The 12th of September 2022 marked the beginning of many firsts for the Glocal VI cohort. While everyone came from different walks of life, carrying different experiences, and different academic backgrounds, the beginning of the semester was a time for us to come in with an open mind ready to grasp something new.
We started with an induction week where we learned a lot about the program, course contents, Glasgow, and what to expect from Glocal as a whole. A few students had arrived a while before this and got to know each other before the start of the program, while others came much later and still managed to catch up with everyone else. At the end of the induction week, our program coordinator, together with the Glocal staff hosted a welcome ceremony where we got the opportunity to meet each other again in a more informal setting, we shared many laughs, meals, and made a couple of toasts as well. Many networks were formed here, and many friendships were built.
Somehow, one was placed at ease from the pressures and the stresses associated with leaving home and starting a completely different life in a totally different country, while not knowing what to expect. We started the semester with two compulsory courses: The Globalised Economy and Varieties of Capitalism, together with one elective course chosen by the student. All the courses were by far very interesting, and we had the opportunity to share our thoughts with each other in seminar discussions and debates after every lecture. Getting different perspectives from different individuals was very eye-opening in that you could view things from an entirely different perspective from your own, and we were continuously encouraged to come with an open mind in every lecture, to challenge, voice our own opinions and critically analyze the articles we read.
We were examined through the writing of essays in all three courses. This was more or less an opportunity to critically put the information we learned in class, read about, and discussed into our own words in the form of writing. This was not an easy task for some, me included, as they had never really written essays before, but the university provided us with all the tools, all forms of assistance, and support to help us better our writing. We also got the opportunity to work in groups in the Varieties of Capitalism course, where we were given different regions from around the world to work on and put the knowledge we learned into practice by examining the forms of capitalism in those specific countries.
Between the essays, deadlines, and presentations, the week leading toward the VoC presentations was a very tough one but we all pulled through in the end and we were rewarded with an amazing dinner by our lovely professors for all our hard work. That is pretty much how the semester went, a lot of working and a lot of rewards to celebrate all the little milestones we each achieved.
Written by: Kwamnandi Gasa