Thousands of new students enrolled in a Bachelor programme at EUR this year. Last week, they embarked on this new chapter in their lives – some with shaky legs, others without a care in the world. The 17-year-old Criminology student Eline Rodenburg from Nieuw-Lekkerland is somewhere in between. EM tagged along with her for the day.

There’s a first for everything: sitting your finals, going on holiday without your parents, choosing a study programme and taking part in Eurekaweek. Unfortunately, Eline had to miss out on the latter.

“I only recently heard that I had drawn a winning lot for Criminology. As a result, I registered too late for Eurekaweek. Which is a shame – but it isn’t a disaster or anything. I live very close to Rotterdam, and I regularly visit it for a day of shopping. So I more or less know my way around the city already.” She doesn’t know the people here, though. “Except for one boy from secondary school.”

Nice and cheap

That’s why Eline’s very first lecture on Monday promises to be quite exciting. At the crack of dawn, she’ll hop on her bike to cycle to Alblasserdam, from where she will take the bus to Kralingse Zoom. If everything goes according to plan, the trip will take around 45 minutes.

Image credit: Sanne van der Most

Eline can’t get too worked up about this. “My gymnasium [similar to a grammar school, ed.] was in Dordrecht, so I’m used to travelling. For the time being, I don’t mind staying at my parents’. It’s nice and cheap and my sister’s still living at home too.”

Quite interesting

The spacious hall M1-12, where students attend the Introduction to Law lecture, is filled to capacity with a mix of Criminology students and Law students who have been added for the occasion. Eline isn’t particularly impressed. She looks around and settles on a spot somewhere in the middle of the central area.

Fast-forward 4 hours to the end of the lecture and Eline is beat. “It’s quite interesting in itself – all these different legal disciplines. But it’s not easy to listen to the same lecturer for such a long time. This will take some getting used to.” And the same applies to studying itself. “It’s not that I’m set on scoring 9 out of 10 each time round. I’ll be happy with a 6 too. But I’ll still have to put a lot of time into this, which means giving up other stuff until later. I play the guitar and I used to perform live as a singer-songwriter. I’ll have to put that on hold for the time being.”


Eline refuels with a cappuccino at the Erasmus Pavilion. “I’m off to a seminar shortly. It’s a bummer that I couldn’t pack my Law books yet. My mother just told me they came in the post after I had left this morning. So I’ll have to make do with photocopies for the moment. I’ll be doing this with other books too, by the way. Otherwise it all gets way too expensive.”

To earn some extra money, Eline has a part-time job at a Jumbo supermarket in Papendrecht. “I work at the cheese and sausages counter. It’s a pretty nice job, because we have a fun team. I’ll be working this evening too.” After the seminar – without a book of her own, although fortunately, a friendly fellow student shared his book with her – Eline hurries off to Kralingse Zoom for her bus and bike ride home. Back home, she’ll get a quick bite to eat, and afterwards it’s off to the cheese and sausages counter. Her studies are officially underway.