Margreet Wewerinke (E.MA graduate 2007/2008)
PhD candidate, European University Institute
When I first came to the Monastery on the Lido to start E.MA, I had high expectations: I was told by alumni that E.MA was the very best programme for (aspiring) professionals wishing to put human rights into practice. I have not been disappointed.
The first semester in Venice offered a rich curriculum that addressed laws, mechanisms and procedures, often with inspiring guest lectures by professionals from the field or institution we learned about. We also familiarised ourselves with academic perspectives on human rights, including on gender, development and intercultural dimensions. Outside class hours, social life on the Lido was enriching, and several of my current friends are ‘E.MAlumni’.
I spent the second semester at the Irish Centre for Human Rights, where I wrote a thesis on what has now become my PhD topic at the European University Institute. E.MA has however provided me with much more than academic inspiration, such as with a paid internship at the European Commission in Geneva, a globe-spanning alumni network and, lately, an opportunity to teach in the 2011-2012 program.
In sum, I cannot but wholeheartedly recommend E.MA to anyone with a desire to better understand human rights, through theory but especially through new and ever-expanding connections with various fields of practice.