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FGGA students look back: ‘My life has never been busier, but I would not change it’

It is the final stretch for the students of FGGA. Summer is approaching and they are working hard to complete everything before the summer holidays. We asked some of them how they look back at the academic year, if they have any tips and what their summer and future plans are. ‘Being a mentor during HOP week is something I can recommend to anyone.’

Olivér Széles, second-year bachelor student Security Studies

'There have been several highlights this past year. Being a mentor during the HOP week was definitely a very positive experience which I can recommend to everyone. The Law and Security course was also a highlight of the past year. This coming summer will be about relaxation for me. I plan to travel around Europe with my girlfriend, friends, and family. Taking a break from the busy schedule of the past year will help me recharge and come back ready to tackle the tasks of my final year. Next year, I hope to complete my bachelor's degree, and then I will enroll in the master's programme in Crisis and Security Management, as I find studying at Leiden University very enjoyable. In the future, I would like to find a job in the field of crisis management.'

Will Chan, first-year bachelor student Leiden University College

'The past academic year has its ups and downs, but I definitely do not regret coming here from Hong Kong. I had a great experience being at Leiden University College. The Hague itself is incredibly accepting of newcomers and very easy to fall in love with. The weather can be very challenging, especially from the end of October when it gets increasingly darker outside. This, combined with a stressful study programme, can be tough. Don’t think that you are the only person struggling even when it feels like you are by yourself. Reach out for help! This can be your study advisor if you are struggling with workload or asking your friends to go for a coffee.'

Emilia Berghuis, first-year bachelor student Security Studies

'My first year at Security Studies has been very hectic, but also an awesome and valuable experience! I have made many new friends, participated in several events, and did all kinds of different jobs at the university. One of the numerous highlights of this past year was my visit to the nuclear power reactor in Borssele, together with the study association Custodia. It was genuinely one of the coolest experiences ever. For prospective students, I highly encourage you to participate in a student for a day-event or an Experience Day for your respective study, to find out whether it is the right fit for you. This summer I will be travelling a lot: I will be going to Switzerland, Poland, Finland, and Croatia!'

Gigi Green, first-year bachelor student Leiden University College

'My first year at Leiden University College went by in a flash. From the minute I arrived in The Hague in August, my life has never been busier, but I wouldn’t change it for a second. My key tip for other students is simply to not take yourself that seriously. It’s truly what helped me be happier and more confident in myself. To realise that you have, for the most part, control over your life and where you lead it is one of the scariest but also most powerful realisations. I am originally from Bratislava, so the highlight of the past year for me was exploring The Hague and the Netherlands and being introduced to the Dutch culture. From Sinterklaas, to Carnaval, to Koningsdag,  it seemed like there was always something to celebrate. My future? To be honest, I feel more confused about my future now than at the beginning of the year. But in many ways, I like that my future is still undecided. If studying at LUC has taught me anything, it is that you never know where you might find your next passion.

Jaydey Marinus, third-year bachelor student in Public Administration

'This past academic year was an interesting but also challenging year for me. I really enjoyed my minor in Global Affairs and found the first semester to be very positive. The second semester was more challenging for me, as I had to complete the final courses for my bachelor's degree and work on my thesis, which became quite a challenge. This brings me to my tip: prioritise the right things. It sounds easy, but it's difficult to give priority to what is truly important at that moment when you have a busy schedule.

In the coming academic year, I hope to complete my bachelor's degree. In the first semester, I aim to finish my thesis and take some elective courses. In the second semester, I plan to either enroll in a master's programme or work for a while so that I can travel afterwards.'

Nynke Marije Attema, first-year bachelor student Public Administration

'My first year at Leiden University was particularly enjoyable. I feel seen, accepted, and at home on campus. Studying in The Hague has allowed me to meet many friendly people and gain valuable skills. My favourite course so far was Data Science Skills and Applications, where I learned programming with Python. My highlight of the past year was being asked to become a student ambassador. I enjoy this role, especially because I like talking to prospective students about their choice of study. This summer, I plan to revisit some of my artistic hobbies. I am also looking forward to starting my second year of study soon.'

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