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Russia and Eurasia

Read the stories of our alumni specialized in Russia and Eurasia here.

Eva Zegelaar

Alumni dreams #138

After the International Studies degree and unforgettable Sustainable Development minor in the Philippines, Eva Zegelaar decided to travel around some more and think through what to do next. 

It only took her a few weeks to figure out that her passion is to study language and linguistics. The linguistics related courses in her BA really influenced this decision and in fall Eva will begin her Linguistics pre-master, followed by a Master. She hopes to do exciting internships related to the field during her studies, and maybe become a linguist analyst in an international organisation someday!

As a side job she is currently working for a hospitality company in The Netherlands, working at high end events and hotels around the country. Although this is not a long-term plan, Eva is learning very much about hospitality in the service sector. It is fascinating to be able to interact with iconic individuals from all over the world at each location, and it is very fun!

Enjoy all your learnings and activities Eva and good luck in your future!

Francis Farrell

Alumni dreams #173

After his BA with Russia and Eurasia as area and winning the Most Outstanding Student award, wanted to gain at least a year of work experience. He was accepted to an internship at the Presence in Albania.

While not quite in the area studied, Albania shares many similarities, politically and economically due to its communist past and complicated democratic transition. He gladly learnt all about it.

The OSCE mandate includes election reform, improving rule of law and countering violent extremism. His work in the political reporting department exposes him to all of this via research, drafting/editing monthly reports and note-taking at high-level meetings.

He says the well-rounded understanding in his multidisciplinary BA, how history and culture shape politics and economics today, especially in societies with turbulent pasts like Russia or the Balkans, is quite unique compared to Political Science or IR degrees and definitely prepares one for jobs that demand versatility and a quick understanding of what drives politics in a given country.

Superb Francis! Here he is having rewarding and enjoyable experiences in beautiful Tirana!

Emmely van Dijk

Alumni dreams #175

After graduating with area Russia and Eurasia, Emmely van Dijk went to Sint Petersburg to improve her Russian and to figure out what to do after International Studies.

Upon return she transferred from humanities to social sciences via a pre-master at Utrecht University and began working in a study led by Dr. Nienke Boesveldt on social care and protected living in Dutch municipalities.

The research puts the service users central and analyzes how local authorities and stakeholders shape de-institutionalization and regionalization in their municipality and how this explains policy outcomes.

Emmely continued as assistant-researcher while starting the master Social Policy and Public Health! Soon she'll start her research internship on different international housing solutions for people with above average care needs.

In her BA she learnt to look at issues from multiple angles, which is helpful in her work dealing with different stakeholders with each their own concerns and values.

Wonderful Emmely! Enjoy gaining further and new knowledge of human needs and social policy! Here she is shining in the snow!

Elsa Court

Alumni dreams #177

Elsa Court graduated with the area Russia & Eurasia and thesis on Ukraine. With this depth of regional knowledge, she interned at news desk of the Kyiv Post, the main English-language newspaper of Ukraine. She wrote daily news articles for the website but also longer ones on interests explored in her BA, like transitional justice after the Euromaidan Revolution.

She then taught English to children in a village in the north-west of the country, through the NGO GoCamps which trains and sends volunteers where children would usually never get the chance to learn from a native English speaker.

Staying with a host family in the village gave a different view on the region than learnt in class, but the language skills and cultural sensitivities from her BA really enhanced the experience.

Elsa is now doing Conflict Studies and Human Rights at Utrecht University and will intern at NGO Pax which campaigns to bring peace to conflict-affected societies.

Overall she appreciates how her BA gave her a multidisciplinary background and a specific area of expertise in a region she has become passionate about.

Truly inspiring Elsa! Here she is in Sarny next to road signs taken down after de-communization.

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