Swedish graduate Richard Eksten tells us how his experiences at Edinburgh have led him to promoting Scotland’s interests in Brussels and keeping in touch with the University.
|Degree Course||MA Modern European Languages and EU Studies|
|Year of Graduation||2004|
Your time at the University
I had never lived in the UK before but really wanted to go to Scotland. I chose Edinburgh because of the combination of a well-known university and a beautiful, liveable city.
One of my closest friends had chosen to study at Heriot-Watt, so I didn't have to go to Edinburgh alone.
I instantly loved its inspiring and very international environment.
I made lots of great friends who I still keep in touch with today, albeit living in different countries. Another plus was that the weather was not as awful as I had expected!
I also remember my lecturers fondly. Professor Drew Scott at the Europa Institute introduced me to the study of the European institutions in a way that inspired me to pursue a career in Brussels working with European affairs. I still keep in touch with him today.
Books aside, the thing that most embodied my student life in Edinburgh was the time away from exam revision spent picnicking with friends in the Meadows.
It is rewarding to know that what I do now is directly linked to my studies.
Tell us about your Experiences since leaving the University
I continued studying for a Postgraduate MA in European Studies at the College of Europe before moving to Brussels. There I took my present position with Scotland Europa, which promotes Scotland's interests to EU institutions. Apart from being a great place to work, it has also offered me a way of calling on my studies of EU affairs in Scotland. Incidentally, the University of Edinburgh is one of our member organisations, so I can reconnect with it on a regular basis.
It is rewarding to know that what I do now is directly linked to my studies, and I have achieved the aspirations I had when I was reading books about European Integration Theory in the Old College library.
Don't doubt your own capabilities, enjoy it while it lasts and keep in touch with the many friends you will make.