I love all of my courses and text books this semester! Last semester, I took one course of Media Studies, one course of Japanese and one of East Asian Labour History. This semester, the three courses I'm taking actually have something big in common: They're all about relations between different countries. I've never really taken any proper political science courses before, or gotten into international relations, but now that I finally have, I find it SO interesting :D
STV1201 is just a course I picked randomly - from a small selection of leftovers courses with free capacity - back in August when I found out it was looking like I was going to produce only 20 credits this semester. Now, I'm so glad I went for that particular course.
I'm basically studying relationships between the East Asian countries - China, Japan, South Korea, North Korea - and the ideologies and recent histories of these nations. And last, but not least: these countries' relationships to the USA. At the same time, l'm also - by coincidence, really - studying relationship between the EU countries, i.e. political science on European Union theory and the EU's (recent) history. This just happened to be an excellent combination!
The subject of regionalization and integration is very central in the temporary debate of both East Asia and Europe. Both regions are seeing their countries work closer and closer together, though it's not exactly going as smooth in East Asia as in Europe, to put it mildly. It's also been fun learning how to read about foreign relations between two countries - reading about their trade and security relations - and put it straight to use in articles about both the EU and East Asia. I'm using the same new methods and encountering the same new vocabulary in the East Asia articles and EU articles.
I also love that I'm studying East Asia and the EU exactly this fall, when both of them are facing historic turning points and are heavily featured in all the newspapers because of that :D This makes my studies feel so relevant, and makes me very motivated. Last month, Japan had a historic election that (potentially) will change everything. The Liberal Democratic Party, which had been ruling Japan since 1955 (with only a 11-month break in the nineties), finally lost its power. The winning Democratic Party is set to turn Japan more towards Asia again, and away from US dependency. This is going to change the political climate of the whole region of East Asia completely. Also, this month, the population of Ireland finally voted yes to the Treaty of Lisbon, which means the EU is going to completely change soon. Thanks to this treaty, which was signed two years ago but all the time hasn't been able to go into effect (since not all countries approved), the EU will have a much more meaningful and effective parliament now, and also a post that will basically be "The President of the EU" to the outside world will be created for the union.