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Master’s Open Day: exploring options or decision time

The Master’s Open Day on 16 March was busy at all faculties in Leiden and The Hague. Thousands of visitors from the Netherlands and abroad came to Leiden University. ‘I want to find out more about the curriculum, and taste the atmosphere,’ said Sarah from Groningen.

Babet was already standing at Leiden Central Station at 8.30 a.m., signpost in hand. She is a first-year student in the master’s in Forensic Family Science. ‘I’m here to direct visitors to the different locations, but straight away they want to hear about my experiences here.’ Every ten minutes a shuttle bus went to and from the Faculty of Science, more specifically the Gorlaeus Lab. Driver Hennie, who has driven the bus on many Master’s Open Days, enjoys ferrying the visitors to and from the faculty. ‘It’s a bit busier than usual because of the weather. Last time a lot of people preferred to walk.’

Student Babet points visitors in the right direction and answers questions about her own study programme.
Student Babet points visitors in the right direction and answers questions about her own study programme.

Drone

Once they had arrived at the Gorlaeus, they went to the Atrium in the new building, the place where the information fair was held and where presentations were being given in the adjoining rooms. Maarten Lamers, lecturer in the master’s in Media Technology, was waiting to start his presentation. He had brought a drone with him. ‘I’ll be using it shortly as an example when I talk about some research being done by one of our students on bird behaviour,’ he explained enthusiastically.

Lecturer Maarten Lamers talks with two of his students and two visitors. On the table he has a drone, ready to use in his presentation.
Lecturer Maarten Lamers talks with two of his students and two visitors. On the table he has a drone, ready to use in his presentation.
Lars came to the Master's Open Day, notebook in hand, well prepared for the Master's Open Day.
Lars came to the Master's Open Day well prepared.

At the information stand for the master’s in Chemistry, Lars talked to one of the students who is already studying the master’s Lars is a third-year student of Bio-Pharmaceutical Sciences and it’s time for him to make a decision. Notebook in hand, he compared the Chemistry and Bio Pharmaceutical Science programmes. ’At the previous Master’s Open Day I was looking to see what master’s were offered, and now I’m looking more at the content.’ Not far off, third-year student of Biology Lesage was at the Business Studies stand; he was looking for a combination of Biology and Business. ‘I’ve bombarded one of the students with questions and now I’m going to the Career Service stand to get some input on career prospects.’

Veerle wants to take a second master's.
Veerle wants to take a second master's.

Can you do a second master's?

It was equally busy at the Faculty of Medicine in LUMC.  Besides the master’s in Medicine, LUMC also offers master’s in Biomedical Sciences, Pharmacy, Technical Medicine and Vitality and Ageing. Visitors to the information fair were treated to cupcakes. One of the visitors was Claudia, who is currently studying Biology and Medical Lab Research at Hogeschool Leiden. ‘I’ve got a mental list of the things I want to know,’ she said, cupcake in hand. ‘I am trying to decide between the master’s in Bio-Medical Science and Vitality and Ageing.’

Veerle is already doing a master’s in Medicine in Utrecht, but she’s considering a second master’s in parallel. ‘Medicine is very much a professional programme, I would say. You learn too little about collective healthcare and innovations in care.’ An extra master’s in Vitality and Ageing would be a good addition, but the question is whether it’s possible in practical terms.  ‘I have a clear idea of the content of the programme. Now it’s a matter of seeing whether it’s logistically possible to combine them.’

The visitors were warmly welcomed by Marc
The visitors were warmly welcomed by Marc
Arbenita came all the way from Kosovo for the Master's Open Day
Arbenita came all the way from Kosovo for the Master's Open Day

Straight away in English

Later that day the programme started at Campus The Hague. From 15.00 hrs., crowds of visitors flooded into the Campus building. They were received by guide Marc. ‘There are a lot of international visitors, so I just talk to everyone straight away in English. Once they’ve registered, they can go to the presentations, the information fair or first drink a cup of coffee or tea.  

‘I am amazed,’ said Arbenita, who came all the way from Kosovo to The Hague for the Master’s Open Day. ‘I have already read a lot online, but I wanted to have the experience of talking to lecturers and students.’ She visited a presentation on International Relations and Diplomacy. Sarah from Groningen, also some distance away, was more curious about the professors: who are they? The city is also important for her. ‘If you want to go in the direction of politics, The Hague is absolutely the place to be.’

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