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Master Class Student
About the placement/internship

Why did you decide to do a placement/internship?

The name of the course really caught my eye and I also decided to do this placement after following and voting in the Brexit decision. The European situation became one of uncertainty following the disillusion and division that originally existed before the decision for Britain to leave the European Union.

How did you find your placement/internship?

Department email

Application process

To apply I had to write a 600 word statement about why I wanted to do the course which was then sent to my department. The department then selected me to go for the course and I was told to send my statement as part of my application on the Humboldt website.

Main responsibilities

Whilst there we had to complete a total of 40 contact hours studying about the Crisis and Future of the EU. We had to read a selection of articles for each session and create a presentation on a specific topic by the end of the two week programme. This involved not just taking down notes about the various topics but devising creative ways to present our topics. This evidently demonstrated not only our knowledge but our ability to be concise and succinct in various ways. We were also required to know how to debate like political scientists and put across our points to each other each day.

Typical day

Wednesday during the first week was one of the days during which I got to know the city of Berlin a bit better. On Wednesday morning, we met up at the Brandenburg Gate to conduct interviews on random members of the public. We were split into groups and sent to quiz them on their views on Europe, the EU as an institution, their connection to Europe and its affairs, Brexit and where they felt the EU would be in a few years.Essentially, the general consensus was that Europe was a great idea at first but that in todays day and age it was somewhat archaic. Many of those interviewed were Europeans who felt that this was evidently one of the main reasons why the British public voted to cut the countrys ties to the European Institution. They argued that without change the EU was a ship that was inevitably headed towards a disastrous end and that it would be wise for countries to follow Britains example.Likewise, the answers of a group of Israeli youths echoed that of the Europeans in that the European Union was a sinking ship but they had faith that the problems the institution had could be fixed. They believed that the solution was greater integration rather than Brexit style departures as to lose the connection between countries that the EU brought, would be an utter shame. Nonetheless, these youths and a young man from the US felt completely removed from the whole European situation as they felt that as their countries were not in close proximity to Europe they had no place in European affairs. In groups we presented our findings to the whole class later in the day and we then compared our findings with that of other groups. This was then incorporated into the presentations of that day which focused on attempting to map politics in a globalised world.Following this, I went home and then met up with some friends for food.

What did I enjoy about my placement/internship?

I really enjoyed being able to learn more about not just the EU but also its background and German history. Likewise, I enjoyed the fact that sessions were mainly student led and really hands on and engaging.

Did you use any skills learned from your course?

Doing this course helped me to improve my public speaking skills, my debate skills and also helped me with close reading - a skill which is really important to master at university.

Has your time on placement influenced your future career choice?

Yes, this placement made me consider working abroad or in the EU or one of its institutions. It also made me consider international law or politics.

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Form completed: 13 Oct 2017

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