Students have to consider a number of different priorities and values before zeroing in on a course. For Shaina, choosing a two-year programme spread across four different countries in Europe was all about diversity and creativity.
The Hyderabad girl bagged a partially-funded scholarship to pursue Erasmus Mundus International Master’s in Global Markets Local Creativities (GLOCAL) programme jointly offered by Erasmus University Rotterdam, Netherlands, University of Glasgow, UK, Universitat de Barcelona, Spain, and George-August University of Gottingen, Germany.
Presently, in the third semester of the programme, Shaina says, “It is a multi-disciplinary programme wherein we study disciplines including economics, social sciences, business and creativity. Since I have inclinations towards creativity, its variety of subjects and the exposure made me choose this programme.”
For the 22-year old it was her love for theatre and music that gave her an edge over others. “I have been performing theatre since she the age of eleven and trained in Hindustani Vocal classical music.”
She holds a BBA degree from St. Mary's College, Hyderabad and was intrigued by the Erasmus programme after receiving feedback from a friend in Denmark. “All Erasmus Mundus programmes are extremely competitive and bagging a scholarship depends on many factors including ones academic, extra-curricular achievements and work experiences. The Erasmus programme is not solely for scholarship holders but for self-funded students as well,” says Shaina.
The cherry on the cake for the programme says Shaina, is the experience of living in completely different countries. “It is very exciting to be introduced to a completely new culture and navigating new challenges every six months. The programme has helped me gain tremendous knowledge about the academic system in Europe and how things work here.”
Her initial struggle was to get used to the educational pedagogy.
“In India, we are used to rote-learn whereas here, it is all about research and discussions during and post the classes. I had a tough time in my first semester to get used to the state of writing research papers and the specific criteria and style it needs to be written in,” she says adding that there is a lot of peer learning involved as the classrooms host students from across the globe. Also, in the second semester, the students pursue industry-oriented internships as consultants that help gain insight into the professional world.