Amplifying voices for justice and democracy


Originally from Georgia, Lika is studying for an MPhil in Politics and International Studies (2023). From volunteering with the Red Cross and Ukraine Care Initiative to interning with NGOs in Georgia, Lika has been immersed in amplifying voices for justice and democracy. Directly interacting with marginalised communities sharpened her advocacy skills, fuelling her passion for Political and International Studies at Cambridge. Lika shares her journey to Cambridge and what she hopes to do in the future.

Can you tell us about your personal journey to Cambridge and what life for you looked like before you joined the University?

Before my journey to Cambridge, I led a dynamic life filled with academic pursuits, work commitments, and meaningful experiences. Alongside completing my senior year dissertation at LCC International University in Lithuania, I dedicated myself to two part-time jobs in research and administrative work to support my academic endeavours. Additionally, I actively engaged in volunteer work with organisations such as the Red Cross Society, and the Ukraine Care Initiative (founded by our university students), where I witnessed first-hand the impact of humanitarian efforts on socially vulnerable and war-effected communities. Furthermore, my internship with the Coalition of Non-Governmental Organisations of Georgia allowed me to directly interact with government institutions to provide suitable support for individuals affected by poverty, and injustice, amplifying their voices and advocating for positive change. Amidst these endeavours, I navigated the application process for Cambridge, eventually finding a home at St Edmund’s College.

What motivated you to choose your field of study?

Motivated by Georgia’s pressing geopolitical challenges, I embarked on Political and International Studies to actively contribute to democratic reforms and European integration. I aim to propel Georgia towards a safer path for EU integration, advocating for political and economic reforms, and ensuring the fundamental principles of democracy and human rights are upheld.

Can you share a memorable experience from your time at St Edmund’s College so far that has had a significant impact on you?

One of my most cherished experiences at St Edmund’s College has been shared with friends while studying together in the library or garden. Battling concentration struggles, I find group study sessions highly motivating. The college’s serene garden provides a delightful backdrop for relaxation, where I often unwind with a book and coffee. Additionally, playing pool with friends after dinner has become a cherished tradition, fostering lasting memories and connections.

Are there any professors, mentors, or classmates who particularly inspire or influence you? If so, how are they impacting your personal or professional development? My supervisor, Marc Weller, has been incredibly supportive throughout my academic journey. His guidance and advice have proven invaluable, especially during challenging times with my dissertation. Thanks to his mentorship, I’ve refined my research topic and experienced personal and professional growth.

How has attending St Edmund’s College enabled you to thrive? Can you share a project, research endeavour, or extracurricular activity you are involved in that you find especially rewarding or impactful? Attending St Edmund’s College has facilitated the formation of meaningful and lasting friendships. My earliest connections in Cambridge were made here, offering invaluable support and camaraderie. Additionally, I actively participate in various society meetings, such as the Lebanese society, despite coming from a different background. My friends within the society consistently include me in their activities, highlighting the cultural diversity and inclusivity of St Edmund’s, which I deeply value. Shaping the future

What values are you learning at St Edmund’s College and how do you think your experiences at Cambridge are shaping you as a person?

Beyond graduation, my aspirations align with the urgent need for Georgia’s transition from its Soviet past to a democratic future. The journey toward democracy necessitates a robust commitment to core principles, including fostering civil society, engaging in the international arena, and safeguarding human rights. As Georgia progresses toward European Union integration, I am determined to leverage my expertise to enact positive change. By joining the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, I aspire to contribute to diplomatic efforts that promote political and economic development, ultimately leading to improved global relationships for my country.

What advice would you give prospective students thinking of choosing St Edmund’s College?

For prospective students considering St Edmund’s College, I advise taking ample time with the application process and thoroughly researching what the college has to offer to ensure it aligns with your expectations. St Edmund’s provides a cosy and welcoming environment, ideal for those seeking a more relaxed atmosphere. However, it’s essential not to exhaust yourself before arriving, as studying at the University of Cambridge is inherently challenging. Take the time to carefully consider your decision and approach it with thoughtfulness and consideration.

Want to study for an MPhil in Politics and International Studies? Find out more.