Four Degrees of Freedom, a film that needs your support


“To connect with someone is not a goal, it is a journey”

By Claudio.

Dear mates, colleagues, sisters and brothers from all over the globe, I have been honoured to be part of this amazing project that brings to light our special existence. We Crossways are one of the pillars of the “6 degrees of separation” theory and I hope you won’t hate my face and voice when (among other things) I will be speaking of my experience as Mundus student.

I believe this project to be the voice of our human path but it needs your tiny greatful help to reach life. THANK YOU ALL FROM THE BOTTOM OF THE HEART.

No matter what language we speak, we all share the language of humanity.


Click here to support the project.



The film explores whether two strangers can be connected through the random people they know. Paul is a software engineer from Glasgow and he knows five languages. He uses a microwave that can speak. Grandma Lena is a housewife from Gudevitsa – a small village in Bulgaria and she knows only one language – Bulgarian. Grandma Lena uses an oven, fuelled by wood. Paul is blind but he has travelled all over the world while Grandma Lena‘s eyes have seen only the beauty of Gudevitsa. The film follows a journey starting from Paul with the idea of reaching Grandma Lena through several connections. The goal of the film is to show the way we connect with each other and the world around us – and how a camera and the film making process can capture this.

The film is an experiment which tests the “six degrees of separation” theory. This theory claims that everyone is six or fewer steps away, by way of introduction, from any other person in the world. This means that a chain of “a friend of a friend” statements can be used to connect any two people in a maximum of six steps.

Santiago de Compostela, by Nora and Laura

Bienvenidos a Santiago / or rather… Benvidos a Galicia !


Hello! So you have chosen Santiago de Compostela as your next destination, where you will spend the next semester or two. Galicia is a great place to be in, but it might take a period of time to get used to a new city, a new culture, a new language (or two!) and a new educational system.

There are four national languages in Spain. Spanish, Catalan, Basque and Galician. Moving to Santiago means getting immersed in a strong and specific cultural context, that is charming but might puzzle you in the first place. When I first came to the university, I did not quite feel welcome:


Gallegos are proud about their land, language, cultural heritage and traditions. Most of them feel Spanish before Gallegos, although there is a strong regional sense of belonging there. They are surrounded by an outstandingly rich nature & have excellent culinary traditions. However, you must know some Gallegos do push this pride to further extents: you can be in a class with 25 strangers and 2 locals, ask the professor if he can teach in Spanish instead of Gallego with the agreement of the 2 locals, and he might answer in Galician politely to go **** yourself. If you speak good Spanish or Portuguese, it will definitely be OK though, as Gallego is at the crossroads of both languages. It took me a week to adapt. If your Spanish is weaker, you might need more time, but it will still be OK. And honestly, as I will try to explain in this article, Santiago is GENUINELY worth the effort. I spent my best semester there, made friends of a lifetime, visited every corner in Spain and Portugal, and had A BLAST.




A waterproof version of everything! It rains. A lot. It is something you will grow accustomed to, but make sure you are prepared. Pack your weelingtons and a good raincoat with a hood. Or, alternatively, be prepared to invest in waterproof shoes, an umbrella, and a “chubasquesro” (waterproof coat.)




Santiago is at the far north-west end of Spain. Very close to the “end of the world”, the most western part of Europe. You’ll very probably have the occasion to go there with the student associations. And you should, it’s beautiful. It’s funny to think if you were to swim through the Atlantic, you’d land in Miami.

How to get there


There are more and more flight connexions to Santiago, as the destination is getting trendier and trendier. You should take your tickets in advance, as they can get very expensive !

From the airport, a shuttle takes you to the main points of interest in the city for a couple of euros. Then you can do everything by feet, it’s a small city. And there is something beautiful to see at every corner.

Bus or train

It’s very easy to come from Porto. It’s 5 hours away by bus, and you’d not pay very much for your ticket. From Madrid for instance, you can get there by train.

Transport from the airport

By bus

By bus the only real option to get to Santiago is with Empresa Freire. One way tickets are 3 EUR and a return ticket is 5.10 EUR. The bus stops right outside the airport every half an hour.

By taxi

There are a couple of companies you can book a taxi from. The cost will be around 20-25 EUR to take you from the airport to the city.

Radio Taxi: Taxi Galicia:

Transport from the train station

By bus

Line 6 will take you from near the train station to Plaza Galicia. From there you can take other lines to different places around the city. Here you can find out more about public transportation in Santiago.


