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The study choice process

Making choices is part of life. You make larger or smaller choices in everything you do, and you progress from one choice/decision to the next. All decision-making processes involve three aspects: making a choice, experiencing that choice and reflecting on it.

Making a (study) choice involves the following elements:

  • Delving into yourself (your interests, competences, traits, values, etc).
  • Researching various study programmes (choice options): you conduct in-depth research into what study programmes involve and whether they suit you.
  • Committing to your choice: eventually, you come to a final decision. For example, you choose to study Psychology and you commit to that.

Once you have chosen, it’s time to:

  • Experience and reflect
    You won’t know for sure if you are in the right place until you have made your choice and started studying. Only then will you experience what it is like to follow that study programme, reflect on it and conclude whether it was the right choice. You can stick with this choice if it feels right, or you can make a different choice (choose a new study programme). And then the choice cycle starts all over again.

The right study programme or not?

Despite all your careful consideration when choosing a study programme, it is still possible that the chosen study is not the right one for you. That is disappointing but it’s understandable: you can only really judge whether you’ve made the right choice after you have started studying. Don’t think of it as something you failed to do well; instead, think of it as part of the study choice process in which you are searching for the place you belong. There are certainly students who switch to a different study programme.

Gal Paran

Student Security Studies

Gal Paran

'I was happy to discover this degree programme would bring me to the Netherlands. My sister once took me on a surprise trip to the country for my birthday and in 2020 I went to Amsterdam on my own and loved everything: the nice canal walks, the typical Dutch ‘bitterballen’ and the great atmosphere. Besides the location, it was the syllabus and Open Day that convinced me to do the programme. On the Open Day we had talks by lecturers from the University and guest speakers. The talks by older students were really helpful: no sales pitches, but honest and motivating presentations. The Open Day got me really excited about the programme.'

Job van Dijke

Student Data Science & Artificial Intelligence

Job van Dijke

‘I started the bachelor’s degree in Computer Science, but after the first year switched to Data Science & Artificial intelligence (AI). I knew it was possible at Leiden University and found it interesting. AI is a hot topic and that appeals to me. The expectations I had of the programme proved realistic – although there is less maths in the programme than I’d expected. I knew fairly well what I was starting. When you finish school, you’ve really had all the preparation you need for higher education.’

Tanne van Kempen

Student Liberal Arts and Sciences: Global Challenges

Tanne van Kempen

'Liberal Arts & Sciences at University College in The Hague mainly focuses on tackling global challenges. Or: the major challenges facing 21st-century society. Within the programme there are four main themes: Sustainability, Diversity, Prosperity and Peace & Justice. I’ve learned so much about these big themes that I knew nothing about before. My favourite course so far has been Public Policy and Corruption, mainly because you learn a lot from the people in the room. All those different backgrounds bring different perspectives to the topic of corruption. That really appeals to me'

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