Paola Hasbún Lopéz studied Migration, Ethnic Relations and Multiculturalism
“Even though I had never been to Utrecht before moving here, I had only heard good things about the city and it lived up to my expectations! It is a lively student city, highly international, extremely beautiful, and you can easily move around by bike. The Dutch people I have met have been very friendly, straightforward and willing to speak in English. What more can you ask for?
Migration, Ethnic Relations and Multiculturalism offered the perfect combination of attributes to study the topics I was interested in: the programme is multidisciplinary, it is focused on developing research skills and it offered me the flexibility to focus on my particular research interests. The teachers in MERM are very accessible, and they are really passionate experts in their field, which makes the studies even more interesting.
My biggest challenges during the programme were the statistics courses – they were always a bit of a struggle for me. However, every semester ended with a Research Practical in which I could apply what I learned in the statistics course and other courses in a research project on a topic of my interest, which was very useful.
The career orientation days were also very helpful because listening to former students’ experiences after graduation gave me an idea of all the possible jobs and organizations (outside of academia) I could work at after graduation. I felt well prepared to enter the labor market after MERM! I am currently working at an international consultancy firm as a Global Immigration Coordinator. In the future I would like to work for an organization like the UN, doing applied research in the field.”
Ece Arat studied Migration, Ethnic Relations and Multiculturalism
"After finishing my Bachelor’s in Sociology in Istanbul, I was looking for Master’s programmes focusing on migration. The Research Master’s in Migration, Ethnic Relations and Multiculturalism at Utrecht University was my favourite among the ones I looked at, both in terms of its content and methodology.
I also chose Utrecht because of the city itself, which is both big and cosy. It was a very nice experience to be an international student here. One issue that I did face was that I could not get a lot of help from the university with finding housing, which can be very difficult in Utrecht, but other than that I found the university professional and informed on many problems that international students may face both before starting, and during their studies.
As an advantage of having a small group of students, I found the education quite interactive. Throughout my studies, I learned a lot not only from my professors but also from my fellow students. Especially when the courses got very challenging, knowing that I could always ask for the help from my classmates and professors was a big relief for me.
My thesis focused on the life satisfaction of Turkish and Moroccan minorities in the Netherlands. I specifically analysed how these minorities use their co-ethnic social ties as coping mechanisms against the negative effects discrimination can have on their lives. I really enjoyed the process of writing the thesis, since this gave me the opportunity to do an independent research on a topic that I found very interesting.
My main plan is to pursue an academic career in Social Sciences, so I am starting my PhD in Sociology at Utrecht University very soon!"