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Student Amber Dekker

"I wanted to find a study course that would educate me in several different fields. My interests range from sociology to economics and psychology, and I really enjoy taking classes that relate to all those areas."

Amber Dekker
  • Nationality: Dutch
  • Bachelor's program: Global Management of Social Issues
  • Started in: 2016
  • Extracurricular activities: I am an active and sporty person and I go swimming 2 or 3 times a week. Besides, I enjoy meeting my friends in the city center after class, and I like to go out once in a while. I also love reading and playing music
  • High school diploma: Dutch high school VWO diploma. Focus: C&M (culture and society) with mathematics C and art class
  • Languages: Dutch fluently, proficient in English, and advanced in French

Did you always know what you wanted to do?

I’ve always been rather certain that I wanted to go to university. However, I have a very broad interest and when I was considering different study programs, all I knew was that I wanted to find a study course that would educate me in several different fields. My interests range from sociology to economics and psychology, and I really enjoy taking classes that relate to all those areas. Also, I’m not sure yet what exactly I want to do in the future since I don’t have a clear idea yet what direction I want to go in academically or what field I’d like to work in.

How did you reach the decision to study (your study program)?

I made the decision to come to Tilburg to study GMSI because I think it is a very unique program. The international scope of the course enables us to view issues from many different perspectives. I think that being in class with students from such diverse backgrounds is a very valuable experience. In this way, we get to hear stories from different parts of the world while training our communication skills and cultural sensitivity. Another factor that made the course interesting to me is its focus on current global issues. In my “Wicked Problems” class, we analyze complex problems from perspectives of different fields of study, thus obtaining a well-rounded understanding of them. Viewing current issues in this way made the course really appealing to me.  

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

Following classes and writing papers in English is not a big challenge for me. After finishing high school in the Netherlands, I took English classes at an international school and obtained my Cambridge certificate. I made friends from all over the world in these classes, and interacting with them has improved my English skills a lot. I believe that, since I started studying at the university, my English skills have improved even more. We read academic papers, learn how to write essays, and discuss issues with each other. This has helped me a lot!

What is your favorite subject?

From the courses we have followed so far, the Sociology course was my favorite. I particularly enjoyed this course because it focused on social systems and the relations between individuals and society. In the sociology classes, we were introduced to the field of study and we focused on its key questions and theories. We were motivated to look at social issues and analyze them from a sociological perspective.

Besides, I liked the Wicked Problems course very much, because we learned about the different dimensions of complex problems and linked these problems to different areas of study. Within this course, I especially enjoyed learning about the topics ‘Philosophy’ and ‘Regional Economic Inequality’.

What do you like most about studying at Tilburg University?

What I like most about studying at Tilburg University is the good atmosphere on campus. Since the university buildings are all located in the same area of the city, the campus is rather compact. The proximity of students from different courses gives me the feeling that I am connected to the university as a whole, rather than only to my study program. I like spending time on campus, even when I don’t have classes. It is a good place for studying as well as having coffee and meals, and the nearby forest is really good for study breaks!

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

I am quite devoted to my studies, so I spend a fair amount of time on studying each week. During the semester, I keep up with the readings, write papers, work on group projects, prepare for presentations, and study for exams. However, there is also enough time left for me to spend on other activities. I enjoy exercising, so I go swimming 2 or 3 times a week. Besides, I like meeting my friends after class and have a coffee, or go out in the evening. I sometimes attend events organized by student associations as well, such as movie and discussion nights. 

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