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Visitors to the Bachelor's Open Day: ‘They give you honest information’

It was busy at the Bachelor's Open Day of Leiden University. Over 7,000 prospective students had come to take a look at Leiden. What did they expect of their chosen programme? Would they join a student association? Would they move out of home? Feedback from five prospective students.

Felice, Oegstgeest (16), is planning on doing two programmes.

It’s a bit bizarre that the Bachelor's Open Day is a church, but useful too, having all the programmes together. My plan is to do two programmes. A master’s in Business Studies or Law and a bachelor’s in French, English or Russian. French is a beautiful, romantic language and I reckon Russian will come in useful when I’m conducting negotiations somewhere in Russia in a distant future. I now live in Oegstgeest, just a short bike ride away, but if you want to party it’s better to move into a room in Leiden. I secretly dream of much further away. I swim competitively and am trying to win a scholarship to study in America. If I don’t, I’ll just study in Leiden instead, like my brother.’

Felice

Adinda, Amsterdam (28), wants to do Korean Studies.

‘I’ve come to the Bachelor's Open Day for Korean Studies. Is that unusual? I’m really interested in everything to do with Korea. I’ve been watching Korean series on the internet since I was 16. Now I want to learn the language. No idea what I want to do later though. Leiden is the only place where you can study it – and isn’t it beautiful? This is my first time here. It’s all so cute. The houses are much smaller than in Amsterdam. And talking of “small,” that’s what the Korean Studies programme is too, or so I’ve just heard, which is only a good thing if you ask me. Then you get a lot of one-on-one contact.’

Adinda

Paul, Frankfurt (20), thinks that studying in Germany is too large-scale.

‘I had already started a programme in Frankfurt, but studying in Germany is on a really massive scale. I had lectures with 600 other people, which mean there was no room whatsoever for discussion. Open days in Germany are also completely different from here. You only get to hear positive stories, whereas here you get to talk to students and they give you honest information. They also tell you about the downsides of a programme. I’ve enrolled on International Relations and Organisations in The Hague. You’re there in no time from Leiden. Yet another advantage of studying in the Netherlands: everything is so close by.’

Paul

Martijn, Breezand (19), wants to do something to do with the environment.

‘What exactly I’m going to study I don’t know yet. The trouble is I like everything. That’s why this Bachelor's Open Day is so good: all the programmes are in one place. I’ve also been to an open day in Utrecht and there you first have to register for everything. This is much more accessible. I’ve just returned from the presentation about Liberal Arts and Sciences: Global Challenges. As I understand it, it’s a very broad programme, something to do with law, sustainability and – oh no – I’ve already forgotten the other focal points. As you may have noticed, I’m not quite up to speed. I’ve just returned from a long trip round Indonesia. Something to do with the environment would definitely be interesting. And it’s desperately needed too. In Indonesia I went swimming in the coral – and the plastic.’

Martijn

Sam, Alkmaar (18), is taking a gap year first.

‘I know I’m going to choose Leiden. I knew the city already because our school took part in a model United Nations in Leiden. I was North Korea. A head start for my later career because I want to be a diplomat or work as an advisor in the public sector. That’s why I’m choosing International Politics. I’m just postponing my studies for a bit because I’m taking a gap year next year to travel around the world. I won’t change my mind: I’ll definitely go to university. I owe it to myself and my parents.’

Sam

Text: Nicolline van der Spek
Photography: Marc de Haan
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