying issues inherited from colonialism in the othering of Black African migrants by Black Africans in South Africa and African Americans in the United States of America. Before enrolling into the Ph.D. she obtained an MA in Social Sciences and graduated with Merit from the University of Glasgow (Scotland). She also holds a joint Master of Arts in Social Sciences from the Global Studies Programme at the Institute for Sociology at Albert-Ludwig University of Freiburg (Germany) and the University of Cape Town (South Africa). Her research interest includes African migration, intersectional theory, post-colonialism, and cultural relativism.


One of the most valuable aspects of the Global Studies Program at Albert-Ludwigs University Freiburg for me was the global and interdisciplinary perspective from which it approaches the study of Social Sciences. This program is unique in that it provides the opportunity to study on three different continents with students from all over the world, which allowed myself and my cohort to learn from the perspectives of our professors and peers in each host university. The wide variety of subjects addressed throughout the duration of the program, the scope of perspectives provided by the diverse academic and national backgrounds of our cohort, and the critical approaches of the GSP faculty to issues of globalization, marginalization, colonialism and contemporary socio-economic injustices all contributed to both my academic and personal growth. In combination with these elements, the research-focused nature of this program also provided myriad learning opportunities and the chance to perform research informed directly by the perspectives of locals in each location of study. I found it particularly inspiring to have the opportunity to partake in dialogues about the global south from the perspective of the global south, rather than through the lens of a strictly European/western perspective.

Timothy Elijah Pope 

Timothy is a doctoral student in the Institute for Asian and African Studies at the Humboldt University of Berlin. He is enrolled in the Binational Doctoral Program in Global Studies, which is jointly conducted by the Universidad del Salvador (USAL) in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and the Humboldt University of Berlin. His Ph.D. research focuses on processes of racial reclassification and criminalization of African diasporic communities in the USA and Germany. Before enrolling in the Binational Doctoral Program in Global Studies, he obtained a Master of Arts in Global Studies from the Humboldt University of Berlin. He also holds a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from Presbyterian College (USA). His research interests include social and racial inequalities, social and racial reclassifications, and critical race theory. 


The multi-disciplinary, multi-regional approach of the Global Studies Programme offers an experience that allows its participants to continue to develop a global awareness and a more in-depth understanding thereof. The Global Studies Programme helps fine-tune the capacity to address, with a voice of advocacy, issues concerning economic inequality, social injustice, racial violence, political instability, conflict resolution, cultural homogenization, and much more. Furthermore, courses such as Theories of Globalization, Introduction to Diplomacy, Case Studies in Peace and Conflict Resolution, Minorities in World Politics, IdentityCulture and Society, and Globalization and Development not only offer compelling insight relevant to advanced, social, political, economic, and cultural examination but also affords each participant the possibility to design a curriculum that is compatible with their individual disciplinary background and interests. The programme’s transformative agenda is committed to a critical approach with which to radically rethink and restructure social science research in a global context.

Carola von der Dick

Carola is a PhD student in the bilateral Global Studies Programme at Humboldt University of Berlin and Universidad del Salvador, Buenos Aires. In her current research she investigates how visions of the future affect everyday practices of young people in urban and rural areas in Brazil and Germany, focusing on environment|human relations. Before entering the PhD program, she worked in an agroforestry project in rural Brazil. Following studies in Berlin and Semarang, she obtained her B.A. in Asian/African Studies and M.A. in European Ethnology in 2009 and 2012 respectively. Her research interests include experimental, participatory research methods, feminist science and technology studies, multispecies ethnography, and politics of care.

Fabio Braun Carrasco

Fabio is a doctoral student at the Institute for Asian and African Studies, Humboldt University Berlin (Germany) and the Universidad del Salvador, Buenos Aires (Argentina). The Binational Doctoral Program in Global Studies is jointly conducted by the two universities. His Ph.D. research focuses on the current ascendance of far-right movements around the world and how this is connected with social inequality and the contradictions of liberal democracy. Before enrolling in the Binational Doctoral Program in Global Studies, he obtained a Master of Arts in Global Studies and a Bachelor of Arts in Area Studies Asia and Africa from the Humboldt University of Berlin. His research interests include social inequality, critical theory, class, climate chnage, and decolonial thought. 


After having completed the MA in Global Studies, the binational Global Studies Ph.D. was the next logical step to deepen my research interests in the critical and open research environment I had gotten to know during the Master’s degree. The GSP programme offers the unique opportunity to develop academic and personal relations with many different places around the world. An experience that is truly eye-opening, as conventional truths and simple answers no longer hold. A profound critical engagement with oneself and the world is the result. Like few other academic programs, GSP offers the chance to get to know and partake in transformative social science.


