This blog was created as part of the Erasmus Mundus Crossways in Cultural Narratives Masters programme, which is the only one of the EU approved and funded Erasmus Mundus Masters programmes to specialise in traditional humanities with a modern languages background. The Crossways Consortium comprises 6 top-class European universities.

For further information, please check the programme's official website and the universities' websites on the Useful Links section on the left. If you wish to have a specific question answered, please click on Email here and submit your query.

Mundus students, here you will find regular posts regarding the universities of the consortium, tips, activities, events, pictures, etc. Apart from checking it regularly to keep yourself up to date, a good way to use the blog is through the search device. We already have a significant amount of information on some universities of the consortium, so if you want to find information on a specific city, type its name in the search field (top left). You will then see all posts related to that specific city (because each post title contains the city's name in it). You can also type "General" in order to find information concerning everybody.

Thursday, 7 November 2013

Sheffield Induction Days 4/5/6 September 2013

  The second edition of the Induction Days of the Erasmus Mundus Master Crossways in Cultural Narratives took place this year in Sheffield between the 4th and 6th of September. After the success of the first edition held in Lisbon in 2012, Sheffield’s team worked hard to prepare a flawless second edition to what is aiming to be a fundamental event for the organizations of the Consortium and an additional mark of excellence for future students.

Sheffield welcomed the different delegates and the students with its best weather, the kindness typical of Yorkshire people (together with their challenging accent and their peculiar characteristic of calling whoever they are talking to “love”), still half empty and getting ready to start the new academic year with its usual frenzy. All the guests were hosted at Endcliffe Village, the student residential campus, about 20 minutes’ walk from the University’s main buildings, with its modern buildings surrounded by the luxurious green of the parks and trees that give a feeling of peace and tranquillity.

                Prof Michael Perraudin, Dr Sophie Watt and Caroline Wordley took care of the organization in every little detail, from the preparation of a dedicated website to the organization of a Gala dinner, and an intensive 3 day programme was scheduled for all 2013 participants in the degree.

            Day 1

Early arrives joined the research seminar presentation by Prof Claudia Kozak (Universidad Nacional de Entre Rios) on the topic of Experimental Poetry and Technology in Latin America. Towards a Theory and Critique of Translanguages. The seminar was the Mundus way of welcoming everyone and declaring the opening of the Induction Days 2013, which this year numbered 41 participants, including professors, students and administrators.

The introduction to the research of Prof Kozak was a great opportunity to share one of the various on-going projects supported by the members of the academic staff and have a better understanding of the diverse fields of study that exist at the different Universities. This element should definitely be added to the standard programme of the Induction Days for the next editions as it is a unique opportunity to inspire new ideas and projects and fuel new collaborations and connections.

            After the presentation the group gathered in a local pub, where they could indulge in the British habits of having a pint and eating some extremely caloric food. However we all know that taste comes with calories, so no one seemed to be disappointed by the end of the night.

            Day 2

The morning of the second day of the Induction Days started with official welcome speechs by Prof Michael Perraudin and by the Head of the School of Languages and Cultures, Prof Neil Bermel. This took place in the Exhibition Space in the Jessop West Building, where the Sheffield Faculty of Arts and Humanities is located.

            Then the programme was given over to presentations by the ten different institutions who are part of the Consortium, given by the representatives of each University. Only Universidad Iberoamericana had no representative, so the aim of next year’s meeting is to have a full house!

                Before starting these presentations Prof Jonathan Pollock, together with Prof Michael Perraudin, welcomed everyone, summarizing the developments achieved by the Master’s programme in the past years and explaining the purposes of the meeting.

Poznan, Bergamo, Perpignan, Lisbon, Santiago de Compostela, Guelph, Sheffield, St. Andrews, Paranà/Entre Rios. On behalf of each faculty a representative described the facilities available, the programmes and research methods, the courses students could attend, the support offered to the students, the city lifestyle and its attractions, and anything else the University and its city could offer.

