Paul Stroet - Netherlands
'The reason why I chose the University of Amsterdam was simple: I wanted to grasp the main notions of finance, while enjoying the big-city life in an international environment. Up until now, every expectation has been more than fulfilled. Amsterdam is a lovely, vibrant place and Roeterseiland is a very warm-hearted and vivid city-campus.'
Finance and tech
'Academically, I have a keen interest in the fields of finance and tech. If one considers the revolutionary steps humanity is undertaking nowadays by applying on these fields, it is almost absurd that the regular programme does not shed light upon it. The advanced data analytics methods that extract value from big data, the far-reaching potential of artificial intelligence and the challenges we face due to an extinction of our natural resources ask for new approaches. However, the classical schools of science, including the neo-classical school of economics, are too constrained to deal with these issues yet. Fortunately, the interdisciplinary honours programme offers courses in which these challenges are more extensively addressed. I find it very interesting meeting like-minded students to explore these thoughts more comprehensively.'
Social and cultural awareness
'From a professional perspective, the UvA was also an excellent choice: it offers lots of opportunities catering to a wide variety of interests in which you can do activities for personal development alongside your studies. For example, within our study-association Extensus we organize events with fellow-students, such as galas and study-trips. I must admit, however, that the living quality in Amsterdam is rather high, which implies that we do not often encounter the less affluent ones among us. Within AIESEC, another partner-association of the UvA, we therefore intend to enrich our social and cultural awareness. This summer we are going to South-America to launch projects, such as the WeSpeak project, wherein we aim to reinforce the learning process in terms of language education. This is going to be achieved through practical classes reflected in cultural activities, conversational clubs, role plays, lectures and workshops of different topics, dictated by a heterogeneous group of international practitioners. In this way we want to contribute to the overall development of the population in the poorest regions of South-America.'
'All in all, the University of Amsterdam serves as a great springboard for achieving academic as well as professional goals.'