A journey for Leiden's international bachelor's students in Psychology
Monday 2 September 2013 marked the start of a new international bachelor’s programme at Leiden University. The International Bachelor in Psychology (IBP) offers its students and the university countless possibilities and opportunities. Vice-Rector Simone Buitendijk: 'The International Bachelor in Psychology is a journey we’ll be taking together.'
Vice-Rector Simone Buitendijk welcomed the new students at the start of the academic year. In its first year, the IBP programme has already shown signs of success, with the programme’s limit of one hundred students having been exceeded. Students from 25 different countries, including Albania, Brazil and the USA, have enrolled as students of the programme. Dean of the Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences, Hanna Swaab, was also in the Academy Building as well as Michiel Westenberg on behalf of the Institute of Psychology.
Although immensely excited with the programme’s success, Buitendijk and Westenberg did have some advice for their international audience. Professor Westenberg warned them they 'may never understand the Dutch sense of humour', while Buitendijk mentioned that 'the Dutch aren’t always as inclusive as they think they are.' The students themselves seem not to be as concerned with their abilities to fit in. German student Daniela (28) feels that the Dutch are very talkative people, something two of her fellow students, Jon (22) from Denmark and Roni (19) from Hungary, agree with.
As they express their positive feelings regarding their stay in the Netherlands so far, it becomes clear that all three students have taken an immediate liking to the country as well as to Leiden University. All three of them seem to be equally satisfied with their welcome at Leiden University so far. As a smiling Daniela says, 'The Dutch are very helpful and they definitely don’t allow you to get lost.'
The international students all have different reasons for joining the IBP programme in Leiden. Daniela, for example, opted for Leiden University because she prefers the Dutch education system to the German system. For Jon, personal preference played a large part in his decision as he is interested in neuropsychology, and a lot of research is carried out in the Netherlands in this branch of psychology. Roni confessed that she wants to do her master’s degree in the USA. 'But if I want to do that, I first need to finish my bachelor’s degree at a good university. Leiden is a perfect fit.'
The lecturers and professors could not be more excited to start working on this new programme. They are strongly in favour of international classrooms as well as the mixing of different cultures. Westenberg: 'Psychology is both culture-free and culture-bound. It will be very interesting to hear so many different opinions.'
(3 September 2013/ Marije Haasnoot, student)
International Bachelor in Psychology