Friends, Family: I have fantastic news to share.
Although this last week has been exceptionally stressful, there has been some bright light at the end of the tunnel.
On Tuesday of last week, an offer arrived from the Erasmus Mundus Global Studies programme consortium. A couple hours later, as the work day in the U.S. began, I was offered a job with the Dallas Regional Office of Peace Corps. At the time I wasn’t able to make a decision, as we were experiencing some family health issues.
By Thursday, I had made a decision, and was preparing mentally and emotionally for what might come next. There’s a whole post that should be written about the fears, difficultly, and hardship of making a choice to relocate away from your parents, family, and home; especially when aging and their mortality is brought so powerfully to your attention. I can only say that I am thankful for the amazing parents that I have, and for the passion, love and support they have shown for both Alex and I. They constantly encourage us to reach for our dreams and pursue adventure, and even as we sat in the hospital, they were encouraging me to follow my dreams, mind, and heart.
So, last week, despite all of my concerns and trepidation, and the intense difficulty of making a decision to study and live overseas for another two years, I accepted the offer by the Erasmus Mundus Global Studies consortium to study at the University of Wroclaw in Poland, and a year in Denmark at Roskilde University on full scholarship. I will be leaving for Poland on September 9th, and will continue my studies there before moving to Denmark in the fall of next year to complete the program, earning my Master’s degree.
As you can imagine this is a significant transition, I had two competitive job offers (a second job offer came through just days after the Dallas offer) which I had to turn down, and on the heels of the announcement (Aug. 11th), last weekend I was able to schedule a whirlwind visit to L.A., book my flights, and with Visa in hand, I am now apartment hunting for a studio apartment in Wroclaw! If anyone has any connections, information or experience with the city, or can help with an introduction or give a hand with finding a good housing situation, please PM me!
For those of you interested in the academic side of things, the EMGS Global Studies program is:
“An international research-based Master’s which combines perspectives, methods and theories developed in history, the social sciences, cultural as well as area studies and economics to investigate phenomena of global connectedness.
We [the consortium] don’t believe that globalization exists as an objectively given, material reality which can be measured, but that we have to understand the phenomena described as globalization as a bundle of political, economic, social and cultural projects to manage increasing transnational and transcontinental connectedness (the so-called global condition). Therefore, the multi-national class-room of the programme and the cross-over of contributions from various disciplines and universities dealing either with some of these projects or/and with their conflicts and resulting entanglements offer a substantial added value to the study of processes of globalization.
Since we [the consortium] start from the assumption that there is no single discipline which is able to cover the whole set of phenomena summarized under the term globalization, the programme favours a post-disciplinary organisation of knowledge production by privileging comparative approaches (both diachronic and geographic), encompassing constructivist approaches and questioning essentialist notions. Taking the postcolonial challenge seriously we would argue that the current disciplinary organisation of universities (with which we have nevertheless to deal with) is often inadequate for the production of knowledge on the current world and that we have to reflect upon this inadequateness to overcome it at least partly.”
The program is administered by a consortium of universities which are:
“The founding members of the European Master in Global Studies (EMGS) Consortium [is] comprised besides the University of Leipzig three leading European universities, namely the prestigious London School of Economics and Political Science (UK), the University of Vienna (Austria) and the University of Wroclaw (Poland).
In 2007 the EMGS-Consortium established partnerships with four well-known non-European Universities that are the Dalhousie University (Canada), the Macquarie University (Australia), the University of California at Santa Barbara (USA), University of Stellenbosch (South Africa) which allows to offer to European students to study for one term at one of them.
In 2010 the Consortium was extended to the Roskilde University (Denmark), the Fudan University (China) and the Jawaharlal Nehru University (India) covering an even broader geographical area and academic scope.
In 2015 the Ghent University (Belgium) joined the programme as an associated Partner University.
Each of the primary universities have a focus:
Leipzig, London, Roskilde, Vienna, Wroclaw
The Consortium’s universities share a joint understanding of the field and privilege a comparative and historicizing approach within which local course content differs according to comparative advantages. According to this emphasis upon certain fields within the participating universities and its already existing Master programmes – which the MA in ‘Global Studies – a European Perspective’ is drawing upon -, students can specialize in particular areas of globalization research:
at the University of Leipzig on comparative analysis of global entanglements both historically and for the present times, focusing on Eastern Europe, Western Europe, East Asia, sub-Saharan Africa, Northern Africa and the Middle East, Latin America and Northern America
at the London School of Economics on the economic and social history and analysis of economic globalisation since around 1400
at the Roskilde University on development studies, global political economy and global governance, political culture and civil society
at the University of Vienna study of international organisations, global history from the year 1500 onwards, as well as area-related analysis of East Asia, sub-Saharan Africa, Central Europe and Latin America
at the University of Wroclaw on the analysis of transformation processes in Central and Eastern Europe, security issues, regional cooperation, communications and the media
All modules comprise history, cultural, area studies, social or political based approaches upon historical and contemporary patterns of globalisation and different societal responses, towards these processes.
It is an exceptionally exciting yet difficult time, I want to thank you all for your support.