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Interview Bin Chen

"My reason for choosing Tilburg University is that I enjoy the diverse ethnic background of students here, this really helps me to put my perspectives into the shoes of others in a way that is inclusive and open whilst my education has a lot to do with culture and society."


foto Online Culture Bin Chen
  • Nationality: Chinese
  • Bachelor's program: Online Culture, Art, Media and Society
  • Started in: 2016
  • Extracurricular activities: Attending different events regarding the topics of humanity, human rights, free speech and so forth. My favorite one so far is the regular events held by Amnesty International Organization in Tilburg
  • High school diploma: I have HBO P-diploma, which helped me qualified my application to this university
  • Languages: English, Chinese

Did you always know what you wanted to do?

I did not exactly know what I wanted to study so I acquired information on different programs before I applied. I did have a clear vision on which direction I wanted to take. My previous education at a University of Applied Sciences (HBO) in Groningen helped me understanding the Dutch education system and the culture. That I took this path does not mean that you have to follow pre-courses at a HBO institution before you can decide which program you want to choose at Tilburg University. For me, it was about deciding which specific direction I wanted to follow.

Why did you choose to study abroad, and how did you decide to study in the Netherlands?

Netherlands easily crossed my mind while I was choosing where to study because of the high quality of the English taught programs offered at Tilburg University. The reason why I decided to study in The Netherlands was that I wanted to explore the European culture not only via travelling but also via living and studying here. Furthermore, the study fee in The Netherlands is quite appealing compared to other countries like the U.S. or the U.K.

How did you reach the decision to study Online Culture, Art, Media and Society?

From the very beginning I had the support of my parents who completely trusted me with finding the right education for myself. I personally value a society that contains a high level of ethnicity, and The Netherlands is a country that provides this. Later, when I was looking for specific programs, I was specifically interested in subjects that were related to social science or sociology, therefore I decided on the Bachelor program: Online Culture, Art, Media and Society.

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

For me, it has been very challenging to follow a program that is completely taught in English However, the more difficult it is, the more rewarding it gets to see the improvement of communication with other international students.

What is your favorite subject?

My favorite subject so far is “Transformation of Public Sphere”. It is a subject that focuses on the teaching of historical development of public spheres as well as the current development of public spheres in the era of social media. I enjoy this subject the most because it offers me many different perspectives in the debate over public sphere and its role in society.

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

The teaching style at Tilburg University varies greatly among different teachers. However, what I have observed so far is that, many teachers from my program value in-class discussion that contains diverse opinions. Our lecturers encourages us to speak up and share what we know and think about certain topics.

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