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European Studies
Sarah Osei

'I went to an international high school in Ghana where I did my A-levels. I had no idea what or where to study after high school. I applied for many different programs at several universities across Europe. My decision came down to weighing the pros and cons of all of them. I realised the University of Amsterdam was the best fit for me because I wanted to be in a multicultural metropolitan. And European Studies had so much more variety than other programmes and gave me the chance to learn Arabic, which had always been an ambition of mine.

I didn’t know quite what to expect, but I was certain it would be very interesting and I wasn’t disappointed. European Studies ended up being much broader than I expected and delved much deeper. It made me contemplate things outside the program on a European level. But it also made me very critical of how I understand concepts such as history and culture and has lead me to endeavour to learn more outside my studies.

I chose Arabic, which is the only non-European language in the program. I wanted to get the most out of my study. I have always been interested in the Arabic language and culture and I wanted the challenge. I recently travelled a bit in the Middle East and know now that I want to pursue a career in that region and learning Arabic at UVA is greatly helping me to work towards that.

I chose European Law as my major, initially because it was practical for my career ambitions – I want to work in diplomacy or with human rights law – but when I had the course briefly in the first year I realised I enjoyed actually reading laws and cases. 

I was accepted into the Honours Programme so I am really looking forward to starting that next semester. And I am looking into possibly doing an internship abroad over summer.  

I love Amsterdam.  The city itself is really an experience and I consider myself lucky to spend three years here. I don’t see myself living here in the future but it is definitely always going to be an important time in my life.'