Alumni Comments about EPU

"Man lernt unglaublich viel, die Professoren sind die Topleute im Feld und die Institution hat international einen sehr guten Ruf. Ich finde es ein bisschen traurig, dass es in Österreich nicht so bekannt ist, wie es sein sollte." (ORF Burgenland-Beitrag "Karriere als Katastrophenforscher" vom 14.04.2012) Daniel PETZ, Austria

"I am an Albanian citizen given Albanian salaries would have been impossible for me to attend such a program. I found the EPU MAS program a very useful experience. The books, lecturers, discussions, the whole philosophy of EPU really opened my eyes. It literally changed my whole life perspective. I came back in Albania with a different attitude." Emira SHKURTI, Albania

"I am very grateful for having been granted the scholarship from the Austrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Without it, I would not have been able to study there, nor would I have had the chance of learning peace and conflict resolution a field of studies which unfortunately does not exist in Brazil yet." Fabio Pietraroia Lacerda SOARES, Brazil

"I was one of the students receiving full scholarship while attending EPU and I am extremely grateful to be given the chance for this unique academic and intercultural experience and unforgettable time spent in Schlaining!" Nataliya DIMITROVA, Bulgaria

"I have the chance to put into practice many of the things I learnt at EPU. Thank you very much for making EPU an amazing part of my life and a launchpad for my career." Ilina SLAVOVA, Bulgaria

"My experience at EPU was very rich in that it was the first time for me to live with people with different cultures, coming from more than 20 different countries." Yves Narcisse DABIRE, Burkina Faso

"Having worked in communities rife with conflict of varied dimensions (structural and violent), dealing with issues of Post-conflict reconstruction and Peace building needed solution seeking approaches. EPU furnished my basic knowledge and practical experiences with complex theoretical frameworks and practical tools. EPU provided me with the opportunity of broadening my views on issues of conflict, Peace, Development, violence etc. It equally highlighted the realistic perspectives of achieving Peace at all levels." Neba Fidelis CHEBE, Cameroon

"I must seize this opportunity to let you know that my studies in EPU have been of great use not only to me but to my country as a whole. Thanks to the Austrian government Development scholarship. More of such efforts will one day make Africa a peaceful and developed continent." Iosha SOLOMON, Cameroon

"I have great memories of EPU and wish it continued success." Angelo ASIMAKOPOULOS, Canada

"I had a great experience at EPU, that has enriched both my professional and personal life." Martha Eugenia MURCIA, Colombia

"I recall my time at EPU with great fondness. It was an experience that contributed both personally and professionally. It helped one engage in much needed interaction with students from all over the world, and thus improved my communication skills as a diplomat. The topics we studied were also directly of value, having allowed me to better understand issues of peacemaking and conflict resolution." Walid HAGGAG, Egypt

"Allow me to express my appreciation & gratitude to EPU for helping me acquire valuable experience which plays a meaningful and significant role in what I have been and will continue to do for the organization which gave the chance to participate in the program." Hailegebriel DEBEBE, Ethiopia

"The Conflict Transformation and Peace Studies course I took in EPU has helped me to demonstrate my knowledge of African and global issues on the exams and interview and had impact to get the post. I believe the experience and the knowledge I get from the course will further my career and personal development. Finally, I am grateful to what EPU has done for me and believe it will support me in my future endeavors." Abigael TEKLU, Ethiopia

"The scholarship that I got to the EPU in the spring of 2000 changed my life. Once again, thank you so much for that wonderful opportunity to study at the EPU in Spring 2000. It is one of the greatest memories of my life, and I am so grateful to the Austrian government for having granted me the scholarship." Sabil FRANCIS, India

"EPU was a wonderful experience for me, something that I shall cherish for the rest of my life. It literally gave a platform to interact with the rest of the world. I made some wonderful friends and we still keep in touch. I hope our children will also grow up to be friends! The professors were wonderful and so were the residents of Schlaining." Yasmina HALIM, India

