Saturday, 24 December 2011

bye bye to 2011

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from the blog- team of RRE; Martin, Annie and Hilde!

After Christmas you can read more about the following topics:
-How to apply to study in the brilliant city of Lund
-What is a master of excellence, and what happend when Gery, Ruth and I went to the old cermonyhall of the university to find out.
- how is the daily life of an RREstudent in Copenhagen?
-what is it like to learn old languages by skype? and how in general is e-learing?
-and of course reports from compact seminars:)

Best wishes,

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Application procedure, Aarhus University

The Religious Roots of Europe is a joint programme offered in collaboration between six different Nordic universities (see the programme website ), these universities are here called the Host Institutions. For the academic year 2011-2012, 36 students can be admitted to the programme in total on the six Host Institutions. Applications for admittance is directed to and processed by one of the six Host Institutions, in accordance with the rules and regulations obtaining at this Host Institution. The following is a description of these rules and regulations at the University of Aarhus.
Applicants for one of the study places at Aarhus University must document (by submitting a certified transcript or bachelor certificate stating the subjects studied and the grades obtained) that they have completed or are completing a relevant bachelor degree (below) and that they have obtained a sufficient proficiency in ‘classical’ languages as well as in English (below).
Application deadline
1 March for commencement of studies on 1 September
New online application system
Aarhus University is in the process of developing a new common online application system effective from the 2012 intake. We expect to launch our new system from 1 February 2012.
Admission information
Our application pages will be updated from now until February 2012. Thus, in the time ahead, you may notice we are making a mess – for which we apologise. Specific information about admission requirements, selection criteria, documentation requirements, etc. will be moved to the individual admission pages to be found in the Study Guide. When we open for applications from 1 February 2012, all admission pages will be up-to-date.
In the meantime
While waiting for the opening of the new application system you are welcome to contact the main programme coordinator for all the universities Associate Professor Jakob Engberg, Aarhus University on   

Academic content
Please see the programme website

English language requirements
The most important part of this information is:
English language qualifications comparable to an 'English B level' in Denmark can be documented as follows:
·         TOEFL test results of at least 560 (paper-based test) or 83 (internet-based test)
The Aarhus University TOEFL code is 8935
The Aarhus School of Business TOEFL code is 7993
The AU-IBT (Institute of Business and Technology in Herning) TOEFL code is 8607
The test result must not be more than two years old
·         IELTS test with a minimum score of 6.5 points
The test result must not be more than two years old
·         Cambridge Certificate in Advanced English (CEA)
·         "C1 level" obtained by examination from a CEFR-validated English language course.
·         English-taught entrance examination (upper secondary school/high school) or Bachelor’s degree
·         English language qualifications obtained through at least 210 hours of English lessons (1 hour = 60 minutes) in a non-Danish entrance examination. You must ask your upper secondary school/high school to provide documentation for the total number of English lessons/hours you have received during your final three upper secondary/high school years. You are required to enclose a copy of your upper secondary/high school certificate, including course and examination descriptions of your English language course.

