Student testimonials


Nenah Konadu
Nenah Konadu, Medicine
In my first year of studying medicine, I experienced a lack of challenge and had a lot of free time beside my bachelor. I want to dedicate this spare time to developing myself further, improving my organisation and management skills but I also want to have a nice, educative and useful time. The Honours Programme gave me the opportunity to fulfill those needs. What I liked about the various interdepartmental courses is that I was challenged to think, speak and discuss outside of my own comfort zone (medicine). I improved my English and met other highly motivated students. Within the departmental Honours Programme of medicine, I have chosen to participate in the management and society track. By organizing masterclasses and writing an opinion piece, I keep involved in actualities. In summary, the Honours Programme was exactly what I needed to stay motivated and contributed to my development in becoming a socially involved doctor.
   Sander KlaasseSander Klaasse, Theology
The VU Honours Programme enabled me to broaden my intellectual horizon via the interdepartmental courses and to deepen my knowledge via the departmental courses. The programme surprised me pleasantly with the variety of courses and the depth of my departmental programme. Simultaneously, the Honours Programme was one of the reasons that the University of Edinburgh offered me an opportunity to study abroad. In order to fund the MSc I have received several scholarship, including the VSBfonds, for which the Honours Programme could be accredited.
Inez WildhagenInez Wildhagen, Applied Linguistics
My reason to apply for the Honours Programme was simply because I wanted to see something else. Although I enjoyed German culture and linguistics, my chosen studies, I’ve always had a broad range of interests. When the opportunity presented itself it seemed fitting to try and take a peek at anatomy, psychology and for that matter the future as well. Meeting and working together with people with various backgrounds on new challenges contributed to my learning experience. It also helped me to gain new insights in my own field of expertise. And last, but not least, it was great fun.
Daniel PinchasikDaniel Pinchasik, Economics
In my spare time I have been working for multinationals on subjects such as sports and sustainability. Meanwhile, I had the possibility to combine a couple of projects with my study, and at the same time build my CV. One of the things I started is the Honours Programme. Because I started a bit later, finishing my first two courses along all the other things keeps me quite busy at the moment. But hey, it pays off. On the basis of my CV and motivation, I have been selected for a Fulbright Scholarship Programme 2010 in Minnesota, USA; all paid for. Only two candidates from the Netherlands have been selected for this prestigious programme!
Sirarpi PogosianSirarpi Pogosian, Dentistry
During my study dentistry I started the Honours Programme. What I like the most about this programme is that it is challenging. I got the chance to learn more about dentistry and also about subjects I could choose in the interfaculty part. Those were subjects which had nothing to do with dentistry and gave me the opportunity to broaden my knowledge. It was remarkable that there was a great variation of students from different faculties of the VU and UvA in the HP classes, and we all shared the same interests. It actually is a challenge, since you have to follow the courses and do the assignments besides your regular lectures. You have to be willing to do this in the evenings and put energy in it. I am happy to do the Honours Program and I am still following the program with great interest. If you have the chance and time too, I will definitely recommend it!
Jorim TielbeekJorim Tielbeek, Psychology and Criminology
The best way to describe this programme is to compare it with a selection team in sport. You are surrounded by other talents, intensify your skills by having a tough but professional training and will find yourself in a very enriching environment while getting personal attention from the best ‘coaches’ in the field. Personally the course 'How to survive 2050' really kindled my enthusiasm: interactive debates with fellow students from all kinds of disciplines combined with inspiring lectures from professors of the USA and Sweden. Moreover: reputable extra-curricular activities like the Honours Programme will impress potential employers and enlarge your chance of getting a scholarship.
Sophie van DongenSophie van Dongen, Health and Life Sciences
After finishing secondary school I had a hard time choosing an academic study. So many fascinating disciplines; how to select only one of them? Therefore, the Honours Programme appealed to me because of the opportunity to broaden my knowledge and become acquainted with viewpoints of students with a different scientific and/or cultural background. In my first year I have obtained theoretical insights in the social sciences, but I also practiced my academic skills and visited research centers, policy institutions and cultural events. The more in-depth departmental courses I will attend next year and I expect them to offer me great benefit within my regular study. Interest and effort have their own rewards, but by participating in the Honours Programme, you can make the most of them! 
Thierry MentzelThierry Mentzel, Human Movement Sciences
I was pleasantly surprised by the Honours Programme! When I signed up I had my doubts about the interdisciplinary courses because they seemed like a lot of extra work that would not help me further in my career. However, they turned out to be very interesting and a welcome supplement to my regular courses. The departmental courses have also been a good way to learn more about a wide variety of different subjects. The classes are small and require an active participation, which keeps you more motivated. You are free to plan most of the courses yourself which makes it manageable. For me this programme has been a good opportunity to learn more and broaden my horizon!
