Peer-to-peer: what current students think of the pre-master/minor
Testimonials current studens have written on the pre-master/minor EU Studies
- Karina Rinaldi-Doligez, pre-master EUS
- Jenna Hietala, pre-master European Union Studies
- Marlies Greven, BA student Chinese Studies, minor European Union Studies
- Marieke van der Lande, BA student Law, Minor EUS
My experience as a Pre-Master EU Studies student has been great so far. Not only have we learnt the history of the EU integration, its most fundamental policies and the way its institutions work, but we’ve also had the opportunity to write a policy paper and debate on very recent topics that concern the EU today. I find the programme comprehensive and very useful for the Master I am planning to pursue, which is the MA in International Relations (Humanities). I belief that this Pre-Master would provide me with all the tools I need for next year. Besides, discussing about up to date EU topics is always very interesting and challenging.
Other than that, we have also been given the chance to meet MA students of the EU Studies who would give us advice and answer to our questions about their studies, etc. With them, we could visit EU institutions and attend seminars by important EU actors, thus giving us a perspective on recent events and the way EU institutions work. The proximity of Leiden University to important EU and other International institutions is a plus that I had taken into account before I applied to this Pre-Master.
For me the minor worked as a pre-master to enter the Master European Union studies programme. The practical approach and concentration on current topics worked for me well. I enjoyed the simulation game of European Council meeting, giving presentations and taking part in discussions. Now I feel like I have a good basis of the workings of the EU and current EU policy developments. Also my policy writing skills have advanced!
I’d recommend the minor for students from every study background. EU is interconnected into everything you wish to do in the future. The course will also be a nice plus on your CV!
What made you apply for the Minor? Were your expectations met?
In 2007 I started with the bachelor ‘Language and Culture of China’. After passing the first year we were asked to choose a minor for the second year, to broaden our horizon in a different field of study next to Chinese (Since I have been to Taiwan in the mean time I am finishing my minor this year). Immediately I noticed the three ‘Praktijkstudie’ minors, which are Journalism, Management and European Union Studies. I thought these specific minors would be great assets to my bachelor because they seemed very interesting and complete. I choose European Union Studies since I thought it would be fun to create a bridge between my knowledge of China and the situation in the EU. Also, a big part of the decision was caused by curiosity, since I found it a little strange to know more about China than the EU which I am part of.
2) What did you learn from the Minor (both academically and in terms of interpersonal skills)?
During this minor we had to do presentations and write (policy) papers for every course. In contrasts with my bachelor, all these subjects are about very up to date issues, which definitely increased my understanding of how the European Union functions right now. We learned a lot about how to write papers and present the topic we are interested in by having to do so and getting useful feedback from the lecturers. Also, we had to do some group presentations and papers, which made us having to learn how to cooperate with fellow students and discuss the chosen topic in a group. I believe this is of great value for dealing with team assignments now and later on.
3) Describe one funny/most interesting thing that happened to you during the Minor.
For the course ‘EU politics and national policies’our lecturer arranged a class in which we would do a role play in which we had to discuss and negotiate the budget relating a fictional accession of Turkey to the EU. In this case I got to represent our own country, the Netherlands, together with a fellow student. It was fun to see how everyone got exited in the negotiations and tried to get the best outcome for the country they represented.
4 ) Do you think the Minor is a good preparation for the Master EU Studies, and would you do it again?
I will not continue to do the Master EU Studies, since I want to complete ‘Language and Culture of China’ by taking a Master in Chinese Studies. I do think the minor is of great value as an addition to my bachelor. I learned a lot of new things and met a lot of people totally different from my students within my bachelor. It was nice to meet students with different ideas and goals then the ones I had studied with before, I am sure it extended my vision. I had a good time taking classes on modern Europe next to ancient China, but now I will continue my studies within the field of Sinology.
'De politiek heeft me altijd al getrokken. In de e-Studiegids vond ik de minor EU studies. Die biedt me aspecten die ik in mijn rechtenstudie tot dusver gemist had. Presenteren, discussiëren, schrijven en achteraf politieke en actuele onderwerpen beschouwen vind ik heel leuk. Tijdens mijn minor is mijn interesse voor Europa enorm toegenomen. Ik ga hierna dan ook de master European Law op de Rechtenfaculteit doen.'
'Het meest interessante aan de minor EU studies vind ik het politieke aspect. De vrijheid die je hebt in je Europese onderwerpen kiezen, maakt het leuk. Op deze manier kan je dus zelf bepalen wat je uit de minor wilt halen. Mijn presentaties en werkstukken grijpen vaak in op juridische onderwerpen. Deze minor is een manier voor mij om het spannend te houden. Rechten blijft toch mijn hoofdstudie en daar heb ik niet voor niets voor gekozen.'Doen waar je goed in bent
'Ik volg de minor met studenten uit verschillende richtingen. Dat is leuk. Zo waren de studenten van de HEBO (Hoger Europees Beroepsonderwijs) ontzettend goed op de hoogste van het institutionele kader van de Europese Unie. En de studenten van Geschiedenis zijn zeer bedreven in papers schrijven en presentaties geven. Als rechtenstudent ben ik toch constant op zoek naar correct beredeneren en tot op de bodem uitpluizen van bepaalde zaken. Bij groepsopdrachten doet iedereen waar hij of zij goed in is. Dit heeft mij een 9 voor een presentatie opgeleverd!”Toekomst
'Die samenwerking vanuit verschillende disciplines geeft niet alleen nu goede resultaten. Ik zie het ook als bijzonder leerzaam voor de toekomst. Niet alleen nu, maar ook later werk je samen met mensen die allemaal op een andere manier hun vak hebben geleerd!'