Academic requirements, including requirements of ancient language proficiency
Admission to the Master’s Programme in European studies at Aarhus University requires successful completion of a relevant BA degree with a major in theology, the study of religion, classical philology, classical archaeology, history or the equivalent.
Since the study programme presupposes an ability to and further trains students in reading ancient religious text in the original languages, and since not all the mentioned bachelor’s degrees in all the Nordic countries or internationally include compulsory classical language training, it is specified as a prerequisite for admittance to the programme that the applicant can document a proficiency in at least one ‘classical’ language, i.e. Greek, Latin, Hebrew or Arabic, which equals the proficiency achieved by studying such a language in a module allotted 20 ECTS credits. [1]
Alternatively, a student can be admitted if she or he can document a proficiency in two of the ‘classical’ languages which equals the proficiency achieved by studying each of these languages in a module allotted 10 ECTS credits each.
Selection criteria
The Master's programme in the Religious Roots of Europe can only admit a limited number of students each year (for the academic year 2009-2010 there are 36 study places in total at the six Host Institutions), so fulfilling the requirements does not in itself guarantee admission to the programme.
If there are fewer qualified applicants at Aarhus University than places at this Host Institution, all qualified applicants are admitted.
If there are more qualified applicants for the programme at Aarhus University than places available, Aarhus University consults the Programme Committee (a joint body overseeing the running of the Programme). The decision, however, rests with Aarhus University and any appeals should be made to Aarhus University.
The criteria for selection between the qualified students are:
·         The number of ECTS credits obtained during bachelor studies in the relevant fields of religion and theology and ancient history, culture and languages. This will be evaluated on the basis of the bachelor certificate or certified transcript.
·         If more applicants have obtained the same number of ECTS credits in these fields then the applicant or applicants with the highest average of grades obtained during bachelor studies is or are admitted. These will be evaluated on the basis of bachelor certificate or certified transcript.
In selecting between the qualified applicants the Programme Committee and Aarhus University therefore focuses on the relevance of your previous studies and on the results achieved.
[1] I Danmark kan de klassiske sprogkrav indfries med et gymnasialt A-niveau i ét af de nævnte sprog, gennem propædeutik eller tilsvarende. Det vil sige, at bacheloruddannelserne i teologi, klassisk filologi og klassisk arkæologi er direkte adgangsgivende, mens en bachelorgrad i ét af de andre nævnte fag kun er adgangsgivende, hvis den studerende også kan dokumentere, at det klassiske sprogkrav er indfriet.

Friday, 9 December 2011

About the Faculty of Theology in Copenhagen

High Class Research
The Faculty of Theology at the University of Copenhagen ranks highly internationally for the quality of its research. Particularly in the fields of the Old Testament/ Hebrew Bible (the Copenhagen school), the Dead Sea Scrolls, the New Testament in its Graeco-Roman context (including philosophy) and feminist Biblical studies, the Faculty is internationally recognized for its expertise.

The Faculty has broad contacts with researchers worldwide, not least through its participation in The International Alliance of Research Universities (IARU).

What are the Admission Requirements?
At least six students will be admitted to the programme at the University of Copenhagen in 2012.

The selection of students is based on the fulfillment of the following admission requirements:

a) A Bachelor's degree in a field of study that is relevant to the programme (e.g., theology, religious studies, classical philology, Semitic languages, ancient history etc.). The applicant must have, or anticipate getting, a Bachelor's degree from a recognized and internationally acknowledged university.

b) Documented proficiency in at least one "classical" language (i.e., 20 ECTS in either Hebrew, Greek, Latin or Arabic; or 10 ECTS in two "classical" languages)

c) Documented proficiency in English:
Level B for Danish students with a Danish bachelor's degree
TOEFL paper-based test score of at least 600
TOEFL internet-based test score of at least 83
TOEFL computer-based test score of at least 250
IELTS test score of at least 6.0

d) The selection of students is furthermore based on the relevance of the Bachelor's degree in terms of field of study, as well as on the grades achieved, and on the number of courses and ECTS-points that students have gained in relevant study areas (e.g., theology, religion, ancient history, culture and language).

Tuition fees
There are no tuition fees for students from Denmark and EU/EES countries (EU and Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway). For students from non-EU/EES countries the tuition fee is in the order of DKK 60.000 per year.

When and how to apply?

Application deadline is 1 March.

The Application must include:

a) A Bachelor's degree Certificate (the degree certificate may be forwarded after the closing of the application period, but it must arrive at the faculty of Theology at the University of Copenhagen by August 1 at the latest).

b) Documentation for proficiency in at least one "classical" language (i.e., 20 ECTS in either Hebrew, Greek, Latin og Arabic; or 10 ECTS in two "classical" languages)

c) Documentation for proficiency in English.

d) CV and a letter of motivation.

The application must include all the required documents. Incomplete or late applications cannot be processed. The application with all the required enclosures must be mailed via regular (air) mail or by an international courier service to The Faculty of Theology. E-mailed or faxed applications or documents will not be accepted.

The address is:

Faculty of Theology
University of Copenhagen
Købmagergade 44-46
DK- 1150 Copenhagen K
ATT: International Coordinator

For further information, see
or contact coordinator Martin Ehrensvärd, meh [att]

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Life as an International Student- An Argument is Like a Box of Chocolates…

One of the undeniably great things about this course is it diversity.  Students from the Nordic countries and further afield join together: studying together and socialising together.  As international student myself, this is by far one of the best elements of the course.  I asked Fritz, a 3rd cycle RRE student from the US and studying in Århus, his thoughts and feelings on life as an International student! 