"I am doing well in Bradford, but very much miss Schlaining. The program in Bradford in great, but I must say the cultural and intellectual exchange in Schlaining was more intensive. Therefore, I am thinking of coming back to EPU." Diah Kei KUSUMANINGRUM, Indonesia

"I feel deeply honored that in 1997 I had an opportunity to attend the peace course under the scholarship of the Austrian government. The program that I attended has enriched my perspectives not only in the academic aspect of peace studies, but has also strengthened my analytical skill in dealing with issues of peace and conflict analysis. I do believe that combination between my training in EPU plus other trainings and studies that I have been attended somewhere else, has jointly contributed to strengthening my way of life." Riefqi MUNA, Indonesia,

"I am proud to say that one semester at the EPU helps me a lot at my work. It gives me courage to promote peace through education and to tell people about non-violent solutions when conflicts take place. Our world needs peace and understanding so much and the young generation should be given a chance to try to create peace on our planet." Julia STUPAK, Kyrgyzstan

"Indeed, without the EPU scholarship my studies in Schlaining would not have been possible, and my career would have had less opportunities." Octavian SOFRANSKY, Moldova

"In formulation of future projects to launch in Mongolia, the knowledge gained in EPU is very useful. I feel that I acquired required skills to deal with various people and understand implications of the international organizations and world superpower programs in developing our poor nations. Furthermore, knowledge gained in EPU helps me to successfully contribute to the development of Mongolia. Therefore I am grateful for the Austrian scholarship that enabled me to study in EPU certificate course in 2002.” Buyandelger ULZIIKHUU, Mongolia

"My background studies in EPU have really opened doors to me in the professional and personal sphere. In my former job, as an executive Director of a non-profit organization, I was responsible for a Certificate course in management of non-profits, and I always included the topic of techniques in conflict resolution and I was the speaker or facilitator of the workshop. I also participated as a consultant in a project of mediation for youth in high risk. I really value the experience and what I've learned in EPU, which has given me the opportunity to share my knowledge with my colleagues in Nicaragua and with people that really need to learn to negotiate through peaceful means their conflicts." Patricia GOMEZ, Nicaragua

"EPU has helped me to achieve some of my most important professional goals." Diogenes H. RUIZ, Nicaragua

"My experience at EPU has been exceptionally good and academically very satisfying indeed, even after I left Austria in June 1996." Farah ZAHRA, Pakistan

"I feel deeply indebted to the EPU to help both in my academic and spiritual development. Academically, it helped carve my world view regarding peace and conflict resolution through some great faculty members and also by taking me through a deep interfaith, intercultural and interpersonal experience. Schlaining was the first European town I had an encounter with. Because of the richness of the diversity both in terms of people's backgrounds and goals in life, it has become a part of my inner life. Whenever, I encounter conflict or difference in whatever field, I always remember the EPU experience of 'oneness' – the ability of the group to overcome the differences and focus on the 'sameness'. Schlaining gave me the wonderful opportunity to make friends with people who neither shared my religion and culture nor the same value system, yet became very close to my heart. The experience proved to me that human beings have a deep connection with each other, beyond all the indoctrination and learned social behavior, which in simple words is called 'love'. The MA at EPU had given me more than just an academic degree and that is the ability to cherish human bonding beyond biases and prejudices - in my own Sufi tradition, one aspect of understanding the ‘unity within diversity'. I have a deep connection with EPU and its vision of peace. I feel that it is doing something that a lot of UN agencies despite huge funding and lofty goals have not been able to do.” Bashir MUSSARAT, Pakistan

"I am grateful to EPU for the great experience I got with you in Austria." Roberto CORTES, Peru

"I got a scholarship from the Austrian government, and still am very thankful for the opportunity. My training from EPU helped a lot to deepen my appreciation and develop an expertise in the field of peace and conflict research in my department. I think the scholarships provided by the Austrian government means a lot to students like myself - who wish to study in a cross-cultural setting under an excellent program, but do not have the means. I hope the Austrian government continues to support poor but deserving students from developing countries". Jennifer Oreta SANTIAGO, Philippines

