Alumni Speaks

Voices of Experience, Echoes of Impact: Alumni Speaks

Embarking on my Masters in International Relations (2003-2005), at the then Center for Latin American Studies (CLAS), now the School of International and Area Studies, Goa University, offered me a uniquely intimate educational journey, in Goa itself. As part of the fourth annual cohort of IR students, we were a small yet tight-knit group, benefiting from a familial atmosphere, in a modest yet vibrant Centre of learning. The dedicated mentorship, from the then Director of CLAS, Prof. V. Shivkumar, and especially from Prof. Aprajita Gangopadhyay, and Asst. Prof. Dattesh Parulekar, was unparalleled, fostering not only our academic growth, but also our holistic well-being. Initially drawn towards Law, I found the diverse curriculum—encompassing everything from Geopolitics, the dynamics of International Law to Macroeconomics, the eclectic instruction was indeed pivotal in my deeper and nuanced understanding of India’s role in global affairs. This rich educational foundation, has been instrumental in my progression to a qualitative role within the Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India, enriching my career and contributing to my country’s astute diplomatic efforts.

Mr. Clayton Barreto (2003-2005 Batch) Social Secretary to the High Commissioner
High Commission of India, London, UK

I enrolled in the Master's programme of International Studies, at the SIAS in 2017 and thoroughly relished my two-year journey. The faculty provided exceptional support and encouragement, going above and beyond. SIAS's contemporary syllabus, conceptually strong and empirically rich, catered to the industry needs, ensuring that the students acquired a rudimentary yet nuanced analytical understanding of the discipline of International Relations. Additionally, the students had the opportunity to interact with notable figures in their field, thereby rendering much vaunted exposure to policymakers and practitioners. My analytical skills honed at the SIAS, has enabled me to comprehend and report on international events adeptly, a valuable asset in my unfolding Journalism career.

Shailesh Shriram Tanpure (2017-2019 Batch) Sub-Editor at 'The Goan Everyday'

Studying at the SIAS has truly been an enriching experience, one that I am so grateful to have undertaken. Having studied International Relations for my undergraduate degree from Symbiosis International University, I wanted to further build my expertise in the discipline, and found the courses at SIAS to be well-rounded and encapsulating the essence of international relations. Not only this, the courses also provided niche knowledge in the form of area studies that allows the students to learn new languages,and build perspectives from different geopolitical regions and interests from across the spectrum. Apart from the course structure and material, the pedagogy at the School is excellent, and provides a nurturing environment for talent, curiosity and skills to grow, with guest lectures, events and conferences that offer students numerous opportunities to interact with and learn from teachers, professors, professionals and diplomats from across the world. SIAS also offers exciting opportunities to study on a semester abroad programme with Sciences Po, Lyon, in France, which helped me expand my horizons and explore the discipline of IR beyond the borders of India. On a personal note, I've had the honour to be supported and nurtured under the tutelage of the Late Professor Aparajita Gangopadhyay and Asst. Professor Dattesh Parulelkar, whom I have called upon numerous times for guidance, and have always found the help I have needed. Studying at SIAS helped me grow professionally and personally, and has given me the skills, knowledge and confidence to build my future and progress onto my higher education; a truly life-changing experience.

Ms. Divyali Mehrotra (M.A. International Studies, 2020-2022 Batch) PhD Student at Newcastle University

I was working on the editorial desk of a leading newspaper, when I found out about this Course. With an avid interest in world politics and with the first half of my days relatively free, I decided to apply for this Course at SIAS, to delve deeper into the subject. Back then, our batch was just a group of four students. It was fascinating to have my mornings filled with lectures and the conversations heaped with insightful perspectives on why Sovereign States act, the way they do. It helped me as a journalist back then, as well as someone just trying to make sense of the world at large.

Tonella Francisca Coutinho (MA International Studies, 2012-2014 Batch) Sr. Associate at one of the Big Four Consulting Firms in India

I am a 2010-12 batch student of International Relations, at the SIAS. My passion for current and international affairs brought me to the SIAS. And it was more than worth doing for many reasons. One thing exceptional about the SIAS is its faculty; both Prof. Aparajita Ma'am and Dr. Dattesh Sir were not only excellent in their respective fields, they were also passionate about the academic activities they conduct here. The atmosphere at the School was more like a close-knit family. Today, I'm a confident student of International Relations, because of the learning experience I have had at the SIAS. Currently, I am now planning to pursue some further studies abroad.

