Skip to main content

School of Social and Political Science: Graduate school


Inga Leifhelm

Inga Leifhelm
Inga Leifhelm
MSc International and European Politics
Doing Now
Working in Berlin as a research assistant for a German politician

Who are you and where are you from?

My name is Inga Leifhelm, I am from Münster, Germany, where the Peace of Westphalia was ratified which might explain my interest in international relations. After a degree in Bank Management, I participated in the Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange for Young Professionals which gave me the opportunity to study and work in the USA for one year. An internship with U.S. Senator Richard G. Lugar further encouraged me to study transatlantic relations. While I was studying North American Studies in Berlin, I worked for the Federation of the German Industry (BDI), Stanford University, and went to the University of Edinburgh for a semester as an Erasmus exchange student. The fantastic experience in Edinburgh and my eagerness to specialize further on transatlantic and international trade relations made the IEP program the perfect choice.

Why did you decide to do the IEP degree?

I studied North American Studies in Berlin and in order to extend my academic background in transatlantic relations, I choose the IEP program. It helped me to extend my knowledge in European politics and to further my specialization. Moreover, as a previous Erasmus student at the University of Edinburgh, I had studied at the School of Social and Political Science and was familiar with the high standards and the fantastic support for students. This experience had convinced me that the program could suit my needs and meet my expectations which was also confirmed by friends who had taken the course previously.

How did you like Edinburgh as a city?

I first came to Edinburgh as an Erasmus student. From the very first day on I thought it is one of the most beautiful places I had ever seen. Edinburgh´s history and culture makes it a unique place and its people make you feel welcome. Edinburgh´s size makes it manageable, but at the same time it offers everything that you can expect from a capital city.

The university is beautifully located in the city centre and next to the Meadows which is particularly great in the summer. The university society and clubs offer a variety of things to do, too. And if you need a weekend off there is lots to explore in the Highlands or the small coastal villages nearby. Edinburgh is a wonderful place to live, learn and make friends for life.

What were your best memories?

Besides the great friendships that I have made in Edinburgh, I very much enjoyed the trip to Brussels with the course. The university staff had arranged very interesting meetings and I remember being very impressed with the visit to NATO-Shape. The meeting with other Alumni of the university was also very helpful, but most of all I shared an amazing time with my peer students.