My name is Caitlin, I'm 29 and I'm from Australia.
I studied the Erasmus Mundus Master's Programme in Euroculture at Uppsala University, between 2013 and 2015. I chose the programme because I'd met students from a former cohort in Göttingen, one of the seven other universities in the Euroculture cohort, in 2011. I was really excited about being part of a Master's degree that would not only let me explore a wide range of topics in my field of interest - including European history, culture, politics, law, and religion - but would also let me study in a variety of countries and settings, and join a network that included people from all over the world. I'd visited Uppsala in the past, and had friends who studied there, and it just seemed like kind of a magical place. It's such a beautiful environment to live and study in, with so much to offer - incredible natural surroundings, a lively student nightlife, plenty of museums, cinemas, and other cultural centres - and if all that wasn't enough, it's also really close to Stockholm.
The best thing about studying in Uppsala has to be the way that the student housing, the Nations, the many social and academic events, and the study programmes themselves allow you to meet a huge variety of people - the orientation week activities for Erasmus and international students were great, and I went to quite a few of the gasques and lectures held at the Nations and at the Aula, and once performed in the Spela open mic night at Kalmar, which was really fun! The friends and networks I made during my studies have been incredibly important to me, and will continue to be well into the future. I still talk regularly with my classmates from Euroculture - there were just four of us in the class, so we became very close - and they provide a huge amount of support to me and to each other. I always felt like there were a lot of people available to talk to about whatever kind of issue I might be having during my studies, particularly our wonderful course coordinator.
During the Master's programme I did an internship at the European Centre for Minority Issues (ECMI) in Flensburg, Germany, and I continued to do some freelance work for them during the rest of my studies. After I graduated, they offered me a position as a Project Assistant, and I began working there in 2016. I'm now a Junior Research Associate at ECMI, and a PhD candidate at Humboldt Universität zu Berlin, so I work part time and study part time. I still keep in contact with some of my former lecturers at Uppsala University and the wider Euroculture cohort, and it's been really useful to be able to exchange expertise and draw upon those networks - we often have Euroculture students as interns as part of their degree, or after they finish their studies. I try to get back to Sweden once a year or so to visit the town again, and grab a fika with my friends who still live there.
I don't know if I would do anything differently if I had my time at Uppsala University over again - those two years had such a significant and positive impact on my life, and I wouldn't want to risk losing any aspect of it! I had no idea what I wanted to do after my studies when I was beginning them, so my advice to others looking at studying at Uppsala or working in my field would be to grab the opportunities you're given with both hands - don't underestimate the benefits you might get out of getting to know your classmates or housemates better, asking for help and guidance from teaching staff, or exploring the resources the university has to offer. You never know who or what might be helpful two, five, or ten years down the track!
Read more about the Master's programme in Euroculture