Student Testimonies

Carine Tuyishime (Class 2016) – Rwanda

What would you say is the most important thing you learned during AFEPA?

The most important thing I learned during the two years of AFEPA program can be summed up in one word: resilience. The AFEPA program has a bunch of interesting and captivating courses. As a first year student, important to know is your preference in career development which helps you to make informed choices on courses to take. Then, comes a period that requires commitment to the chosen courses that are intensive and more demanding. During this period, the remarkable and amazing thing I learned is that anyone can be able to adapt to any situation, however challenging it might be, if fueled with hard work and determination. The outcome is a boost in confidence that any assigned task can be delivered successfully, of course, with the two ingredients (hard work and determination) plus acquired academic knowledge.

What was the best part of your AFEPA experience?

For me, the best part was the opportunity the program offers of studying in two different countries. It allowed me experience cultural, social and educational differences as well as expand my network. More importantly, it allowed me to practice and improve my knowledge of English and French. I now have very good command of both languages (plus basic German) which proves to be beneficial while working in a multilingual team/environment.

What would you say to anyone interested in applying for the AFEPA program?

The AFEPA program provides academic knowledge desired on the labor market. I can confidently say this because each time I step into a meeting room, discussion group or even follow on media any discussion on food, agriculture or environment, I can easily relate to them through different topics discussed in depth during lectures and group assignments. I highly encourage interested candidates to apply for the AFEPA program. You will never regret the slice of your precious time allocated to it.


David Kamin (Class 2017) – Canada

What would you say is the most important thing you learned during AFEPA?

he courses I took during AFEPA enlightened me of the challenges faced by policy makers in terms social welfare optimization, both from a domestic and global perspective. More importantly, it helped me in choosing my career path, arguably the most difficult decision a young adult has to make.

What was the best part of your AFEPA experience?

As I am just beginning my second year of AFEPA, I can only talk about my favorite experiences throughout my first year in Belgium. What I really appreciated was the close relationships formed with my professors. We were given access to an office which we could use whenever we wanted, and could also use the kitchen. These were the same facilities used by some of the professors who also taught many of our courses. The close proximity is one reason which allowed for close relationships to form. I am also grateful to the AFEPA coordinators for helping to facilitate the sometimes daunting task of moving and transitioning from your home country (often outside Europe) to a European one. I was picked up from the airport, tired and jet lagged, given my accommodation and shown around the city. Lastly, I am grateful for the field trips organized by the program. So far, I have gone on at least 3 excursions, around Belgium and Germany. The trips always included a visit to a nearby tourist site, an organization related to our program, as well as a brewery/winery tour. It was a great way to meet fellow students and professors, both past and current.

What would you say to anyone interested in applying for the AFEPA program?

Get in contact! Transitioning to a new University in (perhaps) a new country in (perhaps) a new continent can be daunting. Ask for help. From the coordinators, or from AFEPA alumni themselves. I bothered a lot of people to get the information I wanted, including talking to alumni as to where the program had led them post graduation. I would encourage all potential applicants to do the same.


Haile Bekele Shone (Class 2016) – Ethiopia

What would you say is the most important thing you learned during AFEPA?

The most important thing, among many things i learned, is the contemporary policy issues in the area of agriculture and environment, and advanced quantitative tools that help to undertake advanced researchers in those areas.

What was the best part of your AFEPA experience?

I liked the mobility (that you visit two European universities as part of the program), the diversity of students in the program (almost from every part of the world), and of course the summer school- where you meet with all students of the program attending their first year/second year at the different universities in the consortium for proposal/thesis defense, a short summer course related to current research methodology used in the area of the field, and sharing experiences we have had at different universities in a more fun way 😉

What would you say to anyone interested in applying for the AFEPA program?

t is a program where you would get the best out of, at least, two recognized European universities and is really great if you would like to get a more comprehensive masters degree (which is not very specific to one area of economics).


Kanij Fatema Kana (Class 2016) – Bangladesh

What would you say is the most important thing you learned during AFEPA?

It has two parts for me. Social and academic. I learned how to become more social with various kinds of personnel. Forgetting the introversion and find myself more comfortable with others. The education system was far more different than my countries, so being able to cope with that was a big achievement. Two summer schools were most important where we learned most practical lessons. The thesis and proposal presentations were very much helpful to gather more knowledge.

What was the best part of your AFEPA experience?

When I first came in Belgium was the most exciting part. It was my first time in abroad and alone. Even if at my home country I never been traveling long distance alone. When I arrived, I was so afraid but the coordination was so good and I feel happy about that. Within few hours I got my new friends. Everything was totally different and it was definitely the best experience.

What would you say to anyone interested in applying for the AFEPA program?

Do it


Zeno Piatti (Class 2016) – Austria

What would you say is the most important thing you learned during AFEPA?

The importance of trans-disciplinary research and heterodox analysis.

What was the best part of your AFEPA experience?

The exchange of culturally different perspectives on food production and the fields it is embedded in

What would you say to anyone interested in applying for the AFEPA program?

Make sure you like economics!