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Universiteit van Amsterdam (UVA)

467 reviews
4.08 / 5 based on 467 reviews
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Useful  |  0
Life changing
Tecla C
Italy, Graduate
Anthropology
Overall
Dear reader,

Here a short string-of-thought on my time as a Master's student at the UvA following the programme in Contemporary Asian Studies.

The Master's in Contemporary Asian studies opened up my view culturally and socially to new worlds, different than my own - the ones I grew up with. Especially during my fieldwork in Taipei, Taiwan. 

The programme itself doesn't exit anymore unfortunately but being part of the Anthropology faculty one could end up in a similar trajectory following the anthropology programme. The contents of the courses Global Asia - Key debates, Qualitative research methodologies, Youth, media and popular culture (of Asia), and, Gender and development; can be found in a similar anthropological and development studies courses. A pleasant aspect of the study was that it also had a visual option for the thesis: namely, an ethnographic documentary paired with a written text as a thesis option. Personally, I opted for the classic ethnographic written thesis.

All anthropology Masters are in English and the Master's students come from diverse backgrounds, even if primarily Dutch. The staff is very international though. This is a pleasant glocal mix, at least for me. 

The anthropology faculty is a pleasant place to stay and study: it has the wonderful capacity of making you feel at home for that's a part of the study itself. As long as you make an effort to go and sit and roam there: which is fine, voyaging across the faculty is more than permitted!

This is also needed seeing the pace and the workload of a Master's degree. Especially if like me there you have other aspects in your life that demand great attention. Yet, I felt at home and supported through all of it; as long as you clearly communicate your situation and needs.

If you go to the UvA do stop by CREA Café: it's by far the chillest place to sit and have a drink! At CREA itself you can also follow any artistic, cultural or even professional courses there - at a cost of course -  to explore an artistic discipline of your choosing but also to start a trajectory in them whilst studying. Many student associations have their common room there as well. The common room of the study associations are at the ground floor of the main building of the Roeterseiland. 
An important point is that the building on the opposite side of the canal houses the library! It's useful to know where it is... If you are serious about your studies. 

I can't say much about Amsterdam's soccial life since I lived in Leiden but I had a good time with my classmates. All in all I'm more than glad for the experience! Life changing is a euphemism.

Best,
Tecla
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Pros
Quality of the study, opportunities for fieldwork, friendly and open staff
Cons
Risk of 'plagiarism' accusation if you have written a bad essay while being ill, UvA Roetereiland is for most part a maze
Useful  |  0
Life changing
Tecla C
Italy, Graduate
Anthropology
Overall
Dear reader,

Here a short string-of-thought on my time as a Master's student at the UvA following the programme in Contemporary Asian Studies.

The Master's in Contemporary Asian studies opened up my view culturally and socially to new worlds, different than my own - the ones I grew up with. Especially during my fieldwork in Taipei, Taiwan. 

The programme itself doesn't exit anymore unfortunately but being part of the Anthropology faculty one could end up in a similar trajectory following the anthropology programme. The contents of the courses Global Asia - Key debates, Qualitative research methodologies, Youth, media and popular culture (of Asia), and, Gender and development; can be found in a similar anthropological and development studies courses. A pleasant aspect of the study was that it also had a visual option for the thesis: namely, an ethnographic documentary paired with a written text as a thesis option. Personally, I opted for the classic ethnographic written thesis.

All anthropology Masters are in English and the Master's students come from diverse backgrounds, even if primarily Dutch. The staff is very international though. This is a pleasant glocal mix, at least for me. 

The anthropology faculty is a pleasant place to stay and study: it has the wonderful capacity of making you feel at home for that's a part of the study itself. As long as you make an effort to go and sit and roam there: which is fine, voyaging across the faculty is more than permitted!

This is also needed seeing the pace and the workload of a Master's degree. Especially if like me there you have other aspects in your life that demand great attention. Yet, I felt at home and supported through all of it; as long as you clearly communicate your situation and needs.

If you go to the UvA do stop by CREA Café: it's by far the chillest place to sit and have a drink! At CREA itself you can also follow any artistic, cultural or even professional courses there - at a cost of course -  to explore an artistic discipline of your choosing but also to start a trajectory in them whilst studying. Many student associations have their common room there as well. The common room of the study associations are at the ground floor of the main building of the Roeterseiland. 
An important point is that the building on the opposite side of the canal houses the library! It's useful to know where it is... If you are serious about your studies. 