The Induction Days represented the first day of class for the students, who started to understand what their life was going to be like in the next two years and also began to become familiar with the faces and names of their future study companions. They could explore the geography of the Master’s, discover the different academic approaches, understand the different accents when using the lingua franca of contemporary society, put a face to names that for the students were previously only the signature on an email or a link in the page of Contacts on the Crossways website.

Academics and staff members were able to appreciate some improvements in the powerpoint presentations presented by some members of the Consortium and could gain a better insight into the different Universities.

During the lunch break professors and students had the chance to continue discussing the MA and get to know each other better, but in a more relaxed context. After lunch professors and students went their different ways and resumed work in different rooms to discuss matters concerning the respective sides.

Also present at the professors’ meeting was Maryan Ansari, student representative for the 2012-2014 round, who was in charge of bringing up the issues the students had encountered during their first year, in order for  the staff to understand gaps in the organization and administration of the partner universities. The implementation of a new structure of credits was also discussed: 30 per semester, as strongly suggested by Brussels, instead of the current system of 40/20/20/40 credits. It was agreed that this could almost certainly not be implemented in 2013, but that it should go ahead for the 2014 round. The meeting also agreed on holding the 2014 Induction Days in Poznan.

In the meantime the students were having their meeting with Chiara Dalla Libera (Crossways administrator at the Universidade Nova de Lisboa and previous Crossways student). This meeting had the purpose of helping the students clarify their uncertainties, creating a first core of information and connections that would then also be useful for the other students who were unable to attend the Induction Days. During the meeting the students elected their course representative, Natnaree Kanjanawattana.

                One of the suggestions made by the students was the creation of a database with the abstracts of the dissertations that had been written by the students in previous years, in order to have an idea of possible topics and contents that could be undertaken. Before getting ready for the dinner the student group then took a tour of some of the facilities available at Sheffield University: the Information Commons and the Student Union. This was led by Ana Carolina Torquato, a current second year Crossways student at Sheffield University.

The annual programme dinner was held in Firth Hall, part of Firth Court, the main representative building of the University of Sheffield, a beautiful Edwardian college in neo-Gothic style dating from 1905. The participants were welcomed at the dinner by Prof Jackie Labbe, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Arts and Humanities at the University of Sheffield.

Day 3 and 4

English weather finally made its appearance and the combination of cold, rain and grey sky accompanied the participants during what was for some of them the last day of the Induction Days in Sheffield.

The programme of the morning meeting of the third day gave space to the students to present themselves to the Professors, to talk about their expectations and to allay their fears and clarify their doubts. It was a first appetizer of what the Professors should expect form the students this year: each student would bring to the programme a range of projects and ideas, each influenced by his or her own cultural heritage and mindset.

The word was then passed to Dr Jocelyn Dupont and Dr Victoria Donovan, who explained the mechanism of the workplacement, the possibilities, the requirements and how the report of the workplacement experience should be structured and developed. They both clarified that the workplacement is an option and is not mandatory, and that the dissertation is still the main focus of the Master’s. The workplacement is a practical experience that is to be followed by an academic production that should mirror the cultural content of the experience, with a solid theoretical basis.

Dr David Evans, as the Crossways coordinator of dissertations, explained to the students how the preparation and production of the dissertation should ideally be distributed during the two years: when the topic should be chosen, when the first draft of a bibliography should be put together, the role of the supervisor at each university, the language of the dissertation and the criteria for evaluation. He also took a moment to clarify the difference between the dissertation report and the dissertation and how the dissertation report gives the student a margin for failure, in the sense that, as it is a preamble to the main dissertation, students can develop and explore a theory and establish whether or not it works well. This will give them the space for development and innovation and will allow them the chance to adjust the structure of their ideas later on. The dissertation report is a place of experimentation, while the dissertation is the logical objectification of the theories developed. According to Dr Evans students, when approaching him for the first time to choose of the topic of the dissertation, usually either do not have any idea of what they want to focus on, or they can have a very specific idea in mind, but sometimes this can be impractical in terms of production. He underlined that the main thing to take into consideration is the corpus of the dissertation: gathering a consistent bibliography and always remembering to try to be practical in terms of production planning.

