Catalina Fipper is a second-year student on the master's programme Ethnic and Migration Studies, EMS, at Campus Norrköping. Originally from Germany, she spent her first year on a corresponding master’s programme in Migration Studies in Osnabrück.
As she had the opportunity to study her second year at one of the partner universities in the EuMIGS network, she chose Linköping University. Catalina Fipper points to some challenges she has faced on the programme, such as the fact that most courses are in English. Changing languages may seem difficult, but it is also a good opportunity to improve your English skills. It can also be tough to leave your family and friends and live on your own in a new country. But as it contributes to increased independence, self-confidence and the ability to adapt to new situations, she thinks it is worth it.
The unique possibilities of EuMIGS
EuMIGS is Europe’s largest network of master’s programmes in the field of migration studies. The network involves 13 European partner institutes, of which 7 universities offer a dual master’s degree. In addition to LiU and Osnabrück University in Germany, the universities of Neuchâtel (Switzerland), A Coruña (Spain), Liège (Belgium), Salzburg (Austria) and Malmö are part of the network that offers dual degrees. The ERASMUS programme, an EU-funded programme for internationalisation in education, also offers some funding for students’ living expenses. Catalina Fipper is a second-year student on the master's programme. Photo credit Felicia Gabriel
EuMIGS creates a place where opportunities meet and interact. Each programme has its own unique features. By combining different elements and resources from different universities, students get the chance to shape their own educational pathways. As a student, you get many opportunities, such as helping to arrange lecture series in the programme, attending workshops in research communication, and participating in a digital master’s collegium to meet other students and discuss master’s thesis ideas. In addition, the students get to go on a conference and the annual kick-off trip. This year they met in Salzburg, Austria.
”The programme gives you the opportunity to get to know different universities in Europe. It’s good to create a network and gather experiences from others,” says Catalina Fipper.
The kick-off trip 2023
The trip to Salzburg in November was a success. 20 students and 10 coordinators from the 7 universities spent three intensive days together. The programme included a panel discussion on career paths in migration research. The students also got the chance to visit the Red Cross refugee accommodation and do a city tour where they looked at traces and mementos of Jewish history. In addition, they attended a lot of dinners, social activities, film screenings and participated in group assignments. The students at a city tour in Salzburg, where they looked at traces and mementos of Jewish history.
Kick-off trips have been around since the network introduced dual master’s programmes in 2018. A year ago, they also managed to secure funding for a three-year ERASMUS project to develop further joint activities.
”We started with some pilot projects with joint courses and now we can also offer a workshop in research communication and a digital seminar on writing a master’s thesis in migration studies,” says Anna Bredström, associate professor in the Division of Migration, Ethnicity and Society, REMESO, and EuMIGS coordinator at EMS.
Anna Bredström (closest to the camera) in a conversation with a coordnator.
The programme’s strong research connection
Research is strongly integrated into the programme. Since EuMIGS is closely associated with IMISCOE, which is a European research network, students have the opportunity to attend their major migration conference.
”This strengthens the research connection, which is an important aspect of all higher education today. At EMS, it is common for teachers to teach in subjects that they also do research on,” says Anna Bredstrom.
To Catalina Fipper, studying in Sweden was an obvious choice as she has lived here before. But there were three more things that made her choose LiU as a partner university. First of all, LiU’s atmosphere and environment; it looks modern and beautiful. Secondly, REMESO’s research environment sounded very interesting to her. Finally, she was attracted by the geographical location. Campus Norrköping is centrally located and it is close to everything you need as a student. Also, it is easy to get to Stockholm and Copenhagen by train.
She does not yet know exactly what to work with after graduation, but her time in Sweden has given her new important contacts. She really recommends the experience of studying abroad.
”Do it! Challenge yourself and try doing new things,” says Catalina Fipper.