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After spending their first term at Addis Ababa University, Johannes Hilling and Elshaday Hagos were part of the students of our MA programme "Global Studies Peace and Security in Africa", who stayed in Leipzig for the summer semester of 2023. The academic events of ReCentGlobe and the Global Studies Summer School were perfect opportunities to join the international and interdisciplinary GESI community. Both shared their experiences during their studies at Leipzig University.

Elshaday Hagos is 24 years old, was born in Addis Ababa and joined our programme in 2022:

"My stay in Leipzig was quite an experience. From the ambience to the city’s calmness, it has been nice to be exposed to a different culture. I believe that it is a city that is well-fitted for students. Starting from the living accommodation to the different benefits for students, it makes it easier for a person to intently focus on her/his studies without much burn. One issue for me, however, was the language barrier. It was difficult to communicate with other people due to my little knowledge of the German language.

In regard to academic experience, firstly, it was really nice to actively engage within an actual classroom rather than doing it online. The student center learning technique of GESI was good to gain different opinions and put forth my own as well. Similarly, it was nice to physically meet and get to know my fellow classmates and engage in various academic and non-academic discussions. Summer school also provided a great opportunity to meet with other students from other states and make connections.

My favourite course for this semester was the seminar on peace and security in Africa. It gave me a deeper understanding of the Africa Union and its functions. Moreover, through active discussion, I was able to collect different ideas both from the Professor as well as the students who are all from different countries and backgrounds".


Johannes Hilling is 25 years old, was born in Lingen (EMS) and is also about to begin his second year in our master programme:

"I found the summer semester in Leipzig a highly valuable experience that will perfectly fit into the curriculum of the following semesters. My stay in Leipzig could be considered, as a German citizen, a "inward" semester as compared to my studies abroad. Hence, my experience maybe cannot be compared to my international fellow students, but was equally valuable. Especially getting a glimpse into the work of GESI and RecentGlobe was highly valuable and the seminars were enriching both for my personal and professional interests. This is all due to the coordinators of the programme through their care and professionalism. A few highlights of the semester were the summer school and the engagement with the lecturers that could not be present in Addis Ababa due to visa issues"