Chiara Dalla Libera added her input, explaining her experience in writing the dissertation. She reinforced the suggestion of thinking also in practical terms, depending on the chosen path within the universities of the Consortium. As soon as students are able to identify the core of their dissertation it becomes easier to gather a relevant bibliography and plan the evolution of the dissertation towards the aimed conclusions.

Prof Pollock clarified the policy of the Master’s regarding plagiarism, quotations and the format of the dissertation, and he also shared with the students the main topic of discussion during the staff’s afternoon meeting on the previous day. He explained the possibility of redistributing the credits over the two years with a new system of 30 credits per semester, and he asked for the students’ opinion, even if most probably it would not be possible to apply this change to their round.

The last part of the morning meeting gave space to questions by the students and to their feedback regarding the Crossways and local webpages: the difficulties they had encountered when applying for the Master’s, the areas that did not have enough information and the suggestions they had to improve them.

The hard part was over and students and professors had a deserved lunch and a hot cup of tea while outside it kept on raining. A group of brave adventurers took an energizing two-hour hill walk in the nearby Peak District during the afternoon, while another group opted for the safer and drier option of a bus tour through the region.

The farewell dinner took place in Butler’s Balti, a well-known local Indian restaurant, honouring the tradition that claims Indian food to be the really typical British food, even if the Indian food that can be found in the UK could actually be called “Indish”, as it is far less spicy then 100% authentic Indian food. We all know that Korma is the Brits’ favourite but definitely not spicy enough for any Indian palate.
         On Saturday the last group of a dozen aficionados took a trip to the Yorkshire Sculpture Park near Wakefield to see the Henry Moores, Barbara Hepworths and several current exhibitions. The sun shone brightly again.

          So the 2013 Induction Days came to an end, succeeding in their intention of facilitating the students’ access to the Master’s, creating a first core of experience and ideas that would help them in facing this new adventure in the best way, with more information and better tools to get the most out of this experience, and minimizing the cultural shock they will have to face at each change of institution.

For academics and members of staff was a great opportunity to exchange ideas and experiences, plan possible collaborations, and share suggestions to improve the Master’s on a local level and increase the number of students. It was interesting to understand the bureaucracies and university structures in the different countries and their position within their national systems of education.

Again, each one of the participants was going home with a general sense of optimism and excitement for all the possible projects they could develop and for the range of achievements they could gain from the degree.

Author: Chiara Dalla Libera

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Crossways Student EMA Representative Election 2013 - 2015

Here below (in no particular order) you will find the profiles of the candidates:

Natnaree Kanjanawattana


I am Natnaree from Thailand. I am 24 years old.  I am an open-minded and out-going individual. Although my native Language is Thai, I also speak English, Spanish and Portuguese fluently.

I am delighted and extremely honored to be a part of Crossways in Cultural Narratives Programme and, even more, to receive the opportunity to be a candidate to run for Crossways student representatives. From my diverse academic and professional background, I believe I am your suitable and efficient candidate.

Regarding my academic background, in 2011, I graduated from Faculty of Arts of Chulalongkorn University, Thailand , majoring in Spanish. During my academic years, I was the head of Spanish major. We have arranged various activities and discussions to improve the collaboration and communication between students and professors to solve every problem in a mature and diplomatic approach. Later, during my senior year, I was also President of Spanish Club of my faculty and have done the same activities to improve the bond between students, majoring in Spanish, from different years.

Apart from that, I have had academic experiences abroad. Last May I finished my 8-months Portuguese course from Universidade de Lisboa , Portugal and in 2005, I was also an exchange student of Rotary Youth Exchange and spent 1 year in Corrientes, Argentina.
I am currently a Portuguese Lecturer at Faculty of Arts, Chulalongkorn University. 

