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Student for a Day in The Hague: What students say

Wijnhaven is the pride of our The Hague campus. For the first time, three faculties jointly presented their programmes in this modern building. We asked the school leavers and students why they had come to the Student for a Day experience.

Julien Deschamps, 18 years old, International Studies

The Thalys brought Julien and his father in about three hours from their home in Paris to The Hague. It goes without saying that there are more than enough universities in Paris, but if you want to learn to speak fluent English besides your study programme, you'd better not stay in France, according to Julien. His parents have always taught him to take an open, international approach to the world. Julien: ‘That's why the global character of International Studies appeals to me, particularly in a city like The Hague. In France I've also heard good reports about Dutch universities, particularly about Leiden. Having come to the Student for a Day event, I now have a good impression of the programme, and I've made my choice: I'll be moving to The Hague in September!'

Nynke de Jong, 20 years old, Security Studies

Nynke originally comes from Limburg; she grew up in Friesland, studied Law for a year in Rotterdam and has been living in The Hague for the past two years. She was considering joining the police or defence, but found both too narrow. 'Then I came across the Security Studies programme on internet. Straight away it gave me a good feeling: if I do this study, I won't be stuck in a corner, but will be able to combine all my interests. The Student for a Day event today and the Open Day have confirmed my feelings.' Nynke can easily see herself studying in Wijnhaven: ‘It's really friendly here and this building is beautiful and very spacious.' 

Olaf Romijn, 18 years old, Public Administration

Olaf is a man with a plan. For this 18-year-old from Papendrecht, the Public Administration programme in The Hague is the first step towards his ultimate goal: to become a member of the European commission! Olaf: ‘I saw in the recent election just how much influence people can have on society. You can really achieve something, and I believe that the Public Administration programme will help me do that. And besides, where else in the Netherlands can be you be closer to the heart of politics than in The Hague? Olaf is very happy with his baptism of fire in the world of studying in The Hague. 'I've been made to feel really welcome in this beautiful building, and I've got to know the programme as well.' 

Elisabeth Atanasova, 20 years old, International Relations and Organizations

Elisabeth came to the Netherlands from Bulgaria four years ago. Although she can write and understand Dutch well, she is uncertain about speaking the language. She therefore feels more comfortable in an international environment. Elisabeth: ‘I want to look at the world with a broad, open mind, discover other cultures, learn more languages. I think I'm in the right city to do that: there are so many interesting people here. Another plus point is that Leiden University has a good international reputation.' Elisabeth also enjoyed the Student for a Day event. 'I attended a very good lecture on Donald Trump. My mind is made up. Maybe I'll have to get used to the university enviroment, but even so, I'm looking forward to it.' 

Photos: Hielco Kuipers
Text: Coen van Beelen

Sam de Ploeg - Liberal Arts and Sciences

To gain an overall picture of the enormous number of possible programmes, Sam persuaded his parents to visit as many Open Days as possible with him. At the Student for a Day experience what appealed to him most was the flexibility of the Liberal Arts and Sciences system. He went to the event at Leiden University College, at Anna van Buerenplein.

'I'm still not 100 per cent sure what I want to study later, but I like the fact that here you're right in the centre of The Hague with all the different ministries and at the same time you're close to the beach.' Sam had read about the different University Colleges in the Netherlands, but it was only by talking to people here that he understood what a University College is really about. His parents nodded in agreement and added that it was very useful to visit the Open Day; they, too, have learned a lot. Sam was impressed that the mini-lecture by specialist in European Law coincided exactly with the 60-year anniversary of the Treaty of Rome. 'His lecture was very interesting and I learned a lot.' 

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