The Center for Cultural Diplomacy Studies

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Stine Skog Dale

MA in International Relations & Cultural Diplomacy

From Norway

I have always loved travelling. When we were younger, my parents used to take my sister and I on holidays abroad where we learned about the world outside our little bubble back home. Although the places we saw were mostly touristic I started to feel that I wanted to see more of and learn more about the world outside this bubble.

At the age of 19 I decided to go abroad for one year as an au-pair. I was connected with this nice Norwegian family that lived in the US at the time, and suddenly I was moving across the Atlantic Ocean. My time as an au-pair was both amazing and tough, but in the end I learned a lot that year.

While in the US I applied for degrees at various universities in Norway; having no idea what I wanted to do with my further education. I was accepted to my first choice; a bachelor’s degree in “European studies with English” at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology. My interest at that point was languages, politics and history, but the European Union was a new discover and a field I was very much interested in exploring.

During my BA I got new experiences. I worked for the Student society in Trondheim with marketing, went to Prague on a two week long summer school program called “Central Eastern Europe between Germany and Russia” at Charles University, participated in a conference in Prague called “the International Youth Leadership Conference”, participated in the Global Dignity Day twice and went to different seminars available at my University. My visits to Prague together with my travelling in this period that inspired me to learn more about culture and see even more of the world. I met so many inspiring people and got many new friends from across the globe. In this period of time I also  worked as a teacher’s assistant for one semester being a facilitator and to be a process leader in a course called “Experts in Team” at my university.  This job introduced me to the challenges that cultural differences can provide in cooperation across cultures.

After finishing my Bachelor’s degree I did a One Year Program in French. I went to France for a one month long study trip, aiming at learning to speak the language, which I partly achieved. During the year I also worked part time for Doctors Without Borders recruiting new members and informing people about the work and values of the organization. The summer after finishing the One Year Program in French I became a Street Team Leader for Doctors Without Borders which meant that I was responsible for encouraging and supporting the team on a day to day basis, and making sure everything went according to plan as well as doing some minor administrative chores. During my year with Doctors Without Borders I realized that I want to contribute to a change for the better in the world.  I do not believe that I will work in the field and save lives directly anytime soon, however I want to use my abilities and my strengths to make the world a better place.

With my wish for contributing to change, with my background in Europeans studies and also language studies  and with my interest in culture and international relations in mind I applied for MA programs. I chose to combine my fields of interest with the opportunity of going abroad and thereby being exposed to new cultures and languages. Attending a new university also presented the opportunity of meeting new people, which is one of my favorite things in life. These days I am starting on my second semester  of the MA in International Relations and Cultural Diplomacy at the ICD House in Berlin, the Berlin campus of the Babes Bolyai University of Cluj-Napoca, Romania. So far the MA has been interesting as well as challenging, and I am looking forward to the rest of this chapter in my journey.