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Meet the students

Over 3,000 international and exchange students are enrolled at the UvA. See what Oana Diana Oprea and Cristina Popescu have to say about studying in Amsterdam.

Interview with Oana Diana Oprea

Interview with Cristina Popescu

Cristina Popescu obtained a Master’s in Accountancy and Control at the University of Amsterdam (UvA) in 2013. She holds a Bachelor of Science from the Bucharest University of Economic Studies (ASE Bucharest) in her home country of Romania. During her Bachelor’s studies, Cristina spent one year on exchange at the UvA through the Erasmus Programme.

Cristina Popescu
Cristina Popescu

Why did you want to study abroad?

I wanted to have a richer study experience, get acquainted with a different educational system than in my home country, discover new cultures and new ways of doing things and meet international people.

Why did you choose the UvA? Did you have other options?

I first came to the UvA as an Erasmus exchange student for a year during my Bachelor’s studies. When I applied for the scholarship, I had a number of universities from Europe to choose from. Out of those, the UvA was placed the highest in international rankings such as the QS World University Rankings. This was my main reason for selecting the UvA.

As for the full-time Master’s programme that I followed in 2012-2013, I chose the UvA because I had had a good experience during the Erasmus programme, but also because it offers good value for money compared to other universities that I considered (mainly in the UK).

Were there differences with your education system back home?

I definitely found a big difference between the UvA and the educational system in Romania. With better facilities and more modern teaching methods than in Romania, the UvA proved a valuable experience. The programmes are also more intense than I experienced in Romania and the professors are much more involved. Academic research is another area where the UvA does very well, while in Romania this is marginal.

Where did you stay during your time in Amsterdam? Was the housing organised by the UvA?

I stayed in student housing organised by UvA through De Key. This was very helpful both from a financial standpoint (since student housing is cheaper than renting something on your own) and from a logistics standpoint. It was much easier to apply for student housing than to look for a place to rent – Amsterdam is a difficult city to find housing on your own!

What are you doing at the moment?

Right now I’m working as a consultant for IBM Netherlands.

What would be your number one tip for prospective students?

Be prepared for having to study a lot, but don’t forget to meet new people, check out the many events happening around you and enjoy your time at the UvA and in Amsterdam. And maybe also start learning Dutch. Although you don’t need it, you might like it so much in The Netherlands that you will decide to stay for a couple of years after your studies – and then Dutch will come in handy.