What do you like about the programme/specialisation and why? How has the programme/specialisation challenged you (in relation to your previous education)?
What I like about the programme is that there is a lot of freedom in choosing courses, organising fieldwork (if you want to) and planning the writing process of your Master's thesis. Also, within the theoretical courses, there is room for critical remarks and creativity in how you want to do assignments and with whom you want to make them with. The specialisation challenged me to to think even more in-depth about social issues, especially around the why and how of internal and external borders, primarily regarding Europe.
What do you think about the atmosphere in class (for example the relationship between students and with the teachers/researchers)?
In class, there is a relaxed and comfortable environment, it is one that is characterized by mutual respect and openness. I felt able to be myself and express opinions and ideas freely. Although, in some courses this was hard, since a lot of other students dared to state their ideas as well.
What do you find most challenging in your Master’s (specialisation)? Have you encountered any obstacles?
Even though I consider the freedom in designing one's Master's as an advantage, it can also be challenging since you have to oversee your own year-planning. A lot of independence is asked of you, and as someone who sometimes procrastinates, and is a perfectionist at the same time, this is not always easy :).
Are you currently doing an internship? Or what is your thesis about?
I'm currently doing an internship at an NGO on an Island in Greece. My topic of research is the criminalisation of solidarity, which is about a growing trend in many (EU) countries to punish individuals and organizations who provide assistance and support to vulnerable and marginalized groups, such as migrants, refugees, and asylum seekers.
Why do you think is it important that there are people out there with this degree? What are your plans once have received your Master's degree?
In my ideal world I would, for a part, continue to do (academic) research regarding subjects that have to do with Europe and its borders. For the other part, I would like to do something more social work related. Next to my studies I did a lot of voluntary work at organisations who worked with undocumented people. Lastly, I would like to continue working in this field more on a social work or policy level.