Profession: Student at the Institut Barcelona d’Estudis Internacionals: International Relations and Security Politics
Exchange to: Barcelona, Spain
From: Munich, Germany
“Meddling is the only way to stay relevant.” (Heinrich Böll)
“To me, Europe means freedom in every sense. It really is a continent of opportunities. That’s why I always knew that I would spend a period of time living abroad.”
He first went to Ireland with funding from an Erasmus scholarship and then to Spain to study for a master's degree. It was his host institution’s good reputation and promise of an international environment that brought Leonhard Simon to Barcelona to study International Relations and Security Politics.
He loved studying in an intensive environment, with small classes and the copious amount of time that his professors could dedicate to him and his interests. Despite the heavy workload, he enjoyed going to every seminar and completing each individual project. “Studying abroad also means discovering a different way of thinking, and not just in an academic sense.”
“Visiting a city is one thing, but living there is by all means a completely different experience. That experience should not be underestimated. After a while, you begin to understand why something is done in a certain way and not the way you are used to doing it. In the end, you find new ways of solving problems.”
Today, Leonhard Simon is an ambassador for Jugend Rettet, an NGO that rescues refugees from the Mediterranean Sea with a donated ship. “Continuing to change Europe in a positive way is a slow process. It can only be achieved if Europe’s citizens are actively committed to making it happen.”
What does your Europe look like?
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