Taxi is always an option of course.



While it is true that there are plenty of flats available for students, it is recommended to get your accommodation sorted as soon as possible. Knowing that you have a place to stay can reduce your stress levels once you are in Santiago trying to get all the administrative matters sorted.

You can choose to stay at the university accommodation. This tends to be more expensive, however, and you are required to pay for the entire semester upfront. It is also situated on the south campus, which does make for a lot of walking to and from the Philology faculty. 

The other possibility is to rent a room in a shared flat or house. Shared housing usually costs €150 to €200 per month. You can check availability of rooms on websites such as Erasmusu, which is an Erasmus community site, and Xornal da USC which is the general notice board for the university.

Alternatively, you could get in touch with your fellow students for advice and landlord contact details. You can ask your student representative or local coordinators to help you contact students that were in Santiago in the previous semester.

Tip from Nora: 

Definitely, don’t DON’T try and get a room near the northern university! It’s the dullest and ugliest part in the city and NOTHING HAPPENS THERE! In my opinion, Rua do San Roque is the highest you should accept to go. The city beats at the center and the south, otherwise your Erasmus is not going to be fun. As far as I experimented, the best places to get a flat are the historic center (easy to spot as it forms a circle) and around Praza de Galicia (I lived Rua Montero Rios and it was an amazing location !).

For sure, you’ll have most of your classes in the Northern USC buildings, but still, there is the bus, and it’s a 20’ walk from Prada do Obradoiro.

It’s quite easy to find a shared flat in Santiago, it’s cheap (around 300 euros) and you should try and live with locals, it’s so much more fun.



One aspect of the cultural life here in Santiago that might be hard to get used to is the Spanish time.

Grocery shops tend to open at 9:00am, but some other shops won’t be open till 10:00am.

Lunchtime is at 2:00pm. This means that usually from 2:00pm – 5:00pm shops will be closed. At 5:00pm they re-open and stay open until about 8:00pm. Keep this in mind when making plans. Your courses will most likely all be held during the afternoon (4:00pm-8:30pm), which usually prevents you from getting to shops for the afternoon time. Afternoon here refers to the time after lunch, but before dinner, which is taken at around 10:00pm.



These are the 4 main providers with their own network:





Spain operates on a GSM network. If you have a European phone or one from many other countries, this means that your current phone will probably work in Spain. If you are coming from North America or parts of Asia you will probably have a CDMA phone, which will not work. If you have a GSM phone, you need to check whether your phone is unlocked – some phones are locked in to the network you already have – if it is unlocked you just need a Spanish SIM card.

Prices on new phones differ greatly depending on the retailer and the mobile operator. While each operator has its own retail outlets, prices tend to be better elsewhere. Large retailers like Carrefour offer relatively good deals. For Vodafone and Orange phones in particular, The Phone House chain is very competitive.

There are other low-cost chains like Lebara and Simyo, which entered the mobile phone market a few years ago. One thing to note with these si that if you order your SIM card online you will be required to pay using a debit or credit card issued in Spain.

Having explained the above, it is important to point out that one popular provider with students is Orange since they offer a pay as you go (pre-pago) option called Mundo. SIM Mundo is a very good alternative since it allows free Mundo to Mundo calls, which means that if many Crossways students opt for it you can talk to each other free of charge. Additionally it offers different data packages from which you can choose: 500MB (€6/month), 1GB (€9/month) and 2GB (€15/month). (Disclaimer: the prices quoted on this guide are subject to change.)

Over the last few years many low-cost chains like Happy Móvil, Lebara and Simyo have entered the mobile phone market to compete with the four main providers mentioned above. Furthermore many supermarkets offer mobile phone tariffs as e.g. Día Móvil, Eroski Móvil or Carrefour Móvil. Prices and services vary from company to company. Most providers offer tariffs including internet access.



There are a variety of banks to choose from here in Santiago. You can go for the Santander bank account, which is the one offered to students at the university. There is a branch in the Economics faculty, and it is in this Santander Bank where you go get your student ID once you have registered.




There are many, many shops for you to explore and choose from.

There are two big shopping centres As Cancelas and Area Central. Usually landlords provide you with basic things such as towels and bed sheets and pillows, but if you need anything house related, then you can head to Primark from As Cancelas, which is one of cheapest place to find these sorts of things.

