Why did you choose this programme?
“I've always taken an interest in all aspects of the law, so I was specifically looking for a subject with strong connections to the legal profession. However, I wanted a programme that focuses on the now, not the traditional approach to law which takes one subject at a time. And having lived in Spain for years, I was taught in English throughout high school. Plus I want to have the opportunity to work abroad or as part of an international department once I graduate. Law in Society turned out to be the perfect fit: an internationally oriented law programme with a firm focus on current affairs.
VU Amsterdam also held a strong appeal for me. While it’s a large university with everything right here on campus, it also feels small and welcoming because your studies centre on the Law Faculty itself. You never have to wonder where your class is. And of course, the opportunity to study in Amsterdam was another big draw.”
What do you think of the programme so far?
“The programme is run on a fairly small scale. This year’s cohort was just 50 students. It means you have close contact with other students and the lecturers know who you are. In addition, the programme is geared towards ‘mixed classrooms’. You are expected to collaborate on all kinds of things: presentations, discussions, organizing an event... it’s never a case of every man for himself. This helps you really get to know your fellow students and it’s great preparation for a future career that involves intensive collaboration with colleagues. Classes are compulsory, which is good for group cohesion. It’s a programme that gives you an active sense of involvement and that’s an aspect I like very much.
The interactive approach to teaching is also very rewarding. Each course centres on a theme. One focuses on terrorism, for instance, and challenges you to apply the various areas of law to a complex dilemma. So you have to be interested in what’s happening now and care about the society we live in. The programme is far more dynamic than I had ever imagined!”
What do you hope to do after graduation?
“During your first year, your curriculum is still very broad. In the beginning I really liked Criminal Law and European Law, and I saw myself working for an NGO and dealing with human rights. But then we got the chance to study Private Law, and I can see myself working in that field too! It’s still hard to say after such a varied first year. Right now, I’m leaning towards a Master’s in Private Law at VU Amsterdam. After that, I will probably look for a company that focuses on sustainability, with the aim of providing legal advice in this area. If you’re having real trouble making your choice, you can always rely on your lecturers or academic advisors for input – they are all very helpful.”