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Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Department of Social Sciences

Students' Experiences

Özge Meral, GeT MA Student 2017-2019 from Switzerland

DAAD Information Centre in Ankara, Turkey

Özge Meral
Photo: private
 

“The Double-Degree GeT MA program has given me the great opportunity to study at two inspiring and dynamic universities, where I could engage in enlightening discussions with fellow students from all over the world. It made me appreciate multicultural interaction and helped to boost my potential as well as encouraged me to pursue working with people from different countries and different backgrounds. One strength of the program is its access to a wide array of European and Turkish academe, with the wonderful teaching staff at the Middle East Technical University, and at HU Berlin. By being exposed to the wide range of topics covered in the courses of my master's degree, I acquired a broad knowledge, which equipped me very well for the position as a consultant at the DAAD Information Centre in Ankara, where I am now working. Other than that it did not only serve as a stepping stone for my career, but also gave me highly valued friendship across the globe."

 

Anubha Sharma, GeT MA Student 2017-2019 from India

Atheneum Partners, Germany

Anubha Sharma
Photo: private

 

"The GeT MA program is a very interactive and intercultural study program that provided me with a platform for developing a deep understanding of international political and social issues. I believe that GeT MA is truly international in the sense that, not only do you get to understand topics such as EU Governance, social movements, nationalism, migrant/refugee policy and rights from a theoretical perspective but you get to live what you study in the heart of Europe. One year in Germany and one year in Turkey as a part of this study program, helps you witness the political and social changes playing out with respect to very current and very relevant academic, social and political debates gripping the world today. The experience has been life-changing for me since it helped me open my mind to so many new experiences and people. The seminar-style teaching for most of my courses made learning a process of exchange rather than just consuming information. I was given the freedom to think creatively, engage with various topics and express my point of view. My stay in both Turkey and Germany inspired me to come up with the topic of my thesis and helped me open myself to the international values of cosmopolitanism, integration and tolerance.

I am very thankful to the extremely supportive staff and faculty of HU and METU who were always ready to help with any kind of challenges we faced both academically and when it came to any other procedural and bureaucratic challenges. GeT MA provided me with the confidence and the platform to successfully complete a challenging thesis and helped me get the opportunities to network and strive towards a successful career. I recommend this program for all those interested in social sciences and who want to have a very fulfilling international study experience."

 

Zulaikha Afzali, GeT MA Student 2016-2018 from Afghanistan

Zulaikha Afzali
Photo: private
 

"Studying the GeT MA Program helped me to develop and strengthen a set of valuable skills – including language skills as well as academic reasoning and writing skills. The contents that prominently enriched my knowledge and skills were basically those that focused on migration issues, social transformation and identity as a complex discourse of post migration societies, a Semester on Feminism and Gender studies was one of my favorites. Above all, the political topics and civil participation encouraged me to be active in this field and work for education sectors so that I can contribute to building a sustainable democratic society where each individual is considering her or his participation beyond the status given by politics."

 

 

Khaled Atrash, GeT MA Student 2016-2018 from Syria

Khaled Atrash
Photo: private
 

"The knowledge I have gotten from the GeT MA program is enormous. The opportunity of elective courses paved my way to concentrate on topics I am personally very interested in. I very much developed my academical skills not only throughout the different methods we learned but also throughout having the opportunity to implement these methods in my studies and research. The absolutely different backgrounds of students broadened my perspective in dealing with academic issues as well as brought me to develop intimate friendships with people from all over the world. Thanks to a three-months internship, I was able to implement my academic and theoretical knowledge in a practical experience; because of which I have my full-time job now."

 

 

Serap Yilmaz, GeT MA Student 2015-2017 from Germany

Universität zu Köln, Talentscout – Zentrale Studienberatung, Germany

Serap Yilmaz
Photo: private
 

"GeT MA is a promising program offering its students a variety of topics for deepening knowledge. I quickly understood that it is not about Germany and Turkey exclusively but on regional studies, history and comparative social sciences in general. This interdisciplinarity fuels expertise, reflective thinking and research. It made me a professional not only academically but also socially while being in contact with so many people with different inputs and perspectives from all over the world."

 

 

 

Peter Almasi, GeT MA Student 2012-2014 from Hungary

IT Services Hungary, Hungary

Peter Almasi
Photo: private
 

"I chose the program because I was very much interested in Turkish culture and Turkish democracy. Of course, the fact that it took place in two amazing countries was also very appealing. The greatest thing about GeTMA is the multicultural atmosphere, the high level of education, and the opportunity to live in two of the greatest cities of the world. The group cohesion of the students is also remarkable; we could rely on reach other and became very good friends during the two years. Furthermore, there were a lot of conferences and events where we had the opportunity to attend and meet many relevant academics and professionals of the field of our studies. The program absolutely broadened my horizon not only in a professional way, but it has also contributed to the way I live my life and see the world around me. I have become more open towards my broad environment and my two years taught me many lessons through which I am much more tolerant and self-confident than I was before this wonderful experience[…]. Although my current work it is not closely related to the field of my studies, the skills I have achieved during the two years program highly contributed to my successful employment at a multinational company. Especially the German and Turkish language skills played a major role, but also the experience that I have gained when I was working as business and market analyst in Berlin parallel to my studies."

