Student stories

Why did you choose the BA International Studies?

I’ve always felt at home in the humanities, the social sciences and the natural sciences, so I was looking for a programme that combines all three of these fields. International Studies fits the bill completely. The programme gives you a wide range of options for exploring a huge number of subjects. At the same time you are introduced to the world of politics and international relations, and you have the opportunity to specialise in a particular region or global issue.

When I moved to the Netherlands it meant leaving my parent’s home, and I was worried that living alone might be difficult. But that couldn’t be further from the truth: it’s all gone very smoothly! As soon as I arrived in Leiden I found everyone here really friendly. I love just walking around the city, although I have to say dodging the bikes is still a challenge!

What do you value in the programme?

International Studies truly exceeds all my expectations. I was expecting a solid programme that looks beyond the borders of politics, history and the economy, but I was surprised to discover that it goes a lot further than that. I’ve learned about such fascinating fields as Sociolinguistics and Area Studies. Because I’m going to focus on Europe, I have the chance to learn a new language, so, besides International Studies, I’m also learning French. This programme really does enrich you as a person.

One particularly strong aspect of the programme is that it covers so many different fields. In Cultural Studies, for example, we discuss a lot of subjects that are relevant not only for daily life, but also within the academic world itself.

What do you like about The Hague as a university town?

I feel very welcome in the community both in Leiden and The Hague. I’ve made some great friends, and I learn new things from them every day. A programme like International Studies attracts people from all kinds of different backgrounds. Most of my friends I also hang out with during and after classes; we eat together, do nice things together and – of course – we go out in the evenings together, too.

The Hague is a vibrant city with some fantastic cafés and it’s a very open place, so you’re always mixing with people from all kinds of different backgrounds. I’ll be moving to The Hague shortly: not just because it’s such a charming city, but because it’s so international and diverse.