Heidelberg University
Heidelberg Alumni International
Phone: +49 6221 54-3489
Fax: +49 6221 54-2091

Heidelberg Alumni International

Further Information

"Ruperto Carola Has a Long Tradition in Classical Studies’"

Dr. Nikoletta Kanavou
Dr. Nikoletta Kanavou

Nikoletta Kanavou, classicist at the Department of Classical Philology, Heidelberg University

Humboldt fellow from October 2014 to July 2016


What's the time frame for your stay and the main focus of your work here in Heidelberg?

I have been here since October 2014. My work basically involves the study of classical Greek texts at the Department of Classical Philology. I'm here at Heidelberg University as an Alexander von Humboldt Foundation Research Fellow. My fellowship will continue until July 2016.


What did you do before coming to Heidelberg?

I studied classical philology in Athens (BA) and Oxford (MSt, DPhil). After my doctoral studies, I taught and researched at the University of Oxford, the University of Cyprus and the University of Crete.


What made you choose Heidelberg?

Heidelberg University has a long and distinguished tradition in classical studies. Excellent libraries, a stimulating intellectual community, my earlier contact with people in the department, and the beauty of the city – those were all factors that had a big impact on my decision for Heidelberg.


What has your experience in Heidelberg been like so far?

Very positive! I benefit immensely from talks with my colleagues and I enjoy living in the city. My department has a very international character; there are always visiting researchers from a wide variety of countries and universities. It's incredibly enriching. And thanks to conference invitations, I have been able to visit other German cities and universities – definitely a great experience.


What are some things that you have truly enjoyed so far and where do you see room for improvement?

I like the laid-back pace of a small city – no commuting and everything that you need is within close range – and the proximity to nature. I am also very happy with the working conditions, especially constant access to the department library and my beautiful, well-equipped office (it even looks down on Philosophenweg)! One suggestion, though, would be to have a "to-do" list for newcomers. It could contain helpful addresses, for example where to register at the university library or with the local authorities. And where to find the student union for a canteen card.


How would you assess the German academic system compared to your home country or to other countries where you have already conducted research?

Each system has its own special features, its advantages and disadvantages. In the German system I think it's rather difficult to pursue a teaching career. On the other hand, there are more research opportunities here than in the Greek or the British system.


What do you think of the opportunities offered by Heidelberg Alumni International and the Research Alumni Network? Do you use them?

The alumni network is there to help me keep in touch with Heidelberg University after my time here – and I'm really looking forward to that prospect! As I recently learned, however, it also offers networking opportunities that I can take advantage of now. The Research Alumni Conference at the end of September 2015 in Berlin was a great way to learn about new developments in the German research landscape, to meet other researchers and to talk to representatives from the main funding organisations first hand. I am very grateful that I could be there!

Email: Editor
Latest Revision: 2016-01-29
zum Seitenanfang/up