We are proud to share another success story – an amazing experience of Vedad Šehanović, our ECON student who took part in the 25th AIPES Institute in Prague in July 2017. American Institute on Political and Economic Systems (AIPES), organised by the Fund for American Studies (TFAS) and Charles University in Prague, is one of the oldest summer programmes in Europe. An intensive three-week programme is divided into four academic modules discussed throughout its duration. These modules cover a wide range of topics, from Economics and Politics to Philosophy and Literature. It also carries 9 ECTS from Charles University, which can be used as a substitute for some of the courses at students’ home universities.
Vedad was kind enough to share his experience with us.
“After I read the call for applications that SSST PR office sent us last December, I decided to apply for AIPES 2017. Without any serious expectations, I thought it was worth a try. The application process took some effort, both from me and from my ever-so-helpful professor Vjekoslav Domljan, Dean of the Department of Economics at the time, who was kind to provide me with the information required from an academic adviser. In March I was informed that I had been selected as participant of AIPES. Only in that moment did I start to think what an opportunity that would be – meeting 115 participants from all over the world and attending lectures held by some of the most esteemed US professors was a once-in-a-lifetime event that I knew I could not miss.
Looking back at AIPES, I know that it met all of my expectations in academic terms. New perspectives I gained in Political Philosophy and the Good Society, new aspects of Political Economy and knowledge of Conflict Management have considerably affected my knowledge of world affairs, but also gave me a more inward-looking view of how and why our world functions. I was also thrilled to see how big the knowledge I came with from SSST was, especially in Political Economy, which is, after all, closest to my major – Economics. My knowledge from before enabled me to take a more active role in discussions and lectures and is probably one of the important factors in excellent grades I received.
What I did not expect, however, is how deeply would AIPES affect me on a personal level. Initially scared of how I would find anyone to talk to in a group that big, and burdened by our Bosnian reality, I found out that most participants were just like me, some of them coming from countries in a far worse situation than in Bosnia. But in AIPES, none of these local problems really matter – the whole group became like a family, and I soon found myself chatting with people from Lebanon, Turkmenistan, the US, Turkey, Serbia, like we were old friends. With these people I had some of the best moments of my life, talking, travelling and partying like never before. It was in this spirit of friendship and fun that I started enjoying all those little things – from our daily walk to the restaurant for lunch, to studying for exams the night before. (Don’t do that, do all the readings on time! :)
All in all, it’s hard to say what affected me the most. What I know is that, when I came home, I felt ‘physically, mentally and emotionally exhausted’ (as our program director said many times), and I could only ask myself – why did I wait so long and why didn’t I apply for AIPES before?!"
Many thanks to Vedad for sharing his experience. We encourage all of you to apply, grab your opportunity and make your own story!
"AIPES 2017 was an intense journey and the one which will forever stay in my memory. Listening to some of the most esteemed professors in their fields, and meeting people from 40+ countries was such an experience that I can only ask you – what are YOU waiting for? Apply!”
Vedad Šehanović, SSST student and AIPES 2017 participant
Story delivered by Lejla Selmanović, Head of PR
Photo credit: Vedad Šehanović