The CEU Summer University was - and remains - one of the greatest experiences of my life. It was the thing, the "trigger" that convinced me to return to academia and pursue a PhD. I was not enrolled as a student when I applied to CEU, and I craved something engaging, something immersive and international, something that involved learning and would give me direction in my career. The CEU summer school was the perfect opportunity for this. Plus, it had the perfect course for me: “The Politics of Citizenship”. I studied issues of nationalism, identity, and citizenship during my M.A. I had heard great things about CEU from several people, and had always been curious about its centre for Nationalism Studies.
The program was extremely engaging, comprehensive, constructive, and also a lot of fun! I spent two weeks with graduate students, professors, and policy-makers from across Europe and North America, engaged in debates and discussions on the topic of citizenship. It was an open, supportive, collegial atmosphere. I recall having “light bulbs” go on in my mind every day as I learned new things and gained new ideas & questions for my own research. I had the chance to present my research project, which was exciting, and I received valuable feedback from my peers.
Conversations always extended beyond the classroom, to the rooms and hallways of the CEU Residence Centre and to the breakfast/lunch/dinner table. In-class sessions were complemented by some wonderful extra-curriculars that allowed us to explore the vibrant, historic city of Budapest. The CEU staff was very helpful from the pre-departure planning to the moment I arrived at CEU and throughout my time there.
Overall, it was a terrific opportunity to meet others in the field, make connections, network, and foster future collaborations. I still keep in touch with many of the people I met there. I will always be grateful to CEU for an amazing experience that reminded me why academia is where I am happiest, and encouraged me to apply for my PhD. Thank you!