Testimonials

Soo Kyung Kim – Republic of Korea

GSP cannot be described simply due to its unique and versatile nature. The program offers the optimal balance between theoretical knowledge and practical experience in different parts of the world. Based on my academic background in Social Anthropology and Chinese Studies, I hoped to gain a stronger foundation for my specific area of interest in human rights and environmental issues in the era of globalization. While taking courses in various disciplines during my MA studies, I began to understand the importance of examining the intersecting vulnerabilities of groups around the world. The program also provided me with the excellent opportunity to continue to firsthand hone my theoretical and practical understanding of human rights and environmental issues in various places, including Berlin, Buenos Aires, and Bangkok. The program’s highlight was the people and friends I interacted with who endeavour to make the world a better place. If you are open to flexibility and the challenge of designing your own experience, GSP is a good place for you!

Ananya Bordoloi – India

GSP was a brilliant experience for me. I came into the course because I had already pursued Global Studies in my bachelors and wanted to continue in this field. In my bachelors, I picked up a fascination for Marxist theory. GSP allowed me to explore this new interest of mine and I was able to venture further into the critical theory as well as other thought-provoking fields of postcolonialism, decolonial theory during my semesters in Berlin, South Africa and India. I think the programme allows you to pave the academic (or any other) path you want to continue on as it’s quite flexible. The semesters in other countries were extremely helpful as it enabled me to delve into contemporary topics of the countries I was in so I was able to have a certain vantage point for comprehending the texts that I was reading in class. And the lifelong friends I made and the experiences that we shared together are certainly more than precious!

Jingjing Feng – China

While I was searching for my master’s program after years of working in the private sector, I had looked everywhere: North America, Oceania, Southeast Asia, and various countries in Europe. When GSP came into my eyesight, I stopped looking elsewhere as it drew my attention immediately. GSP, in the end, was the only master’s program I applied to. I remember how thrilled and excited I was when I was admitted to the program. Now at the turn of near-completion of my study, despite the disruption of the COVID-19 pandemic, I can say that GSP has been an enriching and enlightening journey for me. It enabled me to perceive the world from another – perhaps contrasting perspectives. My interactions with my cohort of students from various countries and backgrounds have broadened my horizon to a great extent. I would have a recommendation to those who had left the academic life for years and started to self-doubt if it would be wise for them to go back to their studies. Don’t be frightened; you might enjoy GSP even more as it was in my case.

Maya Ibrahim – Singapore 

As someone from the cosmopolitan city that is Singapore, completing my Bachelors in Sociology at NUS and having spent a year in New York on an entrepreneurship programme, a Master’s programme based abroad had always been on my mind. Having spent my first few working years in the startup space, corporate consulting world and then the philanthropic charity space, I was always interested in areas relating to social impact and social inequality. Then, I came across GSP which sounded like an absolute fit. At the same time, I was slightly apprehensive of going into an academic programme despite spending some years working in corporate. Nevertheless, the diverse experiences of everyone in the programme was stimulating in broadening perspectives on how to live and learn with each other. We all share a special bond and feel connected in the way that we want to live in a sustainable world. Which ties into the main reason why I joined GSP – to envision alternative futures while building deeper knowledge about development and its limits. It has been two semesters in and I feel like my life has drastically changed. GSP is a constant self-reflexive exercise of trying to understand my being in this social reality to recognize my role and how to act in it. Being a part of this Master’s programme abroad has enabled me to discover my voice, formulate my opinion, and recognise the power I have within me. I hope that more potential candidates from non-Western parts of the globe chance upon this programme and are as excited to apply to it as I was. It is a huge leap and does not come without its challenges, but is an unimaginable experience that allows you to learn more about yourself and those around you while working together towards envisioning alternative sustainable futures. 

Emma Miinala – Finland

The GSP master’s program has, without exaggeration, given me a lot of knowledge I never expected to have. The programme has changed and deepened my theoretical and practical understanding of the world, but it has also guided me to see the different shades of small chores of our everyday life. Striving to find solutions to the most complex and profound, deep-rooted issues that shape today’s world with your group will help you to gain different perspectives. Collective learning continues outside the classrooms while your classmates’ different life experiences and educational backgrounds enrich your own educational and personal growth like no other. In addition to special academic education, if you want to understand yourself and others better, this program is a perfect choice for you.

