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Student Mathijs Bontje

"Your personal experience and growing as a person is the most import part of your life as a student. Your grades only come in on a close second place.. or a third..."

Student Mathijs Bontje CSAI
  • Nationality: Dutch
  • Bachelor's program: Communication and information sciences (CIS)
    contact person for Cognitive Science and Artificial Intelligence (CSAI)
  • Started in: 2015
  • Extracurricular activities: Was an active member of OLOF during my bachelor period, became an inactive member during my pre-master. Works at a media company (LiveWall group) in Tilburg.
  • High school diploma: Havo with a profile focused on economics & society
  • Languages: English, Dutch

Did you always know what you wanted to do?

Yes, I have always had a healthy interest in computers and information technology in general but was a very social being as well. I’ve always thought that there must be some way to combine my social interests (more the psychology and cognitive science spectrum) and the interest in (information) technology. I’ve hit the bullseye with “Human Aspects of Information Technology” in combining these two interests of mine.

How did you reach the decision to study Cognitive Science and Artificial Intelligence?

I finished my studies in communication & multimedia design at the Avans University of Applied Sciences (HB, Hogeschool) and wanted more. I wanted to study more in-depth and have a more scientific background which could help me with my interest in media and the IT world.

What is it like to study completely in English, together with international students? Was the transition from high school difficult?

No it was not. I’ve always liked the English language better than Dutch. The international students you get to know during your studies at Tilburg University enrich with new interesting points of views. The cultural diversity also helps to set up an intercultural network of friends and in the (future) work field on a worldwide level. 

What is your favourite subject?

Social signal processing was a course I really enjoyed due to the fact that it is a perfect combination of technology and social aspects. During the lecture I’ve learned about many new interesting technologies that are able to provide new social insights.

What sort of teaching styles do you encounter in your program, and can you say something about this?

The teaching style is a combination of both: academic lectures and practical workshops. Some classes are taught in the traditional way of listening to what a professor has to say but other lectures allow you to play around with electrodes and robots. It is very varied and that is what I like about this type of studies. This counts for the Master aswell as for the Bachelor.

Do your studies take a lot of time? Do you have any time for activities besides your studies?

The study indeed takes a lot of time, every full time study does, but this does not mean that you do not have the time for a social life of extra activities besides your studies. Study is not your life, it is a way of improving yourself and thereby also your personal life. If you work hard and chose to do other activities besides your program (like a job, social activities or other things that are a good addition to your curriculum vitae (CV)), you can do so. It does take some effort but it is all doable.

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