The main supermarkets are:

Carrefour: north campus in As Cancelas and near Plaza Galicia

Gadis: scattered everywhere. There is one in front of philology faculty. This supermarket is one of the cheapest. Most no -brand products have a better price here than in Carrefour. Mercadona: South Campus, has different things, but it is far away from most things.

Día: there are a couple around the city. They do not really have a lot of variety, but a Día can help you out in a pinch. They do have a 7 EUR minimum when paying by card.

Froiz: Similar to Día and Gadis. You can find them in the new area of the city. Lidl: there is one near Mercadona.



Santiago is – as far as I understood from some discussions with Mundus fellows – the place where it’s the most difficult to design your courses plan. You have a lot of classes (about 25 hours a week in 1st semester when I studied there in 2012) and you can choose very few of them. So for instance I ended up with a class about literature in videogames, and even though I’m a curious and academic-enthusiast I really found this class stupid and horribly annoying but I had to be there anyways because they did check if you attended each and every hour… I have a lot of troubles coping with this manner of forcing grown up people into studying things they were not interested in – and trying to prevent them to “miss classes” like children… But you’ll have to get used to it too.

This being said, you can insist to take some classes you like among the optional ones. I had the right to follow a cinema class in the History faculty, because I harassed Anxo Abuin until he let me do so. The class was amazing.

Some professors are excellent, some less, but it’s the same everywhere. What you have to know about the structure of the semester is that the evaluations happen at the end of the term. Sometimes you have to pass an oral or written one on the spot. But mostly the teachers ask you to provide them with a 15 pages essay on a topic you will have chosen with them, related to their class. It’s quite flexible, but demanding too, and the ones who choose to write everything last minute do suffer.

One of the first things to do once you arrive in Santiago is to set up a meeting with Antonio. You need him to sign your arrival and matriculation forms. Once you have the matriculation form signed you can get the process started with the UXA (), which is the department that will grant you your student credentials. These credentials will grant you access to eduroam, the university’s wireless network; it will also allow you to open up a bank account, which in turn allows you to get Wi-Fi at home.


Once you finish your initial meeting with Antonio head to the UXA, which is the building south form the Philology Faculty. You can ask any student nearby and they should be able to point you in the right direction. At the UXA you will have to provide them with your passport and the forms Antonio signed. You will have to fill in some details on yet another form. Once you are done with this they will tell you to go home and wait for an email. Actual registration will take a while. As Erasmus Mundus Students our matriculation is done separately and it takes some time.

Student I.D. Card

Once you have matriculated you will receive an email with a pdf file attached that will have your details. Print this file and take it to the Santander Bank located in the Economics faculty. They will take your picture there, so be prepared. After that you just need to wait a few minutes and they will print your ID out.

Actividades Culturales

You get 2 credits if you attend a seminar, workshop, conference, etc. on any topic that interests you.

It’s an easy and interesting way of getting credits.

Eduroam (USC Wi-Fi)

Here you can find a guide to help you connect to eduroam.

The instructions are only available in Galician. So to make things simple the best thing you could do is head to the library and ask for help. It is the quickest way to get access and people at the desk tend to be nice about it.


In order to take books out of the library you need to register there first. To do this you take the same paper you used for your student ID and present it to the reception desk. They will fill out the information and you will be allowed to log in to the internet library services, where you can reserve and request books from other libraries in different faculties.

The libraries are great. There are many books on many subjects, that one can borrow. There are scanners too, and most of the time students do exchange the PDFs of the numerous critical essays to read for the classes – homework is important too.

My absolute favourite library is the History one, you should really go and study there because it’s LOVELY. It’s full of old books, it smells after them, and even the light has something special in this place. However, it’s very often crowded, all the more before exams.



Just like me before studying in Santiago, you must fear this city is religious, old, and all in all fairly dull. 0/20. Epic judgemental failure.

As many bars as churches & convents

Half of the inhabitants are students or young people. The most amazing thing in Santiago is that there are as many bars as churches. And there are many churches, I swear. This creates the most astonishing yet charming paradox. Just like in many student cities, such as Salamanca, Barcelona or Madrid, young people drink cocktails on the terraces during whenever the weather allows it, and inhabit the bars whenever it doesn’t.

