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Meet our graduates: Felix von Helden

Based in Tokyo, where he is currently enrolled on the German Academic Exchange Service's Japanese Scholarship programme, Felix graduated in 2018 with an MSc in East Asian Relations.

Having worked in the field of development cooperation in Germany and Bolivia, Felix is studying Japanese for ten months before starting work in Japan in July 2019.

Photo of Felix von Helden
Felix von Helden

Originally from Germany, he graduated with a Bachelor's degree in Philosophy and Economics at the University of Bayreuth in 2016, before coming to the University of Edinburgh for his MSc in East Asian Relations.

"I chose to study at the School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures (LLC) as it offered me the best opportunity to pursue my interest in East and Southeast Asia. The online information sessions in the run-up to the programme, as well as the option to meet personally with the MSc’s Programme Director, both convinced me to choose LLC."

"I enjoyed the small class sizes that allowed for fruitful discussions, the wide literature selection the university offers, and the essay-based assessment. Also, the advice and supervision provided by professors and LLC staff made studying there enjoyable and enlightening."

"My fellow students came from various academic backgrounds and nations. I enjoyed this international atmosphere and learned about new academic and cultural habits that enriched and complemented my studies, as well as the balance between a casual discussion style, the highlighting of focal points and important outcomes, and advice on essay questions and literature."

Developing cultural awareness

"I applied for the scholarship through the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) Website. Part of the application was a proposal in which I had to demonstrate my understanding on Japan, East and Southeast Asia (politically, culturally, economically) and to justify how Japanese skills would complement my hitherto educational background in regards to my future career or job plans."

"Through the East Asian Relations programme, I had gained a thorough understanding of Japan, East and Southeast Asia that helped me in the interview. I also required a statement by one of my professors, who not only provided the necessary statement, but also advised me throughout the application process."

"As I am currently living and studying in Japan, and will work in Japan in the near future, the East Asian Relations programme prepared me in a whole range of areas. Most importantly, it provided me with a detailed understanding, knowledge and awareness of Japanese culture, Japan’s history and Japan’s political relations to other countries in East and South East Asia."

"I would advise students who want to work in international relations in both East and Southeast Asia to find ways to study an Asian language besides the respective academic studies. Languages reflect cultural specificities that enhance understanding of the respective culture, open up access to (non-English) literature and present an asset in the job application process."

Are you interested in our MSc in East Asian Relations?

Drawing on unparalleled staff expertise on the region, and multiple disciplines, this one-year taught Masters programme will help you critically engage with the factors shaping East Asian relations.

Find out more about the programme

Related links

Read more stories from some of our 15,000 graduates

Find out more about the German Academic Exchange Service on the DAAD website

Read our feature on Life After LLC