German and Peruvian
Bachelor degree in Social and Cultural Anthropology at Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich
RED Scholar at VIU
Erasmus+ grant recipient
There are a few reasons why I chose to study at VIU. It was at my very first lecture in the Social and Cultural Anthropology program at LMU Munich, that our professor Frank Heidemann, who himself had just returned from teaching at VIU told us about VIU and presented it to us as a great study abroad programme. I chose to study in the Globalization Program too. because it meant a great enrichment to my studies in Munich to me. Looking at the course syllabi, I noticed that studying at the VIU would allow me to study themes I was most interested in, environmental studies, interculturality and gender studies, from different perspectives and in an interdisciplinary way. Also, I chose VIU because of the diverse and active learning community it promised to be and which alumni of VIU who I had asked about their experience were emphasizing a lot.
For the Globalization Program, I was selected for the RED scholarship, alongside my two study colleagues Anna Peterson and Oxana Mroczek. As RED scholarship holders, under regular circumstances, our role would have been to actively participate in creating a lively student community and building spaces for informal exchange between professors and students at the VIU through the Tea2Bs and the plenary workshop together with the program director Prof. Luca Pes. The possibilities for exchange in this semester were, of course, limited greatly due to the circumstances of the Covid 19 pandemic. However, it was our belief, that this would not have to mean, that there could be no exchange at all and decided to create the VIU community platform. For me, it was a great learning experience to design the blog and this digital community space and seeing it evolve. We hope that the platform could act as a basis from which to reignite the lively exchange of thoughts and ideas, as well as create a platform that could be useful for future semesters even when there is no distance learning anymore. We also involved alumni in the building of the website and hope that one of its positive side effects could be the facilitation of alumni exchange, since now there is a space for those, who would like to keep in touch with the VIU community after participating in a VIU program.
VIU has surely been a enriching experience to me. In a time and world where multi-perspectivity, critical self-reflection, intercultural sensitivity and global solidarity are needed, VIU offers a great learning opportunity. Also, I experienced the teaching and the classes as positively challenging and of high quality. Besides these really important learning opportunities, there is also a lot I could take with me from VIU personally, which may be a bit harder to pin down. I had the chance to get inspired by peeking into different fields of study and was able to at least start a few friendships. A lot of the beauty of a study abroad experience of course was impossible during the pandemic, but at the same time, being at VIU during this time allowed me a richer perspective during the pandemic.
I would wholeheartedly recommend studying at VIU. Among the study abroad programmes offered at LMU it is unique. Unique, in the way that at VIU, all students and all professors are visitors and at home at the same time. This creates a space for really great and challenging exchange, which makes you reflect about your positionality, and which makes you experience the relevance of contextualizing and decentering ideas, perspectives and opinions which otherwise may remain unquestioned.
Sebastian is a VIU RED scholar during Spring 2020. The RED scholarship program promotes excellence, academic, and cultural diversity in the Globalization Program.
If you are a student and wish to apply for the RED scholarship, consult the information here. The deadlines are June 5 and November 30.
The semester at VIU was recognized as Erasmus+ mobility for studies, and Sebastian received an Erasmus+ grant from LMU. For more information about Erasmus+ opportunities at VIU visit Erasmus section.