Alumnus Stefan Franz

Stefan Franz
  • Alumnus Stefan Franz
  • Nationality: Dutch
  • Year of birth: 1984

" I cannot stop emphasizing on how unique the viewing point of ritual is: it will give you a new pair of eyes to look at things. On top of intellectual growth you may experience a spiritual enrichment too or, at least, discover the doors that might lead to this."

Alumnus Stefan Franz about the program:


What is your educational background?

I possess a (HBO) bachelor degree in social work and a Master's degree in religion and ritual which I obtained at Tilburg University.

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Why did you choose Tilburg University?

Tilburg University is one of the top universities in Europe, particularly when it comes to the economic faculty. As a student I attended the humanities faculty. The university is small but diverse when it comes to education and, of course, located in the great town of Tilburg.

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What was the reason to choose your specific Master’s program?

After my finishing bachelor of social work I was still uncertain about what I wanted in my life. What I did know was that I looked for development on a deeper (personal) level and new career opportunities at the same time. Being interested in journalism as well as religious and political topics (I made a documentary film in 2009 about Geert Wilders' film 'Fitna', for example), this Master's program really appealed to me. It would provide me with the knowledge and academic experience to support me in a career in writing, which happened. 

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What is special about the program?

Being a very curious person who is interested in many fields, ritual and religiosity are approaches for interpreting the world around us. Seeing ritual as a cement that binds people together, it is a universal phenomenon that you can use as a vessel to travel through many different cultures, finding artistic beauty, understanding human behaviour and social structures from small sects to empires. I cannot stop emphasizing on how unique the viewing point of ritual is: it will give you a new pair of eyes to look at things. On top of intellectual growth you may experience a spiritual enrichment too or, at least, discover the doors that might lead to this.

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What do you think about the Tilburg University campus and facilities?

There is enough variation when it comes to food, the computers are fast and up to date, and the library staff is helpful. The university itself is very pleasant place to wander around, study and relax in the campus parks or café (with or without a beer). I like that fact that the campus is located next to a forest.

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What are your experiences with the program and Tilburg University so far?

My experience is that the program contains inspiring lectures by inspiring people who have great knowledge, and that it provides lots of philosophical stuff to think about. The university has treated me well as a student and the teachers take their students seriously when it comes to their work; professional and how it should be.

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What do you think of Tilburg city?

Studying in Tilburg is fun and there are many reasons to be there: nightlife, student facilities (regarding to studying, sports, housing and leisure), the growing community of international students and the cozy atmosphere that is associated with the Brabant people. Tilburg is small but flourishing: the city center is being renovated and the region is internationalizing, which means that it increasingly attracts companies, expats and foreign students. Tilburg is located near Brussels, Amsterdam, the German Ruhrgebiet and Eindhoven Airport is basically in its backyard, making traveling easy from here.

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What are your career aspirations?

This program not only gave me knowledge; it gave me great inspiration that has nurtured my creative activities. I managed to publish several articles in magazines and newspapers, mainly about Dutch civil rituals and the MH17 disaster which my Master's thesis was about. Therefore I aspire to further develop my writing skills and to continue publishing.

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