Alumni Profile: Pavel Havlicek

Published: 24 August 2020

Year of Graduation: 2017

What influenced your decision to choose the University of Glasgow?
I was positively influenced by the fact that I was given the EU scholarship for programme countries, outstanding quality of the programme and the high ranking of the University of Glasgow among the TOP 100 universities around the world. Also, the highly appealing environment of the top Scottish university and the UK brought me finally to Glasgow.

Why did you choose your programme of study? 
I have been specialising the Russian, Central and Eastern European studies for the past four years before I started my programme at the University of Glasgow, and therefore, I was interested in finishing the already started study track in the same area. However, the Erasmus Mundus type of programme with the second part of the degree abroad was very interesting for me too.

What had you studied and/or worked at prior to your course?
As described above, I was enrolled in a similar degree before during my BA degree at the Charles University in Prague, where I studied Area Studies at the Faculty of Social Studies with a special focus on the region of Eastern Europe and Eurasia.

What are/were the best things about your programme of study?
I think it was the structure of the programme that was very interesting to follow with the second part of the degree that ispent at the Jagiellonian University in Kraków (Poland), where I had a great time in terms of academic and personal development. What I also appreciated was the academic support of both supervisors (one in Glasgow and second in Kraków), which helped me in terms of my academic requirements and above all the MA thesis.
The second thing was the international collective of my course mates that made my time at the University of Glasgow and later in Poland such an amazing time. In our study group, we had people from all around the world starting with the US and ending with Iran, Ukraine or Serbia. This interesting mixture of people, backgrounds and opinions made my studies such a great exchange.

How is/was it distinctive from other courses elsewhere?

To study the IMRCEES in Scotland was quite distinctive, even if is some aspects it was similar to studies in England, which I experienced during my Erasmus exchange in 2013/14. Nevertheless, I felt very welcomed and enjoyed the very international and diverse environment of the university as well as the whole city. Not to mention, the cultural experience, travelling or food/drink culture of Scotland.

What did you like about Glasgow?
I enjoyed the “People Make Glasgow” spirit focused on people and efforts to make the former industrial capital of UK nice people to live. I even took part in one project dealing with the urban development of the city, which is really fascinating these days. Of course, it is impossible to forget the exciting night life, which the city of music offers.

Would you recommend the University of Glasgow and the course that you chose? Why?
I would definitely recommend to study at the UoG, especially the IMRCEES degree (newly the CENTRAL & EAST EUROPEAN, RUSSIAN & EURASIAN STUDIES (ERASMUS MUNDUS INTERNATIONAL MASTER) IntM), as I wish other students to share such an exciting academic experience, which I myself had a chance to undergo. The structure of the programme, international partners, the possibility to go for internships or travel during the course of the two years of Erasmus Mundus programme is absolutely unique and difficult to explain to people who did not try it himself/herself. Except for that, the stimulating academic environment of University of Glasgow as well as other partners, study of regional language or experience from the grounds of studies in the countries makes this programme different from others and worth going!
Just recently, I helped one of my colleagues to get enrolled in the programme and even get the scholarship, which was really a game changer for the person. Very exciting!

What are you doing now? In what ways did your course at the University of Glasgow help you gain employment or progress your career?
I am currently working for the European Endowment for Democracy, which is a donor organisation established by the EU and EU member states in 2013 in support to the civil society in the EU´s neighbourhood, including Eastern Partnership countries, wider Eurasia region or the Mediterranean region. University of Glasgow gave me a very good academic background of the subject, increased my employability by having a degree from TOP 100 university in the world and developed my analytical skills, critical thinking and helped to establish the right contacts both inside and outside of academia.

First published: 24 August 2020