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Alumna Nina Bartmann



"Besides the core courses of the study, Macroeconomics and Microeconomics, the program contains additional courses that allow you to get an insight into various fields within Economics."

Feel free to ask me anything about Economics or studying at Tilburg University. I will answer your question as soon as possible!

What was the reason for you to start the BSc Economics? Can you tell us something about the program of BSc Economics?

For many years I had been interested in how the economy works and what mechanisms explain the phenomena we hear about in the news. To pursue a study in Economics seemed to me the ideal way to get those answers. Having lived abroad during my high school years has definitely shaped part of my life and has been one of the reasons why I wanted to pursue my study in an international environment. The BSc Economics at Tilburg University is a program entirely taught in English with a very small international student body. The multicultural background of fellow students and teachers makes it a truly unique learning environment.
Furthermore, Tilburg University has a small and cozy campus. The green area surrounding the campus, the study facilities as well as the many small coffee places on campus offer great opportunities to hang out with friends while having a break from studying. The courses are very interesting, but at the same time demanding. Working in teams is therefore not only recommended and usually required, but also very helpful. You not only have the chance to work on difficult topics together, but you also get to know your fellow students from around the world a little better. Working together with people from various educational and cultural backgrounds is truly amazing.
Each course consists of multiple teaching methods. There are usual lectures where the teacher explains a new topic. Then, there are tutorials in which we discuss exercises related to those topics, have debates or work on case studies linked to current events. In addition to that, these tutorials are also intended to further develop our skills in writing, giving presentations or conducting research for example.

Is there a specific course in the program that really stood out to you?

Besides the core courses of the study, Macroeconomics and Microeconomics, the program contains additional courses that allow you to get an insight into various fields within Economics. These courses are related to topics such as financial markets, the European System of Central Banks, international trade and trade policy, the role of development aid and natural resources, pensions and health care. It is difficult to say which one of these courses stood out to me since they were all unique. However, the course on international trade has definitely been one of my most favourites so far.

Have you been active in any student societies next to your studies?

During my first year of university, I deliberately did not choose to become active in a particular student association. I first wanted to get acquainted with my new living environment before engaging in extra activities.
However, I have been active in student sports at the Tilburg University sports center. There are many sports to choose from and it is a great way to meet other students while doing something fun. I have joined one of the committees of my sports team and it is a great pleasure to travel throughout the Netherlands for competitions with them.
Starting in my second year, I have joined the Magazine Committee at the faculty association Asset Economics. I can’t wait for our edition to come out in the summer. Furthermore, together with other students and teaching staff, I serve in the Education Committee where we, among other things, advice the faculty council on the teaching and examination regulations. If you are interested in becoming active besides your studies, Tilburg University definitely offers something for everyone. Doesn’t matter if you are interested in sports, in music, in organizing business events, planning a study trip or maybe joining a fraternity.

Did you go on an exchange during your studies? Or are you planning to?

I recently got accepted to study in Singapore at Singapore Management University, one of Tilburg’s partner universities. I am going to leave Tilburg in August 2014 for one semester and I am already very much looking forward to this experience.

Was it a big step for you to come to the Netherlands for your studies?

It has always been a dream of mine to study somewhere else than in my hometown. Hence, I was aware of the fact that living in another city and in another country would be a challenge and a big change. Though, I already spent some time during my high school years studying in North America, where I have learnt to live in a different cultural environment. Hence, moving to another country was not so much of an adjustment compared to living by myself. Cooking, cleaning, grocery shopping, washing as well as preparing assignments for university was all a little overwhelming during the first few weeks. Having other international roommates and international classmates helped a lot because I knew I was not the only one having these problems. It fortunately only takes a few weeks until you find your own rhythm.

Is there any advice you can give a student who is currently deciding where and what to study?

Trying to figure out what kind of study to pursue is a difficult task and I am not saying that it is easy, but going step by step helped me to decide which one would fit best. I believe that a key element is to identify what it is that you want.
What topics are you interested in most? What field/topic would you like to know more about? Do you happen to have a particular career in mind? Would you like to enroll in a study conducted in a foreign language or do you prefer to be taught in your native language? Do you have preferences regarding the location of your study? Campus or city? I hope that answering these or other similar questions will get you a step closer in the "right" direction.

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