Kalle likes the hands-on aspect of IAGG
Kalle Do from Finland is a student at The Master's Programme in International Administration and Global Governance (IAGG). His plans for the future is a career in diplomacy, and IAGG attracted him with its broad range of topics and how these relate to the global institutions and their ability to exercise global governance.
What made you interested in (IAGG)?
For me, one of the most intriguing things about our world is the international arena and the global institutions that govern it. These institutions affect each of us and all the aspect of our lives – from macro level regulations such as freedom of movement, to micro level aspects such as what food we can buy from our local grocery store. However, I was unable to find a programme that accommodates my specific interest until I saw IAGG. I was attracted to the broad range of topics it covered and how these topics relate to the global institutions and their ability to exercise global governance. Additionally, I was particularly intrigued by the opportunity to do an internship during my studies as I was interested in going beyond the academia and see how things are done in practice.
If you were to encourage somebody to apply to the programme, which attractive/strong features would you emphasize?
The hands-on aspect of the programme is not just an advertising slogan. The programme truly lives up to it. During my bachelor’s degree I was often frustrated by the question whether things I were learning were truly useful outside the classroom. In contrast, during the IAGG programme all my assignments have emphasised the practicality of my arguments and whether they would actually be applicable in reality. This has encouraged me to learn more as I knew I was studying theories that I could utilise beyond the classroom.
Moreover, all the teachers have many years of experience within their field. They usually have both research experience as well as working life experience as experts for global institutions. Therefore, they have a wide understanding of their topic and you can ask them anything. They are also very passionate about their interests, which makes them inspiring to listen to.
What advice would you give somebody who is starting the programme and wants to get the most out of it?
Be curious, ask questions and share your opinions with your classmates! At IAGG there are students from a diverse set of backgrounds. Because of this, each student view the topics a little bit differently. If you exchange ideas and theories with your classmates, you will find yourself learning things that never occurred to you. Most topics covered during the programme never come with a black and white answer, hence engaging with others and listening to them can help you to get the most out of the programme and its topics.
Can you describe a normal study week, what do you do?
Each course has been different in terms of amounts of lectures, but usually the amount of assignments has been the same. In each course, students have around 4-6 lectures in a week and three seminar papers in addition to one bigger final report. During the course, after one topic has been covered, there would be a seminar for that topic. For seminars, a student is commonly required to write a paper on the topic and use this as the basis of student discussion during the seminar. Seminars occur around once in every two week or so.
What is your opinion of the University of Gothenburg and the city of Gothenburg?
The University has great student facilities and extracurricular opportunities. Students can access facilities with their own student cards outside the department’s office hours, which is very convenient. All staff speak English fluently and all the services online are in English, a big help for an international student like me. The city of Gothenburg itself is student friendly with affordable living expenses. The city is known for its arts and music scene, hence students can always find an event that interests them.
What do you do in your spare time?
Besides having an occasional fika* with my friends between studying sessions, I organise events for the IAGG students as I belong to the IAGG board. The board is quite active and keeps me busy, but the student feedback from the events has been great so I do not mind being occupied by the board at all!
* Fika means to have a cup of tea or coffee, maybe some cake, and to have a good old chat.