Elena Dimitrova, Alumna BA and MA European Studies: International Relations
Elena Dimitrova graduated from the bachelor’s programme European studies (2016-2019) and then in 2019-2020, she also pursued her master’s at FASoS. For the master’s programme, Elena decided to study European Studies: International Relations.
When we asked her what made the study programmes unique, she answered: “in my view one of the best aspects of the European studies programme is its interdisciplinary approach and that you are able to switch from different topics such as: economics, law and international relations. Practically this also allows you to understand and work on EU issues from various perspectives. For me the Problem-Based Learning (PBL) approach has also made this programme more constructive because it made me think critically and be actively engaged in an international atmosphere.”
Elena looks back to her student time at FASoS with huge nostalgia. She plans to visit the faculty soon. When we asked her which extracurricular activities she did during her studies, she told us that she was actively involved in the Concordantia Student Association and with the Euroteachers organisation.
Currently, Elena works as the Permanent Representative of the Bulgarian National Assembly to the European Parliament. “I basically inform the President of the National Assembly about everything that’s happening in the European Parliament. I am in charge of all the interparliamentary communication and conferences that EP committees organize. I attend the EP plenary sessions, meetings of the political groups. I also follow some of the delegations here (precisely the Western Balkans countries, Ukraine, Moldova, Russia, Georgia and Armenia). In other words, I am in charge of the entire communication and cooperation between the Bulgarian Parliament and the EP. I also attend meetings organized by COSAC (which are the conferences of the Parliamentary committees for the Union affairs).”
When we asked her how the study programmes at FASoS helped her with her current career, she stated: “I know that Maastricht University has one of the best reputations especially in Brussels. Let’s not forget that Maastricht is the city that established the EU. FASoS has not only given me theoretical knowledge on variety of topics about the EU, but also the skills that I now apply at my current job. The research orientated approach, the PBL and the ability to work in multicultural teams have prepared me well for this career.
Elena is still in contact with students and staff from FASoS. “With some of them I even created a political blog where we started writing about topics such foreign and security of the EU, the Western Balkans integration and energy security. I also keep in touch with some of them who are currently working at the EU institutions.”