Niyas Abdulla (MA International Studies, 2010-2012 Batch) Proprietor and Educator

I cannot thank the School of International and Area Studies, Goa University, Goa and the Professors enough, for their unwavering support and guidance throughout my journey towards pursuing a master's in international affairs. My name is Vishnu Langawat, and I was faced with a difficult decision - to put my professional commitments on hold, or to give up on my dream of furthering my education. However, with the world being engulfed in a pandemic, the situation seemed even more daunting. That's when Professors not only understood my predicament but also provided me with the necessary support and guidance to make my dream a reality along with managing my professional commitments. The course material of the school is updated and in line with global affairs and trends. Even during our Internal Semester Exam (ISA-2022 December) for a paper on “Society, Politics and Foreign Policy of Brazil”, we were asked to write how “Luiz Inacio Lula Da Silva would shape the policy and international affairs of Brazil”, that too before his being re-elected for office in the year 2023. Students were tasked to memorize the world map so that they could understand why the nation-states behave in a certain way due to their geography and how geography plays a major role in the survival of some of the nations. The Master’s programme helped me develop my understanding of Global affairs and how Municipal Law of the Nation is being affected by global affairs and Treaty arrangements with nations. The Master’s degree at SIAS is helping me to understand the emerging opportunities and challenges as far as the law is concerned and how as a Corporate Lawyer, I can render considered advice to entrepreneurs and corporate houses, in the business of import and export.
Finally, I am grateful to my professors for their unwavering support. Thanks to them, I am now a proud Master's degree holder (MA-2023) and I couldn't have done it without them. I highly recommend Students looking to pursue a Master’s degree in international affairs from the School of International and Area Studies, Goa University, Goa, no matter what the circumstances. Thank you, SIAS, for being my guiding light and helping me achieve my goals.

Vishnu Langawat (MA International Studies, 2021-23 Batch) Corporate Lawyer

Studying International Relations at the SIAS, was an eye-opener. The dynamic curriculum, expert faculty, and diverse student body, created an intellectually stimulating environment. Engaging in lively thematic and topical discussions, broadened my perspective, immensely. After my Bachelor's in Mathematics, I wanted a change and found the discipline of International Relations most intriguing. Small student cohorts allowed for more personalised and intimate interaction with faculty and peers, thereby enhancing my viewpoints. My outlook on global issues completely shifted, making me more perceptive to popular narratives and encouraging deeper study. It's a course where academic excellence meets real-world relevance. Highly recommended!

Ms. Alvina Almeida (MA International Studies, Class of 2023) Research Scholar

I am Gopal Thakur, a proud graduate of the Master’s programme in International Relations, from the SIAS, formerly known as the Centre for Latin America Studies – Class of 2020. My two years at the SIAS were quite transformative, shaping not just my academic pursuits, but also my outlook on life. Since graduating, my journey has taken an unexpected turn, as I have ventured into the world of Information Technology as an AWS Cloud Engineer, in a start-up. While seemingly unrelated to my field of study, my passion for International Relations remains unwavering. The dynamic nature of both fields constantly challenges me to adapt and evolve.
I owe a debt of gratitude to the faculty and staff at SIAS, particularly to Late Professor Aparajita and Professor Dattesh, whose guidance and mentorship has left an indelible mark on me and my peers. Their teachings instilled in me, a deep appreciation for the complexities and nuances of International Relations, a sentiment that continues to resonate in my current profession. I am thrilled at the opportunity to reconnect with fellow alumni and share our diverse experiences. Despite the divergent paths we may have taken, our collective journey enriches the fabric of our alumni community. I look forward to engaging in meaningful conversations, and exploring, as to how our shared experiences continue to shape our lives.

Mr. Gopal Thakur (MA International Studies, Class of 2020) AWS Cloud Engineer in a Start-Up

As an alumni of Goa University, I am immensely grateful for the wonderful opportunity and experience I had on every front, during my time at the SIAS, Goa University from 2020 to 2022. Choosing this University might have been an accident, but an accident that I wouldn't for a moment, regret. I also consciously made the choice to join SIAS as the Course structure perfectly aligned with my interests in International Relations. Despite the unforeseen shift to online learning for a year, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the dedication, & the expertise of faculty members, ensured that we still received the most and best learning. There have been days, when as a student in Goa University, I had turned up to the classes so excited to know something on topics I was interested in.
However, cutting the long story short and reflecting on my journey, I can confidently say that the impact of my time at the SIAS, Goa University extends far beyond the classroom, shaping me into the person I am today. I'm forever grateful and humbled to be counted among the alumni of this esteemed institution.
Like I always say, thanks to Dr. Dattesh in particular for all that you have been - an amazing example for. Yugank sir's memorable conversations and Aprajita mam's guidance undoubtedly played crucial roles in shaping my thoughts and will continue to do so, going forward.

