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Meet Victoria!

Victoria Bergström
Victoria Bergström
  1. Could you tell us a bit about yourself?

I’m Victoria and I’m 22. I studied and completed the MA programme International Relations: Geopolitics and Connectivity. It’s the only programme of its kind in the world!

I joined the Honours College during the COVID-19 pandemic, and I moved from the USA to the Netherlands. If I didn’t join Honours, I wouldn’t have enjoyed my time as much! My background is rather complex; in short, I say I’m half-New Englander, half-Ragin' Cajun for an American-based story. I received my dual-Bachelors in French and Geopolitics from Keene State (University System of New Hampshire) in the USA.

  1. What is your favourite memory from the Honours College?

My favourite memory would be every course – because all the different experiences let me know my peers and delve into complicated subjects. My most recent favourite memory was working on my Masterwork, which is required for the Master’s Leadership Programme. Alongside my project partner, Paula Mobius, we interviewed instructors in the International Relations Master’s for the project “Hearing IR: From the Experts”.

This involved combining my field (International Relations with journalism), communications, education, and other related fields. We were so lucky to interview a group of dedicated scholars who focused on studying: migration and labour to West Africa, religion, and society, and thereby  defending law and order. These diverse fields all come together in both my Master’s and Honours Programme, as I met some instructors through Honours, while others I was referred to. Each conversation was inspiring and thought-provoking and motivated my project partner and me to further our studies.

  1. How does the Honours College challenge you?

The Honours College makes you explore your strengths and weaknesses, and it gives you the forum to work on these aspects. From the Masterclasses and workshops, to your Masterwork, you are challenged to improve yourself. Personally, I was nervous about working with my peers as I wasn’t sure what they would be like. Fortunately, I met a group of lovely, multicultural, and multidisciplinary individuals with similar goals to myself. Even with subjects outside of your field, your personal skills and knowledge will be challenged. Teamwork does matter, even in an online environment andI was lucky to meet some of my peers!

Furthermore without the Honours programme, I would not have confronted my fear of public speaking. This was the most difficult challenge to deal with. I tried to speak in every course at least once, and thereafter I took the “Sparkle when you speak” workshop with Eva. This workshop changed my perspective, and I ended up using this skill in many presentations and two videos for my RUG courses, including one for my Leadership Lab during the Summer School where I spoke about Illicit Trade video.

  1. Have you learned, through the honours programme, to look at the field of your study differently?

My field, Geopolitics, is often treated as the black swan of political science and geography, plus it is regularly confused with political geography. Honours showed me how complex my field is and how to combine fields from law to philosophy in a coherent manner that adds depth to my academic and professional foundations. Through working with my multidisciplinary peers to engaging in various studies, my field is multidisciplinary in nature, and these experiences from the Honours College strengthened my understanding of Geopolitics.

  1. What are your hobbies?

My hobbies are hiking, playing tennis, knitting, travelling, and cooking with family and friends. Plus, I’m an amateur photographer – I’ve been so lucky to win a few competitions and get published in different magazines and newspapers!! One guilty pleasure of mine is singing – my maternal grandmother was a music teacher, so both sides of my family are rather musically inclined.

  1. What are your career goals/plans?

At the moment, I’m focusing much more on the globalization of education, alongside the politics of educational policies. This has involved studying and taking courses in the MA Global Education programme at Providence College in Providence, Rhode Island, USA. I am also focused on public diplomacy, so having a background filled with political science, geography, linguistics, and education will help me in my professional endeavours. Next year I might move abroad if everything works out. In the long term, I aspire to work in diplomacy and education. As my undergraduate institution would say, “enter to learn, go forth to serve,” and that’s very much my career motto at the moment.

  1. Is there anything you would like to add?

My biggest secret is “fika”. To do well, you need a method of taking care of yourself. Because of my family, we always have a coffee break which we call “fika”. It’s not simply a coffee break, and it’s a time to recharge your mental capabilities while enjoying the company around you. Honours allowed me to introduce my traditions to individuals that I feel fortunate and privileged to call my friends.

Additionally, if you’re ever visiting Sweden, Finland, or in the USA (New England, Washington DC, or Louisiana) let me know! If you would like to reach out to me, feel free to contact me on LinkedIn, Twitter, or the International Alumni Ambassadors webform. I am always happy to talk!

Here is my LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/bergstr%C3%B6mvh/

Here is my Twitter: https://twitter.com/vic_hhberg

Webform: https://www.rug.nl/alumni/about-alumni/ambassadors/2021-2022/webforms/contact-victoria-bergstrom

Last modified:13 June 2022 12.38 p.m.