The impetus behind my decision to apply for the Erasmus Mundus MAPP program was derived from my two years working in international development in Peace Corps Peru. Following this work experience, I had a strong desire to obtain a Master degree that enabled both a practical and theoretical understanding of public policy and international relations in an international classroom setting. The Erasmus Mundus MAPP program not only assisted me to enhance my theoretical and practical understanding of Public Administration and Public Policy and International Relations, but I also found that my learning experiences extended beyond the classroom walls.
I spent my first year at the University of York studying Public Policy and Public Administration. This Master degree provided me with a firm foundation and understanding of Public Policy, as well as an extremely intellectually stimulating environment. Policy debates often rapidly transgressed the world, from Asia to Latin America to Africa, representing the diverse life experiences of my fellow classmates. The culmination of my experience at York, was perhaps my final thesis where I was able to apply my theoretical knowledge of public policy through a case study of Irish immigrant integration policy. My second year at IBEI studying International Relations was equally stimulating and educationally fulfilling. This year involved more short term assignments, more time in the classroom and a slightly shorter thesis. One aspect that I particularly enjoyed at IBEI was the opportunity to take half of my classes in Spanish, thus enabling me to improve my written and spoken Spanish.
Overall, Erasmus Mundus MAPP was an incredible opportunity, one which enabled me to live in two foreign countries and also form friendships throughout the world. Since I completed the Erasmus Mundus MAPP program, I have returned to academia for a PhD in Sociology and Law. I highly recommend this program to individuals who are searching for a program that weaves the practical and theoretical in an engaging and diverse environment.