However, in 2011-2012, I worked at the Embassy of Portugal in Thailand as secretary to His Excellency the Portuguese Ambassador, from where I have gained invaluable skill and knowledge of diplomacy and protocol. I have had experiences in negotiating in international level with public and private institutions and authorities.

Having lived in different continents and having worked in certain positions and areas makes me conscious, very cautious and diplomatic about the cultural difference and national delicacy when I deal with people of different nationalities.

I am enthusiastic to run for Crossways student representative because I strongly believe that together we could have a very smooth path and fun experience during our forthcoming academic years. I will take care of your concerns and needs with full seriousness. I believe I posses experiences, knowledge and skills to fulfill the requirements of this prestigious position. It will be my utmost honour to be representing the 2013-2015 Crossways students.
Thank you very much for your kind consideration.



Paula Hudrea

Dear fellow students,

           My name is Paula Hudrea and I come from a very beautiful country, Romania, located at the intersection of Central and Southeastern Europe. Currently I live, study and work for two years now, as an English teacher in a city that I absolutely love, Madrid.  With your consensus, I will proudly represent all of you and therefore please find below a brief description of myself.

          On a professional level, I graduated in 2008 from the faculty of American Studies from Cluj Napoca. It gave me the chance to specialize in the cultural domain, to be educated in order to possess and apply the acquired knowledge and perceptions that take place in the American society, the connections between the European and American world and among others, the dimensions and relations between globalization and culture. While ending my freshman year I decided to open up some more my professional spectrum so I enlisted myself for a second career at the Faculty of Law. The MA in Transatlantic Studies was inaugurated and after two years of studies, in 2010, I became a specialist in cultural management and affairs, in international relations, in the media sphere and an expert at various governmental institutions. Therefore, in five years I successfully finished two BA’s and one MA. I graduated top of my generation and represented my MA colleagues throughout those two years of study.

             Due to the fact that I was always fascinated by the Spanish language and its unique beauty I decided to do another MA but this time in the field of Translation and Interpretation at the University of Alcala de Henares from Madrid. My goal was to work with two of my favorite themes, languages and culture and to develop extra new skills. I was the representative of my group; I attended meetings with the teachers and other group representatives regularly and managed to always maintain a constructive relationship between us, the students, and our teachers. In the end, I had the honor of giving the MA’s closing ceremonial speech.

              On a personal level, I succeeded in improving my social and language skills by getting involved in various projects, organizations and summer jobs. I have worked in Spain and Germany, in various domains. This consisted in a double advantage for me because my family lives in the countries mentioned above for more than ten years now. Therefore, with each year I also had the chance to visit and spend some quality time with them. This experience gave me such an easiness to adapt to any environment, shift the use of language according to each individual or group in question, be socially fitted and find quick solutions in any given situation.                

             I would be delighted to be the Student Representative because I am very professional, organized and focused. I’m very open minded, excellent team player; can handle really good several tasks at the same time and without a shadow of a doubt I know we’ll all develop a positive and noteworthy impact upon this amazing master program. Also, I’m sooo used with the lack of sleep, thank God for coffee. Just joking. Not. 

Can’t wait to meet you all at Sheffield! Until then, ya’ll have a great summer and be prepared because our next two years are going to be legendary!!!

Thursday, 30 May 2013

Crossways Student EMA Representative Election

Here below (in no particular order) you will find the profiles of the candidates:

Alannah Sawatsky

     My name is Alannah Sawatsky and I am Canadian. I did my undergraduate degree at the University of Guelph, Ontario. I majored in European Studies, and during my degree I did an exchange in Lyon, France. I was also strongly involved in student government. I was the Vice President of the College of Arts, and President of the European Studies Society. I sat on both academic and social boards, and was involved in several charities. I am now completing my first year of the Crossways programme. I did my first semester at The University of St. Andrews, and I am now at l’Université de Perpignan. My final semester will be at Università degli studi di Bergamo.

