I must admit, deciding to pursue a degree within the liberal arts, instead of choosing one of the STEM subjects, is a risky business in today’s highly industrialized environment. This is partly because of the discouragement one gets from the practical-minded people, and their constant pestering, and partly because of the fact that in most cases (or most countries), the arts and humanities are still frozen in a highly theoretical bubble, many scholars being the perfect examples of the ‘ivory tower’ stereotype.
I firmly believe that education should always aim for being ahead of its time, to constantly try to step out of its own comfort zone and challenge views, in order to be able to capture the attention of the young generations and teach them valuable lessons. Instead of sticking to methods that are outdated and tedious, it should use the newest technologies to teach about the relevant and important topics that children need to know. Very often, and without any real purpose, the learning process in both schools and universities is unnecessarily stressful, uninteresting and fails to stimulate critical thinking in the students.
Opting to study for an MA in Digital Humanities was an exciting prospect just a few months ago, and now, almost quarter of the way through the degree programme at NUIM, I can safely say that I do not regret my choice and I am happy that I waited with choosing a master’s course after finishing my BA in English and Norwegian Philology in 2014 at the Babeș-Bolyai University. It has proven to be the middle way, the Aristotelian aurea mediocritas, the desired balance bridging the gap between the beloved humanities and the exciting world of technology and digital media.
(Maynooth University, Source: Brockport)
The opportunity to study in a different country than the one you come from is always a precious gift that needs to be appreciated to its fullest. Cluj-Napoca, my home town, is a prominent university center in Romania, with 10 universities and countless faculties to choose from, and it’s buzzing with life almost all year round. What I have learnt from having had the chance to later study in Vienna for a semester, and then to take a language course in Norway for a full year, was the fact that you can learn as much from the circumstances as from the studied subjects themselves. Each country has a different approach to education, some focus on the practical side, and some, like Romania, is still very theory-oriented. None is perfect in extremes. To find a balance is important, and that is why, for me, expanding my horizons by immersing myself in different systems and cultures, is one of the most stimulating, thought-provoking and worthwhile experiences of all.