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Kristel Schurink

Master Ambassador Middle Eastern Studies
Kristel Schurink

Hi, my name is Kristel and I am currently enrolled at the MA Middle Eastern Studies. After I finished my BA in Philosophy, I wanted to focus more on live and ongoing issues throughout the world. I’m much interested in many academic fields, and this degree programme offers a multidisciplinary approach: just what I was looking for!

Particularly the Middle Eastern region fascinates me, because for me, there is still so much to discover. I could not always make sense of the ongoing complex struggles this region faces, but since I started studying this programme I definitely begin to grasp the enormous complexity to some extent. While learning about this specific region, the programme provides us an extensive comprehension of the Middle East, but we also get naturally involved in a more profound understanding of who “we” are. I would argue that this master programme creates opportunities for cultural learning and increases mutual understanding on an international level.

About the programme: there are four different courses in the first semester, after which you have to write your Masters thesis and will have the opportunity to follow an internship or a tutorial. Personally I spread the studyload, with regard to finishing my Masters in Philosophy. However, I won’t get bored as there is always plenty of readings to discuss in each course! Hence, I would recommend you to prepare each class carefully, as some prior knowledge is desired and teachers expect you to actively participate in class.

Each class takes about four hours per week, which approximately comes down to 12 hours per week. The time I spend preparing each class depends, but I’m studying at least 18 hours each week, preparing two different courses. In order to familiarize students with the study material, the programme offers different methods to develop knowledge and skills. For example, I have to make exams, write essays, give presentations but I also have to organize a study day with fellow students. Each course is well-organized, requires serious long-term planning and leaves open the possibility to delve deeper into a self-appointed subject.

What I also like about the programme, are the teachers’ ability and dedication to transfer knowledge to students. Besides, the teachers and study advisor create a pleasant atmosphere in being approachable at all times. Classes are held in a variety of buildings of the University of Groningen, but always in the heart of the city. The MA Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Groningen is a challenging programme, teaching students about a broad range of topics from different angles. In general, the programme enables me to broaden my view on world affairs, in addition to comprehend and critically reflect on current debates concerning the Middle East. So, if this is music to your ears I would absolutely recommend you to follow this programme!

Last modified:22 May 2019 12.03 p.m.