Friday, 25 November 2011

Updates from Helsinki :)

(Written by Anne Hopia, Helsinki)
The application period for the Religious Roots of Europe (RRE) International Master's Programme opens up at University of Helsinki. It's possible to apply for the programme from 21.11.2011 to 31.1.2012. Please keep track also of the application periods of other Nordic universities participating in the programme!

Greetings from the heart of Helsinki!

The official Christmas Sreet was opened yesterday with the appropriate parade lead by the Santa Claus himself and followed by his red-cheeked Christmas gnomes. The Faculty of Theology of University of Helsinki is located along this very street, which is named in the city map as Aleksanterinkatu. The street has been named after the Russian Emperor Alexander II (1818-1881), who acted also as the Grand Duke of Finland.

This year RRE programme in Helsinki admitted 6 new students, out of them 5 were able to start their studies in Helsinki this autumn. Their educational background represents Theology, History, Classical Philology and Linguistics.

This October also a first cycle student Anna-Liisa Tolonen graduated as a first student from the programme in Helsinki. She finished her studies within 2 years and her thesis handled "The Reception of the Maccabean Martyrs: Their Historiographical and Paradigmatic Functions in Antique and Late-antique Jewish and Christian Sources". Now Anna-Liisa is planning to start postgraduate studies at the Faculty of Theology, where she also works as a study tutor for the 3rd cycle RRE-students. Please read here how she reflected upon the programme a year ago:

The Religious Roots of Europe (RRE) is a joint and international two-year Master's Programme offered by the following Nordic universities: Aarhus, Bergen, Copenhagen, Lund and Oslo. Compact seminars are organised at all these institutions as well as in Nordic institutes in the Mediterranean area.

Copyright Helsinki University

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Welcome to the new RRE-blog! and some words of explanation

At some point this year I managed to delete my gmail-account without thinking about how it would effect the RRE-blog. Now we are back in business again. Since I am soon to become an old RRE, and my biggest priority this spring should be my thesis, I will ask our dear first year RRE`s to participate in the blog-work and hopefully also take over the editor responsibility.

So watch out, soon there will come more posts!

(The ones already here are the ones we managed with the help of some smart internet-tricks, to find. so not everything from the old blog, but parts of it.)

L is for Lund

8 March 2011
This week, the first compact seminar of the semester is taking place, in the wonderful city of Lund, Sweden. I (Hilde) will post some pictures and text some time next week.

It is a sunny day in Lund, and Judith and I are getting ready for the university and looking forward to meet the rest of the RRE`s.


Why does it always rain on me?

21 January 2011
I (Hilde) had a serious appointment with my camera this week, wishing to show you how beatiful Bergen can be. But the problem is, it has a tendency to rain here. Which in a way is good, cause that keep you more focused on studying. I cant imagine studying in a warm, dry place, close to a beach, and no hills to climb, except if you really wanted to go on a mountain trip. I climb down one and then up a hillside again, to go to campus. Bergen is not build high heels or heavy luggage, thats for sure.

But it is also a beatiful city, and on sunny days the best place to be is in the park on campus, outside a cafe, or on the mountaintop "Fløyen" . We are doing a compact seminar here in october, and I am hoping to take the whole bunch up to one of the mountains, would be great:)
but first there is springsemester, with long days of reading, writing summaries and pulling out every hairstraw from your head in frustration, lunchbreaks with lots of strange and interesting topics, a course about ethics in scientifical work, a cold, a trip to Lund and one to Oslo, and at some point: summer in Bergen.

P is for Polyglot. RRE from A to Z

12 January 2011
A is Academics, Arabic, Ancient studies and Aarhus
B is for Bergen
C is for Compact Seminar, Curriculum,Christianity, Coptic and Copenhagen (and sometimes: Confusion)
D is for Discussions, Denmark
E is for English, Exams,Emergence and Europe
F is for Friendship, Finland
G is for Greek, Gnostic texts
H is for Hebrew and Helsinki
I is for Islam, Interaction and Ice Cream (really good one in Rome!!)
J is for Judaism and Joint  and international program
K is for Knowledge
L is for Languages, Learning, Latin and Lund
M is for Master thesis (!)
N is for Nordic, Norway
O is for Oslo
P is for Paganism, Polyglot and Program Comitee
Q is for Questions
R is for Religion, Roots and Rome
S is for Syriac, Sweden
T is for Theology, Teaching,Text-courses and Travelling
U is for Understanding
V is for the Vestal Virgins
W is for Welcomes students from all over the World
X is for Xenophilia
Y is for ...
Z is, still trying to figure these last ones out

Will be updated:)

How to get accepted for RRE

The Masters in the Religious Roots of Europe is a 2 year full-time study programme. When you apply, you apply directly to the university you wish to be immatriculated at, and it is for the individual University to decide wether you qualify for acceptance, and to send you the information you will need to start living and studying in a new country and at a new University (if you are international student). So if you want to study in Bergen you follow Bergens application procedures, and if you want to apply to Helsinki you follow Helsinki`s application procedures.

