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We live in a globalised world, which is why it is very important to understand the politics of other states.

More about Hawa

My name is Hawa Abdulrahman. I come from Kenya and I am currently working as an Administrative and Communications Assistant for the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize Winner in Geneva.

Tell us about your career background.

I have had the opportunity to work on development projects in Kenya including a school construction project as a project assistant. This was an initiative by the Finnish Government in partnership with the Government of Kenya. I have also been involved in different campaigns including one to fight against HIV/AIDS, another on environmental sanitation, one coaching young women on livelihoods and also one working with primary and high school students and their teachers on countering violent extremism. I have also been involved in some human rights work especially when I moved to Geneva. Currently I am working on a campaign to abolish nuclear weapons which is in the area of war and conflict as well as humanitarianism.

Why did you choose to study an Online Masters in International Relations?

I hold a Bachelors degree in Peace and Conflict Studies as well as a Diploma in Development and Social Work. I was searching for a programme that would complement my previous studies and an institution that would give me the flexibility to study from anywhere. The fact that I was already working in Geneva during my application meant this programme would best fit my schedule as well as my career path. I chose this online programme because I wanted the flexibility to work and study at the same time.

What first made you get into International Relations?

We live in a globalised world, which is why it is very important to understand the politics of other states. A Masters in International Relations will give me the necessary theory I need in order to understand the politics of states - especially as they relate to each other. In addition, the programme has modules which cover a broader scope which will give me the flexibility to work in any field. Lastly, I reside in a city which hosts most of the international organisations, so this course will offer me the knowledge to understand the politics behind these organisations and how they operate.

Which modules have you enjoyed the most?

The Political Economy of (Under-)Development is the module I enjoyed most so far. I come from a Third World country which has so many organisations working on issues to do with economic development and development as a whole. I have to say, to date, it has been challenging to compete with other states economically because of our own state policies which are most of the time influenced by global policies. This module made me understand why we are lagging behind as a country and perhaps what we would need to change.

Have you enjoyed the group work aspect of the course?

I really appreciate the group work. I find studying with people from all over the world very exciting because everyone comes from a totally different career background with different experiences and it gives me a sense of belonging because we are very different people with one goal and at the same time going through the same experience.

How have you found the support given by NTU during your course?

So far, I have to say the Student Services team are very well organised. They are very professional and are always on hand to offer support.

How would you describe your experience of the virtual learning environment?

This is a great experience. It has given me the flexibility to study from any part of the world as long as I have internet access. Even without full access to the internet all the times, the resources can all be downloaded beforehand and the different module notes can be downloaded into pdfs.

What advice would you give to anyone considering an Online Masters in International Relations?

The advice I would give people interested in studying International Relations is to go for it and especially at NTU. It is affordable and the modules cover a broader scope. I checked out other universities before applying to NTU, but I felt that the scope of their modules was so narrow. I didn’t want to miss out on anything.

For anyone who wishes to advance their career or just gain more knowledge, they should go for virtual learning. From my experience I have to say, this is worth trying and the programme is an eye opener. You really get to understand why countries behave the way they do and all the politics behind it. You get to question what you see in the media or what you read. It just makes one more critical which is very necessary in order to bring solutions to this world.

This course is going to take me really far. I know I have lots of options to choose from and that the future is bright. I would definitely encourage aspiring students to take an Online Masters in International Relations at NTU.

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