The studies helped widening my knowledge with an area of the world my studies in the US have lacked.
Name: Annabelle Abisset
Country: Nebraska, United States
Current studies/ work situation: Master of Public Administration with a concentration in NGO management
2019-student at The European Integration Summer School
I chose to study the EU and European integration because of my background in international relations and political science. My university (the University of Nebraska at Omaha) has an exchange relationship with UiA so the program was highly recommended to me. As an MPA student, studying how different levels of governments and different actors interact to make policies is exactly what I study, but applying it to the EU made me think about it in a different way.
I thought the summer school was really well organized and thought out. I was really impressed with the guest lecturers that came and their level of interaction with us. The way the two classes were divided made sense and built off of each other well. I also really enjoyed the excursions the summer school staff planned for us. It made for a great balance of study and leisure.
Kristiansand is such a nice city to spend the summer. It was great because the weather was nice most of the time when we had a break for lunch so we could eat outside and get to know each other as well as the visiting professors. Also, on the weekends we could plan our own outings and enjoy the beach and the sea when outside of class. I think those of us visiting from outside of Kristiansand were really impressed with the city and all the outdoor activities it had to offer throughout the summer.
I will definitely remember my peers and the professors I met as a part of the program as well as students that hosted as from UiA. The relationship with my peers was really memorable because during our breaks we were able to discuss and compare our points of view from the lectures as well as from our own countries and lives. They are the people I spent the most time, experience new things, and lived with and the summer school would not have been the same without them! The professors were also all very supportive and continue to be even after the summer school. I will definitely keep in contact with those I met over the summer.
My plans after graduation in December 2020 will be to travel and gain more international experience through an internship with an NGO. Ultimately, I would like to work at an NGO that focuses on community and economic development, ideally one on an international scale. The EU focus helped me further my studies by widening my knowledge with an area of the world my studies in the US have lacked. There are many NGOs in the EU that I have now been exploring and studying because of my experience with the summer school and additional research course I took this Autumn 2019.
I would tell those considering the EISS Summer School to apply, even if you can only make it for one of the courses. It is an amazing, but intense, experience in which you will learn a lot but also have many new experiences with new people. If you are even slightly interested in the EU, I would highly recommend it. As a US student with limited EU experience, I was able to follow along and learn so much from the three courses I took. However, I think any amount of time you decide to spend at the summer school will be well worth it with the UiA professors, visiting staff, and peers you will meet.