This week, we were particularly inspired by a student’s view of studying at Aston. This guest post is by Final Year Politics and International Relations student, Silvia Maglione.
Studying here for Astonishing results
“Medicine students will go on to be doctors, engineering students will become engineers, but then will our European Studies students become…. Europeans?” This was the witty opening remark of our senior Politics lecturer and Associate Dean Jörg Mathias at the induction meeting for first year Politics students. And indeed, what title can one ascribe to itself after studying Politics, International Relations, and/or European Studies at Aston? The answer is: one clever soul.
Our programme is intense, challenging and inspiring. Here you will never hear the same comment twice and lectures promptly become the centre stage of thought provoking ideas, culminating in restlessly intellectual seminar discussions. It is during these very seminars that students are struck by fulgurating ideas on which they later base their essay and dissertation arguments. Most final year students also get the chance to choose their own assessment question which is the apex of independent thought and spirit of initiative. We are encouraged to keep ourselves informed on everything, from the Libyan civil war and inflation figures, to the latest IR publications and political journals. However, this never becomes a daunting task because our staff is very flexible, approachable and phenomenally brilliant. This bustling intellectual environment is the principal drive behind Aston’s Politics group, which is also supported by the main university’s network of opportunities; for instance, I have studied both Mandarin and Arabic at the highest levels offered through the UWLP programme and this has enhanced my knowledge and employability. Similarly, the placement scheme and career services are very useful indeed.
Aside from excellent credentials, invaluable knowledge, commendable employability boosts and cherished experiences, Aston’s Politics group offers us the opportunity of thinking with our own heads about serious issues. So we might not become doctors or engineers, but our ideas and actions are the ones that will, one day, change the world.