Mr. Srivatsal Subramaniam (MA International Studies, 2020-2022 Batch) Digital Content Producer - World News, The Times of India, New Delhi.

Choosing to study International Relations, was the optimum way to understand the complex dynamics between countries and how these interactions shape global policies. It was an exciting and challenging experience. The world was experiencing significant geopolitical changes. The School of International and Area Studies (then the UGC Centre for Latin American Studies) boasted expertise in the domain and offered valuable insights and perspectives on the whys and wherefores of global events and trends. Therefore, I had the honor of enrolling for the M.A. in International Studies programme at the SIAS, and graduating in 2007. My ensuing academic exploits have seen me obtain a PhD and yield into a diplomat, advancing my country's national interest as also contributing to the quotient of global good, through inter-personal communication and multi-stakeholder centric engagement. Kudos to the SIAS, and Best Wishes, going forward !!

Dr. Ali Ahmed Ali Shaglah (MA International Studies, Class of 2007) Minister Plenipotentiary, The Embassy of Yemen, Beijing, P.R.C.

I owe my Career and gratitude to my late Prof. Aparajita Ma'am and to Sir Dattesh. The passion and dedication both my Professors always displayed towards teaching me and imparting me the knowledge in the field of International Relations, made me fall in love with the subject. My journey with the Centre for Latin American Studies has been an inspiring one and a memorable experience, which has shaped me into a better professional today.

Mr. Russel Tony D'Souza (MA International Studies, Class of 2017) Faculty In-charge for the Theme Music Institute Pvt. Ltd., Margao, Goa.

At SIAS, I entered with a fledgling grasp of International Relations but a fervent passion for global politics. Immersed in a diverse classroom, I engaged in vibrant discussions and benefited from outstanding faculty lectures which helped me develop a great understanding of the world and its intrinsic politics. SIAS's holistic approach cultivated my passion for international relations research, empowering me to analyze global dynamics with depth and nuance. I am grateful for the transformative education that propelled me toward becoming an adept international relations researcher.

Ms. Anisree Suresh (MA International Studies, Class of 2021) Researcher and Senior Associate in International Relations, Centre for Public Policy Research, Kochi

I graduated from the School of International and Area Studies in 2020. One of the key points that attracted me to the programme was the multidisciplinary nature of the Course. The first 2 months were really experimental. It took me some time to adapt, but my Professors were wonderful. Some of the advice I have received from my professors has helped me significantly, in deciding my future goals. I was able to have intense conversations with our professors about various issues. I am currently preparing for the NET Exam, and I believe that the MA International Studies Course has equipped me suitably for my Career progression. I highly recommend the programme, for anyone interested in politics, world affairs etc.

Ms. Sadiya Chaudhary (MA International Studies, Class of 2020) Alumnus

My curiosity in knowing more about global politics made me study International relations @ SIAS. With the thoughtful guidance and immense knowledge imparted by Prof. Aparajita Gangopadhyay and Dr. Dattesh Parulekar, I quickly fell in love with the subject, especially while learning about foreign policies of varied nations and continents. The Masters course helped me go beyond academics, as I was able to attend political conclaves and guest lectures by politicians, bureaucrats, former Ambassadors, navy personnel and other foreign policy experts. In 2016, due to the guidance of Prof. Gangopadhyay, I was selected for a UNDP programme in Chile i.e. English Opens Doors Program, imparting English language teaching to public high school students. The informative lectures and inputs by Prof. Gangopadhyay and Dr. Parulekar, have helped me analyse international affairs, through a nuanced and holistic perspective.

Mr. Sainandan Sridhar Iyer, (MA International Studies, Class of 2016) Assistant Professor in Political Science, Dhempe College of Arts and Science, Miramar, Goa.

My initial fascination with the intricate interactions on the global stage led me to enrol in the Master's in International Studies programme at SIAS, Goa University. Delving into the realm of International Relations (IR) during that time was a captivating experience, especially amidst significant geopolitical transformations worldwide. What truly distinguished SIAS was its exceptional faculty, who not only conveyed theoretical concepts but also fostered critical thinking and practical application. The robust understanding of IR I acquired at SIAS has been immensely beneficial in shaping my current academic endeavour: pursuing a Master's in Public Policy at the National Law School of India University, Bengaluru. It has equipped me with a comprehensive global outlook and a nuanced comprehension of international issues, which are crucial for crafting effective policies.

