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Open your eyes for the world and join RRE!

Finnish student Anna-Liisa Tolonen started in RRE in the fall 2009. She will graduate from the programme in summer 2011. Before applying for RRE, she had studied theology at the University of Helsinki for some years. Her main interest was in biblical studies, especially the Hebrew Bible, but she wanted to combine the exegetical approach with other fields of academia, such as study of religion and history of religions, social sciences, and inter-religious studies. She also wanted her studies to have relevance outside the academia.

- In addition, I had a personal interest in religious dialogue, for I had worked among Palestinian Christians in the West Bank for a period of time. It is not difficult to conclude that RRE came to meet and combine pretty much all my professional interests! As it happens, the methods of studying were interactive and experimental which I wanted to have a chance to try, Anna-Liisa says.

Anna-Liisa is studying within the program for the second year and has found studying challenging, time-consuming but extremely interesting. She says that the possibility to study in six different universities and learn about the Scandinavian way of practicing theology and religious studies, has taught her a lot in itself.

- The greatest academic challenges of the program are the comparative approach and the multidisciplinary use of methods. However, the close contact with the teachers and fellow students makes the studying great fun and very rich in its contents.

Anna-Liisa finds the faculty of theology in her home university very good in many ways.

- We are a bit distinct from the others, not only geographically but perhaps in our tradition of scholarship, too. Therefore, the mutual exchange has offered me a lot. Our network of students and tutor(s) here in Helsinki is strong and we have interest in each other and share the good and bad! As a student here I feel I am welcomed and esteemed.

RRE has offered Anna-Liisa a lot and she encourages others also to join the programme.

- If you want to make the most out of your studies, join a program like this. It is always good to open one's eyes and get a glimpse of the wider world out there. If you enjoy engaging in interactive community of students and want to improve your skills of arguing, expressing yourself and understanding - RRE is your way of taking a chance!

You can apply for the RRE next time during 15 Nov 2010 - 31 Jan 2011 (16:15 GMT+2).

RRE web site