I started with all the good intentions of a question-answer style interview, but probably not to the surprise of anyone who knows us, this turned into a general and long chat about life as International student; swapping anecdotes, thoughts and opinions (and not often agreeing, I must add!  Again, probably not a surprise!)

Lets not deny that for some of us, doing a Masters does give us the opportunity to carry on studying and put off our grand entrance into the real world somewhat, whilst warding off that daunting question asked by parents, “So what are you going to do after University”. But in all seriousness, this course is a great way to adjust to a future in Academia.  It poses as a bridge between undergraduate studies and PHD level, as well as being a great course to take to satisfy your interests. So, initially I asked Fritz why he wanted to apply for the course and where he wanted to take it.  Fritz, being from America was able to apply for a Scholarship (something to think about for those of you who are thinking of coming from further afield), which naturally gave him an inclination towards this avenue.

On keeping with the academic note, we both agreed that the comparative element of interpretation this course offers is interesting to say the least.  It is something that as a previous Religious Studies student, Fritz had not really addressed and the chance to do so proved exciting and innovating.  Amongst this it means you get to learn about religions and religious practices you may not have studied before.

After some general chitchat, and perhaps a debate or two, we approached the subject of the course’s diversity.  Both of us agreed that this is our favourite part.  Not only have we met some great people but we have also had an opportunity to learn about different academic and religious disciplines.  On an academic level (because its not all about the late night drinking sessions, grabbing coffee and lunch, or continuously getting lost together in Rome!), Fritz commented, and I agreed, that the diversity of his peers and their ideas mean that his own are challenged.  To better explain this I will use the analogy of a production line in a chocolate factory.  The process starts as a trickle of chocolate and eventually forms into something more solid.  There are several stages to this and at each stage they go through a standards check, if they do not survive it they are dropped, but if they do ‘fit the bill’ they add another layer of chocolate, until finally out comes a beautifully wrapped chocolate bar for all to enjoy!  So if you hadn’t have guess, the trickle of chocolate is your initial idea and the stages are the opinions of others.  If your argument is not strong enough to survive the standards check you can reject but if it does survive, you have an argument that is formed and strengthened by the differentiating opinions of your other peers.  This is a challenge, but a fun one!

So, we both agreed that although moving abroad and studying as an International student is undeniably challenging, this course has been a great experience so far, both socially and academically.  Now ask us again next year, come thesis time…

Friday, 25 November 2011

Updates from Helsinki :)

(Written by Anne Hopia, Helsinki)
The application period for the Religious Roots of Europe (RRE) International Master's Programme opens up at University of Helsinki. It's possible to apply for the programme from 21.11.2011 to 31.1.2012. Please keep track also of the application periods of other Nordic universities participating in the programme!

Greetings from the heart of Helsinki!

The official Christmas Sreet was opened yesterday with the appropriate parade lead by the Santa Claus himself and followed by his red-cheeked Christmas gnomes. The Faculty of Theology of University of Helsinki is located along this very street, which is named in the city map as Aleksanterinkatu. The street has been named after the Russian Emperor Alexander II (1818-1881), who acted also as the Grand Duke of Finland.

This year RRE programme in Helsinki admitted 6 new students, out of them 5 were able to start their studies in Helsinki this autumn. Their educational background represents Theology, History, Classical Philology and Linguistics.

This October also a first cycle student Anna-Liisa Tolonen graduated as a first student from the programme in Helsinki. She finished her studies within 2 years and her thesis handled "The Reception of the Maccabean Martyrs: Their Historiographical and Paradigmatic Functions in Antique and Late-antique Jewish and Christian Sources". Now Anna-Liisa is planning to start postgraduate studies at the Faculty of Theology, where she also works as a study tutor for the 3rd cycle RRE-students. Please read here how she reflected upon the programme a year ago:

The Religious Roots of Europe (RRE) is a joint and international two-year Master's Programme offered by the following Nordic universities: Aarhus, Bergen, Copenhagen, Lund and Oslo. Compact seminars are organised at all these institutions as well as in Nordic institutes in the Mediterranean area.