Mr. Varun Ramesh (MA International Studies, Class of 2020) Masters' in Public Policy, National Law School of India University, Bengaluru.

I joined the course for MA International Studies, as it fascinated me to learn about geopolitics and relations between states.The course gave me the opportunity to learn about subject matter in contemporary politics. Studying International Relations gave me an in-depth understanding, whilst also learning from experienced colleagues. It helped me pursue my advanced studies. I am currently with the Edinburgh Council.

Mr. Luis Soares (MA International Studies, Class of 2005) Edinburgh Council, Scotland, UK

Studying International Relations at SIAS, Goa University, was transformative. The dynamic faculty provided unparalleled insights, shaping my global perspective profoundly. Joining the faculty was a natural choice; their dedication to fostering critical thinking and understanding of global affairs inspired me deeply, paving the way for a career rich in insight and global awareness.

Ms. Khatol Samadi (MA International Studies, Class of 2015) SIAS Alumnus

My dreams to study abroad, explore the world, and become an International Relations specialist, brought me to Goa University, in 2019. To study MA in International Relations at the SIAS, the comprehensive support of our professors, especially my guide and supervisor, Dr. Dattesh D. Parulekar, during my course, meeting wonderful friends, and living in an exotic nature in India, made my academic years, truly unforgettable. Today, the education and experience I gained during my study at SIAS, are providing me with firm ground for pursuing my PhD degree at Tajik National University, and in helping me to have a tremendous start at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, of the Republic of Tajikistan. It gives me immense pleasure to take this opportunity to express my gratitude to ICCR and Goa University, for the opportunity given to me to pursue my MA in IR in India, and to wish them all the best.

Ms. Saodat Hamidova (MA International Studies, Class of 2021) Specialist, Middle East Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Dushanbe, Republic of Tajikistan.

The curiosity about world events and structures, the importance of International Studies in all fields of professional life, the capability to be part of worldwide conferences, goals to work in NGOs, and organize big volume projects for the better world phase, and many more, made me join the course of International Studies in SIAS, Goa University.
In SIAS, the atmosphere is such that every student feels accepted and valued, and they receive continuous support by the School and its dedicated faculty members. I appreciate their strictness during Exams (or their strict demands), and it was those challenging exams which caused me to master the attribute of perseverance. Besides amazing lectures from our professors, we used to often meet international guests/lecturers who came calling at the SIAS. Another good thing about studying International Relations in SIAS, was that we used to participate in many International Conferences. Such opportunities were the key to our improvements, with such practices being essential for professional life in general.
The International Relations course helped me to become more informative (or educated), and improve my worldview. Today, as I work as an English and Dari interpreter, my studied Course remains as a walking stick for me. My increased motivation in the field of International Relations has caused me to continue my studies and become a PhD student as well. Currently I am living in Tajikistan, and I am a mother of a beautiful daughter Jennet.

Ms. Gulchin Ashur (MA International Studies, Class of 2021) English and Dari languages Interpreter & PhD Student, Tajikistan.

I am thrilled to share my incredible experience, at the School of International and Area Studies. From the moment I stepped into the School, I was welcomed into a diverse and intellectually stimulating environment. The faculty members are not only experts in their fields, but also dedicated mentors, who have guided me every step of the way. I am grateful for the friendships I've made with fellow students, fostering a collaborative and enriching learning community. My time at the SIAS has truly been transformative, equipping me with the knowledge, skills, and global mindset, to thrive in an interconnected world.

Mr. Aniket Ahuja (MA International Studies, Class of 2023) SIAS Alumnus, UPSC Aspirant.

In 2019, I was awarded a scholarship from the Turkish government to study India Studies and its increasing significance in the global structure. This opportunity led me to immediately choose the School of International and Area Studies at Goa University, drawn by its academically experienced team who have worked in educational institutions worldwide, and the stunning natural surroundings of Goa. Even during the challenging times of the pandemic, SIAS adeptly transitioned to a hybrid learning model, ensuring that we could complete our studies without interruption. The Professors provided not only exceptional academic guidance but also vital personal support, which was crucial in navigating those tough times. Furthermore, Goa University's exchange programs enabled me to spend part of my academic career at Sciences Po Lyon, France, providing me with invaluable experiences that have greatly enriched both my academic and professional life.
The education I received broadened my understanding of not only the core institutions and perspectives of International Relations but also the complex dynamics of India as an emerging superpower, its foreign policy, sociology, and geopolitics. Currently based in Ankara, Turkey, I work for the DEM Party, a political organization led by Kurds advocating for minority rights. SIAS has not only provided me with mentors whom I will consult and follow throughout my life but also with friendships that I cherish deeply and expect to last a lifetime.

