Rachel Kim, Maurits Van der Roest, Armitha Karimi, Alex M. Atzberger and Lia Carta share their experiences studying Communication Science at the University of Amsterdam.
My new home, Amsterdam
Coming from Korea to study in Amsterdam has given me the opportunity to meet people from different nationalities and to learn more about their opinions and lifestyles. Amsterdam is one of the most multicultural cities in the world; the city is very alive, people are friendly and helpful.
After starting the programme I have learnt more about myself; how to be independent, responsible and confident. I had to get used to the biking culture which is different to where I come from. However, it is a unique experience that enriched my social knowledge and
First-year highs and lows
The programme has deepened my understanding of theory, which is easy to handle. The statistical part was challenging at the beginning. However, the combination of theory and statistics is a great advantage to learn how to apply communication theories into real-life settings. I strongly recommend new students to prepare for statistics and study hard but always have time for some fun.
I am planning to do an exchange abroad and afterwards following a Master’s in Communication Science at the UvA, giving me more opportunities. This will enhance the chance to get a job in Amsterdam being one of the most diverse hubs of the international companies in the world.
Combining your passion with your studies
I chose communication science because of my interest in daily life phenomena; the logic behind our regular use of social media, media consumption and how all of this could influence our lives. My passion is entertainment communication: the subject is connected to daily life, it enables me to study all the technologies, applications and media that we use every day. Through entertainment communication, I am able to combine my personal interest in music and video games with an academic study that appeals to me. This connection makes student life very interesting and meaningful.
Student in your own city
Student life in Amsterdam is a wonderful experience, an international and diverse city where you can meet new people and dive into the culture and nightlife as a student. The UvA is a cosy place, making it easy to make connections, widen your social circle and, of course, find a job next to your study.
Flexible but challenging
The programme has a flexible set-up: it grants me the freedom to personalize my study and to choose what topics appeal to my interests. Interested in music, I have the option to follow a minor in music science. In the beginning, the programme might seem a bit overwhelming, especially statistics; being new for everyone, however, after a while, you will get used to it.
Communication science gives me the opportunity to meet people from all around the world, working with students from different backgrounds and learning more about different cultures. The classes are small and international which creates interesting discussions with many different perspectives.
To personalise my study I am currently writing my thesis within Persuasive Communication and next year I am planning to go abroad for one semester. I will do my electives at the University of Melbourne, Australia. The global exchange programme that the UvA offers is a great opportunity to experience new student life in a different environment and to learn about more interesting subjects outside Communication Science. In addition, I chose to put my academic knowledge into practice by doing an internship in an international organisation.
Passion for Persuasive Communication
The topic of Persuasive Communication enables me to learn more about people’s behaviours and ways to influence them to live healthier. In a couple of years, I would see myself working in a communication marketing department; using communication means to develop strategies that help people, for example, to improve their well-being.
Flashback to a great experience
After 3 years of studying Communication Science, I learnt to critically examine scientific papers and how to conduct research appropriately. The programme taught me how news works, how companies organise their communication activities and the relationship between communication professionals and journalists. Besides giving me tools to examine my media environment, it sparked my interest in Corporate Communication.
Next Steps: Research Master in Communication Science at the UvA
After finishing my Bachelor’s degree in the summer, I will start the Research Master at the Graduate School of Communication. During my internship at a big tech company I was able to utilise my skills and add value to the organisation. I want to further deepen these skills and gain in-depth knowledge of different research methods, run big data analyses and come up with research results that contribute to the academic and professional community.
Variety of choices for the Research Master
My personal interest lies in corporate communication. This track offers insights into communication within and between organisations, stakeholders’ relations, and crisis management. Examining Corporate Communication is a great opportunity to get an understanding of how organisations operate within the ever-changing field of media.
Developing my personal skills
Studying Communication Science was challengining in the beginning. However, it enhanced my personal skills such as public speaking, level of English, academic writing, and time management. As a broad programme teaching different functions of communication, it helped me to discover my personal interest and directed me towards a more specific topic shaping my academic and career future plans.
Interest in Political Communication
The topic of Political Communication offers knowledge about how politics work as well as insights into the global political media debate. Within this track, I have learnt how to develop political campaigns about issues that have a strong presence in the media. Such knowledge made me realise how we can solve issues in real life and make a change for the better.
Different options, one goal
In the second year, I had the chance to start personalising my study and therefore, I did a minor in political science. I have gained much insight into the interplay between public, media and politics. It was interesting to be able to reflect on my background and to learn about European laws and the political sphere.
After my Bachelor’s I am applying for a Master’s in Political Communication. This will introduce me to a wide range of job possibilities in Amsterdam, being an international environment where global debate is taking place.