     I am thrilled at this opportunity to become a Crossways student representative. I am very enthusiastic about becoming more involved in this programme, as I am enjoying my time in it so much. I have had the chance to meet such a variety of wonderful people through this programme and I would be honoured with the privilege to represent you. I have great experience with this kind of responsibility, and I think I have a lot to bring to the table. I have strong communication and networking skills and have already had the chance to get to know many of you at my host universities and at the induction days in Lisbon, and also through the Erasmus Mundus Association, and our Facebook group. I look forward to getting to know those of you I have not met and getting to know the rest of you better if given this opportunity. I will do my best to honour and represent your needs, desires, and concerns with integrity to the coordinators of our programme, and I will do my best to contribute creative and constructive solutions. 

I also have some exciting ideas I would love to achieve to help foster ‘Crossways spirit’, and to strengthen our Crossways network. 

     I am an excellent candidate for this position as I am both responsible and experienced, but more importantly, incredibly enthusiastic and interested in representing you and making your Crossways experience the best it can be! Thank you kindly for your consideration.


Lamar Natasha Dolcy 

My name is Lamar Natasha Dolcy and I am from the beautiful island of Barbados in the West Indies. My native language is English, but I also speak French and Spanish. In my leisure time I like to read, hike, and go to the beach.

I am a trained Foreign Language teacher who has ten years experience in preparing students for Caribbean Examinations Council examinations (CXC) and AQA GCSE examinations in Barbados and Bermuda respectively.

 My mobility track for the Erasmus Mundus Masters Crossways in Cultural Narratives is:
University A - University of Sheffield
University B Universidade de Santiago de Compostela
University C Université de Perpignan Via Domitia
My research interests are translation and gender.

I am interested in being your Crossways student representative because I believe that together we can further develop the Crossways programme, thereby making your Crossways in Cultural Narratives journey even better. My empathetic nature means that your concerns matter to me. My attention to detail and organisational skills will be instrumental in coherently presenting your concerns and suggestions to the coordinating team. I will employ my problem-solving skills to create possible solutions for any issues you may face. I stand ready to serve you.

Work history and experience:
September 2008-August 2011 High School Teacher, CedarBridge Academy, Bermuda
September 2001-August 2008 Secondary School Teacher, Queens College, Barbados
·           I have outstanding organisational skills including highly effective time management skills.
·           I am intrinsically motivated and work well alone or when required as part of a team, employing problem-solving skills to resolve issues.
·           I have exceptional ideas which I am able to take from inception to execution through careful thought, planning and the delegation of responsibility based on individual strengths.
·           I have superior interpersonal and communication skills developed through interacting with colleagues, students, parents and professionals.
·           I am an articulate speaker who is able to hold the attention of her audience by presenting well-researched and organised information clearly and concisely.

Academic and professional qualifications:
Anticipated completion June 2014 Masters in Crossways in Cultural Narratives
2012 Masters in Globalising Education: Policy and Practice, University of Sheffield (England)
2008 Diploma in Education with Specialism in Foreign Languages (Distinction in the Theory and Practice of Education), University of the West Indies and Erdiston Teachers’ Training College (Barbados)

2005 Bachelor of Arts French and Spanish (1st class honours), University of the West Indies (Cave Hill Campus, Barbados)


 Maryam Elika Ansari

Hi everyone!

I’m Maryam. I graduated from the University of St Andrews last year, majoring in International Relations and Classical Studies.  Now I am doing the Mundus Master in Crossways in Cultural Narratives, my path being Santiago – St Andrews – Perpignan -currently at my home university.

There are a few reasons why I’d like to run for Crossways representative. Being halfway through this degree, I can honestly say there are many things I have really enjoyed so far. Being part of such an international experience is only one of the perks of participating in the Mundus program. However, having shared ideas with people in my pathway, I agree with many that there is room for improvement in some aspects. After all, it is a relatively new program and I believe greater communication between the organizers of Mundus and the student body would be in everyone’s best interest and benefit. By sharing these ideas, I believe we could make the remains of our experience even better in Mundus, and make this degree even more appealing than it is to future students. Vote for me! J