Being chosen exemplified to me that UU really did value the interdisciplinary perspective I had gained as a liberal arts and sciences student.
My name is Lance Bosch, and I am entering my second year of the Neuroscience and Cognition Master’s Programme here at Utrecht University (UU). The road that led me to UU is a bit of a winding one. After growing up in Thailand, Australia, and the Philippines—with my Dutch father and Filipina mother—I decided to pursue my tertiary education in the Netherlands, so that I may better know my “Fatherland”. With both my parents retired, it was important for me to be able to independently finance my continued education. It was my way of saying thank you to my parents for all their support throughout my childhood. Thankfully, Amsterdam University College (AUC) has a full scholarship available to students of all nationalities, which I was fortunate enough to be a recipient of. With this scholarship, I could experience all a liberal arts and sciences education offers—curating my own academic experience, cultivating a global mindset, etc.—whilst also allowing my parents to enjoy their retirement.
I decided I wanted to pursue an academic career midway through my bachelor’s programme and became concerned about how to go about doing so in the Netherlands. I heard many horror stories from students with UC backgrounds: being undervalued by the admissions offices of Master’s programmes; having to attend complicated pre-master’s courses as a prerequisite for admission; or required to take a battery of standardized tests to prove their competence. Much to my surprise, my experience applying to UU was nothing like that. It was a relief to come into the admissions process and feel valued for my academic background. On top of that, I was chosen as one of fifteen Master’s students to receive the Bright Minds Fellowship in its inaugural year. Being chosen exemplified to me that UU really did value the interdisciplinary perspective I had gained as a liberal arts and sciences student; they saw that I, as a UC student, had something interesting to offer. I can only hope that future generations of UC students interested in pursuing Master’s degrees know this about UU.
Most significantly, receiving this fellowship has allowed me to continue to finance my own education—to continue to make my parents proud.
The Bright Minds Fellowship is not only a wonderful appreciation of my academic efforts and achievements in the past years, but it has also allowed me to make the most of my master’s programme.
My name is Susan Verstegen and in September 2017, I had the honour of receiving the Bright Minds Fellowship for my participation in the MA International Relations in Historical Perspective. I was born and raised in Groesbeek, a village near the Dutch-German border. Groesbeek was a key location in Operation Market Garden, and my grandparents’ lively retellings of the descending paratroopers sparked my initial interest in history. Therefore, years later, I chose to study History at Utrecht University. In 2016, I took part in the development and implementation of Dare to be Grey, a project aiming to reduce the polarisation in Dutch society. This has been a great experience and a valuable addition to my studies, as it provided me with much insight into the professional practice, while also allowing me to contribute to society.
Because I expanded my bachelor’s degree with a minor in International Relations and a minor in Conflict Studies, the MA International Relations in Historical Perspective seemed a natural continuation for my studies. The Bright Minds Fellowship is not only a wonderful appreciation of my academic efforts and achievements in the past years, but it has also allowed me to make the most of my master’s programme.
I think the Bright Minds Fellowship is really great, because it enables me to finance my studies at the UU
My name is Felix Kümmerer and I am doing my Master’s in Molecular and Cellular Life Sciences here at Utrecht University. I think the Bright Minds Fellowship is really great, because it enables me to finance my studies at the UU. Studying abroad is usually related to higher expenses and also the travelling to visit family and friends costs usually more, so the Bright Minds Fellowship also helps me to finance this next to my life here in Utrecht. Personally, I also see the Fellowship as some kind of a reward for my achievements in my bachelor studies and a great opportunity to stand on my own feet because it helps me to become financially independent.
I also like the fact, that the fellowship is accessible for all EU students. I believe that it is essential to have a diverse community and therefore it is nice to have students from all over the world. But I also think, that it is important to grow more together in the EU and something like the Bright Minds Fellowship helps to attract students from these countries.
Altogether, the Bright Minds Fellowship helps me to focus on my studies and next to the study program itself, it was also a reason that I decided to do my master’s here at the UU. Doing my bachelor studies in an international and welcoming city like Berlin strengthened my conviction that we can achieve more if we overcome geographic and cultural boarders. And as an international student, the UU gives me the feeling to be fully appreciated here, not only as a student, but also as a part of the open-minded community here in the Netherlands and I am really glad that I decided for Utrecht University.
Because I have lived most of my life outside of Europe, I perceive reality and problems differently and therefore I could provide different ways of looking for solutions and facing challenges.
My name is Manuel and I recently graduated from LLM Public International Law at Utrecht University. I received my academic training entirely in Argentina, so coming to the Netherlands was a great challenge for me, not only because the educational approach here is different but also the level of demand of Dutch universities. However, I believe that my Latin American perspective has also enriched the experience of my professors and colleagues during the last year. Because I have lived most of my life outside of Europe, I perceive reality and problems differently and therefore I could provide different ways of looking for solutions and facing challenges. Moreover, I have some professional experiences in institutions and NGOs in my country and in Brazil, which have nurtured and inspired me to continue studying in the pursuit of transforming the reality around us.
The Bright Minds Fellowship has contributed greatly to focus on adapting to this incredible country and to the university life without having to worry too much about how to pay for my studies and expenses. That is why I will be thankful for ever.