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South and Southeast Asia

Read the stories of our alumni specialized in South Asia and Southeast Asia here.

Eva Akerboom

Alumni dreams #227

While living in Singapore at the time, Eva was deeply interested in learning more about South and Southeast Asia and orientating on what and where to study. She also just started learning Hindi in her last year of high school to get closer to her roots and learn more about the country/region. International Studies fit well within her study aims, as the courses were quite diverse and broad, and there were opportunities to gain expertise on specific regions.

Unfortunately, her exchange to the City University of Hong Kong got cancelled due to the pandemic. Nevertheless, Eva focused on doing a minor in the Evolution of International Order at the Erasmus University in Rotterdam and continued to practice her Hindi at Leiden University.

After graduating from the BA, Eva was unsure about what to pursue next and decided on a gap year. In that year, she pursued an internship in Erbil in the Kurdistan region of Iraq, where she interned for an NGO. She spent some time in Cairo to learn Arabic, and afterwards she completed two more internships with an NGO in Istanbul and Amsterdam. 

The internships made Eva realize that she was interested in supporting youth in fragile regions. During her gap year she came across the MA in Conflict Studies and Human Rights at Utrecht University. She chose to enroll in this MA as it provided a very realistic perspective on how international organizations (i.e. UN and NATO) carry out peacebuilding missions, and whether this is done in an appropriate way by taking local inputs into account.

Great to see you pursuing your passions Eva, and we are excited to see what you will do next!

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