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Master's Open Day: from initial orientation to final choice

Bachelor's students from all different disciplines came to the Master's Open Day to explore the options for their next programme. Some of them visited several different programmes and still have all their options open, while others wanted answers to very specific questions before making their final choice.

Carolien van Bakel is almost certain she will take the master's in Employment Law.
Carolien van Bakel is almost certain she will take the master's in Employment Law.

‘You can pick up folders and brochures here,' a student assistant at the entrance to the Kamerlingh Onnes Building tells one of the visitors. Upstairs in the Law Faculty there is an information fair where students can ask all their questions. Carolien van Bakel (21), one of the visitors, already knows that she wants to take the master's in Employment Law; she has heard very positive reports of the programme from her housemates. 'I still went to the presentation so that I could hear what the department itself has to say,' she explained. 

Lara Wesseling has no idea yet what she wants to do and she has come to explore the wide choice of programmes in Leiden.
Lara Wesseling has no idea yet what she wants to do and she has come to explore the wide choice of programmes in Leiden.

Lara Wesseling (21), on the other hand, has no idea yet what she wants to do. She is in the second year of her bachelor's prorame in Law in Utrecht. 'This is my first Master's Open Day, and I am exploring a whole range of options. That's why I've come to Leiden: there's a really broad range of programmes here.’ She's looking at Youth Law and Criminology, but the's also interested in Philosophy of Law. ‘I'm a bit behind schedule with my bachelor's and I want to use the time usefully by improving my chances for a master's.' 

International students

International students from as far away as Poland, France, Indonesia and the UK have also found their way to Leiden for the Master's Open Day.  Charlotte Pasquit (21), for example, who is waiting in the Academy Building for a presentation specially for international students, together with Aleksander Kozlowski (19). Charlotte, who is French, is studying History, she is on an Erasmus exchange programme in Poland, and came to Leiden specially for this Master's Open Day. She will probably take the master's in Crisis and Security Management.

Charlotte Pasquit and Aleksander Kozlowski attend a presentation specially for international students.
Charlotte Pasquit and Aleksander Kozlowski attend a presentation specially for international students.

Ervano Suparno (24) from Indonesia and his sister Astari (24) were able to combine their visit to the Master's Day with a visit to their parents, who live in The Hague. Ervano and Astari studied in Indonesia and are now working there. They are both interested in  taking a master's in Leiden - something to do with statistics and computer sciences: 'It's a quieter city than Amsterdam,' they both say. Today they want to find out about housing and grants. They have heard that you get a different grant if you come from outside the EU, and they want to know more about the possibilities. 

Brother and sister Ervano and Astari from Indonesia combined the Master's Day with a visit to their parents in The Hague.
Brother and sister Ervano and Astari from Indonesia combined the Master's Day with a visit to their parents in The Hague.

The Hague in Leiden

In a room in the Lipsius Building there is a livestream connection with the Hague for a presentation on the Crisis and Security Management programme. There's no problem with asking questions: via an app the lecturer will also also the questions from Leiden at the end of the presentation. Loreen Simons (21) from Utrecht thinks the livestream is a great idea. She is interested in Psychology but is also considering this programme in The Hague. 'This means I don't need to rush from one city to the other.'  

In the virtual train

Visual Reality is very useful to see what's happening in The Hague while you yourself are in Leiden. ‘You get in a virtual train and a girl there tells you all about The Hague and shows you the faculty, the library and Scheveningen,’ Daan Tahitu explains; he is the student guide at this stand. 'Many students think it's a great addition to the information fair.' Jose Losh from England definitely agrees that it is a 'super experience' and two students from Luxemburg are also impressed with these visual effects.

Better too early than too late: second-year student Louis-Philippe Bazelier is already exploring the options for a master's.
Better too early than too late: second-year student Louis-Philippe Bazelier is already exploring the options for a master's.

Early orientation

In the P.J. Veth building, Louis-Philippe Bazelier (21), a second-year student of Ancient Near East Studies, is one of the early birds doing some exploring. 'Better too early than too late,' he laughs. ‘I've not yet started my thesis but I'm looking at the possibility of taking a one-year master's or the two-year research master's,' he says. ‘The two-year option seems to give more chances of a job, but you have to do a lot of independent research. I'm trying to weigh up the pros and cons today.' 

Students Naomi and Jamie visit the meet-and-greet to get as much information as possible in one go.
Students Naomi and Jamie visit the meet-and-greet to get as much information as possible in one go.

Besides students who are taking their bachelor's in Leiden or at another university, there are also students from universitites of applied sciences (HBO universities). Naomi van der Meer (21) and Jamie Batten (23) have come specifically to the meet-and-greet in the P.J. Veth building to gather information. ‘The HBO bachelor's in Small Business and Retail Management in The Hague was a piece of cake,' Jamie explains. 'So it seems a waste not to carry on studying.' They're not yet sure which programme they want to take. ‘First we need to look at which programmes are suitable and where we could do a pre-master's.' 

Text and images: Marloe van der Schrier
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