A Blog by International Students at Leiden University
Started my programme the beginning of September, it feels unreal how fast the time goes, and I am already at halfway through my LLM degree at Leiden University. As I struggle with many exams and deadlines currently, it felt like the right moment to take a step back and note what I collected through last 6 months. I will start with my four main struggles which I still see as bittersweet moments.
Adopting to the System
The difference between the education system of my bachelor’s degree and the one here was striking. All my courses then were simply lecturing where we were not required to do any substantial preparation forehand and the professor would explain all related material and information. Lectures here, however, builds upon the ground level the students establish via enormous reading materials required to be red before the lecture. As hard as it was to get used to it, I certainly see the benefits of listening the professor with some information and be able to ask informed questions, enabling a higher level of learning.
This naturally brings quite a lot of work to do as you are required to do preparation for every course while you are following couple of them simultaneously. Taking the assignments and presentations into account as well, time to time library becomes the place where you spend more time than you spend at home.
As it will be an important indication for my future career, especially I desire for an academic one, writing a high-quality thesis is a fundamental concern right now. Even though the whole process of finding a supervisor, finding a research question that is novel and interests you and finally starting to write it seems quite intimidating, idea of putting an academic document is exciting. As any other thing in life, you just need to start, I guess.
Early 20s comes with their own concerns regarding your future. Where will I live? Where will I work? How long will it take until I find a job? Approaching to the end of a degree for sure fires these questions up. Having to deal with these questions and take steps while you continue to your study is a challenging task. “My grades from this year will stay with me but I also should find soon. How do I balance my job search and applications with my responsibilities from the university?” Still, looking at a sea of opportunities is thrilling, despite also being overwhelming.
What are the main struggles you are going through during your studies? How do you approach and overcome them? Share below at the comments!