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Read the stories of our alumni specialized in Africa here.

Antonia Barthel

Alumni dreams #17

Antonia Barthel is doing an internship at the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung Peace and Security Centre of Competence Sub-Saharan Africa in Dakar for three months.

After this, a few months to spare and then she will be off to Washington D.C. for a six month internship at the Hanns Seidel Foundation!

This foundation focuses on transatlantic security and defence policy, international trade and development policy, energy and environmental policy and global terrorism.

Erik van der Zanden

Alumni dreams #18

Erik van der Zanden is celebrating his graduation on a 4 month journey through Morocco, Jordan, Iran and Indonesia with his girlfriend.

He is writing a book linking enduring political instability in many African states to colonial inherited systems and arguing for replacement by democracies via non-violent revolutions. He aims to publish it next year.

Next targets are the master Military Strategic Studies and working for a large NGO to follow his dream of contributing to more peace and prosperity in Africa.

Sophie Koolma

Alumni dreams #22

Sophie Koolma enjoyed traveling in Tanzania for a month. During her first trip she learnt much about African history, culture and language.

Sophie could practice Swahili and understand the society. She felt at home and would love to stay there or in another East African country, for longer.

She is doing voluntary work and tutoring but most of all, is very excited to start her African Studies Research Master at Leiden including a semester of fieldwork in Africa! Here she is at Zanzibar beach!

Rutger Broer

Alumni dreams #39

After the BA, Rutger Broer decided to get some work experience before starting his master. After his research internship at the NIMD | Netherlands Institute for Multiparty Democracy while writing his thesis, he did a project for the Ministry of Infrastructure and Environment!

Then he moved to Cape Town for six months, where he organized a startup trade mission for the Dutch Consulate General.

Currently, Rutger is working as Communication Officer at DutchBasecamp, an NGO aimed at scaling startups internationally. In February he will start his Master in Industrial Ecology.

Go Rutger!

Jip van Leemput

Alumni dreams #56

After graduating from the BA, Jip van Leemput started the MA International Relations: Global Conflict in the Modern Era, of which she is now about halfway. Besides this fulltime Master's she works at the NGO Women’s Initiatives for Gender Justice (WI). 

She has learned a lot about working in the NGO sector there. After this work experience Jip will be off to do an internship on Justice and Good Governance at the Dutch Embassy in Kigali, Rwanda!

She is very excited and grateful for all these opportunities and hope they will lead to a career in diplomacy or conflict resolution!

Hannah Gutjahr

Alumni dreams #88

Hannah Gutjahr did a conflict studies minor and self taught SPSS to pass her methods exam to enter the MSc in Political Science (specialization Conflict Power and Politics) at Radboud University Nijmegen.

She continued her interest in Sub Saharan Africa and went to Gambia for 4 months for an internship at The Association of Non Governmental Organizations and master thesis research on the role of civil society in Gambia's political transition in December 2016.

After she became Project Manager for GAVA active in the Kazo slum in Kampala, Uganda. Hannah is helping restructure and expand the NGO through micro-investments for local entrepreneurs.

Hannah will run a 6 month pilot with colleagues doing research and setting up 5 additional businesses. They are now fundraising for this and she aims to go to Uganda soon to set everything up on ground. 

Amazing work Hannah and always a great presenter!

Ibone Verhey

Alumni dreams #115

Ibone Verhey moved to London the day after graduation to begin the joint MSc Global Mental Health at King's College London and London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, U. of London. Time flew by, as one year is too short to experience all that London has to offer!

After adjusting from cycling to a 2 hour daily commute on the tube, Ibone was so honored to learn from top scholars and clinicians and from fellow classmates, who represent and have worked in countries across the world. 

The BA taught her to always consider the global perspective and gave strong theoretical foundations for critical analysis of written and oral language. This multilayered background gave Ibone tools for researching the influence of social, political and economic factors.

Context is key for developing, adjusting or evaluating mental health interventions or policies! Courses like PRINS helped her bridge research and practice, which she would like to continue to do in the global mental health field.

With your drive you will Ibone! Here she is exploring London with the symbol of The Hague in the background!

Emma van der Steen

Alumni dreams #120

Environmental sustainability held her interest for as long as Emma van der Steen can remember, not surprisingly her studies at Leiden were directed towards this in every way. Her internship research examined the political tools to reduce meat consumption. She also steered her PRINS project towards making supply chain management more sustainable.

After graduation Emma felt the need to gain more practical knowledge of environmental sustainability. She decided to leave for New Zealand to work on both organic and non organic farms, and experience the difference.

This practical knowledge complements the theoretical education gained at Leiden University and provides a good basis to pursue a career in the field of environmental sustainability.

Returning to the Netherlands soon Emma is ready for a job opportunity taking on the challenge of making this world more sustainable!

Well equipped Emma! Here she is behind the steering wheel (of her life).

Elisabeth Hijnekamp

Alumni dreams #128

After the BA with a specialization in Africa, Elisabeth Hijnekamp started working for a small NGO Better Me Kenya, in Kisumu. She continued there after an internship, only now as as an assistant project manager responsible for healthcare and education projects as well as partnerships!

Recently Elisabeth started a new job as consultant at the Rabobank Foundation in Nairobi! The Rabobank Foundation works with Microfinance projects to provide smallholder farmers access to finance. 

She focuses mainly on identifying new partners and doing market study into existing farmer cooperations and NGO's in Kenya. Similar to her PRINS project for the World Food Programme on food security. 

Next year she is planning to start her masters at Cape Town University in Justice and Transformation with a major in Peace and Conflict Studies!

What an amazing career progression Elisabeth! Here is she is enjoying her (work) life!

Stephan Holwerda

Alumni dreams #134

After graduating from Leiden University Stephan Holwerda accepted a 4 month internship at the NGO Ashinaga in Kampala, Uganda. There aside from doing administrative work he also taught politics, philosophy, history, and English to talented African scholars!

When arriving back in Holland he immediately started his position as marketing manager at AIESEC, the largest student led NGO in the world. All while preparing for his TedX talk which discusses the difficulties of identity.

Currently he is preparing to start his Masters at Leiden University in Political Science. You can easily find Stephan at Salsa Shop the Hague working there as an assistant manager, always ready to have a discussion about any controversial topic.

You always rock your presentations Stephan! Enjoy narrowing focus on political analysis and see you around campus!

How not having an identity may be a good thing | Stephan Holwerda | TEDxLeidenUniversity

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Alumni dreams #144

After International Studies, Kajsa Lettius moved back to Sweden to get some work experience. She got a job with the city of Helsingborg both as a Municipality counsellor and a Europe Direct Coordinator!

After a year she felt it was time for a Master’s Degree. Kajsa says her internship for GIVEWATTS in Nairobi helped her realise that she was very interested in international law, especially in relation to international development, a concept that explored in several courses in her BA.

So she will be starting the master program for International Law at SOAS University of London in the fall!

Enjoy your next step Kajsa! Here she is smiling at the Europe Direct desk!

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