Juan Sebastian Gomez – Colombia

GSP provides tools to understand key aspects of globalisation from theoretical and practical perspectives. The program is constantly updated to encourage debate and critical thinking. Experiencing teaching methods in different societies (in my case, Thailand, Argentina and Germany) allows you to approach knowledge differently. We underwent seminars with high theoretical content, but we also made short trips to particular communities/social projects where global social phenomena change people and their surroundings. It is an enriching experience, and I recommend it to everyone.

Viktor van Versendaal – Sweden

GSP has not only allowed me to deepen and develop my academic interests but has also opened up perspectives that were entirely unknown to me prior to this. It has given me the opportunity and challenge to live and study on different continents, where I gathered tons of theoretical knowledge specific to the regions and universities. This versatility shaped my academic learning enormously. More than that, the program has brought me together with a unique group of people from various backgrounds and parts of the world. As this group of people journeyed through the challenging and diverse experiences that are part of the GSP, the students grew ever closer, forming, I believe, invaluable connections. To me, the GSP was thus more than a master’s degree but was an inspiration for me as a person. I would recommend this unique experience without hesitation.

Jana Kutova – Czech Republic

I would like to stress the great benefit of how versatile the program is, I have never thought I would ever get a chance to take a class related to social anthropology (e.g. Visual Research Methods) and realise that the contents of the course can be later used across a variety of disciplines (the same goes for the Social Theories class). I feel like the essence of the program is its flexibility, which is a double-edged sword, it comes down to the extent to which one decides to use it to his/her own benefit.

Vasilis Alexiadis – Greece

The Global Studies Programme is a Masters you might always struggle to define. Although you will find yourself in various parts of the world in a group setting; attending classes on the 16th floor at the University of Pretoria with students from southern Africa, riding a Tuk-Tuk in Thailand with your fellows, or sharing a bus-seat in Botswana with a rich-smelling goat, the Programme is about what you, individually, will make it to be. Τhus, being a part of it comes with the responsibility to give it the academic focus of your liking from the extensive variety of disciplines that it offers. In any case, the perspectives in those disciplines, and your own understanding of the world around you will be challenged if you keep an open eye and an open ear. In the end, the experience will be life-enriching and unique to the degree where a “post-GSP depression” will be inevitable.

Amir Noorbakhsh – Iran

GSP offers students the opportunity to integrate academically, culturally, and professionally within three diverse universities and countries. The first semester significantly prepares students through rigorous coursework that explores the social theories surrounding global understanding. In the second and third semesters, students are immersed in different cultures, as they explore the regional social, cultural, and economic impacts on globalization and development.GSP is not only academic but a lifestyle. Students are provided an opportunity to connect with various places, which enables them to learn from the rich and diverse backgrounds of every GSP student, fellow university classmates, professors, and individuals we interact within the countries abroad, leading to an everlasting network. The best part about the program is that it allows students to make the most of their experience in their unique way.

Franki Jenkins – South Africa 

The Global Studies Programme is thematically so broad, that it can be hard to summarise in a quick conversation. Students have some choices in terms of subjects (which include social theories, regional activism, intergovernmental economic organisations, global inequality, culture, media, and languages) but for all courses, students are free to choose their own writing topics, meaning one area of interest can be very well developed in the three universities attended.  I think this is the most valuable aspect of GSP: you have the opportunity to explore an interest, such as environmental policy or education, via many avenues, getting feedback from diverse professors in diverse settings, supplementing one university department’s “ideology” and modus operandi with other ways of seeing and doing. Having international classmates from all walks of life with whom one lives for at least a year and half, further shapes one’s thinking in ways unimaginable.

Nora Kertesz – Hungary

GSP is certainly not your average Master’s programme, and as such it has both its advantages and disadvantages, however, if you are open to a challenge and understand knowledge and learning to come from both within and beyond a classroom setting, you will leave with way more than a piece of paper at the end of it. The possibility to travel the world and experience life and higher education in the most varied of settings will most certainly provide you with ample opportunity for personal growth and development. At the same time, taking courses such as ‘Globalization and Development’ or ‘Identity, Culture and Society’ at the University of Pretoria will force you to reconsider academic concepts that may seem familiar from a wholly new perspective, introducing you to new thinkers and challenging Western/Eurocentric personal biases along the way. And as a great cherry on top, the people you meet and friends you make through the programme and at the partner universities become your study buddies, travel companions, sous-chefs and crutches, as you extend seminar discussions late into the night in your garden, with a cup of tea or bottle of beer under the starry Pretoria sky.

