By Svenja Reinholtz, a student of MA program in Peace and Conflict Management, 2018-2019 Cohort.
At first glance, moving to Haifa changed little for me. I moved from a big port city to another big port city, from living next to a University to living on Campus and from a place translatable as “Black Mountain” to Mount Carmel. So, what’s the big deal?
Looking closer, there are admittedly a ton of differences. In practice, my “Black Mountain” at home in Hamburg, Germany turns out to be a hill of 20 meters height. While the water at Haifa’s beach is still warm enough to take a bath, the temperature of the Baltic Sea close to my hometown has alredy dropped 13 degrees celsius and the first autumn storms have set in. Sometimes they bring amber from the depths to the shores.
As you see, the connective element is the water. Haifa’s location on the Mediterranean coast may have contributed to the choice of my place of study. When I traveled to Israel for the first time five years ago, I was fascinated soon by the diverse landscape, containing three seas, deserts, snow-capped mountains, swamps and flourishing landscapes. By couchsurfing, I got in touch with many Israelis and talked with them about their experiences, politics and perceptions of the future.
This year, I finished my bachelor in Political Science in Germany. After an internship in an institute working for mutual understanding between people from different religious and ethnical backgrounds, I decided to specialize in Peace and Conflict research. Considering my previous interest in the country, the opportunities to learn more about conflicts in the region and Haifa’s and the University’s emphasis on pluralism and multiculturalism, moving here seemed only logical.
The first week of my MA program Peace and Conflict Mangement Studies left me with the impression that the courses will provide me with both theoretical and practical knowledge useful for a future job career. After the MA program, I want to contribute to a peaceful civil society in Germany, consisting of people from different ethnical, religious and cultural backgrounds.
If you want the same for your home country – see you in Haifa!