PAIS PhD Exchange within the Jean Monnet “BEAR” Network
Congratulations to Laura Vansina who won a mobility grant from the Jean Monnet Network “Between the EU and Russia” (BEAR)! Vansina, a first-year PhD researcher at PAIS working on Russian memory politics, visited the Universities of McGill and Montreal in Canada in February 2020 as part of an exchange fostering inter-university cooperation on research and teaching on the post-communist space. In Montreal, Vansina enhanced her work on her research proposal and taught a class at the University of Montreal.
Vansina writes about her exchange: ‘This research stay proved to be an extremely enriching experience. On the one hand, I acquired an abundance of new research perspectives and experiences that will be invaluable for my further PhD journey. This stay allowed me to expand my network and gain further insights into my research topic.
Not only did I have the opportunity to meet and discuss my ideas with a number of renowned scholars working on the post-Soviet space and memory studies, but I also was offered an opportunity to present my research and teach a class on Russian memory politics.
Arriving in such a multicultural and hospitable environment stimulated me a lot, both academically and personally. It was great to meet so many people with the same research interests and to discover new academic environments and approaches.
On the other hand, I learned how to survive on (-20°C) weather conditions and discovered that snowy patches on frozen lakes convert the less experienced ice skater into a human snowplow. I am very grateful to the BEAR Network for giving me this enriching opportunity. To all my PAIS peers presented with chances such as these, I wholeheartedly recommend accepting them with both hands and making the most of it!’