My favourite bar is definitely la Medusa (close to Plaza Cervantes) and Momo, that’s got an amazing patio, close to the History faculty. At the Medusa, Fran, the barman, makes the most stunning caipirinhas de fresa of the whole world. I’m not kidding, this is not an exercise, rush there and you’ll feel as lovely as in Brazil. Ultramarinos (going down from Praza Cervantes on in direction of Calle San Pedro) is cool too. Of course, there are a LOT of other bars, you will have good surprises in many places.

Student associations

Be ready: ESN and Sharing Galicia, both student associations in Santiago, will transform your Erasmus into a giant disco where parties, travels, weekend in the forest, afterworks, dinners, brunches and crazy events I won’t talk about not to scare you – just kidding – will mix happily ever after.

Quelques photos de voyages

With them, I went to Porto & Braga, to Salamanca, to Alicante, to Pedrafita Do Cereibro, to Lugo, to Vigo and the Islas Cies (there you’ll have the impression to be in New Zealand)… I missed the trip to Bilbao, but I travelled to Sevilla, Barcelona, Madrid and Lisbon with friends so that it was OK. The trips organized by both organizations are great, good value for money and you meet many amazing people. I don’t know if Pablo still works for Sharing Galicia, but he also used to take groups of 7 people in a mini bus through tours of the Galician nature and it was amazing.

Here are some photographs.

The parties are – this is not a pleonasm – rather festive. You can start at midnight in a bar, and by 11 o’clock the next morning you will have gone to 3 bars, 2 discos, 2 after works and a brunch, but you will remember only half of it. I’m not entirely kidding. I’ll leave you guess which part is true. Anyways, you’ll really have good times, 7 nights a week if you wish to do so.



In October (as far as I can remember), the city transforms into a giant cinema festival. There are two main events: one about arab movies, and the other about European films. There are a lot of cheap projections, you can buy several tickets at a time to have lower prices, and so you can see the best movies of the year, from Cannes, the Berlin or Toronto film festivals, etc. You can also grade the movies, and the whole events are amazing.



Everything in the old town is a place of interest. The cathedral’s square, Praza do Obradoiro, is of course very impressive. But there are many more churches, convents & architectural marvels to discover.

I would advise you to enter the Sta Clara Convent, to watch the cathedral from the Praza Das Praterias, to chill on the Praza Cervantes and around the history university or to go up Rua San Pedro, a charming part of the town.

Do not miss the view on the cathedral from Parque del Alhameda, nor from Parque de Bonaval. Here are the photographs, but of course it’s far better to experiment it.

And do go to Ciudad de la Cultura, a place of temporary exhibitions and a library worth it for its architecture.

Photo de ciudad de la cultura



Casa Manolo, on Praza Cervantes, serves great fish. Going down Praza Cervantes on your right, there was a small restaurant that serves pieces of bread with Spanish ham and melted cheeses you can choose. I hope it still exists, because it’s amazing. The bar “Marta” makes my favourite tortilla and is great in summer “para tomar” (to have a drink).

If you want real Galician food, fresh pulpo and queso de tetilla, you should go there :

Bodegon dos concheiros, rua dos Concheiros. It looks aweful but it’s delicious. My Galician friends took me there and it’s worth it.

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Harsh’s new book is coming soon!


Did you know that a talented writer join our programme this year ?

Get excited, Harsh Trivedi’s new novel Against Ambedkar, Against the World will be  available soon!

In this futuristic story, Harsh takes us on an intriguing journey and tells us about caste dynamics in the modern Indian society.

Watch Against Ambedkar, Against the World‘s trailer now and you’ll be dying to devour its pages:

Visit for more information and don’t forget to like the author’s Facebook page!

St Andrews, by Nora

Welcome to Scotland dear Mundus Fellows!


 If I had to give 10 words to talk about St Andrews, I would say : 1. Seaside. 2. Grey stones. 3. Traditions. 4. Cathedral. 5. Whisky. 6. Scones. 7. Societies. 8. Balls. 9. Windy. 10. Fucked up.

You’re about to make a choice, or just landed in a country – and a city – full of immemorial stories, of charming castles and of a stunning nature. But also of kind, caring and smart people who will welcome you their way : with scones & malted whisky !



The first time I looked where St Andrews was on a map, I got afraid. I thought: “it must be freezing cold up there!”. Well, sorry to spoil this, but most of the time, it’s very true. Do take a warm coat and waterproof shoes, otherwise you won’t be there to testify you should have done so.


How to get there?


Edinburgh is well linked to the rest of the UK, to Europe and most capital cities of the world. You won’t have troubles to get there.