"Coming from University studies in Switzerland I was very glad to be accepted as student at the EPU for the second turn. For me it was nice to go much beyond just purely intellectual and academic thinking as at the time the program was composed somehow by half theory, half practical exercises whereby I learned also a lot about peace on a quite personal level. I also found the field trips to the UN, to Former Yugoslavia and to the parliament in transition in Budapest very interesting as it gave a first-hand insight into the nature of societal conflicts and war. The other quite exceptional thing was at the time the international composition of students with people coming from Africa, Latin America, South East Asia, Europe and North America. It was my first truly intercultural experience and opened very much the path for my further work in conflict zones in the framework of Peace Brigades International." Jürgen STORK, Switzerland

"My part was to prevent war from happening! As a pacifist (thanks to EPU and my sponsor - the Austrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs), I always advised the Army to take a peaceful approach, rather than a violent one. It is worth noting here that, for example, the Army and the Foreign Ministry do not share the same view in a specific circumstance. The former must be prepared for the worst scenario while the latter seeks to prevent such a scenario from occurring. In the army, I play a balancing role as the Foreign Ministry does in the Government. It is very important that the Army must have an opposite voice since in the Army the pessimistic view often prevails. All of this has happened and will happen because the EPU and the Austrian Foreign Ministry granted me a scholarship. I can guarantee that their money was used very wisely as I demonstrated earlier. My people, my country and I owe them a lot. And I thank them for contributing to peace." Praweena KLINSIRSOOK, Thailand

"I am putting my EPU knowledge to good use". Peter EDOPU, Uganda

"I hope many more students will be sponsored. We need to learn about peace-keeping and promote peace in our uncertain world. I also have to say that through EPU I have met so many good friends whom I still keep in contact with, EPU has its special atmosphere that no other university can offer. I just hope EPU does not loose this special characteristic!” Gloria MWENGE, Uganda

"The experience at the EPU is definitely one of those that I will cherish, as an important embellishment to my career in the foreign service of Uganda. The issues discussed and analyzed during the course are still relevant in most aspects. "I did benefit from the course that focused on EU institutions, since I am now immersed in the practical aspects of dealing with the EU." Philip ODIDA, Uganda

"With the knowledge and skills acquired from the various courses and seminars at EPU and interaction and sharing of experiences and ideas with people with different backgrounds and experiences, I have been able to make a difference in emergency programming and planning of the agency and in the lives of the people in the disturbed northern Uganda. I have been able to establish other programs to run along side the relief program. I have been able to set up psychosocial programs for children abducted by rebels and for families that have lost their dear ones. I have also been in a position to influence the agency to commit more funds to provide basic education to the children in the disturbed areas which we all thought was impossible in the past. It was very important for me to gain skills and knowledge that relief alone is not sufficient for war victims. This has made me more creative to help the disadvantaged groups. The training received from EPU has also put me in a better position to advise my agency on programming for emergency situations. I have also been able to improve on the relief distribution methods both within our agency and other agencies working in this war torn area, like the World Food Program. It is because of this experience that I am proud of my EPU training and many thanks to the Austrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Wars have greatly destroyed many nations and thus put many innocent people into uncalled for suffering. It is a fact we cannot run away from. The only hope is to train and sensitize as many people as possible if we are to help many that are suffering from the devastating effect and say NO to war. I would like once again to extend my sincere gratitude and appreciation to the Austrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs for availing me an opportunity to carry out a certificate course in Peace Studies at EPU through the scholarship awarded to me." Muhwezi Martha LUNYOLO, Uganda

"The program at EPU was of great help to me in my career. It had given me exposure to development as a practice area." Alexandra ZAYARNA, Ukraine

"I hope EPU and the scholarships can be alive for the many students willing to live this wonderful experience! " Oriana BONFIM, USA

"Thanks to the EPU, I have discovered Human Rights and found the way for me, as a jurist, to contribute towards peace in the world." Tea GORJANC, Yugoslavia



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