Mr. Mehmet Salih Tatli (MA International Studies, Class of 2021) Member, Peoples' Equality and Democratic (DEM) Party, Ankara, Turkey.

My interest in world affairs and diplomacy triggered me to enroll in IR. I joined during the pandemic in 2020, a time when multilateral cooperation is needed in international relations while underscoring the connectedness of global challenges. This course gave me fresh perspectives on world affairs, sharpened my analytical thinking, and provided a lens to approach international relations strategically. It is currently helping my choice of higher studies in international relations and strategic sustainable development.

Mr. John Oyedele Kayode (MA International Studies, Class of 2022) Policy Operations Associate, Nigeria.

I am Wendy Obare Afari from Ghana. I decided to pursue my MA International Studies programme from SIAS, Goa University, because I was really impressed with the Courses offered under the said Programme. While most of the Course Outlines till date then had come across as narrowly defined, the SIAS programme contours offered a broader approach and hence I was convinced that such a course would afford me the opportunity to obtain a wider understanding of the nuances and intricacies of relations between countries, role of international organisations in global governance, and the ilk.
Studying at the SIAS marked a wonderful time, in large part due to the dedication of the faculty, which made class sessions interesting, interactive and engaging. Not only were students allowed to express themselves freely, but we were also afforded enough scope to articulate our considered perspectives through multiple presentations, both thematic and topical in nature. My study at the SIAS has given me much insight on the role that inter-state relations and global affairs play in cultural milieus, as also in appreciating diversity and distinct perspectives.

Ms. Wendy Obare Afari (MA International Studies, Class of 2022) Client Services Manager, West Africa International Press Ltd., Ghana.

One of the reasons that make joining International Relations at the SIAS, Goa University, truly worthwhile, is to study the optimistic opportunities for cooperation and partnership, which could be of mutual benefit between India and West Africa, and for that, an adequate understanding Indian Foreign Policy and its perspective toward the region, is the key to build this relationship. In SIAS, I was the benefactor of deepened knowledge throughout our lessons and debates which is the uniqueness of the SIAS, where the method of learning is not merely class instruction, but also debating with lectures, colleges and doing presentation, where you analyze different point of view and understand various topics, improving your public speech and research skills, which is a key skill in my carrier as a Consultant, where I have to present your research and studies. At the SIAS you will find great teachers that will prepare you to conduct your research independently.

Mr. Victor Fortes (MA International Studies, Class of 2023) Public Policy Consultant, Cabo Verde (Cape Verde), West Africa.

The greater comprehension of Latin America and its cultural milieu, was always a gravitating aspect for me, one that constituted the heart of our MA International Relations programme, at the SIAS, then the UGC Centre for Latin American Studies. I was indeed fortunate to have dedicated faculty members chaperone me, in the form of Prof. Aparajita Gangopadhyay, Dr. Dattesh D. Parulekar and Mr. Leslie Alfonso. Besides being proficient about world affairs, they made their instruction most engaging, and were invariably on hand to enhance our learning and understanding. This tremendously helped me in satiating my quest for insights into the subject-domain.
The facets which I gleaned at the SIAS, through my Masters stint, has held me in good stead, in my career pathway in the airline industry, where knowledge and consciousness about the world is an important distinguishing asset, and my specific knowledge of Latin America has enabled me to shape the penetration of that market. An innately regaling feature of the SIAS is that it has been at the vanguard to establishing and sustaining a bond between national students and foreign students, who have been a steady stream at the SIAS, under the ICCR rubric, an association that stands coveted even fourteen years since passing out of its portals. Despite infrastructural constraints, the faculty members at SIAS at the time, never compromised on pedagogy which spoke to the intrinsic desire of theirs to enhance and elevate the profile of research and learning instilled at the School.

Ms. Preeti Singh (MA, International Studies, Class of 2010) Senior Associate (Sales) at Air India, for UP and Uttarakhand

I'm Rohullah Saim, and the SIAS, Goa University is where I achieved my M.A. in International Studies. The Indian Government (ICCR) awarded this scholarship to Afghan employees. After finishing my M.A., I went back home and rejoined the government, as a specialist in the Independent Directorate of Local Government. I am currently employed by the US Department of State as a program officer for an international nongovernmental organization.
My International Studies from the ICCR program has given me the knowledge and abilities to carry out my responsibilities at work and in the academic realm, at a better level with professionalism.

Mr. Rohullah Saim (MA International Studies, Class of 2019) Programme Officer, for Local NGO, US State Department, Afghanistan
Scroll to Top