Liam O’Brien talks about his experiences in Lucerne, Switzerland as part of the Dual MA Pathway

“My time studying in Luzern, Switzerland, through the Dual MA Program has been an extraordinary and transformative experience. This unique opportunity allowed me to immerse myself in a new academic and cultural environment, opening my mind to new perspectives and possibilities.

At the University of Lucerne, I encountered an academic framework that emphasized quantitative methodologies and political contexts distinct from those I was accustomed to in Canada. As a student more inclined towards qualitative methods, this presented a challenge, but one that proved immensely valuable. Earnest exposure to these new challenges also revealed how my interests and background are strengthened by combining what I am comfortable and what challenges me, fostering both personal and academic growth.

Living in Switzerland was a fundamental aspect of my experience. The Swiss way of life prioritizes regional and linguistic identity, while boasting centralized and highly effective services, such as their impressive nationalized transit system. The friends I made during my time enriched my journey by providing insights into the uniqueness of the country and its people. We shared wonderful moments, exploring the diverse regions of Switzerland, participating in events like Zurich Pride, and even venturing beyond its borders to experience the interconnectedness of neighboring countries.

As I reflect on this experience, I am filled with gratitude for the personal and academic growth it has brought me. It has broadened my horizons, deepened my knowledge, and introduced me to a world of opportunities. This journey has not only honed my academic expertise but also enriched my life with cherished memories and lasting connections.”

Liam O’Brien

First Graduates from the Dual Degree MA – Carleton University and the University of Lucerne

Arta Tahiraj

First Dual MA Graduate from Carleton University to the University of Lucerne

“I am humbled to be the first Carleton student to graduate from the Dual Master of Arts in Political Science degree in conjunction with the University of Lucerne.

I had a remarkable time while living in Lucerne. From overlooking the Swiss alps from your living room window to the view of purple-pink skies overlooking Lake Lucerne, Switzerland is breathtaking everywhere you look.

Studying at Carleton and the University of Lucerne provided me with a strong cross-cultural understanding of the multi-disciplinary nature of political science. Having the opportunity to immerse myself in the Swiss culture was both a professional and personal growing experience.

I wrote my Masters Research Paper on the geopolitical factors and nuanced motivations behind the Yugoslav Wars in the 1990s, with a focus on the Kosovo War in 1998-99. My parents migrated from Kosovo in 1964 and 1988, respectively, thus offering a personal connection to my research.

Upon my return to Canada, I was able to partake in the co-op program where I received a placement with Global Affairs Canada, where I continue to work on captivating and exciting international files.

I am grateful for the incredible experience of the dual degree program. It is an opportunity that I would encourage any future student to seize.”

Arta Tahiraj

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Max Kallenbach

First Dual MA Graduate from University of Lucerne to Carleton

“In January 2019, I arrived in Ottawa at -15 degrees, packed with many expectations, hopes and two large suitcases. I was the first student from Switzerland to complete the new Double MA Degree at the University of Lucerne and Carleton University. Two years later, I am feeling blessed and grateful. I have had a great time at Carleton, was active in various clubs and societies, made some great new friends, and visited many of Ontario’s beautiful spots.

I was excited and sad to leave Carleton and officially start the next chapter of my life, but I am forever grateful to the Carleton community for welcoming me with open arms and preparing me for life! The parts I will miss the most are definitely going to classes with my friends, being part of Carleton’s clubs and hanging out on its beautiful campus.

I am now working as an Associate at the Embassy of Switzerland in Canada, specializing in Diplomatic Affairs, Human Rights, and Economic relations. It feels great good to be back in Diplomacy, and I cant wait to see where life takes me next.”

Max Kallenbach

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