Aliye Volkan – Turkey

GSP has been a unique experience for me. After completing my undergraduate studies in International Studies, I decided to continue my education in this field. Spending years reading about Eurocentric thoughts and systems, I was interested in finding alternatives, which was why I decided to apply to GSP. Not only does it encourages critical thinking and offers intellectually stimulating courses, but it also gives the opportunity to travel to various countries. This, for me, made this master’s program stand out. In this program, not only did my academic skills advance, but my life skills did as well. The GSP experience is not limited to the classroom. Living in a different country allowed me to make new friends, engage with people and have a better understanding of the culture and different perspectives. Even though I had to take the first Berlin semester online and could not travel to Pretoria for my second semester — due to the pandemic — virtually meeting and exchanging ideas with the diverse group of people from my cohort and courses in Pretoria broadened my perspective. GSP is not only an academic experience but is also a life experience as well.

Anay Katyal – USA

In an effort to further my academic career, I searched far and wide for M.A. programs that could afford me both a multidisciplinary education and competent exposure to scholarship outside of the typically Eurocentric ivory tower of Western academia. Having stumbled upon GSP during my undergraduate studies, it had long stuck out as the right option for me and my choice to matriculate was validated fairly early on in my studies. In bringing together an exceptionally diverse and unique group of students and giving them the opportunity to study at prominent universities across the globe — in addition to facing the challenges that came along with these new environments — it’s evident that GSP is as consequential of an educational experience outside of the classroom as it is within. GSP gave me the opportunity to further my interest in international affairs by bolstering my theoretical understanding of the world and coloring it with real-life experiences that could test what I’ve learned in the process. I have made friends for life and had experiences that have permanently shifted my life trajectory for the better. Not only has GSP trained me to be a responsible, thoughtful, and thorough academic, it has also kept my passion for all things global and political alight. It is as enriching and rewarding of an experience as any M.A. program in this realm could be.

Barbara Woolsey – Canada

Being based in Berlin and having lived previously in Bangkok, I had been eyeing the Global Studies Programme for a few years before applying. After a decade of working professionally as a journalist, and amid a global pandemic, I finally took the plunge and applied. My hope for the programme was to gain a deeper knowledge of globalization issues and to develop my aptitude for critical thinking, research, and deliberation beyond the fast-paced daily news grind. GSP delivered just that. A research-oriented sociology Master’s degree such as GSP has proven to be a worthwhile extension of my Bachelor’s degree in journalism. It has supported my search for an enhanced capacity for methodology and analysis within my desired avenues of storytelling. I valued the programme’s interdisciplinary and multicultural approach allowing students to tailor their academic pursuits to their focus and interests accordingly. As a female-identifying, BIPOC journalist who is passionate about bringing diversity and marginalized voices to the forefront, I appreciated the GSP experience, its curriculum highlighting Global South scholars, and the opportunity to learn through the diverse perspectives and backgrounds of my fellow students.

Maya Jalon – Israel

To change ourselves and the world we live in, I believe there is a critical need to obtain a broad perspective of how different forces affect each other. In offering a diverse study program across different continents and world views, GSP provides a unique opportunity to explore how different power struggles interconnect. Through its vast choice of courses, GSP has allowed me to engage with current debates on urgent social issues and has provided me with diverse possible perspectives, thus allowing me to explore my own. The opportunity to share a classroom with people from different backgrounds has further widened my perspective on both academic issues as well as on interpersonal and multicultural relations and has challenged me time and again to leave my comfort zone and reconstruct it. Apart from a diverse body of knowledge, what remains with me from the GSP experience is an uncompromisingly critical worldview, which will serve me more than anything as an active citizen of the world.

Anna Lena Menne – Germany 

Having started my academic career in the heart of Europe, at the end of my bachelor’s degree, I was faced with a limited perspective and scientific background. GSP, a master’s programme that openly questions Eurocentric social sciences with alternative theories and methodologies, has been the perfect opportunity to explore those limitations and to utilize that privilege to produce alternative versions of knowledge for creating and sustaining more fair and equal societies worldwide in a group of likeminded but culturally diverse people. The courses in the first semester set the historically qualified groundwork for continuously questioning and exposing naturalized assumptions and myths in a capitalist and globalized world to be applied in and extended through the varying contexts and perspectives on different continents. One of the best parts about the programme is that each student can keep their focus of interest throughout but learns interdisciplinary. Learning alongside people from diverse backgrounds worldwide has been an invaluable experience that will continue to shape my journey of growing as a critical and responsible researcher, person and member of a global society.