Master's Day attracts students from all corners of the world
A young refugee who wants to give something back to the Netherlands; a Greek girl who wants to study in her mother's home country and, of course, a lot of Dutch bachelor's students. The visitors to the Leiden Master's Day on Friday 11 March were as diverse as the range of programmes offered.
Eline Stefanou, 21, Archaeology, Aristotle University (Thessaloniki, Greece)
‘I flew to the Netherlands specially for this Master's Day. I have a Greek father and a Dutch mother. I've lived all my life on Rhodes, but the Netherlands also feels like home. I've heard such enthusiastic stories from my brother, who is also studying in Leiden, so now here I am. It may sound strange for an archaeologist to leave Greece and come to the Netherlands, but I want to become a world citizen.’
Maaike Vermeulen, 22, Criminology, Leiden University
‘I'm going to all the information sessions. Then, when I discover what interests me, I'll find out more about it by joining an Experience Day. I'm just off to the Faculty of Governance and Global Affairs in The Hague, so it's a busy day. During the presentations, the combination of lecturer-student works well; I like that because you get the opportunity to ask both of them questions.'
Yazan Houide, 25, Pharmacy, Syrian Private University (Damascus, Syria)
‘I fled from Syria, leaving my family behind, and have been living here for a year. I'd really like to stay here and work to give something back to the Netherlands. At the information session I want to ask what languages the lectures are given in. Dutch is difficult, but it is important for me because I want to be able to have good contacts with patients.'
Francisca Gelderman, 24, Life, Science & Technology, Rijksuniversiteit Groningen
‘I'm going to let my choice depend entirely on the information sessions. I liked Biomedical Sciences, only the emphasis was too much on research. I want something more practical. I want to be at the patient's bedside, seeing what he needs. Vitality and Ageing might suit me better; I'm off there now.'
Luuk Rietveld, 21, Archaeology, Leiden University
‘There are some of the really big names from Archaeology here today and you can just go up to them and have a conversation! The master's programe sounds great on paper, but ultimately you have to discover it for yourself. My heart is in archeological heritage. Having knowledge of your past makes you aware that you are part of a long tradition.'
Lan Le, 21, Pharmacy, Utrecht University
‘I saw the post about the Master's Day on Facebook. My aim today was to find out how the pharmacy master's is built up. And I've found that out, so now I'm happy. What I think is so fantastic is that the doctors themselves give the lectures, and there are also medical students here. You're really close to where everything is happening!’
(Coen van Beelen; photography Marc de Haan)