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In pictures: first years discover The Hague

In dribs and drabs, first-year students in The Hague are discovering their new student town and the University buildings. We followed a group of Security Studies students during the HOP introduction week.

Yvanka Verberne (19) thinks it’s a shame first years only get to meet in real life for one day during the introduction. But she has a compliment for the organisers of HOPweek anyway: the online programme is very well thought out, she says. The online pub quiz was particularly fun. After her Security Studies degree she wants to join the police, but first she’s going to immerse herself in her studies. ‘I'm going to let it wash over me.’
Anagha Peringatharayil (18) thinks the in-person day – today! – is the best day of HOPweek. She’s been looking forward to making new friends who share her interests for ages, and it’s much easier if you meet in real life. The online part is fun too, of course, but the technology does have to cooperate. She had bad luck on Monday when her wifi suddenlty decided to stop working. As for her degree, she’s particularly looking forward to the skills lab, where you get to practise skills such as academic writing and speaking in public.
Siu Yin (21) started Civil Engineering at Delft University of Technology but is transferring to Security Studies because he’d like to do an interdisiplinary degree. Security Studies has both a technical and a social-science side, which makes it a good fit for him. He’s really enjoying HOPweek so far and can’t wait to make new friends and work with others on security issues.
Bob van den Berg (19) is the mentor of this mixed bunch. He’s also studying Security Studies and is about to start his second year. It’s harder for first years to get to know each other now, he says. But the in-person day feels friendly and unforced and the first years found it easy to engage with each other during the digital pub quiz. The 1.5-metre distancing is strictly enforced. ‘You sometimes have to remind people, but they’re all very understanding.’
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