Ekatarina Dimitrova - Bulgaria
'In high school, I knew I wanted to study something that involved mathematics. Actuarial Science was exactly what I was looking for. You learn how to evaluate the risk in industries such as insurance, pension fonds and finance. The University of Amsterdam (UvA) is one of the few places in Europe where you can follow a Bachelor in this subject.'
'My favourite thing about the UvA is how approachable everyone is. No one judges you for not knowing something and they encourage you to keep asking questions until everything is clear. The study programme is quite intense, but also interesting and fun. There are 2 different types of classes: lectures and tutorials. During lectures new study materials are introduced and the professor is usually the one doing most of the talking. The tutorials take place in smaller groups. Here, you learn how to apply the theory through exercises.'
'A typical day starts with a bike ride to school, where I have a coffee and enjoy the beautiful Roeterseiland Campus before class. After class, I usually go to the library to prepare for next day’s classes. In the late afternoons, when the sky is clear, you can see the sunset from campus – definitely a view worth seeing.
Everyone I know has fallen in love with the city of Amsterdam, including me. It's the perfect study place because it offers all the perks of a city, but it is not overwhelming. Most places are usually not more than a 30-minute bike ride away. The place is perfect for people who want to discover who they are and what they want to do. This is because Amsterdam has a wide variety of opportunities to do so – ranging from playing any type of sports through cooking classes, theater and cultural events.'
I would advise new students to really try to make the most out of their time at the UvA by finding the balance between responsibilities and social life. Studying is important, but you should also make friends and have fun. These are supposed to be some of the most exciting years of your life, so make sure you live them well!