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Esmée Bloemendal

International Relations: East Asian Studies

Questions about East Asian Studies? Send Esmée an email:

Focus on East Asia

My name is Esm é e Bloemendal and I am 23 years old. Last year I graduated in Chinese Studies at Leiden University. This September I started with my Master International Relations, track East Asian Studies at the University of Groningen. The Master International Relations offers six different tracks, and I chose East Asian Studies. This means that my Master is focused on International Relations in East Asia, but also that we look at East Asia from an Asian perspective instead of a Western perspective. I find it very interesting and I am enthusiastic about my Master: it is challenging and it forces you to look critically toward your own perspective. We examine East Asia from various angles: the historical, economical, political and social aspects that make this region so unique are all highlighted. We also study International Relations theories, which enables us to put contemporary developments in perspective.

My Courses

Currently I am following three courses:History, Culture and Politics in East Asia’, ‘Multinational Corporations, andAdvanced Theories of International Relations. The courses are challenging, but at the same time give you the opportunity to delve deeper into your topic of interest. Also, the courses are a preparation for your thesis, which I find really helpful.

The Workload

Within the Masters programme, there is much freedom of choice: in the second semester we have the option to study abroad in East Asia, do an internship or follow another research seminar. You are supposed to work hard for the Master: besides taking part in the intensive classes, it takes a lot of time to prepare the seminars and study the theories of International Relations as well. Nonetheless, I do not find the study load is too heavy: due to good time management it is possible to do something extra besides the study. For example, I follow Italian language courses, and I improve my Chinese language skills through self-study.

Why Groningen?

I have chosen for the University of Groningen because their Master s programme allows me to expand my knowledge about the Asian region in general, in addition to my knowledge about China. Also, I am really interested in International Relations, so for me this programme brings together the best of both worlds. I am originally not from Groningen, but I feel at home here. It is a friendly, cozy city, gezellig as we call it in Dutch. The city centre is small, which allows you to bike around and get to know the city very easily. I am very happy to study here, and I would definitely recommend the Master if you are interested in International Relations and East Asia!

Laatst gewijzigd:21 maart 2018 12:27
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