I am currently an undergraduate finalist at the University of Sussex studying Politics and International Relations, due to graduate in 2022. My interest in Germany was sparked in the second year of my degree when I undertook a module on the ‘Politics of Governance: Germany’ and since then I have followed the politics of the country keenly.
What does a typical day in your job look like? Is there any link/relation to German/ Germany?
As I’m in the final year of my undergrad, a typical day generally involves a lot of reading and working on upcoming assignments. This semester I am completing modules on New Technologies and Corruption, as well as Humanitarianism in Theory and Practice. Due to only have two seminars a week now, I spend the rest of my time researching for my classes and essays whether that be in the library, local cafes, or from home. I try to have a good work/life balance and so I like mixing my days up by going to different events and talks (which are even better when they relate to my course). Last week I attended an interesting discussion on the 2021 German election results with the Sussex Politics Society and a great panel of speakers including; former ‘Spiegel‘ journalist Cerstin Gammelin, former UK Government minister David Lidington, and Politics Head of Department here at Sussex Dan Hough.
Which experiences have you gained during your stay in Germany and how has it influenced your career path/ personal development?
The opportunity to be part of the IASGP’s 2021 Election Trip was amazing to be able to put what I had previously learnt from my Politics of Germany module into context and watch the election so closely. Being in the city during such an important election was eye-opening and a totally difference experience to that of the UK. Germany’s on-the-ground campaign is heavily candidate-focused, especially when it comes to campaign posters, and this offered a sharp contradiction to what I know in the UK. I know this experience will not only help when it comes to planning my dissertation this year, but also shape the path for my future studies. The political buzz of Berlin was an inspiring atmosphere to be around and has encouraged me to look into study abroad opportunities that I had not previously considered. After two years without travel I think we all appreciate the importance of traveling much more!
Which is your favourite city/ place in Germany and which in the UK/Ireland and why? Are there any similarities or differences?
I’ve only been to Berlin so far and so I think I’d have to go with there! The buzz of the city, along with the diversity and culture made it feel so comforting and somewhere I could see myself living. It also showed similarities with Brighton, which is not only one of my favourite cities in the UK, but I have been lucky enough to have spent my three years at university there. Having grown up on the Isle of Wight, and being surrounded by the sea, Brighton feels like a home away from home and would be the one thing I would miss most in Germany.
Can you cook a German dish without a recipe? If so, which one and where have you learned it?
It’s got to be a schnitzel for me! Before visiting Germany, I would frequently make chicken versions of the dish without considering where my recipe originated from, it was only after my trip that I realised how popular it was in the country. Sometimes I like to stray from the traditional recipe and add a katsu curry sauce ;-).
What advice would you give to UK/Irish students and researchers who are thinking of pursuing research abroad in Germany?
Definitely go for it! Just from my short experience within the country, my knowledge and career choices have been enhanced and being able to put what I had previously learnt into real life context is an invaluable experience that you cannot get out of a textbook. I look forward to researching other opportunities the DAAD have to offer and think you should do the same!
Are you interested in Studying in Germany with a DAAD scholarship? Please find here the link to the DAAD Scholarship Database.