St Andrews by bus or car

St Andrews is 1h30 away from Edinburgh, 2 hours away from Edinburgh airport, about 30 minutes away from Dundee, 1 hour away from Perth, 1’45 minutes away from Aberdeen and Glasgow and in 3 hours to the North, Inverness.

If you plan to go on a roadtrip, you get to the Loch Lomond national park (precious) in about 2 hours, to the far west (Fort William) in 3 hours, to the Island of Skye, and to reach the northern far end in 6 hours.

St Andrews is quite well connected to Edinburgh and Glasgow by bus. However, the rest of Scotland is quite chaotic by bus, you’d better rent a car if you want to go around easily. And there is MUCH to discover.


I stayed 10 months in St Andrews, from January 2013 to December of the same year (I came back home for the summer). St Andrews was my home university. I had chosen it not for the classes but for the place. I picked it too because I wanted to have the opportunity to travel through this beautiful country & around Scandinavia. And also because St Andrews seemed to be the best university in the consortium.

The goal of this article is definitely not to rate the Mundus universities nor to compare them. Objectively, they all have specificities, and the strength of the program is to allow you to experiment different ways of being taught and several academic approaches. This being said, St Andrews is well regarded in the UK and elsewhere and stays one of the most “prestigious” unis of the consortium.

You will have a couple of classes (except if you come for the first semester, which is the most demanding in this uni) but most of your time will be dedicated to researching or thesis writing. You’re free most of the time, but when the professors give you a bibliography with 20 books they expect you to actually read them.

I was quite disappointed with the choice of courses as well as with their quality (except very few classes). But that’s very personal and since my fellow students did not necessarily have the same feeling the best is to make your own mind.

Other than that, the libraries are very nice & comfortable – not many books depending on your subject but you can order them from other unis (, or ask them to buy a book for you (! Also, it has very efficient tools if you seek meaningless relationships (just kidding… half kidding). I do love the one about the magic wand.


More seriously, the university is charming! Those are photographs of St Salvador’s Quad, where you will probably have classes, and St Mary’s Quad. All buildings are scattered throughout the whole city.




No doubt about this, St Andrews is a small but dynamic town!

Students are numerous and societies too. Just to give you a few examples, my friend Isabelle went to the kayak club, Cristina to the triathlon, I went to Swing and took part in a magazine (Startmusic, I think it still exists).

More infos here :

And if you never tried Polo but always wanted to… Now is your time!


The Mermaids is the theatre society, they build amazing plays and you can definitely take part in the castings at the beginning of each semester.

The Blind Mirth is the improvisation team. They are hilarious and play once a week in public. It’s free, go & see them! It’s great. And if you’re bilingual you might even join them…

And as far I heard, they seem to even have reopened the Byre Theater thanks to a donation by Sean Connery (who is Scottish and a patron for arts there).

Other than that, you’ll be there for some of the festivities. St Andrews has a wide range of traditions, balls, parties and events you should really attend. I’ll speak only of two of them, which are my favourites:

Pier walk & May dip

On the last night of April, when the sun goes down, everybody puts on their red or black gowns and takes part to a procession to the pier with candles. We honour a man who saved two people who were drowning on that day many years ago.




During the night, everybody lights up bonfires on the beach, parties and dances until sunrise… Then, we undress, yell as much as we can and run into the freezing sea. It feels like dying, but everybody does it anyways. True story.

Here is what the 2013 May dip looked like on East sands. Gorgeous, right?


Raisin weekend

It’s in November. Everybody meets in the quad and “foamfights”. It’s really FFF (Funny, Famous and Fucked-up). We used foamers for weeks after that, during terrifying battles with our neightbours and roommates.

During this weekend, everybody dresses up and the city is transformed into a giant carnival.





Saint Andrews is small, but beautiful!
The university buildings are places of interest in themselves. Most of them date back to 1600. St Salvatore’s quad’s chapel is wonderful, and you should really take the opportunity to hear a choir at some point. It’s a marvellous spectacle.
The cathedral and the castle are the two main places where tourists go. Not much is left now, but those ruins will surely be some of your favourite places to study, jog, read or just wander around, as they are precious! Here are some photos of them, as well as of the graveyard around the cathedral.



