15 January 2019
In this interview, Anthoula Bourolias, currently enrolled in our Master of Advanced Studies in Transitional Justice, Human Rights and the Rule of Law (MTJ), tells us about the programme and life in Geneva.
My name is Anthoula Bourolias, and I was born and raised in Toronto, Canada. Prior to joining the Geneva Academy, I completed an Honors Bachelor of Arts Degree at the University of Toronto where I majored in African Studies and minored in Political Science and History. Here, I had the opportunity to conduct field research on human rights violations in East Africa, mainly in Rwanda and Kenya. Subsequently, I worked at an indigenous rights law firm in Toronto as a legal assistant and researcher for the National Inquiry on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls.
In addition to my academic and career-oriented passions, I love to travel, weightlift, cook and spend quality time with my family. I am also a native Greek and English speaker and have basic Swahili proficiency.
Applying to the Geneva Academy was an easy decision for me. Having worked on transitional justice and human rights issues in Canada and East Africa, I was quickly drawn to the Geneva Academy’s unique reputation. As an academic institution, it is upon few, world-wide, that embodies a multi-interdisciplinary approach to learning about the complexities, challenges, and approaches to dealing with mass human rights violations in post-conflict societies.
There is never a dull moment at the Geneva Academy because it is not a conventional master’s programme. Rather, it hosts a wide variety of unique features such as the TJ cafes, conferences and events, an individualized track system, the Spring School, and a study trip. All of these features encourage a professionalizing and diversified approach to learning.
What I admire most about the MTJ programme is the diverse faculty: professors are among the best scholars and practitioners in the field of transitional justice and international human rights law. They inspire students to engage, innovate, and collaborate in and out of the classroom, which creates a stimulating and dynamic learning experience.
I plan to continue academic research by pursuing a PhD. The Geneva Academy supports this endeavour specifically through the Academic Research Track which prepares students for doctoral-level research. I am particularly interested in conducting further research on the concept of reconciliation, and memory/forgiveness in post-conflict settings.
This particular spot reminds me of my first week of class where I ventured into this beautiful library, wandering through the stacks, amazed by the collection. I thought to myself… I am here and this is really happening.
As a Human Rights Officer at the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, Ignacio Bollier works on cases related to crimes against humanity and gross human rights violations during transitional and post-transitional contexts. He tells in this interview about the programme, fond memories and what it brought to his career.
Applications for the 2024–2025 academic year of our MAS in Transitional Justice, Human Rights and the Rule of Law are open. They will run until 26 January 2024 for applications with a scholarship and until 24 February 2024 for applications without a scholarship.