Ihintza , France, Master’s cohort 2014-15
I am from the Northern Basque Country, located in France, where I studied Law. During my studies I had lots of questions that were not answered by the "traditional" legal studies. This is why I decided to go to Oñati: it was offering a fresh take on Law from what I had learned during my undergraduate degree.
The sociology law and socio-legal studies ask questions that go beyond a positivistic approach to law. It studies the relationship between law and society, the interconnections, the gaps, the evolutions… Having worked in the area of linguistic minorities, I am particularly interested in the connections between norm users and the legal framework.
I enjoyed the variety of the programme: it exposed to an assortment of topics and approaches. This helped me broaden my view of the law and of the socio-legal studies. Indeed, I discovered my education in law was rather Eurocentric, and the students, visiting scholars and professors really broadened my horizon.
During the thesis writing stage, I learned the basics of how to conduct a research, how to communicate with a supervisor and how to communicate my research.
As a Basque myself, it was nice to live in another area of the Basque Country. In addition, living with students and visiting scholars from different backgrounds, countries and cultures was enriching. We also took the opportunity to taste different cuisines.
I would definitively recommend this programme, specially to those who are curious, ask lots of questions and need a new discipline to answer them. The atmosphere is also intense yet unique, where for a short amount of time you find yourself surrounded by sociolegal experts and students discussing sociolegal topics drinking coffee in the Oñati main square. It is quite special.
This also poses a challenge: since we share our “work” and “free” time with more or less the same people, I would recommend take some time off, and to not talk about the studies with your fellow students. Luckily, despite being a small town, Oñati is an active town, with a nice offer of activities.
I completed the Masters in 2015. After that, I became a pre-doctoral researcher and the European University Institute, where I completed my PhD in 2022. I am currently both teaching at a Master’s Degree on transborder and inter-state law (at the UPPA university), and working on a cross-border academic project in the same institution.
Ursus , , 2015-16
For Ursus´ account of the Master´s programme, see the video link: URSUS EIJKELENBERG - YouTube
For 12 more students’ experiences, see this document.