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What's it like to start studying Archaeology during corona

Already one month has passed and the Archaeology classes are well underway. So what's it like to actually start your studies during Covid-19? Three first year students share their experiences with us.

Tamar van Meerkerk

Tamar van Meerkerk, the Netherlands

‘I have zero regrets about choosing Archaeology. The study has been really great. With the whole corona situation, I think everything is handled pretty well.
The courses are really interesting and fun, the professors are really nice and the people in my class are just awesome. Especially L.A.S. Terra, who is organising weekly activities, is really helpful. It’s a way to still get to meet the rest of the first years who aren’t in our small group that we have in-person classes with.

The mentorship programme they set up for us is very helpful. You get all the information you need, but with a personal layer. It’s all really practical information about all aspects of that come with studying in general, but also Archaeology and Leiden specifically. It very nice and super helpful to have a very approachable person who can help you or knows the right person or institution to contact instead.’

Pratik Kavan Wickramasinghe

Pratik Kavan Wickramasinghe, Sri Lanka - currently in Leiden

‘I would say the start of the year was good, the courses World Archaeology and Past and Future were very interesting. It really met my expectations and both of those courses were pretty well organised despite corona, so I had no trouble following and doing all the expected work.

However not everything always goes smoothly, as most of the classes are still given online. ‘The online environment doesn’t always make it easy to follow all the assignments and the break-out rooms can be chaotic. Overall, I do really enjoy the study. The mentor programme is also quite helpful, as we can always ask for questions and advice.’ 

Jasmine Lam

Jasmine Lam, Hongkong - studying from abroad

‘My experience in studying Archaeology online is very niche, since it was a big change for me from my previous study experiences, as this grading system and the referencing guidelines are different. With everything done online it can be distracting. With some internet problems now and then, and due to the time zone difference, it is tough to receive immediate feedback after classes regarding my assignments. Overall, I do enjoy the online lectures, because I get to know a small group of people very well.  Soon I will come to the Netherlands and then I can also join the small in-person classes.

In regard to the student mentorship programme, it was enjoyable! I had so many of my questions and uncertainties answered by the student mentor, as they were very communicative despite that communication can only happen in an online environment. I also learned a lot and was guided throughout the entire process.’

Studying in times of corona

The Faculty of Archaeology, as well as Leiden University as a whole, is dedicated to provide our students with the best education possible. 

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