DEN's International Student Conference

DEN’s International Students Conference: A Great Opportunity to Connect

On Friday, May 12th, 2023, DEN held its sixth annual conference, “Sustainable Development in a Diverse and Unequal World.” As a recent political science graduate from Middlesex University, I was particularly interested in this topic. It was my first time participating in the conference, and I felt honoured to be a part of such a particular group of individuals at DEN. Not only had my dissertation been published in the book, but I also had the opportunity to attend in person and listen to the presentations by fellow students and graduates. The diverse range of topics discussed reflected the wide demographic at the University of Westminster and showcased the social and political issues that each individual was passionate about.

Among the many things that impressed me were the eagerness, drive, and bravery of the international students from Thailand and Uzbekistan. Seeing them perform public speaking in a language that was not their first was inspirational, and I greatly respected their efforts. Moreover, it was eye-opening to learn about the social and political issues that affect students worldwide. For example, it became evident that Britain is not the only country engaged with its monarchy, as one of the Thai students explained its monarchical structure and historical context. The PowerPoint presentation provided a valuable addition to my knowledge about that part of the world.

The social aspect of the conference was equally intriguing. Dr Farhang did an exceptional job of making everyone feel comfortable and bringing people together, which was critical to the event’s success. The pizza and platter served were a wonderful gesture everyone looked forward to. I also had the opportunity to network and interact with a diverse group of passionate, polite, and well-mannered students. They were excellent representatives of the university and shared their positive and eye-opening experiences of travelling with Dr Farhang and the team in Vietnam, which contributed to their learning.

One of the highlights of the conference was the performance by Shareefa Energy, a former student and now a poet originally from Leicester with Indian and Muslim roots. Her beautiful poems touched upon topics she is passionate about, and it was a pleasure to hear important issues expressed in such a way that drew more attention to them. She covered a wide range of topics, including religion and civic issues.

This conference provided a great opportunity to connect and listen to like-minded individuals at various stages of their academic lives and careers. It was truly a valuable experience, and I am grateful to have been involved. I wish all the members good luck and a bright future in their academic pursuits and careers.

Ervin Khosroshahi, Middlesex University

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