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Jakob (Austria & Germany)

Jakob, from Austria and Germany, is a Bachelor's student in PPLE (Psychology, Politics, Law and Economics).

Questions for Jakob?

Portrait of student ambassador Jakob Merlin

About Jakob

Country: Austria and Germany
Study programme: PPLE (Psychology, Politics, Law and Economics)
Programme type: Bachelor’s of Science

Why UvA?

I loved the idea of going to University abroad and was very curious about what challenges I would face. Therefore, I visited the Bachelor’s Day at the UvA – the atmosphere, the city and the staff made it such a pleasant experience that I was sold immediately.

Studying at the UvA
Arriving all my expectations were exceeded.  My current course consists of only 22 people. This enables for unique guidance and individual attention and questions during and after lectures and tutorials. Highlight: I arrived 5 minutes early to my first lecture and my professor greeted everyone with a handshake.

Also the university facilities are great! Lecture and tutorial rooms and buildings are all very open and modern, which makes me feel happy and comfortable being around the university. Often my friends and I stay longer after our classes chat and drink some coffee with an amazing view over Amsterdam.

Living in Amsterdam

Amsterdam is an amazing city (despite the high cost of rent). I felt at home very quickly after only a few months. Especially biking to university is one of the highlights of my day as I find it very relaxing to cycle to university through the city’s parks. I was amazed by the relaxing atmosphere, countless cute cafes next to the typical canals and cosy bars. However, I spend most of my days university and don’t have as much time as I wish to discover the city.

I expected to spend my evenings needing to learn Dutch in order to find my way around and engage with locals. To my surprise, over 90% of people here speak great English! This made for super pleasant encounters with very friendly and happy Dutch people.

Tips for students

  1. First things first – Get a bike. The best and cheapest way to be mobile and discover Amsterdam with all your friends.
  2. Participate in the Intreeweek! Excellent for making friends, creating amazing memories, and exploring and discovering Amsterdam during its prime summertime. Also takes some anxiousness away from being alone and during the start of university.
  3. Figure out your place to stay before you arrive. Many students who did not receive student housing do arrive without accommodation and assume they’ll find something on the spot – which is unlikely!