Why this programme

International Bachelor History
IB History student on campus

In this programme, you will acquire a thorough understanding of how changes and continuities in the past influence our daily lives and you learn to explain the crucial connection between past and present.

You primarily look at modern history (from 1500 and onwards) through a social, cultural, political and economic lens. This means that you study history more thematically (e.g. the history of migration and citizenship) and less based on historical periods – as is usual in other history departments.

You will learn to answer questions such as: How do games like Call of Duty perpetuate myths about the war, but also how they influence our thinking about the past? Why did so many European countries become rich while African countries have remained poor? What is the influence of movies such as Schindler’s List and Inglorious Bastards on our historical thinking? And how is diversity within football teams partly due to the colonial past of the country?

 

    The best history bachelor in the Netherlands

    Students appreciate the competence of lecturers

    The Dutch and English bachelor History have been at the top of the Studiekeuze rankings for years. What is valued most about the bachelors is the expertise of the lecturers, the way assessments and exams are structured, and the vibe within the programme. With a score of 69, Erasmus University Rotterdam is three points ahead of the University of Amsterdam and Utrecht University.

    5 reasons to study the International Bachelor History

    • thanks to the engaged groups and the mentor system, you receive personal help with your studies;
    • you will share the classroom with students from all over the world;
    • the programme is oriented towards the labour market and has close ties with the corporate world;
    • the programme receives a high score in the annual National Student Survey;
    • the EUR offers a number of high-quality master’s programmes that complement the bachelor, including the Erasmus Mundus Programme GLOCAL.

    Connecting today with yesterday

    Focusing on themes lets you keep an eye on the big picture, which teaches you to establish links between historical and contemporary developments and learn not just to understand the past but also the issues facing society today. This is the ideal programme for you if your interest goes beyond history alone, if you are curious and want to learn how to connect yesterday with today.

    Why choose IB History? Cindy will tell you! 

    Studying History @ Erasmus University Rotterdam

    A word from our students

    Portrait picture of Lena Martinovic

    Lena Martinović

    Lena Martinović - Alumna International Bachelor History

    Rather than having to memorise numbers and names, IBHistory focused on concepts and ideas. I felt that this made the study very interesting.
    Portrait picture of Lena Martinovic
    Rather than having to memorise numbers and names, IBHistory focused on concepts and ideas. I felt that this made the study very interesting.

    Studying History at Erasmus: concepts and ideas

    “One of the main reasons why I decided to study History at Erasmus University Rotterdam were the classes. I loved the fact that the study itself was very transversal. We focused on modern history, on politics, culture, economics… Rather than having to memorise numbers and names, the programme focused on concepts and ideas. I felt that this made the study very interesting. Another aspect that drew me to Erasmus was the internship that we could do as part of our studies. As a non-EU student, opportunities to work and gain experience are scarce, so being able to use the skills I learned as a history student (research, writing, critical thinking) and apply them in a real-world example was invaluable. I did my internship at EUROCLIO, a small non-profit organisation that focuses on history education as a tool for conflict prevention. I provided support with project management, report writing, event organisation, outreach, and communication. I wouldn’t have been able to do the internship without my study programme.”

    Finding out my future career path

    Alongside the internship, I did a lot of volunteer work at my university. My first year, I joined Erasmus Debating Society. I was not only involved in debating but was also involved behind the scenes. I had the opportunity to organise tournaments and as secretary of the society, I focused on internal communication and liaising between our society and stakeholders. This volunteer work complemented well with studying history, as the skills you learn as a history student can be applied to debating, and vice versa: my writing and critical thinking abilities improved greatly! It was through the volunteer work and the internship that I realised I would like to work in project management and communication. The internship led to a job in Belgrade, working for a small non-profit as a communication coordinator, after which I applied for my current position as project and strategy assistant at the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).

    In my role as project and strategy assistant, I support the change management and internal communication activities of the team in Geneva, while providing trainings on the use of information management tools and procedures.”

    Advice

    “Take the time to be a part of study groups or societies. Studying is important but remember that your time at university is short. Your faculty association is a great place to network, to meet people, but also to have fun.”  

    Young man posing for camera in a suit

    Joost van der Linden

    Student International Bachelor History

    There are many stories that should be told but aren’t. They are either forgotten or haven’t been found yet. This is what studying history, at least to me, is. It is finding and telling the stories of the past that have not been told yet.
    Young man posing for camera in a suit
    There are many stories that should be told but aren’t. They are either forgotten or haven’t been found yet. This is what studying history, at least to me, is. It is finding and telling the stories of the past that have not been told yet.

    I love stories. Stories are not simply tales we tell each other to entertain. Stories can guide your morals and teach you things, help you answer questions and understand the world around you. Stories immortalize people and things. If we stop telling each other these tales, we forget the things they can teach us. Now there are many stories that deserve to be and should be told but aren’t. They are either forgotten or haven’t been found yet. This is what studying history, at least to me, is. It is finding and telling the stories of the past that have not been told yet, although this is not what I thought when I started my study.

    When I started this study, I was afraid my peers would have a head start on me. I hadn’t studied history in high school, and so, lacked a lot of knowledge that the others would have. Luckily, I quickly found out that this was not necessary. While it is very nice to be very knowledgeable about history, this bachelor is focused on doing research, and finding the history yourself. You don’t get told the stories; you learn how to find them and be critical of what you find.

