European and Nordic Studies offer keys to understanding Europe from various aspects

The Master’s Programme in European and Nordic Studies at the University of Helsinki offers students a chance to broaden their perspective of European and Nordic societies. Multidisciplinary studies that address current issues in Europe together with a wide range of specialisation options ensure versatile international career options in the future.

After her bachelor’s degree in international relations from a University in Budapest and some years in working life, Hungarian- born Vica Protovin decided to continue her studies. A desire to gain a more comprehensive insight into European and Scandinavian societies inspired her to apply to the University of Helsinki to study a Master’s degree in European and Nordic studies.

“My bachelor’s studies gave me a good insight into the European Union and the biggest Western European countries, but I didn’t learn anything about Scandinavia, Eastern Europe or about the relations between Russia and Europe. This part of Europe was quite unknown to me, and the Master’s Programme in European and Nordic studies allowed me to broaden my perspective,” Vica explains.

International atmosphere and teaching culture

Vica has enjoyed her studies in the international environment at the University of Helsinki.

“There are students and lecturers from different parts of the world. I love wandering around in the old university buildings and having lunch at the student restaurants. Sometimes visiting lecturers come to give us interesting presentations on current issues. From time to time also career events are organised for us students so we can learn about possible job options.”

Vica also praises the university’s teaching culture. “Teachers at the University of Helsinki are very kind and helpful. Whatever questions we students have, we are able to ask for advice. Teachers here are also very open to different views and opinions and are willing to learn from students.”

Useful skills and knowledge for working life

The Master’s Programme in European and Nordic Studies offers two optional study tracks: humanities, which emphases regional and cultural studies, and history, and political science, which is oriented towards political science, political history and the European legal tradition.

The content of the studies depends much on one’s own choices and wishes. The freedom of choice surprised Vica at the beginning of her studies. “In this programme it is possible to study cultures, history, law, administrations and public policy, for example. Besides the programme’s mandatory courses, it enables you to really concentrate on what interests you the most and to build studies that correspond to your own wishes.”

The courses address current issues in Europe from various aspects. “Almost all the subjects in our studies are topical, which I am very happy about. We learn, for example, about the background of the immigration crisis, radicalism and nationalism. This kind of information is valuable in working life,” Vica considers.

As a second year student, Vica has already chosen her study track, political science. She will graduate as a Master of Social Sciences in summer 2017. In her Master’s Thesis she is going to conduct a rhetorical analysis concerning the immigration crisis. A very useful aid in this is the university’s comprehensive library with its wide data base of international books and access to academic articles from top international researchers from all over the world. 

The future holds countless inspiring career possibilities. “I might be interested in working for the European Union, or in some international organisation or a governmental office in Finland or in Hungary. These studies open the doors to so many job options, that it is hard to choose one.”