This time not a story of adventures in a faraway land, but a story from closer to home. Because I am currently doing my minor in Amsterdam! You are all probably already quite familiar with the city of Amsterdam, so I won’t talk too much about that. I’ll share something today about the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam and the minor courses I am taking.

Every Monday, Thursday, and Friday it is time for me to get up quite early (especially if they decided to plan lectures at 9am, which should be banned to be honest), get into the train and travel all the way up to Amsterdam. After about an hour and a half of being stuffed into busy trains, I finally arrive at my destination. Fortunately it is just a short walk to the VU from the train station. On a cold day, the coffee corner at university is a good way to start your day. Then it is time to head up to the lecture halls. If you’re lucky you’ll be able to squeeze into an elevator within 10 minutes with 20 others. For the sporty people, an option would be to walk up to the 14th floor. I’ve tried it once, but also decided that that was the last time I would ever do that (it almost took me a whole lecture to catch my breath). But that’s life at a busy university, in a busy city. There are a lot of people, and sometimes that can be a little annoying, but it also has a lot of positive aspects. The Vrije Universiteit has a lot to offer; courses in a wide range of disciplines, for both domestic and international students, which makes it a diverse and dynamic place to study.

For my free choice period I have decided to follow an existing minor. I soon found out about this existing minor in Amsterdam and was immediately interested (a good thing for me, since it seemed like a lot of work and trouble to assemble one myself). The courses I am taking are in the field of Communication. Key subjects in this minor are marketing, persuasion, media entertainment, and interpersonal communication. These courses in communication are often also linked to psychological concepts, which provides a unique approach to the subject. When I started I didn’t know the first thing about communication sciences but I have already learned a lot and by now I have a good idea of the field and what it consists of.

If you are planning on staying in the Netherlands for your minor, I would recommend you to consider the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam. There are many subjects to choose from and the lectures are (mostly) worth your time. I, for one, am glad I chose this minor and this university, and I think many of you would also fit in well here.

Written by: Francis Jansen