MacedoniaWhy did you choose to study at Bard College Berlin?
BA in Economics, Politics and Social Thought
BA in Economics, Politics and Social Thought
Changing my environment after 18 years of living in the same place—right now I am breathing air that is still unknown to me. That is exactly the challenge I wanted when I pressed the “apply” button for Bard College Berlin. I decided on this big step to come and study at BCB because I knew that the college would give me a chance. A chance to be able to express my opinions without being afraid. BCB gave me the chance to freely walk the streets of Berlin, knowing that I have an intellectual home that will house my thinking and my body—as out of-the-ordinary as they both might be. BCB and I, we are right for each other because we share the same dream: an education that empowers young people like me to cross gendered, cultural, and sociopolitical boundaries as we face today's challenges.
How would you describe our community in a nutshell?
If I were to describe the BCB community I would definitely say that it is a very warm, united and diverse community. We always support each other in good times, and in times of trouble. The beauty of this diversity is that you can always, ALWAYS learn something new from each person, you simply have the whole world in your hands! While being in this small community, I got to learn bits of languages I never thought I'd stumble upon, I got to try and taste food from different cultures, as well as share some pieces of what I call my home, which is Macedonia.
Where is your favorite place to study on campus?
My favorite place to study would definitely be the W15 cafeteria, because when you are surrounded by people who also work it is very respectful and quiet. And if I happen to have a friend to study with, I take that as a challenge to do my work efficiently. Having a support system during your studies is quite important. On sunny days I love doing the readings outside, especially on the hammock behind K24, or on the huge grass field that we have— it is the most beautiful landscape to have in front of you while working!
Are you involved in any student clubs or organizations? If so, which ones?
As a person who loves sports, I am part of the BCB Volleyball Club, and on warm Sundays we usually play beach volleyball at our local gym SPOK. We do not put stress on the level of talent we have, but most importantly we learn by having fun!
Favorite book you read in a class, and why?
In my class on Existentialism, which I took with Prof. Tracy Colony, we read a lot about the general concept of existence, about the belief that we are each responsible for creating purpose or meaning in our own lives. My favorite book in this class was the play "No Exit" by Jean Paul Sartre. It sounds very scary to think about, but the main concept that the play proposes is that “hell is other people” rather than a state created by God. It left an impression on me because it explains the fact that true misery comes from the human inability to control the nature of one's own existence.
Write briefly about one of your courses that left a lasting impression on you.
As a student in the EPST program, I would say that my Microeconomics class, taught by Prof. Israel Waichman, has left a lasting impression on me. The way he teaches always motivated me to do well, to learn and to think critically about different economic issues in the world. My favorite thing is to work with numbers, and this class helped me use my interest for math to learn about the creation of individual and market demands and how that works in practice. We touched upon issues of market efficiency and the workings of welfare economics. The most interesting part for me was being able to learn more about concepts of monopoly and perfect competition.
In addition to Microeconomics, the beauty of being at BCB and at a liberal arts university is the opportunity to take classes in the core curriculum. My favorite class was on Renaissance Florence. It enabled me to visit different museums throughout the semester and analyze paintings in depth. This was a class where I could have my mind be at peace and give opinions without needing to worry if it is correct or not, because when analyzing art, there is never a correct answer, it is open to interpretation always.
What surprised you the most about BCB?
What surprised me most about BCB is the close connection people have among each other; staff members, professors and students as well! I can easily have a good conversation with any professor—whether it is on a topic connected to a class or anything in general. My favorite thing about BCB is the events we have, where everyone is invited and we are able to interact with all students, as well as eat good food and feel safe within the community. When I started school in 2020, even with the difficult circumstances concerning the pandemic, everyone was so accepting, understanding and respectful. We have a lot of resources available on campus, and even without knowing who I was supposed to live with at first, I was immediately welcomed, which is why I could easily call BCB my home.
Your favorite thing to do in Berlin on the weekends?
My favorite thing to do during the weekends, no matter how warm or cold it is, is to go to the Mauerpark with my friends. Sundays in Mauerpark are multidimensional! What I mean by that is that while you are walking through the park, you can see and experience completely different things happening within just a few meters. People are either singing, dancing, playing an instrument, sitting in the nearby cafés, playing basketball, visiting the big flea market, or just enjoying themselves on the grass surrounding the park. The energy is very enjoyable, you can always meet someone new, talk to people and even so, learn something new! But, the best thing about Mauerpark is definitely the Sunday karaoke. People sit on big collosseum-like rocks and sing songs, which is a very nice bonding moment. Something everyone must experience when in Berlin for sure!
What does a liberal arts education mean to you?
To me, a liberal arts education means that after I have completed my BA degree, I want to have a basis of knowledge in many fields of life—humanities, the arts, as well as the natural and social sciences. I do not want this liberal arts education to just prepare me for a single career path, but to also equip me with skills that would prepare me to go out in the world without fear. I want to be able to understand the world without having any prejudices towards it, and most importantly to share my thoughts and knowledge with people I meet along the way.
What are your plans for after BCB?
Staying in Berlin would be very good, because Berlin never sleeps, and there will always be something new to discover or to do, to learn and to reflect upon in this town. As for my aspirations, they constantly change. I am a person who loves adventures, but on the other hand I am person who has engraved on her the want and wish to always help people and be there for them. I am also big on numbers, therefore if I could combine adventure, community service and numbers in one, I would love to work towards being an economic diplomat, who travels a lot and experiences different cultures and people!