BUT, there are some general rules.The studyplan says:

"The Master’s Programme is open to students with a bachelor’s degree with a major in theology, the study of religion, classical philology, classical archaeology, history or the equivalent. The Master’s Programme with its modules and courses progresses from the learning outcome, knowledge, skills and abilities obtained by the students through these bachelor’s programmes."


you must be able to document that you have passed modules equal to (or more than) 20 ECTS in either: arabic, hebrew, greek or latin.

Further, its it required that you have a good profiecency in English. a proof of that is that you can find all my spelling mistakes. or rather: you should do a TOEFL-test. (nordic students should send their diploma from high school/secondary school with the application)

For the individual Universities, see:

Helsinki/Helsingfors: 31.of january, Århus: 1. of march, Bergen 1.of march, Oslo: 15 of april (1. of December for outside EU/EØS students)  Copenhagen:   1.of march   Lund: 17 of January.

and remember: From 2011 Norway is the only country who does not take school fees for students from outside European Union/EØS/EFTA. so thats a  good reason for coming to Norway :-)

Deadlines and other fun stuff

1 December 2010
At this time of  the year, we are all waiting for the grades from the first two exams, and preparing for the next ones. We follow Århus`s system, and therefore the autumn semester starts 1.of september and ends 31.of january and the spring semester starts 1.of february and ends 30.of june. In Norway we end the autumn semester around christmastime, and start in week two with the springsemester, therefore some confusion might errupt. our deadlines for being semesterregistered at our university, and signed up for subjects and exams if they are under the supervision of Bergen, is the same date as the semester starts with RRE. doing languages at your norwegian university means that you start late august, and middle january. confused? well its not that complicated. When you start you just go and ask the nice people working at your institute, and they will explain you everything, or you`ll figure it out together. Universities are confusing places cause they are big and have a lot of buildings, and you are never sure who`s responsibility your questions are. Best thing to do is to ask the person you think you are supposed to ask, and if that person cant help you, he or she will most probably guide you to the right one. University systems can be strange and unlogical, but the people working there are sweet and helpful.

By the way, in order to be considered for the master in The religious roots of Europe, there is also deadlines: For Bergen and Århus its 1.of march, for Oslo 15.of april (but earlier for students from outside EU) and for the other ones you have to check with the respective faculties, cause Iam not sure. But basically you only need to know the one for Bergen, cause thats where you are going to apply, right?

merry christmas, and see you again after my januaryexam!:)

I dont know what you did last summer...But I do know what you should do next autumn

15 November 2010
My (Hilde's) bachelordegree is a mixture of three different universities and one university college (høgskole). After spending nine months in Copenhagen after high school, working as a kind of social worker/volunteer,followed by five weeks in a small Finnish town calles Kaskinen/Kaskô, as a summeworker, it became clear to me and probably also people around me, that I would never manage five years of studies in one Norwegian city. And the prophesy turned out correct, I have studied two years in Trondheim, one and a half in Stavanger  and a half in Århus, Denmark. Inbetween this I did something possibiliy more strange, I had a summerjob in SWEDEN. Norwegians dont do that, Its not normal. which is kind of why I did it.
I have spent one summer in Copenhagen in an international summercourse, and all this things put together finally got me a bachelors degree in religion and intercultural communication.
Then came the question about the master, and I was in as much doubt as I was when starting studying. I wanted to keep on with religion, but a "normal" master in religion sounded somehow a bit boring. I decided I wanted to study in Norway, and thats the reason why the master in religion sounded boring, it would be in norwegian, and there would not be any international people in it. so, what to do?

I did the same as many other do, and googled universities. And I found a masterprogram which sounded interesting, and Iam a bit afraid for saying this, cause my professors might read it, but the reason why this masters program caught my eye was not the courses taught, it was the possibility to travel ,and to be with international people. I started reading more, and yes dear professors, I also found the courses offered interesting, and I do admire the work put into making this masters program.

A Master in RRE will not give me the dream job. You will never find a job advertisment saying: "prefered applicants are thoes who has a master in the religious roots of europe". BUT you can use this master, together with skills obtained from earlier studies, jobs, voluntery work, and the person you are, to sometime in the future get the job of your dreams. You do not only learn alot about the historical roots of the three religions: judaism, christianity and islam, and get a better understanding of how these religions have shaped Europe, you also learn to communicate on a higher level of english, you can learn a classical language and improve one you allready have a basis in, and you get an important basis if you are thinking about an international carriere.

AND: you get to meet some of the most lovely people you will ever meet, that should, according to me, be counted in aswell.

Still in doubt? contact one of the universities who are taking part in this Nordic Masters program. Of course I will strongly recommend Bergen, its a perfect sized city surronded by lovely nature, many good obtions for cafes and nightlife, is proud of beeing a student city, and has a pretty good university;)

And we worked hard.... Pictures by the famous photographers Tanya from Uni. Helsinki and Hilde

3 November 2010
 Groupwork. Gergana, Hilde and Ebenezer

 Our Christianity teacher Troels
Yepp, we do love each other here at RRE