Customize your own study programme

Erasmus University is getting closer in establishing a University College. At this college, students can follow a Liberal Arts & Science programme. They can choose their own courses and have the American on-campus life. Do students want to go the American way and customize their programme?

Roman Palamarciuc & Dumitru Ojog, first-year IBEB (From Romania)

Roman: “I don’t think it is a good idea. In Romania it is not possible to choose your subjects in high school as it is in the Netherlands. Therefore, I had to take subjects as chemistry, which are useless when studying IBEB. In contrast, some of the Dutch students already had some basics of accounting or macroeconomics. For me University Colllege sounds like high school but on a university level. You still have to take subjects that are not relevant. Moreover, I am confident that the programme managers of IBEB know exactly what I need for being a good economist. I am not sure this would be the case at University College.”

Dumitru: “I actually really like the idea, because you have the possibility choose. For example, if you want to study business or economics, but you are also interested in biology, you can do both. This can be useful if you specialize as an economist within the biology field. Moreover, some students are afraid of the transfer from high school to university. University College has small-scale and mandatory classes, which can make this transfer easier. You don’t have all the responsibility at once.” 

Sorin Bucur, Master Finance & Investments (From Romania)

“I studied such a programme in Germany at Jacobs University. In the first year I could follow courses from different disciplines. Since I was interested in physics, I took for example earth and space science. The best part is that it is relatively easy to switch in your second year. Instead of following physics, I decided to study International Logistics Engineering. 

Moreover, I think you can differentiate yourself if you can tailor your study programme. This can be an advantage if you apply to a company. Even though some people might say this is a disadvantage, since companies do not know what you studied exactly. However, in the end it is the overall brand of the university and your grades that count the most. Furthermore, my transfer to the master programme here was easy. The main difference is the class size, which was 30 at Jacobs University and 400 at RSM.”

Adele Berthelot, first-year IBA (from France)

“I was actually looking for this kind of programme last year when I was looking for a university. It was also the main reason I was not sure about IBA, because the courses are all fixed in advance. Especially, because I am also interested in politics and philosophy, it would be great to combine these with business.

In addition, small classes have some advantages. It is easier to get in contact with your teacher and with your fellow students. In my first trimester in IBA this was quite hard. In the lectures you met so many people; you did not get to know someone really well. However, I am not sure about living on campus. I really like to live in the city, in this way it is easier to get to know the country and the people.” JV