Manju went to Nepal during winter break: 'I would highly recommend going abroad'
Studying abroad and going on an exchange is a great way to broaden your horizons and explore new places, cultures, and fields of study. In addition to a full-semester exchange, there are many other possibilities such as a summer school or an internship. For example, LUC student Manju von Rospat went to the country of her mother’s origin, Nepal during the winter break to conduct research for her thesis.
Manju von Rospat: ‘It was really exciting to engage in my first real fieldwork. I ended up conducting interviews in the village of Baruwa within the Sindhupalchok district, northeast of the capital Kathmandu. I really enjoyed getting to know the people behind the participants of the interviews themselves. I attended several weddings, prayers, and festivities and got to immerse myself in the Tamang culture in within the foothills of the Himalayas in the Tamang culture.'
A Cup of Tea
Manju was an intern at a community development organisation called PHASE (Practical Help Achieving Self-Empowerment) which focuses on health, education, and livelihood programming in an effort to support access to services in remote parts of Nepal focusing particularly on young mothers. 'After a nervous start, I got more comfortable quickly as I met and started to interview people. The interviews also helped me practice the Nepali language. Overall the experience cemented my interest in the field of development studies. I would highly recommend going abroad as a part of the university experience. In my case, it allowed me to challenge myself to experience primary data collection firsthand, work with an organization and build a sense of mutual trust between myself and the people I interviewed. Many of my female interviewees had previously worked in the Gulf States and Malaysia as domestic workers and spoke about the benefits and challenges of their work abroad. I learned a lot by speaking with people about the challenges of rural livelihoods and especially how they remained in contact with their family members back home. Connecting with people in real life and discussing their experiences over a cup of tea or dinner was very different from reading about this topic at university!'
Depending on your study programme, there are different international activities available. You can get credits for some of them, or they can be a compulsory or optional part of your programme. There are also extra-curricular activities available to complement your studies. Examples of activities include an internship, research or fieldwork abroad, Summer or Winter School programmes and study trips organised by student associations.
Contact FGGA International Office
Does going abroad for your studies sound interesting to you? Find out more about all the options. You can read more information here. If you are looking for internship opportunities, take a look at FGGA’s internship database TRAIL. Students that have already gone abroad, have documented their experience. Click here to read student reports about studying, internships and more abroad.
Don’t hesitate to send the FGGA International Office an email if you have any questions. We are here to help you. Please always inform us about your international plans and verify whether you can receive credits for your activity beforehand.