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Multi-country advantage at JNU

education Updated: Nov 24, 2010 09:14 IST
Vimal Chander Joshi
Vimal Chander Joshi
Hindustan Times
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It’s a postgraduate degree (MA) in social sciences which attracts students from different corners of the world every year, and is given jointly by the Albert-Ludwigs-Universitat, Germany; Flasco, Argentina and JNU, India.

Sharing her experiences with HT Horizons is Hande Diker from Turkey, an alumna of 2008 and the student representative of Global Studies Programme (GSP) now working in the British Embassy, cultural affairs department (British Council) in Turkey as the coordinator of a project on EU-Turkey Relations.

When did you complete your master’s and what made you enroll for this programme?
I finished my MA in May 2008. Before I applied for GSP I was working in the civil society sector that focuses on sustainable development and youth
empowerment.

I did my bachelor’s in international relations and during the course of study I found sustainable development to be a key area in the globalisation process.

I sought to improve myself on micro-level approaches via a postgraduate study. I did plan to follow this aim with further analyses on the positive and negative effects of globalisation on sustainable development.

I applied for this programme because it was directly related to my background and future goals. I joined GSP to learn more about the dynamics of globalisation, sustainable development of the less developed countries, and the role of civil society on the development process.

In terms of curriculum, exposure and employability, how different is this programme from others?
I think GSP is a unique programme because it gives you the theoretical and practical perspectives on globalisation at the same time. Besides, you have the opportunity to observe the cultural identities and the different understandings on globalisation from the South American, South East Asian and European perspectives.

The programme consists of four different modules: globalisation, global governance, cultural change and the research methodology. Each module has different lectures in each semester in Germany, Argentina and India. For instance, under the module of cultural identity, the semester in Freiburg, Germany, has the lecture on ‘modern European thought’, while in Argentina the lecture of this module is called ‘culture and identity in Latin America’.

I think studying these four modules in three different universities (and countries) was a fabulous opportunity and the most unique part of the GSP. The programme was beneficial not only for improving one’s intellectual capacity, but also for specialising in development issues (in my case) with the supportive field studies within the programme. Besides, the diversity of students and professors at the school, and during internship have cultivated my vision as well.

Tell us something about the students in your batch?
In my semester there were 27 students from Australia, Ecuador, Canada, South Africa, Bangladesh, Turkey, Iceland, Germany, Mexico USA, Bosnia, Argentina, South Korea, Italy, UK, China and Guatemala.

There were no students from India in my semester. However, we took GSP courses together with other MA students of JNU while we were doing our semester in India.

Where are students placed?.
After GSP, people work in NGOs, international aid organisations, international development organisations, governments, private sector, media or academy.
Some of our alumni are working in UNHCR, universities, UNDP, Earth Rights International, Sewa Bharat and media houses.

Who can enroll for this programme ? Is it costly?
Compared to other international masters programmes, the tuition fee for the GSP programme is less (in India it is ¤400 per semester). The students who apply for GSP either have a certain degree of savings, or apply for scholarships during the semesters, work or take student loans. The programme itself has a limited amount of scholarship as well. I did have some savings, besides I worked in the GSP office and at a cafe in Freiburg in my last semester.

The Student Office of the University of Freiburg (www.studentenwerk.uni-freiburg.de/) is also quite good when it comes to helping students find jobs.

Short take
. Degree you earn: Master’s in social sciences (MA)
. Eligibility: BA in social or related science
. Classes will start on: April 1, 2011
. The first and last semester are completed in Germany and there is an eight-week compulsory internship at the end of the first year
. For details: Visit www.gsp.uni-freiburg.de
. Last date to apply: November 30

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