Your personal experience is the key to unlocking Eastern Europe

By Vilnius University

A while ago you chose your bachelor’s studies, got through them (or maybe you are close to graduating) – you got everything you needed, the information you were looking for. And now, what do you do when you are hungry for more?  Vilnius University is offering you an opportunity to put that knowledge to practical use and focus on one of the most vibrant regions in the world – Eastern Europe.  Your personal experience and background can help you become a unique expert of the region with the help of some of the best experts in the field.

Now that we got your attention, let us ask you this:  Do you agree that studying politics requires a well-rounded worldview? Do you think you have it and can apply your personal experience to analyse global and regional events? Well, you will have this exact chance once you choose the Eastern European and Russian studies (EERS) programme at Vilnius University. The key to unlocking the essentials of a region is interdisciplinarity – it is equally necessary to view the region through the lens of language, history, international relations, societal structures, or political theory. You are the one choosing which is the most important to you and which you will be exploring during your master’s studies. Your previous interests, academic background and personal experiences will be the factors helping you to decide how you want to explore Eastern Europe and Russia. Together with open-minded professors and their guidance, you will be able to apply your unique background and approach the region in an extraordinary way.

The variety of backgrounds the students come from makes it interesting to study Eastern European and Russian studies at Vilnius University. The academic groups always consist of students from all around the world, starting with the countries here in the very same region and continuing with the U.S., China, Honduras, Canada, the Netherlands – you name it. One does not have to hold extensive knowledge on the region prior to starting the studies but every one of the students is encouraged to express their opinion and bring into play their background, political views, or specific knowledge.  As an alumna of the programme Misha puts it, “What I like the most is the fact that we as the students are always encouraged to be critical and express our opinions on things. It is interesting for me to see how our views can vary greatly based on where we come from and our personal history. I believe that making ways to connect all that and meet in the middle is the core of international relations.” Dr. Vilius Mačkinis, one of the lecturers at the programme, describes the programme as “working as an open space for every student to bring their own Eastern European experiences in various forms and guises, thus the outcome of the course always depends on who is participating and their personal worldviews.”

Studying the Eastern European and Russian region will put you amongst the top experts in the field, however, it will require attention to detail and eagerness to understand the peculiarities of the countries in the region. As Anne, also an alumna of the EERS programme recalls, “The most important thing while studying this region is the willingness to listen and learn yet remain critical and objective whilst having an open mind. It is a region full of complicated ties and history – it can be a lot to take in, but your mind becomes richer and stronger throughout the process.” Having analysed the complex political, societal and historical structures of the region, you will not be only able to understand the ongoing disputes, clashes and collaboration between the countries, but also you will be amidst the very few who will have the mindset to project further relations, give policy recommendations and, most importantly, you will be able to act on solving the prevailing issues.

The Eastern European and Russian studies master’s programme offers a one-of-a-kind experience: a small working group of international students, lectures by the best experts in the area, study trips to various countries in the region (when the global health situation allows), first-hand experience of the ongoing heated affairs in the region and meetings with high local and international officials. Where better to learn about the region if not directly in the cozy and modern centre of it?

Photo credit: ©Ian G. Diaz

If you are seeking a highly professional academic staff, well-rounded international experience, and a place to express your opinion while also exploring that of others, become a part of the exceptional Eastern European and Russian studies hub in Vilnius, become a part of the best social sciences institute in the Baltics, and shape the future.

Further your academic horizons with Vilnius University and get ready for a life-changing experience!

Photo credit: © Vytas Neviera

Photo credit: © Vytas Neviera

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