Copyright Helsinki University

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Welcome to the new RRE-blog! and some words of explanation

At some point this year I managed to delete my gmail-account without thinking about how it would effect the RRE-blog. Now we are back in business again. Since I am soon to become an old RRE, and my biggest priority this spring should be my thesis, I will ask our dear first year RRE`s to participate in the blog-work and hopefully also take over the editor responsibility.

So watch out, soon there will come more posts!

(The ones already here are the ones we managed with the help of some smart internet-tricks, to find. so not everything from the old blog, but parts of it.)

L is for Lund

8 March 2011
This week, the first compact seminar of the semester is taking place, in the wonderful city of Lund, Sweden. I (Hilde) will post some pictures and text some time next week.

It is a sunny day in Lund, and Judith and I are getting ready for the university and looking forward to meet the rest of the RRE`s.


Why does it always rain on me?

21 January 2011
I (Hilde) had a serious appointment with my camera this week, wishing to show you how beatiful Bergen can be. But the problem is, it has a tendency to rain here. Which in a way is good, cause that keep you more focused on studying. I cant imagine studying in a warm, dry place, close to a beach, and no hills to climb, except if you really wanted to go on a mountain trip. I climb down one and then up a hillside again, to go to campus. Bergen is not build high heels or heavy luggage, thats for sure.

But it is also a beatiful city, and on sunny days the best place to be is in the park on campus, outside a cafe, or on the mountaintop "Fløyen" . We are doing a compact seminar here in october, and I am hoping to take the whole bunch up to one of the mountains, would be great:)
but first there is springsemester, with long days of reading, writing summaries and pulling out every hairstraw from your head in frustration, lunchbreaks with lots of strange and interesting topics, a course about ethics in scientifical work, a cold, a trip to Lund and one to Oslo, and at some point: summer in Bergen.

P is for Polyglot. RRE from A to Z

12 January 2011
A is Academics, Arabic, Ancient studies and Aarhus
B is for Bergen
C is for Compact Seminar, Curriculum,Christianity, Coptic and Copenhagen (and sometimes: Confusion)
D is for Discussions, Denmark
E is for English, Exams,Emergence and Europe
F is for Friendship, Finland
G is for Greek, Gnostic texts
H is for Hebrew and Helsinki
I is for Islam, Interaction and Ice Cream (really good one in Rome!!)
J is for Judaism and Joint  and international program
K is for Knowledge
L is for Languages, Learning, Latin and Lund
M is for Master thesis (!)
N is for Nordic, Norway
O is for Oslo
P is for Paganism, Polyglot and Program Comitee
Q is for Questions
R is for Religion, Roots and Rome
S is for Syriac, Sweden
T is for Theology, Teaching,Text-courses and Travelling
U is for Understanding
V is for the Vestal Virgins
W is for Welcomes students from all over the World
X is for Xenophilia
Y is for ...
Z is, still trying to figure these last ones out

Will be updated:)

How to get accepted for RRE

The Masters in the Religious Roots of Europe is a 2 year full-time study programme. When you apply, you apply directly to the university you wish to be immatriculated at, and it is for the individual University to decide wether you qualify for acceptance, and to send you the information you will need to start living and studying in a new country and at a new University (if you are international student). So if you want to study in Bergen you follow Bergens application procedures, and if you want to apply to Helsinki you follow Helsinki`s application procedures.

BUT, there are some general rules.The studyplan says:

"The Master’s Programme is open to students with a bachelor’s degree with a major in theology, the study of religion, classical philology, classical archaeology, history or the equivalent. The Master’s Programme with its modules and courses progresses from the learning outcome, knowledge, skills and abilities obtained by the students through these bachelor’s programmes."


you must be able to document that you have passed modules equal to (or more than) 20 ECTS in either: arabic, hebrew, greek or latin.