Maaike de Reuver nieuwMaaike de Reuver, Theology
The VU Honours Programme offers me a challenging opportunity to intensify my studies. The interdepartmental part of the program provides me to interact with motivated students from different faculties and different universities, which is very enriching. Especially  the UvA course`The Learning Lab` taught me a lot about leadership, pioneering, life opportunities; and most of all about myself. For the departmental part of the program I am working on a research project for a company located in Geneva. Therefore I have been to Geneva, and at the time of writing (June 2010) I am joining an international congress in Chicago to do research for this project.  Without any doubt: The VU Honours Programme is the best addition to my studies I could have ever had!
Hoyin LamHoyin Lam, Pharmaceutical Sciences
I found out about this programme while I was exploring the VU site in my first year. It caught my interest, since it offers a wide range of scientific topics and you are able to meet different talented people from different studies. Also, it was a nice opportunity to polish my English in conversation as well in writing articles and reports. To me, the Honours Programme was also a challenge and a measurement of how well I am doing at the academic level. The offered courses were really interesting and the assignments we received help you to become a better scientist. You gain a large amount of experience in rational thinking, poster presentations and of course writing articles or reviews. It is an extra point to build up your CV and distinguish yourself from other students in your further career. I enjoyed the programme and it really helped me a lot in my development to become a better scientist.
Lu ChenLu Chen, International Business Administration
I am from the south of China and currently in my final year of the International Business Administration (IBA) with Finance track and the VU Honours Pogramme. The VU Honours Pogramme provides me with the opportunity to broaden my academic horizon and interact with talented students from different faculties and different universities. The courses are of great benefit to me because they are characterized by small classes which guarantee a high degree of teacher/student interaction. For all this, I thank the VU for giving me the best education I could get allowing me to reach my goals. Therefore, I will continue my master study in Finance at VU as well.
Ype de BoerYpe de Boer, Philosophy
Being a philosophy student, I enjoy working with fundamental issues and problems. Although the regular curriculum of my study offers depth, I signed in for the Honours programme because of the intellectual challenge. I looked forward to interact with talented students from other studies. Beside the content of the interdisciplinary course "Meesters van het wantrouwen" this interaction is what I enjoyed most.Looking back on my first year of the program I must say that I especially enjoyed the course offered by the Faculty of Philosophy. Discussing complex philosophical problems with professors of my own faculty was the greatest learning experience I have had from the HP.
Nicky NieleNicky Niele, Medicine
Broaden my academic horizon: That was the goal I had set myself when I applied for the Honours Programme. In my perspective this means meeting people from other faculties and gaining knowledge in an exceptional manner. The interdisciplinary courses really challenged me to do this. A year ago I started my research part-time and the next few months I will be doing research as part of my departmental Honours Programme. As part of that I have recently been to a congress, which was a very exciting and challenging experience. I’m looking forward to the next few months! I know for sure this will broaden my horizon even further!
Louis MiddelkoopLouis Middelkoop, Law
The Honours Programme taught me to think outside my own discipline and become more critical of it. At the same time I could bring my own knowledge to the program, for example when discussing religious rights vs. equality rights in the course Religion, Identity and Conflict. Despite the extra workload, I still had time to be involved in many other activities. Last year, I obtained a placement at the U.S. House of Representatives in Washington and I just have been selected for a joint master in international criminal law at the University of Amsterdam and Columbia Law School in New York.
Channah HerschbergChannah Herschberg, Psychology
In my first year at the VU I was looking for a way to intensify my studies. The VU Honours Programme gave me this opportunity and I attended courses like Life and Work, Religion, Identity and Conflict and Leadership. These gave me a different perspective on familiar subjects and also broadened my knowledge of unfamiliar areas. I enjoyed these interesting and stimulating courses taught by renowned researchers and inspiring guest lectures. I also liked the fact that the courses were taught in English and the proactive character of the programme gave me the opportunity to interact with students from different academic backgrounds.
Marc de GraafMarc de Graaf, Economics
I have studied economics and was admitted into the first shift of the Honours Programme. I have been asked to write a short story about the Honours Programme, about my motivation, what I think of the program etc. I am sure there will be a lot of other stories from Honours students stating this programme is really nice, the students are smart, the courses are interesting and so on. I will do it in a slightly different way and illustrate the current academic situation and add some personal remarks which might be useful for you to think about whether you want to apply for this programme or not. Read more and read the article about Marc in Ad Valvas.
Igor PetrovicIgor Petrovic, Political Science
At the end of the first year of my bachelor programme I was looking for some extra classes and I was even thinking about doing a second study. Then I  heard about the Honours Programme, which was starting at that time. Looking back, I never regretted opting for it. It was challenging, but at the same time easy to combine with my regular study. It was also a chance to follow classes with students coming from different departments and faculties -  a good preparation for my Research Master, itself a multidisciplinary program. I would encourage all those who wants to enrich their bachelor education to sign up for the Honours programme.