I can't say much about Amsterdam's soccial life since I lived in Leiden but I had a good time with my classmates. All in all I'm more than glad for the experience! Life changing is a euphemism.

Best,
Tecla
Read more >
Pros
Quality of the study, opportunities for fieldwork, friendly and open staff
Cons
Risk of 'plagiarism' accusation if you have written a bad essay while being ill, UvA Roetereiland is for most part a maze
Useful  |  0
University that reflects the Dutch culture
Pihla A
Netherlands, Graduate
Law, European Community/EU
Overall
Coming from the University of Luxembourg that follows in most part the French university system, University of Amsterdam offered a fresh breath of air. 
The professors in University of Amsterdam clearly care about their students and the success of the latter. 
My LLM programme also allowed me to pick and choose courses that I was the most interested in. 
Overall, the level of education is very high at the University of Amsterdam, even though I find myself to have quite a lot of free time, as the system is different to what I am used to. In the University of Amsterdam the students are expected to apply the material they've learned in a more theoretical and argumentative way, as opposed to the French system where the students have to read countless texts and are expected to memorise all of them.
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Pros
Countless possibilites to create amazing reationships with the professors
Cons
More theoretical rather than practical
Useful  |  0
Great university, requires a lot of initiative
Karina A
Netherlands, Undergraduate
Communication and Information Sciences
Overall
The campus that I study in (REC) is very nice, with classrooms that suit our needs and is fairly comfortable. However pre-COVID there was often a shortage of study spaces at the University, regardless of where you went. Courses are OK, readings are heavy (40-50pgs a week is normal) but ComSci is very strict with its examinations - most of them are still closed-book exams, with essays often standing in to replace them. There are many facilities for you to use, but you'd have to actively search for them - the university's method of making you learn is essentially a lot like a mother bird kicking their child out of the nest so they could learn how to fly. They're helpful, but only to a certain point. It's good for us to learn how to take initatives though, and help is always there if needed.
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Pros
Great teachers, amazing campus locations
Cons
Lack of study spaces, strict adherence to 'regular' examinations
Useful  |  0
Gran Universidad, cosas que mejorar
Jose M
Netherlands, Graduate
Law, European Community/EU
Overall
La Universidad de Amsterdam es una de las más prestigiosas de Europa, y en mi caso, estoy estudiando un Master en Derecho Europeo allí. Considero algunas asignaturas bastante interesantes y otras totalmente inútiles, como por ejemplo "EU Regulated Markets", en la que 5 profesores distintos vinieron cada semana a explicarnos materias totalmente distintas, con lo que el exámen serían 5 preguntas sobre cada materia. Ya podía ser Banking Law, Data Protection, Environmental Law... por tanto, tocabas un poco de todo, pero no profundizabas en las materias que te interesaban más. En mi caso concreto, Data Protection me pareció muy interesante y sólamente pude atender a 1 clase de 3 horas sobre ella.
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Pros
Prestigio Universidad, gran ciudad.
Cons
Profesores.
Useful  |  0
Temitope E
Bowen University, Iwo, Nigeria
Economics, Graduate, International Master Program
Overall
I wish I had known...
I wish I had known the language very well before coming because it denied me alot of good students jobs/internships which would have widen my scope of experience better than this.
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In my opinion:
Most people loved it.
Important factors in my choice
(1) Unimportant – (4) Very important
Academic reasons
4
Culture
3
Costs
2
Activities
3
Campus life
3
Party / people
3
Weather / location
2
Personal recommendation
More efforts should be made by the university to expose the international students to the local people for more feel of holland culture and environment.
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During my experience abroad, I ...
(1) Never – (4) A lot
Became familiar with another culture
3
Traveled
3
Improved language skills
2
Met people from other countries
4
Became more independent
4
Partied a lot
2
Experienced a change in life
4
Advanced my studies & career
4
Final comments
Studying abroad is the best experience that anyone could enjoy. My has really thought me alot of things and widen my experience in life. I would advise anyone to try it and make best use of it, its the best!
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