Further, its it required that you have a good profiecency in English. a proof of that is that you can find all my spelling mistakes. or rather: you should do a TOEFL-test. (nordic students should send their diploma from high school/secondary school with the application)

For the individual Universities, see:

Helsinki/Helsingfors: 31.of january, Århus: 1. of march, Bergen 1.of march, Oslo: 15 of april (1. of December for outside EU/EØS students)  Copenhagen:   1.of march   Lund: 17 of January.

and remember: From 2011 Norway is the only country who does not take school fees for students from outside European Union/EØS/EFTA. so thats a  good reason for coming to Norway :-)

Deadlines and other fun stuff

1 December 2010
At this time of  the year, we are all waiting for the grades from the first two exams, and preparing for the next ones. We follow Århus`s system, and therefore the autumn semester starts 1.of september and ends 31.of january and the spring semester starts 1.of february and ends 30.of june. In Norway we end the autumn semester around christmastime, and start in week two with the springsemester, therefore some confusion might errupt. our deadlines for being semesterregistered at our university, and signed up for subjects and exams if they are under the supervision of Bergen, is the same date as the semester starts with RRE. doing languages at your norwegian university means that you start late august, and middle january. confused? well its not that complicated. When you start you just go and ask the nice people working at your institute, and they will explain you everything, or you`ll figure it out together. Universities are confusing places cause they are big and have a lot of buildings, and you are never sure who`s responsibility your questions are. Best thing to do is to ask the person you think you are supposed to ask, and if that person cant help you, he or she will most probably guide you to the right one. University systems can be strange and unlogical, but the people working there are sweet and helpful.

By the way, in order to be considered for the master in The religious roots of Europe, there is also deadlines: For Bergen and Århus its 1.of march, for Oslo 15.of april (but earlier for students from outside EU) and for the other ones you have to check with the respective faculties, cause Iam not sure. But basically you only need to know the one for Bergen, cause thats where you are going to apply, right?

merry christmas, and see you again after my januaryexam!:)

I dont know what you did last summer...But I do know what you should do next autumn

15 November 2010
My (Hilde's) bachelordegree is a mixture of three different universities and one university college (høgskole). After spending nine months in Copenhagen after high school, working as a kind of social worker/volunteer,followed by five weeks in a small Finnish town calles Kaskinen/Kaskô, as a summeworker, it became clear to me and probably also people around me, that I would never manage five years of studies in one Norwegian city. And the prophesy turned out correct, I have studied two years in Trondheim, one and a half in Stavanger  and a half in Århus, Denmark. Inbetween this I did something possibiliy more strange, I had a summerjob in SWEDEN. Norwegians dont do that, Its not normal. which is kind of why I did it.
I have spent one summer in Copenhagen in an international summercourse, and all this things put together finally got me a bachelors degree in religion and intercultural communication.
Then came the question about the master, and I was in as much doubt as I was when starting studying. I wanted to keep on with religion, but a "normal" master in religion sounded somehow a bit boring. I decided I wanted to study in Norway, and thats the reason why the master in religion sounded boring, it would be in norwegian, and there would not be any international people in it. so, what to do?

I did the same as many other do, and googled universities. And I found a masterprogram which sounded interesting, and Iam a bit afraid for saying this, cause my professors might read it, but the reason why this masters program caught my eye was not the courses taught, it was the possibility to travel ,and to be with international people. I started reading more, and yes dear professors, I also found the courses offered interesting, and I do admire the work put into making this masters program.

A Master in RRE will not give me the dream job. You will never find a job advertisment saying: "prefered applicants are thoes who has a master in the religious roots of europe". BUT you can use this master, together with skills obtained from earlier studies, jobs, voluntery work, and the person you are, to sometime in the future get the job of your dreams. You do not only learn alot about the historical roots of the three religions: judaism, christianity and islam, and get a better understanding of how these religions have shaped Europe, you also learn to communicate on a higher level of english, you can learn a classical language and improve one you allready have a basis in, and you get an important basis if you are thinking about an international carriere.

AND: you get to meet some of the most lovely people you will ever meet, that should, according to me, be counted in aswell.

Still in doubt? contact one of the universities who are taking part in this Nordic Masters program. Of course I will strongly recommend Bergen, its a perfect sized city surronded by lovely nature, many good obtions for cafes and nightlife, is proud of beeing a student city, and has a pretty good university;)

And we worked hard.... Pictures by the famous photographers Tanya from Uni. Helsinki and Hilde

3 November 2010
 Groupwork. Gergana, Hilde and Ebenezer

 Our Christianity teacher Troels
Yepp, we do love each other here at RRE