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Carolina Hamma has studied International Migration and Ethnic Relations at Malmö University. Now she is an Electoral Adviser for UNMIT (United Nations Integrated Mission in Timor-Leste). She is part of a team ensuring that international principles on elections are fulfilled, in cooperation with local agencies.
The master’s programme in International Migration and Ethnic Relations (IMER) focuses on: current international developments and research perspectives in migration and ethnic relations; the effects of globalisation and human mobility on societies, groups and individuals; the social and political adaptation and integration of ethnic minorities in different societies; issues of inclusion and exclusion of immigrants; majority-minority relations; philosophical and ethical perspectives on life in diverse and complex societies.
Students sitting outside Gäddan 8 where the Department of International Migration and Ethnic Relations is housed.
Malmö University offers a one-year and a two-year programme. The one-year programme provides an advanced level specialisation in the field of International Migration and Ethnic Relations. The two-year programme prepares students for future research opportunities and enables further specialisation within one of two themes: Migration and Integration or Migration and Social Theory.
This master's programme teaches you how to conduct in-depth analysis, evaluate policies and criticise and critique migration-related policies.You should expect research-based training and an interdisciplinary outlook that links social sciences with humanities.
Study methods include lectures and discussions, group projects, study visits, thesis work and self-study of literature.
Carolina Hamma has studied international migration and ethnic relations at Malmö University. Now she is an Electoral Adviser for UNMIT (United Nations Integrated Mission in Timor-Leste). She is part of a team ensuring that international principles on elections are fulfilled, in cooperation with local agencies.
How did you end up working in Timor-Leste?
"I uploaded my CV to the UN-Volunteers website and they contacted me a few months later about this opportunity. It sounded really interesting. Then I had a phone interview, where I among other things had to prove that I speak Portuguese."
Carolina on her way to her district.
What else have you worked with since graduating from Malmö University?
"I’ve had many different jobs; I’ve worked as a project assistant on a research project about young people in Malmö, and as a social worker at a home for refugee minors. I have also interned at the Swedish Institute of International Affairs and worked for RedR UK, a non-profit in London that trains humanitarian NGO workers. I have always done what I’ve felt has been really meaningful, and it hasn’t always been easy achieving my goals. Language skills have been crucial; I speak several languages, including Spanish and Portuguese which I’ve learned while travelling and taking classes."
What’s a typical day at work like for you in Timor-Leste?
"Each day is different from the last. But I’ll give an example from the other day: I woke up at 6am and heard what I thought was a very loud, broken motorbike emitting a strong smell of burnt rubber. It turned out it was the Health Ministry that had decided to gas the area for dengue mosquitos. Dengue fever is a big problem here. The gas lay thick and foul-smelling around the whole block. After an ice-cold shower, I took the jeep to work. We were going to Iraler, a mountain village in the district where I work. Six of us fit into the four-wheel drive: three international UNVs and three staff from CNE (National Commission for Elections). Iraler was some 75 km away, but it took us a few hours to get there as the roads are mainly eroded sand, dirt and mud. When we arrived we met up with some colleagues from the Secretariat for Election Administration who were conducting Voters Education in the village. We were going to monitor the event. We also interviewed first-time and young voters about the knowledge about and access to information on the presidential election of March 17. We also delivered election material to the democratically elected village chief and recorded the GPS coordinates of the village. This is needed because the village is so isolated that the votes have to be collected by helicopter on election day. When we were done the village hosted us for lunch, as we had travelled so far to visit them.
A UN vehicle on the beach near Uatolari, Viqueque.
After that we went to a different village to check on a campaign for one of the presidential candidates and leave some information material about the election. Then it was time to go home. The roads were lined with children waving and shouting ‘malaj malaj!’ (which means foreigner). There are a lot of young people in Timor-Leste, 69 per cent of the population are younger than 25. Many of the older people died during the Indonesian occupation 1975-2000. A third of the total population is thought to have lost their lives during those years."
Do you have any advice for current students?
"Be realistic when you follow your dreams and find out as much as possible about what they entail. Become an information junkie. And it’s alright to give up and try something new (ha-ha). I know that everyone says the opposite, but there’s nothing wrong with choosing a new path."
Name: Weigan Xu
About coming to Sweden and Malmö
I chose to live in a city with culture diversity. I have met a lot of people from all parts of the world. People are friendly and helpful, and Malmö is a peaceful city. I hope my experiences will open my mind and hopefully change my options in the future. Previously I was fed up with journalism, the field I studied first, because there is a lot of censorship in my homeland.
About Malmö University
I´m very satisfied with my studies here. My former professor recommended me to come here because he has also been a student here. The studying method is very different here from how it is in China. At home we have our examinations in class. Here we have an open atmosphere, where every student writes what she wants and thinks and presents it to the class. We are then encouraged to debate. It involves more critical ideas which is much better. It gives more perspective.
About the program
My field is philosophic and it requires me to think more. In addition here in Malmö I feel that I get a chance also to slow my pace and start to think more about my life. Actually, a new idea emerged in my mind after I came to Malmö, and that is that I want to become a merchant in the future.
About the future
My plan is not related to my field of study. I want to be a merchant and with my studies I get to know Swedish culture and about people’s consumption habits. Maybe I will start my business here in Malmö.
Understanding the complexities of international migration and ethnic relations is essential to ensure reflective decision-making in a variety of fields, for example, international organisations, academia, national and local governments, NGOs, and the media. Students who have completed the programme are also eligible to apply for PhD studies.
The programme was established 06 March 2007.
This programme syllabus (version 8) was approved 15 November 2012 by the Board of Studies at Faculty of Culture and Society (SMS).
The syllabus is valid from 01 September 2013. Replacement for programme syllabus ratified 15 November 2012.