Universiteit Leiden

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Ten Leiden students awarded VSB scholarship to study abroad

Ten students at Leiden University were awarded a scholarship by the VSB Foundation, during a festive event in the Hortus Botanicus on 8 June. This scholarship will allow them to take a master's, or a second master's, or carry out a research project abroad. Who are they and what will they be doing?

Tim Lubbers - Law and History of Art

'This scholarship means that from September I will be taking the Magister Iuris at Oxford University. Oxford has the world's best law school. The system of tutorials there is also unique: nowhere else do students have such close contacts with leading academics. Oxford's many colleges give it an extremely rich student life; with my passion for music (organ and harpsichord) I'm really looking forward to being part of that. One thing I've learned in Leiden is that there are far more opportunities than you might at first think, as long as you stay enthusiastic. I'm hoping to take that thought with me to Oxford.'  

From l to r: Tim Lubbers, Mark Heemskerk, Justin Jacobse and Lonneke Holling.
From l to r: Tim Lubbers, Mark Heemskerk, Justin Jacobse and Lonneke Holling.

Mark Heemskerk - Public Administration, International and European Governance

'I applied for the VSB Foundation scholarship so that I could take the master's in EU International Relations and Diplomacy Studies at the Europa College in Bruges. The Europa College has built up a reputation as the university to prepare you for working for the European Union. I've wanted to work for the EU's diplomatic service (EEAS) ever since I was six years old, so this is the perfect move for me. I believe the European Union is  the best example of a political platform where different cultures come together, and the Europa College imitates this world on a smaller scale by accepting students from all parts of the world and letting them learn both from the curriculum and from one another. That fits really well with who I am and where I want to get to.' 

Justin Jacobse - Medicine and Biomedical Sciences

'I'm going to do research at the Vanderbilt University Medical School in Nashville on a specific signal protein, interleucin 23, and its role in inflammatory intestinal diseases. I didn't really base my choice on a location or university, but rather on the subject. One of the research internships in my master's was related to this project in Nashville, so I can now continue with that research. Inflammatory intestinal conditions are a growing problem, and I want to make a contribution to finding a solution. Leiden is a very picturesque city and can't really be compared with Nashville, so that's something I'll have to get used to. Even so, I'm really looking forward to taking on this new challenge.' 

Lonneke Holling - International Studies

'I'm going to use this scholarship to do a master's in Human Rights and Humanitarian Action at Sciences Po in Paris. I opted specifically to do my master's abroad so I could gain some new perspectives in my field of study. Science Po focuses not only on the theory of international issues, but is also strongly oriented to the practical environment. I'm very interested in the wellbeing of people in disaster situations and complexities within the humanitarian sector, and this master's combines these two interests. During my studies in Leiden I learned that global issues always have a number of different facets and so can be looked at from a historical, political, cultural or economic perspective, for example. This knowledge will help me a lot during my master's.'  

Three of the scholarship students studied at Leiden University College: Lisanne Brouwer, Frenkchris Sinay and Isabel Barnhoorn.
Three of the scholarship students studied at Leiden University College: Lisanne Brouwer, Frenkchris Sinay and Isabel Barnhoorn.

Lisanne Brouwer - Liberal Arts & Sciences: Human Diversity

'I will be using the VSB Foundation scholarship to study Arts Administration & Cultural Policy at Goldsmiths University in London. Goldsmiths is a creative university that really stand out in the areas of art, humanities and manaement. And these are just the subjects I'm looking for.  

'The university  has a unique and highly valuable programme for training artists and academics who want to become experts in cultural policy and management. During my studies and after that during an internship at the Voordekunst crowdfunding platform I realised that I want to help make it possible for artists to do their work as well as they can. Art and creativity are an enormously valuable aspect of our lives, but there's a lot that can be improved in the cultural sector. I'm looking forward to studying at a university where art is the main subject. And London is without doubt an ideal place for art lovers!' 

Frenkchris Sinay - Leiden University College

'Last summer I finished a multidisciplinary bachelor's in International Law, Languages and International Relations at  Leiden University College, and in September I will be starting a two-year research master's in International Law at The Graduate Institute for International and Development Studies (IHEID) in Geneva, Switzerland. I've always been interested in the structure of a society,  particularly at international level. During my internship at the  UN, I was exposed to the world of diplomacy and the value of international law. I'm over the moon that I can go and study in Geneva!'

Isabel Barnhoorn - Liberal Arts & Sciences: Global Challenges

'I will be taking the 'The Political Economy of Emerging Markets' programme at King's College London. In my studies at Leiden University College I focused mainly on economic growth in developing countries. I took a year out to do internships at the Dutch consulate in Boston and the British Embassy in The Hague. It was these experiences that sparked off my interest in political economics, and mademe want to continue studying something in this area. King's College London was one of the few universities to offer programmes that match my interests.

Jamie Holton is going to study for a master's at London School of Economics.
Jamie Holton is going to study for a master's at London School of Economics.

Jamie Holton - Arts in International Relations

'In September I will be starting a one-year master's in International Development & Humanitarian Emergencies at London School of Economics  in England. Because of Brexit, I will still be living in the EU at the start of the programme, but by the end of the master's that won't be the case any more! The master's focuses on understanding international development issues and humanitarian crises, and developing relevant international policies. The programme also offers a unique  opportunity to apply academic knowledge in the practical environment; that's ideal for me because this is my second master's.  During my study period in Leiden, I saw the names of several LSE professors in articles and books. That makes it especially fascinating to be able to meet them and discuss issues with them!'


'During my studies I had the opportunity to carry out research on eye cancer in Sydney. I grasped the opportunity with both hands, but once there I realised how expensive it is to live in  Sydney. Without this scholarship, I could never have done it. I'm now going to do research on eye cancer at the University of Sydney. During my registrar training I often saw patients with eye cancer and got to understand all the consequences of this disease. The prognosis is often bad  and its impact on people's lives is enormous. We are learning more about eye cancer, but there's still  a long way to go.  I'm very keen to make a contribution to our understanding of the disease and hopefully improve the outlook for sufferers. I'm really looking forward to going to Sydney: as well as doing research, I'll also have some time to see a bit more of Australia. The snakes and spiders will take some getting used to but I'm sure it will be fine!' 

The VSB Foundation supports socially involved students in their ambition to gain experience abroad. They bring the knowledge and experience they gaini there back with them to the Netherlands and enrich our society. An important selection criterion for the scholarship is that students can demonstrate their broad involvement in the community. This year the VSB Foundation awarded scholarships to 165 students, who will continuing their studies in 21 different countries.

More information about applying for scholarships

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