Being on the MESPOM journey I am exactly where I was meant to be

January 17, 2022

Carmen Margiotta:
Ever since starting my MESPOM journey I have felt that I was exactly where I was meant to be

Before MESPOM, I studied Anthropology and International Development at the University of Sussex in the UK. Throughout my undergraduate studies, the questions of the environment, climate change, and sustainability always popped up in every conversation. I soon learned about the importance of factoring in the environment when discussing any global issue. By the end of my first year at Sussex, I had decided that I would be continuing my studies in the field of environmental sciences at a master’s level. I also knew that I wanted my postgraduate studies academic environment to reflect the multidisciplinarity and internationality of my undergraduate university. When browsing through the Erasmus Mundus Joint Master Degree catalogue, I immediately felt that MESPOM would be the perfect fit for me. And I couldn’t have been more right. Ever since starting my MESPOM journey at CEU in Vienna, I have felt that I was exactly where I was meant to be. Every class, every encounter, and every conversation has been a unique learning and growing experience. From chatting about sustainable fashion during a swim in the Danube with my classmates on a hot September day, to discussing the outcomes of COP26 in class, I will treasure my early MESPOM memories forever.

After a two-year break from studying, going back to class has been wonderful. As someone who does not have a background in environmental sciences, I have loved every lecture at CEU so far. During my first term in Vienna, I have had the chance to explore entirely new subjects, both theoretical and practical: from ecology to energy systems, from quantitative research methods to environmental impact assessments. But I have also enjoyed looking at topics that I was already familiar with, such as population growth or agricultural practices, this time from an environmental sciences perspective. I was pleasantly surprised by how much I have loved the “Energy Transitions” module, and learning about renewables, nuclear energy, energy justice and much more. When I started MESPOM, I had a clear idea of where my interests lay (environmental justice and sustainable food production), and I did not expect to become so passionate about something I had never even considered before. I am now thinking of writing my thesis on the topic of energy justice and indigenous communities, which is also what I chose to focus on for this year’s student conference. The student conference is an incredible initiative by CEU to wrap up the first term, and it is something that MESPOM students are very fond of, as they get to research topics they are passionate about, and then share their findings with classmates and professors. This year’s student conference unfortunately had to be held online: after two months of in-person teaching, CEU had to move online in mid-November as COVID cases increased in Vienna. Online classes are obviously not what we had all hoped for and dreamed of, but I can say with confidence that the team at CEU and our professors do an amazing job to keep online classes entertaining end engaging.