Politics and IR students receive Faculty Internationalisation Scholarship

Students from the School of Politics and International Relations were successful in gaining a Faculty Internationalisation Scholarship to visit Belarusian State University. The students had a great experience and visited the EU Delegation and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs during their trip.

The Faculty of Social Sciences has a significant international aspect with its component academic Schools having partnerships and staff/student exchanges with universities around the world as well having the Brussels School of International Studies, which runs programmes for the School of Politics and International Relations as well as other Schools.

The Faculty Internationalisation Fund of £40,000 is available each academic year to assist international student mobility and short term visits such as field trips and study visits.

Billie Bell, a student currently studying on the BA in Politics and International Relations (Bi-diplome) programme, was one of the students who visited Belarusian State University and has given his account of the trip, “Ahead of our trip I knew barely anyone who had visited Belarus themselves, yet having just returned from five very exciting days in Minsk, I’ll have no hesitation in recommending that people do so. In truth, it’s not a country I would have seen myself visiting any time in the near future – it is yet to establish itself as a tourist destination, particularly for people from Western Europe. But at every moment we were treated to the warm, welcoming hospitality that anyone who ahs visited Eastern Europe before will have come to expect.

The best way to learn about a country is to talk to the people who live there. As such it was particularly good to work closely with a group of six students from the Faculty of International Relations at the Belarusian State University (BSU), attending lectures together on Belarus’ place on the world stage, on the country’s global economic cooperation, and on visa diplomacy – a talk delivered by Kent’s very own Igor Merheim-Eyre. We also had the privilege of meeting with the Deputy Head of the EU delegation in Belarus, Jim Couzens, as well as Ivan Grinevich, a Senior Counsellor in the Department of European Affairs at the Belarusian Foreign Ministry. I genuinely believe that, in exploring the city together, in discussing what it means to be Belarusian in a time of heightening tensions between the European Union and Russia, in talking about our individual hopes and dreams for the future, we have made friends for life. I look forward to the possibility of our new-found friends and partners visiting Kent later this year – though theirs will certainly be a tough act to follow!”

Congratulations to all of our students who were successful in gaining the Faculty Internationalisation Scholarship, this is a fantastic achievement and we love hearing about what our students have been doing!