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Burak Ozdemir

Where are you from?


What year did you complete your degree?

I will be completing my studies in 2011

What degree pathway are you studying at Queen’s?

I took a Masters Degree in European History at Bilkent University in Turkey, and I am currently studying for my Ph.D. in the History Department at Queen’s.

Why did you choose to study History at Queen’s?

I’ve chosen to come over here and study History at Queen’s as the University is already well-known for its high reputation for the study of humanities. The teaching staff in the History Department and the areas of study are sufficient reasons for students to choose Queen’s. More particularly, the temptation of studying at Queen’s was its potential to teach Irish History at all levels so that it would become possible to gain a first hand experience of the whole society and its history. As an international student, I can heartily say that I’ve found the right place to equip myself both academically and historically with the kind of information I need for writing my Ph.D. thesis successfully.

What do you particularly enjoy about studying this subject at Queen’s?

When I began studying my thesis subject as a full-time registered student, the first thing that I realised was the Department’s strength in its capacity to draw and focus my attention on the most important points of my research. My intention is to specialise in Early Modern Irish History with a particular interest in the development of the idea of toleration during the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries. Although I am an international student I never felt that studying such a topic would be a difficult task for me. This was in part due to the professional and helpful approach of the teaching staff at Queen’s, and partly to the academic facilities offered at different levels. I can assuredly say that thesis supervision is what is most needed in the process of research and writing up a Ph.D., and it is admirably well done at Queen’s. Students can also enjoy sitting in many conferences or seminars held at different periods throughout the year. The Institute of Irish Studies is really a great chance to follow the international and interdisciplinary character of the studies of Irish history. Research student conferences provide students with the opportunity to present their work both to senior and fellow historians. There is also a wide range of funding options, and international students are always welcome to apply.  I’ve been awarded a full Postgraduate Research Studentship from the Irish Studies Initiative, which upon successful progress covers all the tuition and living expenses for a three-year research.

What about studying at Queen’s in general? What is that like?

The fascinating location of the University in the city avoids the feeling of isolation. Unlike many campus universities which are generally located well outside the city centres, Queen’s gives its student community the opportunity to adjust to the life in Belfast easily and quickly. As for the accommodation, most of the students choose living in one of the university owned accommodations, a good way of making a lot of friends from all over the world. The collections in the library and its full online access to many e-books and journal articles together with special databases can make things easier for research students. It is also very easy to travel from Belfast to other research centres in the UK, like to the libraries in London, Oxford and Edinburgh.

What are you planning to do in the future? What career would you like to pursue?

My very intention is to pursue an academic career. What I want is to carry out a good research during my stay here at Queen’s and specialise in my subject area as much as possible. When I go back to Turkey, I want to fill up an apparent gap that exists in teaching European History at Turkish Universities.

Would you recommend studying at Queen’s to other students? What advice would you give them?

Yes, I would. Especially for international students, Queen’s seems to be a good place to come and study. It is really an interesting and instructive experience to see that you everyday benefit from what an internationally well-known university can offer.
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