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Archive for February, 2011

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Not much time has passed since I arrived in Edinburgh – less than five months, in fact – but it would be impossible to describe all that has happened since the Africa and International Development (AID) Program began.  Instead, let me just say that so far everything about the AID program has surpassed my expectations. I can easily say that I learned more in our first semester than I expected to learn all year.  My misconceptions about what ‘development’ was and how aid works were quickly put to the test as I sat through lectures and read through my ever-expanding development library.  I learned to think critically and discovered new interests, and this summer I’ll have the opportunity to gain practical experience during a two-month internship in Africa.

The best part about the program, however, has been my coursemates – we’re a wonderfully diverse bunch with a wide range of nationalities, experiences, and interests.  Some of us have spent years or lifetimes in Africa while others are still planning their first visit.  Some of us speak one language (guilty!) and others can speak several.  Some have years of work experience (in a number of different industries) and others have just recently finished their undergraduate studies.  All of us, however, share a love for Africa and are committed to making our own unique impact on the continent. Outside of classes, you might find us at weekly seminars, chatting over coffee or lunch, or simply enjoying life in Edinburgh.  As you can see in the pictures above  (taken throughout the first semester), we have a lot of fun when we’re together.

Hopefully there will be plenty more pictures from semester two!

Matt Wilson, MSc student in the Africa and International Development Programme

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