Interview with a student in Advanced Migration Studies

Elena Barbini is studying a Master’s degree in Advanced Migration Studies (AMIS) at the University of Copenhagen. She chose to study in Denmark because she found that AMIS was the most complete and diverse Master programme compared to others in Europe. She moved here right before she started her Master’s degree and is very excited that she has the opportunity to study a subject which she is very passionate about.

Why did you choose to study a Master in Advanced Migration Studies?
”I chose to study this Master because I think migration is and has been a very important and politicized issue for many decades now. Especially after the 9/11 Attacks there has been this sort of fear in Europe of foreigners and Muslims in particular. Growing up in Italy in the 90s I witnessed how the migration debate evolved into being an almost intolerant discourse. So my curiosity forced me into studying this matter”.

Why did you choose to study your Master’s degree at the University of Copenhagen?
”Well, I decided to study my Master’s here because I was very curious about living in a Nordic country. Additionally, there are only five countries in Europe that offers a Master’s degree in Migration Studies. The Master program in Denmark was not only free of charge as the tuition fees are covered by the Danish state for EU citizens but the program really sounded exciting too”.

What is the best part about the University of Copenhagen?
”One of the best parts is definitely the academic level and the teaching methods. It seems like the University too has more funds than the universities where I come from so there are also more funds for the international cooperation and for students who wish to study or conduct research and fieldwork abroad. The international component is key for a subject like migration studies. Also, I absolutely love the environment. It is very open towards international students and almost everyone speaks English in the city”.

"One of the best parts is definitely the academic level and the teaching methods.

How is social life with your fellow students?
”We are a very close group and we all get along very well with each other. Many of us have similar interests and almost every one of us has travelled before and travelled to live in different countries. We support each other in our studies and in our daily lives too here in Denmark. And if we have questions about Denmark the Danish students are very helpful and enthusiastic to give us an answer”.

What is it like living in Denmark and being a student at the University of Copenhagen?
”In the beginning you might feel a bit disoriented when you first move here. Danish is not easy to understand and the Danish people can also seem a bit more reserved than others. There is nothing to it though. I definitely like it here. Also the teaching methods are very different and a lot more interactive with a lot of group work. That is really appealing to me”.

Do you know what you want to use your Master’s degree for in relation to future career prospects?
”I would love to work within the education area. To teach children about intercultural relations and help them be more aware on the subject would be a dream job. But I don’t know yet exactly. In relation to this, another great part about the University of Copenhagen is the career service. This service is here to help us international students in terms of future career prospects, which is really amazing. So I guess I will figure it out when time comes”.

What is your best advice for future students?
”Choose what you are most passionate about. If you are passionate about Migration Studies I could definitely recommend this Master. Be prepared to be flexible and learn from the Danes. And then you should come here with energy because when you have moved here to study you need the energy to start your new life and get the best out of the experience”.

Interview December 2014.