Now let’s move to West and East Sands, St Andrews’ beaches. My personal favourite is West Sands. It stretches on kilometres and the view on St Andrews is absolutely gorgeous. And I find its fences very pretty (see photograph). I won’t put any images of this beach, that you’ll have the pleasure to discover yourself. Its’ beauty is beyond words, and a photograph would be a pale capture of it. However, if you’re too curious, you can look at this beach in the introductory scene of “Chariots of fire”.




East Sands is smaller and overlooks the Albany Park accommodations, but it has the great advantage to be close to the pier. And still, you’d spend beautiful moments on this beach (for instance the May Dip or bonfire parties). Here is a photograph I took in May over there.



There are several parks that are worth visiting… And if there is good weather do go to the botanic garden, it’s lovely. Preferably from May to September though, to see all the flowers and attend cool picnics.
The golf is also well known as one of the first links ever, amateurs come from all over the world to play here. So have a try, it’s cheaper for students and it’s worth the experience.


Last but not least, I have a secret garden – everybody has one, metaphoric or not – and I’ll give the address if you have something valuable to exchange. I’m not especially greedy but this is worth the world. I’ll accept pretty anything (a book title, an artist’s or a movie’s name… But it has to be very special).This photograph shows the garden in winter. But in summer it is beautiful and has wifi for you to work there if needed…


I’m not going to go through all restaurants, but I need to tell you that Little Italy is excellent. Excellent. I’d really advise you to taste the tiramisu. I lived in Italy and did not find any as good as this one. Forgan’s is quite good too. The Seafood restaurant is expansive but if you do ask for the view (months in advance), it’s amazing. You actually eat on the sea. Taste is the cutest & smallest café in the whole UK. That’s why it’s always crowded.


You have several options. Some people choose to find accommodation themselves in St Andrews. I did it and lived in a shared flat during my 1st semester there, on Market Street. It was great to share the flat, as accommodation is usually very expensive in this village (even the uni accommodation).

Some others choose to stay in Edinburgh, as it is bigger, more dynamic, culturally dense. It’s doable, if you accept to take the bus twice a day 1, 2 or 3 days a week. One of my friends did it, and she sometimes slept at ours to avoid going back daily twice a week.

Otherwise, you can request a uni accommodation. Albany Park is 10 minutes away. It’s not in a brilliant state, but it’s OK and has got beautiful views on the sea. It’s also close to the supermarkets. David Russels Apts are quite far away but new and quite nice. Otherwise, some dorms are downtown, but more expensive. I would advise you to ask for Dean’s court or St Mary’s… But you have very few chances to get any of these. Fife Park used to be the worst, I went there for the second semester… But they demolished it and built it up again, so let’s hope it’s now in better state!


I’ve talked already about the difficulty to travel through Scotland without a car. What I’d like to dwell upon now is the fact you should REALLY discover this country, anyhow. If you don’t have money, hitchhiking works perfectly too and is safe. Scottish people are very, very generous and kind. I have the most improbable memories of couchsurfing; it has been great every time. Once I slept at a fisherman’s on the Isle of Skye. He did not have a spare bed for us, so we slept on the floor. But he gave us a map with secret locations only locals know about for us to discover the island, and cooked lobster for us on the top of it. Amazing.

To conclude and make you want to come, those are a few places you should really go to if you have the chance. And above all, have fun and enjoy the amazing people you’ll meet through the program and on the road. That’s what real life is about.

Edinburgh, obviously… Because it’s gorgeous !

But also the Argyll in winter:


Glamis Castle:


The far west of the country and the isle of Skye, starting with Eileen Donan Castle (left):

An estate in the Loch Lomond National Park:



Dunnottar Castle, at the far east:


Thanks for reading. I hope it helps !
For further questions, feel free to write to

Happy Erasmus Mundus Day from St Andrews!

Although the Scottish wind didn’t let us have a bonfire night, around 20 Erasmus Mundus students and alumni of four different masters came and celebrate the Erasmus Mundus Day in St Andrews around delicious pizzas and various cocktails. It was great to meet people studying completely different subjects and still living the same kind of nomadic life as ours!
Thanks for coming guys and … happy Erasmus Mundus Day!

Isabelle Gribomont

“I’d rather be lost in the Mundus limbo than be stuck in ordinary oblivion”.

Post-Mundus life (if there is such a thing). Episode 1: the PhD Quest.

 The Crossways master was like a two-year long school trip, with some academic discoveries, but mainly new friends, new places, a new-found independence, and dubious food. But that’s another story.

