"I felt at home right away"
Originally from the Netherlands, Elina Natobidze-Airiian moved to Sweden to study the master’s programme in political science. After graduating, she moved back to work for the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport in the Netherlands. Today she lives in Tbilisi, Georgia.
Why did you choose the Political Science programme?
"After doing some online research, I came across Malmö University and this particular programme, which immediately caught my attention. I liked the fact that it is a multi-disciplinary programme which addresses aspects of international relations, human rights and peace and conflict studies. As the world is more interconnected than ever before, I think it is important to understand how social, economic and political transformations affect local, national, European and global governance. Apart from that, political science graduates can work for a wide range of employers, such as the United Nations, the European Union, multinationals and NGOs."
What did you like most about the education?
"I really liked the fact that the programme has a good balance between lectures and seminars unlike many other master’s programmes. In this way, students are encouraged to participate in group discussions and ask the teacher questions. In addition, I appreciated the informal nature of Swedish society where students are free to think creatively and choose how to approach an assignment. I liked that the examination largely relied on doing your own research and academic writing rather than sit-in exams. There was also less emphasis on grades, which made studying less stressful and more enjoyable."
Why did you choose to study a master’s programme?
"After completing my bachelor’s programme I worked full-time for approximately a year. This break from studying gave me an opportunity to reflect on my goals. I realized that I really wanted to invest in my future and to pursue my interests in more depth. Also, I believe that having extra qualifications will make you stand out in the job market. Furthermore, it is a great way to build your network and to connect with likeminded people.
"In my opinion, the importance of studying at master’s level depends primarily on your career ambitions and your interests. A master in Political Science is more an in-depth study of the broader topics that are covered in a bachelor’s programme. Personally, I found it very interesting to pursue politics at a more advanced level. In addition, a master in political science has definitely improved my research and writing skills, which are required in many job positions."
What was your impression of Malmö and Sweden?
"When I first arrived in Malmö, I felt at home right away. The flat landscape, the green areas and the many cycle routes felt pleasantly familiar to my home town in the Netherlands. Apart from that, Malmö is a very diverse and international city and you can easily communicate in English with people. Also, I was surprised by how well-organized, egalitarian and environmentally-conscious Sweden is. In addition, the public transportation works very well and can take you in less than 30 minutes to Copenhagen. Lastly, it is often said that Sweden has a reputation for being an expensive country. However, I believe that it is totally possible to find cheaper options in Malmö as well."