In your third year at International Studies, you have various options to choose from to fill your Elective credits (30 EC). You can choose between a minor, an internship, or studying abroad. We have listed some typical characteristics of each option in order to kick-start your decision making process.
Doing a minor at Leiden University, or one of our LDE partner universities, Erasmus (Rotterdam) and the Technical University in Delft, is the perfect way to prepare yourself for a Master, and can for instance help you to fulfil their selection criteria. Furthermore, it offers you the opportunity to pursue other interests that lie outside the scope of our programme, and thus further broaden your studies and skills. Alternatively, you can also choose to go more in-depth in one of the disciplines already offered in the programme.
For more information on minors, please visit our Minor page.
An internship helps you to explore the labour market and to prepare yourself for entering it. You can look at it like a sort of practice run for life after your studies. Moreover, you will meet interesting people and start building your professional network. At the same time, doing the required research during your internship and writing the accompanying research paper is an excellent practice for writing your thesis, and in that sense is a good preparation for a Master as well.
For more information on finding and doing an internship, please visit our Internship page.
Studying abroad is ideal for broadening your horizon and offers ample opportunity for personal development, and is a natural choice for those doing International Studies. You can expand your academic horizon, experience a different (academic ) culture, improve your language skills and, at the same time, improve your employability. In addition, depending on the choice of university and particular courses, studying abroad can also be a good preparation for your Master in the same way as a minor.
For more information about studying abroad, please visit the Study Abroad page.
What you do not want
Finally, even though the choices you make are important with an eye on the future, there are no wrong choices. Maybe that minor you thought was so interesting, turns out to not be your cup of tea. But now at least you will know that that is not the direction in which you would like to develop. If you really feel you missed out by not choosing something else. You could even decide to do an additional (extracurricular) internship, or do a summer school abroad to reap part of the benefits that you would have had when you would have chosen differently. And if you chose an internship, or studying abroad, there are still many courses at Leiden University for which you can enrol, even outside minor programmes. So your choice is just the beginning of the process, the experience you get can take you in a completely different direction than you intended or expected.
Need help with decision making?
If you need some extra guidance in making your decision, please check the information on our webpage on decision making.