Euroculture Spotlight #18: Director of Studies in Deusto (Bilbao)
15 Oct 2018
This time, Euroculture interviews Steffen Bay Rasmussen. The Spotlight focuses on special achievements or activities of Euroculture students, alumni and staff.
— Thanks, Steffen, for taking the time to answer our questions! What is your affiliation with Euroculture?
I’m the Director of Studies at the University of Deusto since 2016, and I have also supervised several Euroculture MA thesese. I will also start teaching in the programme in the 2nd semester this year, focusing on EU international relations.
— How is your experience with Euroculture so far?
I have researched different aspects of integration in Europe for several years, in a purely academic and detached way. Being part of Euroculture, for me, is like living the very process of European integration itself, as a personal experience, so to say.
Just as European integration , or so I believe, the Euroculture programme is about meeting different people from different backgrounds and working together to create something jointly that none of us could individually. It’s about basing ourselves on joint rules and being flexible to overcome the particularities of each other’s customs and national legal settings. It’s about feeling part of something shared, but without having to become similar. It is time consuming, definitely, at times frustrating, but also so rewarding and very much worthwhile.
— An ideal student: what is she or he like?
The ideal student is academically ambitious, but mentally flexible and a team player. Classes and seminars are only excellent when students are genuinely interested and participate with a critical academic sense.
— What did you do before Euroculture?
I did my PhD at the University of the Basque Country and have since worked as a lecturer and researcher at the University of Deusto, first at the Faculty of Law. Now I’m at the Department of International Relations and Humanities of the Faculty of Social and Human Sciences, where Euroculture is also institutionally located.
— Could you share some plans for the future?
Well, at Deusto we have updated the study plan of the first and second semester with new courses and a reorientation of existing modules, which we will begin to implement in the coming academic year. I hope students will be as excited about the new focus as I am. In terms of research, I hope to be able to go more into European cultural diplomacy and ontological security, topics which I have briefly looked at previously and found very interesting.
— What is the best place you have traveled to and why?
A tough question. I would probably say Oman, where I had the chance to be on a research stay last year, and where I met wonderful people. It is a place that is culturally, politically and socially very different from Europe, so it is very exciting to explore. At the same time it’s also a place that makes you reflect on the universal human experience and the culturally constructed differences between peoples and regions.