A Blog by International Students at Leiden University
Just like a bunch of other students, and some fellow bloggers from TheLeidener, I just graduated from my programme at Leiden University! The MA is done. Farewell, my beloved Asian Studies!
I arrived in Leiden almost two years ago, and I will never stop thanking this land for giving me everything it has. I have not only learnt a bunch of things from my studies, but I also learnt to know and appreciate a culture that is both close and very very far from the one I came from. People from Italy often complain about a lot of things here, especially the weather, the food and the landscape: oh, how I disagree with them. I never thought I would, but I really started to like every small thing that makes the Netherlands what it is. In fact, I liked it so much that I decided to stay after my graduation, so my goodbyes are not farewells! I’ll stick around town, and even stop by the university again for interesting external lectures and events. Everyone who graduates here can be part of the alumni associations and continue to participate in university-related stuff, so we will not miss all the good things!
While I was waiting for my thesis grade (which, by the way, was pretty high! Yay!) and the e-mail that confirmed that I had officially graduated, I immediately started to do some job interviews between The Hague and Amsterdam and, guess what, I got hired! This is basically unthinkable in my home country, which has very serious unemployment issues, and this is only one of the many things I need to thank the Netherlands and Leiden University for. To be sure, I will not be doing something that is really connected to my studies, but we all have to start somewhere, and Holland gave me the chance to do it. To everyone who has doubts about the future, who comes from countries that give young people very few chances, who is afraid to not find something suitable, I would say: don’t be afraid! We just graduated from one of the best institutions in Europe, and even if we don’t really realize it, we opened our minds and expanded our horizons so much, and recruiters and employers know that. We can DO things, and also pretty well.
I didn’t have a big presence in this blog because I started to write when I was already in the last steps of my programme, but I will always thank TheLeidener for giving me the chance of expressing my views and helping other students from my same region to make informed choices about Leiden and Leiden University. Likewise, my classmates, professors and supervisors will always be in my thoughts, for never considering me as just a number, for remembering my name the second time they saw me, for always taking my views into consideration. Our coordinator of studies has the biggest heart, although she’s not the most organized person ever. Our teaching committee gives students the chance to be involved in solving the issues of our programme, and I thank them also for welcoming me as a student member (and also, every new student should know that they are always there and listening, so they must talk to the committee members if they have any issue). My supervisor is an awesome person and had much more faith in my thesis than I had in the beginning, and gave me so much confidence in my abilities to write a full Master’s thesis in English and Chinese, something that I never thought I would be able to achieve!
Thank you all, this experience will stay in my heart forever!