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Student experiences

Our summer alumni are the best ambassadors of our programmes: they experienced the magic of the summer first hand, and helped make past years an enormous success! Read some of their experiences here.

  • Chrissie (Urban Studies: Planning and Living in Cities)

    Chrissie is currently a third year bachelor student in Calgary, Canada and joined us for Urban Studies: Planning and Living in Cities in 2019. As an interior design student she wanted to expand her knowledge further and discover how designers and architects can contribute to create a seamless relationship between the exterior surroundings and the interior of buildings within a city. "This programme has met and surpassed all my expectations, from delivering us insightful information within the lectures, to the multiple excursions we embarked on in the cities of Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Brussels and Antwerp. One of the most valuable things I was able to take away from this experience, was the various friendships I have made with amazing people from all over the world. Not only did everyone bring a breath of fresh air within the classroom, but it was truly remarkable to hear and learn about other cultures and cultivate long lasting friendships."

    Chrissie (Planning and Living in Cities)
    Photo: Ilsoo van Dijk
  • Dhiramedhist (Migration and Integration)

    Dhiramedhist works in a refugee center in Bangkok and joined us for our programme Migration and Integration: Refugees, Rights & Realities. "Applying to this summer programme has been one of my best decisions. Throughout those 3 weeks I gained extensive insight into a wide variety of topics as well as a clearer vision of my commitment to serve refugees in my home country. Two highlights were our trip to an asylum seekers center in Utrecht and the passionate and detailed guest lecture on international refugee law by prof. dr. Marjoleine Zieck.

    Dhiramedhist (Migration and Integration)
    Photo: Ilsoo van Dijk
  • Varvara (Activism and Social Change)

    Varvara joined us last summer for our programme on Activism and Social Change. She studies Sociology in Moscow and was looking for a study abroad experience that would complement her current studies well. "The most interesting topic for me was the role of social networks in organizing a social movement: an intriguing issue in today's world." She was a bit nervous to make the trip, but it was definitely worth it: "Not only to better understand the subject matter, but also to get to know many wonderful people from around the world!" 

    Varvara (Activism and Social Change)
    Photo: Ilsoo van Dijk
  • Sarah (Mindfulness and Compassion-based Interventions)

    Sarah currently works as a teacher in Hong Kong and joined us last summer for our course on Mindfulness and Compassion-based Interventions. As a teacher she finds it very important to have a philosophy of education that centers on contemplative practices and to do research, implement strategy and collaborate with her colleagues on this subject. She was excited for the opportunity to learn from a variety of professionals and researchers in the field. "The icing on the cake is that the course was at the UvA in the heart of Amsterdam! Whilst there, I fell in love with the city, the people and was invigorated by the classroom conversations. I am currently back to work and have already applied some of the strategies I learned during my summer school experience. I am thankful for the time and it has fueled a desire to continue to learn and apply meditative and contemplative practices in my personal and professional life."

    Sarah (Mindfulness and Compassion-based Intervenstions
    Photo: Ilsoo van Dijk
  • Yevheniia (Summer Institute on Addiction)

    Yevheniia is a PhD candidate from Ukraine on the topic of alcohol addiction formation among adult children of migrant workers. She was very happy to be able to join our Summer Institute on Addiction in 2019: “It was super helpful for my PhD and my work as a psychologist. The course was amazing because of the programme itself as well as the people. It was great to have so many PhD candidates and other professionals in the group to exchange experiences with. One of my favorite parts of the programme was a trip to the Trimbos institute in The Hague where we learned more about prevention on all levels. I also really enjoyed the guest lecture by Rik van Lunsen, he had a great sense of humour and changed my view on sex addiction”

    Yevheniia (Summer Institute on Addiction)
    Photo: Ilsoo van Dijk
  • Samantha (The Circular City)

    Samantha works as a Sustainability Consultant in Sweden and was very happy to be able to take time out of work to join us for the Circular City programme last summer: "It was inspiring to be able to spend so much time working in and exploring the city from the sustainable urban lens. I came away with a renewed sense of hope and purpose, a clearer view of the challenges, and various thought tools ready to bring circular principles into my daily work in urban and building design."

    Samantha (The Circular City)
    Photo: Ilsoo van Dijk