Myrthe (she/her) is a student

"During my first Bachelor's degree in French Language and Culture, I discovered that I was not just interested in linguistics, but also how this interest involved more languages than solely French." 

"When I spent my entire reflection week studying syntax trees, I decided to pursue a second Bachelor’s degree in Linguistics. Here, I learned more about how languages function, how people learn different languages, and learn to switch between languages."

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Work pressure

"My study time has shown me how important it is not to overwork yourself. In addition to the two bachelor programmes in which I was enrolled, I also worked two days a week and I did a board year at study association Babel. Fortunately, you can always talk to the study advisor to optimally schedule your programme with a second bachelor degree, an exchange or electives while making sure that it is doable for you. After talking to the study advisors, I decided to visit Serbia to perform research on the Serbian language for my bachelor’s thesis."

Job Perspectives

"Pursuing a degree in Linguistics introduces you to possible job perspectives of which you might not hear of often, such as speech therapy or forensic linguist. When I started the program, I wanted to become a researcher, so I felt focused on working toward a PhD project and publish research. After helping my classmates with learning Dutch, I realized I prefer doing hands-on work. Nowadays, I plan to become a teacher in Dutch for forcibly displaced people."   

Chenyi Lin (she/her) is a Master's student

"Before starting my Bachelor in Linguistics, I taught Mandarin to foreigners. While teaching, I felt myself longing to know more about the theory behind language and language acquisition, so that I would become a better teacher." 

"Since I had traveled to the Netherlands before and really liked the country, I wanted to come study here. I applied to the Bachelor programme in Linguistics at Utrecht University in particular because of the UU Institute for Language Sciences’ excellent reputation."

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Study-life balance

"Studying Linguistics is not easy but definitely manageable, I would say. During the weekdays, I spent much time preparing for the courses. However, I always found time to exercise, dance, or go on small trips on weekends. One highlight of the programme was the opportunity to go on an exchange. I studied linguistics at the University of Edinbrough for one semester and truly loved every moment of it. Not only did my studies there focus a bit more on the computational side of linguistics, but I also had time to bond with fellow exchange students!"

New interest

"Whereas I came to Utrecht to improve my knowledge of language acquisition, I now have found a new passion in speech technology and computational linguistics. My Bachelor’s thus radically reinformed what I knew about myself and my future. I am now pursuing a Master’s in Voice Technology to learn more about speech recognition and voice synthesis. After graduating, I would love to work in the speech and tech field here in the Netherlands."

Elise Prins is a speech therapist

"It was in secondary school that I realised that I had a lot of different interests: language was my thing, but I really liked biology too, for example. I was actually a kind of cross between someone who likes humanities and someone who likes science subjects."

"I found that combination here in the Linguistics programme. Linguistics is a broad programme; all aspects of language are covered. You learn about the social side of language, such as how people use their language to create an identity. You also learn everything about the phonetics side, the sound and pronunciation of language, which also teaches you how the speech organs work. I see this broad approach as a real plus for the programme in Utrecht."

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Language processes

"You also learn about the brain, such as what can go wrong with language if someone has a stroke, or how the brain processes language when you read or hear a sentence. Aspects like multilingualism and child language acquisition are also covered. And much, much more, of course! And what’s really important: you’ll look at lots of languages around the world – not just English or Dutch. So, sometimes you’ll work with examples from Swahili, Hindi or African click languages."


"There’s actually still a lot that we don’t know about language. Which is why our lecturers are still engaged in a lot of research. That makes it exciting! My advice to you in choosing a study programme: be a Student for a Day and talk to students. If you’re trying to decide between two programmes, remember that you’ll have a lot of freedom to take classes in other subjects too. And even though they all say nowadays that you should choose a programme with good job prospects, it’s also important to do something that you like. Good luck!"

Daan van der Heijden (he/him) is a PhD student

"Studying languages in high school wasn’t my favorite thing to do. My first choice was thus not a language-focused Bachelor’s, but a Bachelor’s in Artificial Intelligence (AI). After ultimately dropping out of this programme, the next programme I applied to, I chose based on my favorite course from AI: Introduction Linguistics for AI!" 

"When studying Linguistics, you don’t spend time learning vocabulary, like in high school, but you study the systems that ground language and communication. Eventually, I chose to start again with a Bachelor’s in AI while studying Linguistics."  

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"The workload of Linguistics was quite nice, I would say. As a motivated student, I didn’t mind investing the time that the programme asked me to. Additionally, I also had a lot of other activities going on, both within and outside of the UU. For instance, I was part of a committee and later joined the board at study association Babel. I liked being able to contribute to the university so much that I took place in the Humanities faculteitsraad for two years. Outside of the UU, I have always had different jobs. With so many activities, busy moments in which everything converges are inevitable, but I definitely found it doable."

Love for research

"During my studies in Linguistics, I realized how much I loved conducting research. I enjoy reading papers, thinking with existing theories, and contributing to the university system, so I wanted to continue doing research. I pursued and finished a Master’s degree in Artificial Intelligence and specialized in computational linguistics, which fit perfectly with my Bachelor's degrees in Linguistics and AI. Having just started a PhD in computational linguistics at the University of Zürich in Switzerland, I make money while doing what I like: research!"