Meet the students
Saga Norrby, Social Sciences, Class of 2019
Leon Lan, Sciences, Class of 2018
Ellen Ackroyd, Social Sciences, Class of 2018
Lasse Rogie, Humanities, Class of 2018
Claudia Rot, Sciences, Class of 2017
Liselotte van Balen, Humanities, Class of 2017
Josh van der Kroft, New Jersey, United States of America (Class of 2017)
Home away from home
Josh first moved to Amsterdam from New Jersey in the US. His dad had studied economics in the Netherlands and he’d decided to follow in his footsteps. Josh decided to attend an AUC Open Day and immediately felt engaged by the small classes, and noticed and appreciated by the students and teachers around him.
“The small class sizes spark open discussions and give us a huge advantage over students elsewhere. For most of my education I felt talked-at, here I feel I can truly discuss the topics in class with professors.”
The size of the classes fosters a strong sense of comradery for Josh and has encouraged him to become further involved in the community. He was secretary for ‘Junket’, AUC’s trips and excursions committee, and became the chair of AIMUN, AUC’s Model United Nations committee. His experiences at AUC have encouraged him in his professional goals and he hopes to pursue a career in law.
“I might have to do law-school in the states,” he said with reluctance in his voice “but I think I’ll come back to Amsterdam later. I feel so at home here.”
Jakub Polansky, Bratislava, Slovakia, and Austria (Class of 2017)
Flexibility and freedom of choice
Jakub never though he’d end up in Amsterdam. He had been looking for a degree that would allow him to take law, economics and philosophy. He opted for AUC over the Politics, Philosophy and Economics courses in the UK because AUC gave him the freedom to piece together a course package that really facilitated his ambitions, “and I thought the weather would be slightly better here,” he said smirking. “I must say, I don’t really see the difference.”
AUC itself, however, lived up to Jakub’s expectations. Not only has the personal contact with professors been incredibly useful, but the flexibility in the curriculum has allowed him to have very different academic experiences. He, for example, took his language requirement in Paris where he attended lectures by notable politicians and professors from all over the world. And the student community? They have supported him throughout his hectic academic life: “while I was taking five courses and working night-shifts and all I had at home was a slice of bread, I could always knock on my neighbour’s door for a proper dinner.”
Lisa Maza, the Netherlands (Class of 2016)
Unique experiences in and out of the classroom
Even before AUC, Lisa knew that her aim was to work for an NGO. Despite the criticism liberal arts programmes sometimes receive for being too broad, AUC has actually helped her specialise.
“I knew I wanted to change the world, like so many kids say, but my courses have helped me figure out exactly how I intend to do this.”
“One of my most inspiring experiences here was a trip I took to Kosovo, organized by one of my favourite professors. This has now been integrated into a Peace and Conflict Resolution class at AUC and shows you just how unique the AUC curriculum is.”
Experiences like these also helped Lisa see that in closer to her goal of working for an international human rights organization, she would have to “do more than just get good grades.” She was recently elected to become a board member of the Amnesty International Student group Amsterdam.
“I find it really rewarding and instructive to work on human rights outside of the classroom and being in the Amnesty board really enhanced my AUC experience!”
Estefania Guzman Cordero, San Luis Potosi, Mexico (Class of 2014)
I first fell in love with the city of Amsterdam during my gap year. I had been searching for universities (my dream), as I transitioned my life to Europe, when I ran across an AUC student on Leidseplein who told me all about AUC. I’d scoped out a few other universities, but none seemed to have the same international community that AUC did, nor promote the same educational excellence, while at the same time appealing to my own interests. I’ve fallen so in love with everything about this school. The classes are challenging, and engaging, and the people are so incredibly diverse; everyone has a story to tell, everyone has something extraordinary about them that has brought them here.
Kim Dinh Hoan, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam (Class of 2014)
Walk the walk
I choose to attend AUC hoping to experience an education that is truly unique. While all liberal arts colleges promise their commitment to diversity and a broad academic curriculum, AUC seems to actually “walk the walk”.
For such a small class size of 200 students, the population spectrum is surprisingly diverse, with half of the student body hailing from abroad. AUC global citizens come from all sorts of backgrounds, and genuinely want to share their goals and dreams with each other. Outside the classrooms, you will always find them discussing lectures, articulating current issues, or simply brainstorming their ideas for the upcoming party. AUC students are some of the most engaging people I have ever met. To find a passive student on the happening campus, that is a tough task. The opportunities for community involvement are abundant, and together the students turn the campus into a place so full of flavours and spices.
Jonathan Krikeb, Kiryat Ono, Israel (Class of 2013)
Travelling without leaving (my new) home
Oscar Wilde said "I am not young enough to know everything", and indeed I am not. At 24 years of age I am one of the older students in the class of 2013, yet I do not feel for a second too old or too inconsequential to contribute.
AUC's focus on diversity, in people as well as in the programme's curriculum, attracted me instantly; the boundaries are not limitless but they are very grand. Meeting people of different backgrounds and getting exposed to history or foreign languages while majoring in science is a real privilege.
My hopes are that I will become wiser with age, and that I will be able to use that wisdom for the betterment of those surrounding me.
Leffert Lansink, Amsterdam, the Netherlands (Class of 2013)
How I met new friends, fields of study and myself
When I started secondary school I was pretty sure that history was my favourite subject, but after a while I also liked classes such as maths and physics. From that moment on I was not sure what my favourite subject was. The only thing I did know for sure, when choosing my profile, was that I preferred the field of science.
When I had to decide which field of studies to pursue, I realised I did not want to study one specific subject in the field of science like physics or chemistry. My dean told me about the possibilities at AUC to study different subjects. This, in combination with the small classes and the in-class participation, made me decide to apply to AUC.
Now I am planning to major in science and focus on maths, chemistry and physics, with extra courses in history, philosophy and biology. By the time I have finished AUC I hope that I know in which of my three main disciplines I would like to do a master.
Iulia Pişcă, Sibiu, Romania (Class of 2013)
Science in a diverse environment
At AUC I am following the environmental science track, a combination of science and social science courses that enable critical thinking as well as technical skills. Understanding and interpolating economics with environmental science is a market niche where I want to find myself represented. Not only because economics are fundamental in the contemporary society but because it interpolates with all major sciences in a pragmatic way. One of the ways to manage environmental issues is to understand its components and the interactions within; through the study of the sciences revolving around it. AUC is providing me with the key knowledge to enable such goals through its curriculum and expertise.
Talk to AUC students!
Would you like to talk directly to an AUC student to find out more about the student experience at AUC? See the information below on how to contact one of our graduate interns to ask them all you would like to know about the academic programme, student life at AUC, living on the AUC campus, and other questions you may have about studying at AUC.