 

 

Aslı Degirmenci Sagbakken, GeT MA Student 2010-2012 from Turkey

Turkish Embassy, Norway

Aslı Degirmenci Sagbakken
Photo: private
 

"Being a student at GeT MA was a great pleasure and a prominent experience for me. The Programme provided me a lot of knowledge and the chance to see different perspectives about the political, economic, cultural and social aspects of two countries, Turkey and Germany, which have indisputable significance in shaping world's politics. Besides that, it has also paved the way for me to learn about numerous other cultures owing to the experiences I have gained by working together with other participants coming from all over the world. Providing the students to be engaged in multifarious subjects through its curriculum, GeT MA has certainly had an immense effect on its graduates' personal and academic growth. As a GeT MA graduate, living in Norway and working at the Turkish Embassy in Oslo, I can say that international and also transnational knowledge and values that I added in my background, throughout the time I spent in Ankara and Berlin, are priceless. I consider myself lucky and happy that I am a part of GeT MA family."

 

 

Liliya Iskhakova, GeT MA Student 2009-11 from Tatarstan (Russia)

Kazan Federal University, Russia

Liliya Iskhakova
Photo: private
 

"What I liked the best about the program is its' 'multi-cultural'ness: not only you get to spend two years in two capitals, but also you get to work with a group of students from different parts of the world. This is beneficial in the sense of gaining inter-cultural communication experience. And this is exactly why (on the first place) I chose the program. Both Ankara and Berlin are rich for events, no matter what one's interests might be, and I myself surely did take advantage of this by participating in different workshops, summer schools, conferences, open talks etc. What did I learn? A lot, if not more. GeTMA was kind of a milestone in my life. During the program we met specialists and experts from various fields and institutions, visited different places, which in a way was like taking a look at a broad spectrum of possibilities for future careers. That's when I took a decision to continue my education, which I'm grateful for. Currently I'm a PhD student at Kazan Federal University's Institute of Socio-Philosophical Sciences and Mass Communications. I study and teach.  I try to use both professional and pedagogical experiences gained during the GeTMA here, and from what I hear, so far the students like it."

 

 

Sebastian Sönksen, GeT MA Student 2009-11 from Germany

Indo-German Chamber of Commerce, India

Sebastian Sönksen
Photo: private
 

"During my studies I wanted to focus on Turkey and its region. GeT MA has overmet these expectations: I got to know new academic perspectives und together with my international and highly motivated fellow students I developed myself academically and grew personally. My BA studies focused rather on national affairs, through GeT MA I could enhance my knowledge of Turkey, its region and international affairs in general. My stay in Turkey aswell as the international and interdisciplinary group of fellow students sharpened my understanding of political systems and cultures in a very practical way. Both are essential for working in an international context. GeT MA has prepared me in an excellent way for my recent employment."

 

 

Thomas Volk, GeT MA Student 2009-11 from Germany

Senegal Office Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung, Senegal

Thomas Volk
Photo: private
 

"The German-Turkish Masters Program in Social Sciences was an absolute enrichment for me. The international and interdisciplinary program gave me the opportunity to deal with political, societal as well as social and economic issues in greater depth and, in particular, expanded my knowledge of Turkey's multifaceted significance as a bridge between Europe and the Middle East. Furthermore, I was able to appreciate Ankara as a vibrant metropolis in Anatolia and to make countless friends. After my GeT MA studies and some short-term activities, e.g. in the CDU federal office, I have been working as a coordinator for Islam and Religious Dialogue in the Department of Politics and Consulting of the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung since February 2014. The experience I gained during my studies is also beneficial for my professional life in many different and recurring ways and, among other things, makes it easier for me to quickly familiarize myself with different topics. Furthermore, the intercultural competences acquired in the GeT MA program facilitate my work in the field of dialogue between the religions."

 

 

Dr. Haggag Ali, GeT MA Student 2007-09 from Egypt

Cairo University, Egypt

Haggag Ali
Photo: private
 

"GeT MA has fully met my expectations. During my stay in Germany and Turkey, I have experienced new perspectives and, thereby, Icould further expand my understanding of history and modernization. The teaching aimed at promoting independent thinking and argumentation and the great professors encouraged me to broaden my worldview."

 

 

 

Bilgen Uzar, GeT MA Student 2007-09 from Turkey

TCDD-Turkish State Railways, Turkey

Bilgen Uzar
Photo: private
 

"I was one of the first generation students of GeT MA and I’ve always felt lucky to be a part of this master program.  My study-abroad experience in Berlin as well as the stay in Ankara created close bonds, friendships and memories in our cohort. Also the content of the courses and the internship that I did, prepared me well for the multilingual and international environment that I am currently working in. I’ve been working in the International Relations Department of Turkish State Railways since 2011.  My branch is responsible for exchanging correspondences with international organizations that TCDD has a membership like UIC-Union of International Railways and CER-Community European Railways as well as the bilateral relations with foreign railway undertakings in Middle East and Eurasia, organizing international events and also multilateral and bilateral meetings."

 

 

Jael Vizcarra, GeT MA Student 2007-09 from USA

University of California, USA

Jael Vizcarra
Photo: private
 

"I obtained a Bachelor of Science in anthropology with a minor in international relations from the University of California Riverside. When I graduated, I was sure I wanted to pursue a Masters degree but I also knew that an ordinary Masters program would be too monotonous for me. I had by default a very interdisciplinary academic background and was looking for something that would integrate my interest in politics, history and sociology; for exactly this reason, I enrolled in the GeT MA Program. The GeT MA Program was the perfect opportunity for me to do this as I could spend one year in the Turkish capital of Ankara and conclude the second year of the program in the city of Berlin. Through the elective courses I was able to know other graduate students and make friends outside of the program. I was very satisfied with the discussions we would hold in class because the students I interacted with were very participative and engaged critically with the material we would review in the courses. The professors were also accessible, and the professor/student hierarchy that is common to German universities was not too common there."