Claudia Ciobanu, Class of 2005: “AUBG Builds Lifelong Connections”

Claudia Ciobanu graduated from the American University in Bulgaria in 2005 with a double major in Political Science and European Studies. After working as a journalist for the Romanian national daily Cotidianul and for the international news agency Inter Press Service, Claudia decided to go back to the academia. She is currently a PhD student at University College London. She doesn’t see the change of course as so drastic though: Both her journalistic work and her academic pursuits allow her to gain deeper understanding of politics and of how society functions, Claudia says.

AUBG had a huge impact on her, Claudia says. The academic part of her experience, and the political science courses in particular, was crucial in developing her thinking, she says. She especially appreciated the opportunity to learn about her classmates’ personal experiences of the major historical events unfolding in Eastern Europe.

And that is not all. “I also learnt how to better write and express myself in English. I became a more thorough student and reader, a more attentive listener. A better communicator. I got more excited about the world around me. AUBG gave me the chance to do two exchange programs, which surely played their part in the choices I later made about what job to have, whether to return to academia, where to live,” Claudia adds.

In addition to the solid theoretical background she acquired at AUBG, Claudia also values the opportunities for personal development that AUBG gave her. She admits to being shy, a condition her extracurricular activities at AUBG helped her overcome. Her involvement with debating was particularly effective in helping Claudia conquer her fear of speaking in public.

Although most of her college friends are spread around all over the world now, she keeps in touch with them on a regular basis. What is more, AUBGers are such a fixture in the public and private sectors of Eastern Europe that not much time goes by without her running into someone who graduated from AUBG.     

“In my professional life, I kept running always into AUBG graduates from various countries, whom I interviewed for stories for the newspaper or agency, as either academics, analysts or as direct participants in events. Sharing those years at AUBG with these people builds life-long connections and it is sure to help later in life,” Claudia explains.

To the question whether she would recommend AUBG to young people in Romania, Claudia emotionally replies, “Yes, I always thought I would send my children to AUBG. Because it’s a great intermediary step towards what world and life have to offer later.”

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