Over 3,000 international and exchange students are enrolled at the UvA. See what Juliane Blasche and Astrid Kappesser have to say about studying in Amsterdam.
Communication Science, Persuasive Communication
I chose the UvA because it provided the opportunity to specialise in a Master’s track which was not offered in my home country. Moreover, the Graduate School of Communication, as well as the UvA itself, have a very good reputation and rank highly in international ratings.
The application procedure was a good deal of work. But it was not difficult as clear instructions about the documents needed were given. As a tip, I would say: start early. The deadlines in the Netherlands, especially at the UvA, are early compared to the ones in Germany.
Semesters start earlier – or at different times – than in Germany. The ‘summer semester’ starts in February, not in March or April; the ‘winter semester’ in September, not in October. Furthermore, the grading system is different.
Another important difference is the workload. In my Master’s track, I had many deadlines one after the other during the semester. And exams were held during the semester as well. In Germany, one usually has to hand in essays or write exams at the end of the semester or during the semester break. On the one hand, this means a lot of workload during the semester. On the other hand, one is definitely ‘free’ during the summer break and is able to enjoy the summer holidays without any university-to-dos.
What I appreciated as well, compared to the system in Germany, is that professors and study advisers are much more ‘open’ and not as formal as in Germany. It is not so common in Germany to address your professors and study advisers with ‘you/du’ from the beginning on. As this is handled differently at the UvA, a friendlier and more relaxed working climate is provided.
It was very easy to get in contact with teachers, professors and study advisers as they are in general very open-minded, friendly and willing to help you with any questions regarding your studies.
I’ll probably go back to Germany as my Dutch language skills are not good (or rather non-existent), and I think I have a better chance in Germany or some other English-speaking country. However, if I find an English-speaking job in the Netherlands, I might also stay here.