Anneleen Mesker is a recent graduate

Profile picture Anneleen Mesker

"As a BA History student I was very interested in international relations from the beginning. I am very pleased that I could evolve my knowledge and expertise in this field during the MA programme. While the Master has an interdisciplinary approach, the historical perspective is very important in the courses and the assignments, which is what interested me to a great extent."

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"During the Master I have been challenged a lot, in the field of planning, academic thinking and academic writing. The first half of the programme is quite challenging, but my fellow students and the passionate teachers helped me to succeed. Because the total amount of students is only, we were a very close group and helped each other out where we could. The group of teachers and students is also very multinational and had all kinds of different backgrounds and disciplines.

In July I started my internship at the Dutch Ministry of Defense, after I completed my thesis successfully. This was a great educational experience, which gave me a great insight in the world of the military and the government in general. It is great that there is room for internships in the programme, since it prepares you for life after university and gives you contacts to start your career after your internship. I definitely hope that this internship will help me find an interesting job in the world of international relations, since this Master has interested me further and has given me skills and knowledge to be prepared."

Mart Teunnissen is Policy advisor Transport & Tourism at VVD

Profile picture Mart Teunissen, International Relations in Historical Perspective

During my studies, I loved to nerd-out on subjects regarding Eastern Europe and the Cold War. This taught me a lot about what drives Eastern European states. This is incredibly helpful in my current position in the European Parliament where I negotiate about Transport and Tourism with people from all over Europe on a daily basis on behalf of the VVD."

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"But that is not all. For me, the Master’s programme was mostly helpful in developing the analytical skills that are essential in the politically sensitive environment in which I work. Every day I have to prioritize my work and understand which subjects are important and which are less important. Then it is vital to understand not only what is topical in the Netherlands, but throughout Europe. It is the analytical skill of prioritizing information that is needed to succeed in the ‘Brussels bubble’.

Moreover, I would recommend every student to look beyond the curriculum. Utrecht University provides many extra-curricular activities. Those are not only useful in developing new skills, but also to provide you with a great network. A network in field of jobs, which you probably never heard of before. There are much more positions in the field of international relations other than aiming to become the next minister of foreign affairs or the new secretary general of the United Nations. So do not hesitate to contact the many successful alumni this programme has. This will definitely help to kick-start your career after this great Master’s programme!"

Parker Beemer is a recent graduate

Profile picture Parker Beemer

"One of the key selling points that attracted to me to the programme was the interdisciplinary nature of the course. Having completed a highly interdisciplinary Bachelor’s, I was looking for a comparable level of synthesis between the past and the present; theory and policy."

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From day one of the programme, I was not disappointed! The faculty have taken considerable effort in designing courses that cover quite comprehensively the various approaches, contexts, and nuances that go into studying international relations at the graduate level. From survey courses on political theory to specialized topics on the environment and the Middle Eastern conflict, my degree had both the breadth and specificity that really grounded my understanding of the modern international world.

Through both my internship and the thesis process, I was able to explore a sector near and dear to my heart: international humanitarianism. The course work leading up to this point in the programme provided some key academic and practical skills that would prove immensely valuable in both of these endeavours. Throughout the process, the faculty proved to exceptionally helpful and guiding, especially considering the distance learning that had to take place due to the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Perhaps the most rewarding element of the programme is its truly international nature. Being an international student in the Netherlands myself, I was pleasantly surprised to discover that not only was the student body made up of an international group with diverse interests and backgrounds, but so too was the faculty as well. This proved to be exceptionally valuable and really added and extra level of internationalisation to the study of international relations. The smaller size of the programme and its international identity really created a sense of community and tight-knit friendships that ensured both high-calibre academic success and a huge amount of fun in the process!