Voices from graduates

Graduates of the M.E.S. program until 2022.

Andrea Heigl

Why did you decide on the master's program?
I have been interested in the European Studies programme for a long time because I was socialised in times of the enlargements of the European Union and I was excited by developments on the path of EU growing closer together. Coming from Ukraine, I find EU perspectives all the more exciting now when war has broken out in Ukraine.

Have your expectations been fulfilled?
A very dynamic and knowledge-filled year is now behind me. Especially in this turning point for the EU, I find the insights gained from the study programme immensely important for me. Understanding and recognising the EU's processes and motivations for taking one path or another is central for me personally and professionally. So yes, my expectations were absolutely fulfilled.

What were the biggest challenges for you?
There is no doubt here: the war in Ukraine, of course. At the beginning of the second semester, everyone from our year of study was faced with new challenges. In my case, it meant - helping, doing studies, taking care of family, helping, helping, helping... ...and groping around in uncertainty as to what would happen next.

What did you particularly like about it?
The highlight of the training was of course the trip to Brussels. Visits to the institutions and both discussions with the representatives and reflections with fellow students contribute, in my opinion, significantly to the understanding of the EU.

What were you able to take with you?
An enormous number of different things. I feel like I've grown at least a head since I started studying. Above all, the understanding of the legal and political structure has become irreplaceable for me. Looking at the EU in a global geopolitical context is also very important. I am currently working in a counselling centre for Ukrainians, where I need the knowledge, I have acquired on a daily basis.
Private contacts and friendships made through my studies are like a little island for me, which I share with like-minded people interested in the common future of the EU...

To whom would you recommend the master's program?
To all people who are not indifferent to the future of the EU - regardless of age and background

Iryna Grilj

Dzevad Sarac

"I decided to enroll in the programme because it offered a wide range of topics that I was interested in at first - languages, economics, law, history and security studies. And it met my expectations - the professors were able to adjust to our needs and were there for us any time we needed their help. On the other hand, a lot of lecturers have worked/work for the EU or other international organizations and were therefore able to share their first hand experience from the field. Also, we were given an opportunity to visit the institutions in Brussels and get a feeling of how not only how the European Union functions on a daily basis but also other organizations like NATO/OTAN. I would suggest the Master of European Studies programme to anyone with a social science or humanist background interested in studying contemporary Europe with a firm basis in research and theory. The European Studies gave me an opportunity to learn more about the European security architecture and provided a solid basis for my current position at the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE)."

Mason Chami

"The program is excellent for a couple of reasons. First, the combined emphasis on economics, politics, law and history, taught by top professors from each discipline, provides a solid grounding in European studies. Second, the student to professor ratio is exceptionally small. Third, the course is very demanding - you will work extremely hard but the results are well worth it. Finally, Vienna is a stunningly beautiful place to spend a year of your life, studying with a very cosmopolitan group of fellow students."

Florian Zinöcker

"I am a strong adherent of the European Studies programme and I am honoured to have been a member of the programme during its first year in action. I have recently begun work at a European Institution and my European Studies knowledge has proven indispensable."