I'm Bulgarian but I've been living in Ireland for almost 10 years now. I came to Ireland to do my masters in International Studies at UL, and it was one of the best decisions I've made in my life
Can you please introduce yourself? And can you explain why you chose the MA in International Studies?
My name is Janina and I'm Bulgarian but I've been living in Ireland for almost 10 years now. I came to Ireland to do my masters in International Studies at UL, and it was one of the best decisions I've made in my life. I chose the MA International Studies program because I really wanted to continue on from my undergraduate studies. In Bulgaria , I studied international economic relations and some of the topics that we covered in that programme were diplomatic relations and politics. This was an area that really interested me and one which I wanted to do further study in.
Why did you choose to study in UL?
I wanted to study in an international environment and I also wanted it to be in an English speaking country. I did loads of research and I picked UL as it was one of the best courses I found and it was taught in English. Limerick is known for its multicultural and friendly environment for students studying abroad so it was inevitable that I would end up here.
What specific aspects of the course impressed you the most or what was the best thing you found about the course itself?
I really liked all of the subjects that we studied. It wasn't like we had 10 or 12 modules. It was a few, I think three or four per semester, and we spent a lot of time studying each subject in depth . I liked our class, we really got to know each other quite. Studying this MA was interesting. There was a lot of the classes where there was open discussions between the students and the professor. We got to challenge different topics and questions whilst also analysing them. I really liked that approach to teaching.
How did the programme help you in your current career? How did you use the MA and how was it useful to you in your career progression?
When I graduated, I got a government job with the IDA which is agovernment agency for foreign direct investment in Ireland and I spent two years there,the MA really helped me in this role. I also had a job as a marketing analyst in a travel tech start up and I was also a marketing associate in a consultancy form. Studying in UL helped me learn a lot about myself and get used to the Irish culture as well and how things work here . I think what I learned and studied at UL did help me a lot when it came to specific jobs I had throughout the years.
Would you recommend the programme to others from your own experience?
Absolutely! I think it's a great course and the professors are also amazing. They were from all over the world which was great, because I was doing international relations. So it was interesting to get different perspectives from people who've studied around the world and had experience traveling as well. So I definitely would recommend the course to anyone who is interested in politics.
Have you any advice or tips for prospective students on the course? And advice on how they can get the most out of the course?
Keep an open mind and enjoy it! Whether you are fresh out of your undergraduate degree or you're a returning student, make sure you enjoy it. Try to get involved in all of the different activities and societies in the university because they're an amazing experience as well, especially for international students and UL has so much to offer in that regard as well. A lot of the course work is group work and I really enjoyed that. Don’t be scared to reach out to people and most importantly enjoy it because it goes by so fast!