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Meet the new study advisor Cleody van der Eijk: ‘I want to help my students to find their next step in life’

Cleody van der Eijk recently started as the new study advisor and exchange coordinator at Archaeology. Aside from helping students out when they encounter issues during their studies, she will also focus on the process of studying abroad. ‘It is very valuable to get to know another culture, while you are also going to know your own culture a lot better.’

Cleody van der Eijk

Adventure-based counselling

In her new position, Cleody’s background in coaching will certainly come in handy. ‘I used to have a position as a dropout coach, in which I coached young people through adventure-based counselling.’ She explains. ‘Adventure-based counselling is like learning by experience. It is easier to talk with someone while actively doing something, instead of traditional counselling, sitting face to face at a table.’ Adventure-based counselling also helps to create a sense of accomplishment. ‘You enter a challenging situation, and it feels good to complete this challenge. That feeling now should be transferred to daily life.’ Often, when confronted with something out of your comfort zone, you may enter the panic zone, which can make you freeze or flee.


A student’s life contains plenty of challenges. ‘When doing something challenging you feel fear, your heartbeat, sweating, trembling. This could be your experience while writing your thesis. Or only the idea of starting with your thesis might give you cold shivers. It is my goal to make students aware of these feelings and help them get out of this panic zone, and into the challenge zone, in which you can get things done.’

Any tips for getting out of the panic zone? ‘I help students to get some grip when they experience panic. The main goal is to be aware of the fact that you are experiencing panic. If you can put this feeling into perspective, it will help you see it as a challenge instead.’ But the first step is to ask for help. ‘You can come to me, or to one of the other student advisors. There is a whole support structure in place.’

A schematic representation of the challenge circles

Study advisor

Cleody works in a team of three study advisors, together with Hanne Bergink and Inge Tinbergen. ‘Together we will be point of contact for the whole student populations, both BA as well as MA. You may contact us with all kinds of questions, from your study path to problems that have an impact on your studies.’

In her role as study advisor, Cleody has the hope to prevent students from dropping out of the programme. ‘I like to do two things: on one hand I hope to keep our students on track, so long as it is the right track for them. On the other, if people do drop out, I want to help them find their next step in life. I like to encourage students to come to me and my colleagues with questions. Don’t hesitate, we are there for you!’

‘It is very valuable to get to know another culture, while you are also going to know your own culture a lot better.'


Aside from the role as study advisor, Cleody also is exchange coordinator for the Faculty. ‘If you want to go abroad, you can come to me and I can answer your questions. Likewise, I will be the point of contact for incoming exchange students.’

Studying abroad is the pinnacle of getting out of your comfort zone. ‘It is very valuable to get to know another culture, while you are also going to know your own culture a lot better. I studied abroad myself, first in Belgium, then an Erasmus exchange in France.’ She laughs. ‘You can also speak French with me.’

Favorite archaeological site

While not having a background in archaeology, Cleody does find it interesting. ‘Especially that it is theoretical and practical at the same time. You have to know a lot about science, social behavior, and physics to interpret and uncover the past.’ When asked, she admits she has no favorite archaeological site as of yet. ‘Come to me to persuade me about your own favorite!’

Contact the Study Advisor

If you want to reach out to the Study Advisor, please use one of the e-mail addresses below: 

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