 The end of my third semester approaching, I started searching for my next step in life. I realised it would be hard to find a job which would top up the Crossways excitement. To be honest I didn’t feel ready for the cruelty of the job market just yet. I just like being a student too much. The PhD option had always been at the back of my head, ever since I started university, too many years ago. I decided to investigate my possibilities in Scotland, while I was there.

My first step in the PhD quest was to talk to my dissertation supervisor about the possibilities in St Andrews (believe it or not but I was having an awful lot of fun there). He was very helpful and encouraging from the start, telling me he would be happy to help me design a nice and funding-friendly proposal, but hinting he did not normally supervise the kind of topics I was interested in. Down the line, after several proposal drafts, I ended up applying for a PhD under his supervision. I also decided to take a little trip to Edinburgh to have a chat with a lecturer whose research interests were close to what I had in mind. Again, I met a positive response, and I decided to apply there as well, my potential supervisor helping me out every step of the way. This done, I happily went on to enjoy my last semester in sunny Spain rainy Santiago.

 In the end, I got an offer with funding in St Andrews but, helas, not funding from dearest stingy Edinburgh. Then there was the relentless self-questioning. Do I really want to go on in academia? (Still don’t have an answer for that one.) Should I not start adulting and look for a “proper” job? (No.) Isn’t a humanities PhD a dead-end anyway? (Well maybe, but so was the master and it didn’t stop me, did it?) How is it gonna be to live in Scotland for three more years? (Humid.)

In the end, I feel fortunate to be studying for a PhD in St Andrews. It’s challenging and somewhat frustrating sometimes, but also an incredible opportunity to interact with countless brilliant geeky people, let loose your own nerdy self, and overall relatively freely enjoy your young mind before it is too crippled by grown-up responsibilities, duties of all sorts, alcohol, and old age. I don’t know what my next step will be but I’m facing the uncertainty with unprecedented relative peace of mind. What this master brought me is probably a more open mind, regarding people and their ideas, but also about my own person and future. Like Tolkien said; not all those who wanders are lost (and if I might add, I’d rather be lost in the Mundus limbo than be stuck in ordinary oblivion).

What’s on?

It’s only mid-November and so much already happened in the community!

– Our dear alumni Isabelle, currently on her second year of PhD at the University of St Andrews, had a very successful month! She was invited at a major interdisciplinary and international conference held at the University of St Andrews on the past and present of the relationship between Mexico and the United Kingdom. This was for her the occasion to present the results of her masters thesis on ‘British Imperialism in Post-Revolutionary Mexico. A Comparative Analysis through British and Mexican Novels’. She then travelled to the University College London where she gave a paper on ‘Literariness as Decolonial Subversion in the Zapatista Discourse’ at the Twelth Annual Historical Materialism Conference. Congrats Isa, that’s what we call a terrific 2d year kick off!

 – For the Erasmus Mundus Day, will be defying the Scottish wheather by having a bonfire a St Andrews’ beach. EXCLUSIVITY: the delicious and soon-to-be-world-famous Mundus-Cocktail will be revealed!

And you, what are you doing for the Erasmus Mundus Day? Pique-nique, bonfire, pub meeting, international dinner, there’s a lot you can do to celebrate this international event!

 – How communications within and about our masters could be improved? Answer this short survey to help us improve our use of social media:

Chiara Dalla Libera

“I changed country as normal people change clothes”.

I graduated in 2010, back then the programme was still called “Crossways in European Humanities” and my path took me for one year to Santiago de Compostela, then for a semester to Sheffield and finally to Lisbon. For two years my life had to comply with the baggage regulations of low cost airlines, I changed country as normal people change clothes and I had to make friends in places where I did not even knew the language. The Crossways programme gave me the possibility to meet amazing people and inspiring academics who taught me to be an independent thinker and a creative human being. Since that day in 2010 many things happened: I was offered a job as Account Manager in the Customer Service department of NetJets, a private aviation company based in Lisbon. Meanwhile I kept working with the Universidade Nova de Lisboa as general administrator: I helped new Crossways students during their Portuguese semester and I welcomed many of them at the Induction Days, that took place for the first time in Lisbon in 2012 and that I had the pleasure to organize. I also got involved into different projects as translator, blogger and event manager. Even if Lisbon was able to make me settle down for more than five years, recently I felt the need to be on the road again and I am currently attending the MSc in Creative and Cultural Industries Management at the University of Sheffield.