Born in Bulgaria and raised in South Africa, I learned to appreciate living in a multicultural and multilingual environment. For as long as I can remember, I have always aspired to study and live in an international environment.
This to a great extent influenced my choice of studies and subsequent place of work. I currently live in Brussels and am a permanent official of the European Parliament. Life in Brussels is dynamic and filled with fascinating individuals brought together from all parts of the EU.
My motivation to study International Relations
In 1988 the world was a very different place. I was born in then communist Bulgaria and during the difficult transition to democracy moved to Apartheid South Africa - both highly oppressive systems of governance.
Although still a child, exposure to such dramatic changes in the treatment of people and society in general triggered my fascination with the practices of different governments and encouraged me to try to understand their decisions and actions.
This sparked my ambition to study International Relations as the course covered many issues and questions I sought answers to.
As for choosing Leeds...after visiting several cities and Universities in the UK, there was no doubt in my mind that Leeds would be perfect for me. A vibrant city, a friendly campus, excellent facilities and an impeccable reputation for teaching and research...the University of Leeds was THE one!
My time at Leeds
Studying in Leeds was, in more ways than one, a rewarding experience. University, to me was not merely a doorway to a good job, but rather an opportunity to network and gain more specialised knowledge my area of interest.
It allows you to develop the ability to look beyond events in attempting to explain them. The course can be very useful if you take full advantage of the facilities, help and support available.
Overall I thoroughly enjoyed my course and would recommend it to anyone who has an interest in gaining a better understanding of today's globalised and highly complex world.
The guidance and commitment of some of the POLIS lecturers greatly helped my studies and significantly contributed to my experience in Leeds. I have seen only a handful of people as dedicated and enthusiastic about their teaching as Dr Simon Lightfoot, Dr Neil Winn, Dr Gabrielle Lynch and Dr James Worrall.
There is a wealth of information available to all students of the POLIS department. The Edward Boyle Library in particular is excellent.
Since graduating I have married and moved to Brussels. I succeeded in an open competition organised by the European Personnel Selection Office of the EU and was offered a permanent post in the Directorate General of Internal Policies of the European Parliament.
My degree in particular helped me secure the position as it is very relevant to the job description which allows me to apply the theoretical knowledge I have gained during my studies.