    Smiling girl with black, curly hair and a green top

    Elora Aarts

    Student International Bachelor History

    Learning from peers from different cultures really challenged my views and knowledge and helped me learn beyond the factual information of the bachelor
    Smiling girl with black, curly hair and a green top
    Learning from peers from different cultures really challenged my views and knowledge and helped me learn beyond the factual information of the bachelor

    After trying two other bachelors in the social science field, I was really looking for something that would combine my interests for the social sciences with something that would add more to my studies. The International Bachelor History ended up being exactly what I was looking for.

    Social Sciences

    History had always been an interest of mine, and something that I had always been relatively good at. My interest in social sciences also fit in perfectly with the bachelor, especially in the second year where I was able to pick a specialisation that focusses more on social and cultural history.

    International Perspective

    Besides the inclusion of social sciences, the International Bachelor History also added an interesting new international perspective to my studies. Learning from peers from different cultures really challenged my views and knowledge and helped me learn beyond the factual information of the course. Especially with something as diverse as history, the views and experiences of my peers were the most interesting thing to me. The bachelor is quite small, which adds a very social aspect to it. It took little to no time for me to make friends and create a social circle at Erasmus, which was very exciting for me.

    Biggest struggle

    My biggest struggle with the bachelor was figuring out how to actually study. Coming from a background in different bachelors, the switch to something like History was quite hard. Learning how to study for exams and how to write historical papers was something that took some time for me. With some trial and error, I have now managed to figure out how to study efficiently in this field.

    Portrait picture of Vincent Korbee

    Vincent Korbee

    Vincent Korbee - Student International Bachelor History

    Studying history at the EUR widens your perspective on the world and helps you grow as an individual.
    Portrait picture of Vincent Korbee
    Studying history at the EUR widens your perspective on the world and helps you grow as an individual.

    As a high school student, I was always looking for opportunities to broaden my horizon. This is reflected in my choice of university and bachelor programme. History at the Erasmus University is a wide-ranging programme with a lot of different disciplines that come together. Thus, whether you like political history, cultural history, or socio-economic history, the Erasmus University is the place to be!

    Something that immediately drew my attention in the first year was the international character of the programme. This allowed for a melting pot of perspectives and made the in-class debates very interesting. You learn a lot from your fellow students as they see the world in a totally different way – which is especially beneficial for studying history.

    What I really enjoy about the history programme at the Erasmus University is the fact that it tries to blend different branches of history. For instance, in the second year, economic history and international relations are combined. In this way, you learn to

    The Erasmus University has lots of opportunities for you to develop as an individual. They offer many extracurricular occupations such as committees, a special honours programme for excelling students, and the chance to study abroad in your third year. In short, studying history at the EUR widens your perspective on the world and helps you grow as an individual!

    portrait picture of Sophie Marijn

    Sophie Marijn

    Sophie Marijn - Student International Bachelor History

    IB History taught me that there was more to history than just the Europeanised version.
    portrait picture of Sophie Marijn
    IB History taught me that there was more to history than just the Europeanised version.

    During my last year of high school, I looked at quite a lot of various history programmes throughout the Netherlands. Yet, even when looking at other history studies, the version at the Rotterdam University never left my mind. The International Bachelor History spoke to me because of its unique programme and challenges. The interesting part of it that it is the only study where I feel that you do not focus entirely on Europe from a European perspective and instead on the whole globe and how they were before Europe colonized them.

    Furthermore, you learn various other perspectives to approach history, such as the look from the colonized instead of the colonizers or from the point of view from minorities. It taught me that there was more to history than just the Europeanized version of it and that there were more histories to learn instead of those taught in high school.

    Something I had to learn how to deal with was the fast pace of the history bachelor. While on one hand had it is great that during your first year you only focus on one course at the time, on the other hand it makes the courses quite fast paced and you cannot afford to fall behind. Yet, with the help of the lecturers and my fellow students it ended up being quite doable.

    Camilla Becker

    Camilla Becker - Student International Bachelor History

    I realized history did not always have to be about ancient Rome or Greece. It can also very well be about analyzing the reason why the West grew rich and the East did not, or how globalization came about.
    I realized history did not always have to be about ancient Rome or Greece. It can also very well be about analyzing the reason why the West grew rich and the East did not, or how globalization came about.

    After graduating from high school, I did not know what to do next. I knew I was fascinated by history, I just never really thought about studying it at university. I did a lot of research and found the International Bachelor History programme at Erasmus.

    I (re)found my passion for history
    I realized history did not always have to be about ancient Rome or Greece. It can also very well be about analyzing the reason why the West grew rich and the East did not, or how globalization came about. Topics that matter today had an origin, and it's essential to understand it. While at Erasmus I (re)found my passion for history.

    Encouraged to speak my mind
    Growing up in South America, I had never studied in English before. Even though I passed IELTS with a decent grade, the language felt like a challenge during the first couple of weeks. However, the lecturers were always helpful in that regard. At the seminars we had three times a week, we discussed a broad variety of topics- for example, what progress really is or what does modernity means. I felt encouraged to speak my mind. Rapidly the fear to speak English was gone.

    Going in my second year now I can choose to focus on social, cultural, economic, or international relations history, which gives me the freedom to trace my own path. Living abroad and being in contact with Dutch and international students in Rotterdam makes me interested in international relations and I'm glad I can also study it in my course.

    Pavel Cernocan

    Pavel Cernocan - Student International Bachelor History

    Historians might not build bridges, save people from a burning house, or harvest a field, but the historical knowledge they collect, upon closer inspection, seems essential to understand people, the society we came to live in, and our very own lives.
    Historians might not build bridges, save people from a burning house, or harvest a field, but the historical knowledge they collect, upon closer inspection, seems essential to understand people, the society we came to live in, and our very own lives.

    My father studied history and used to be a historian early in his life. Growing up, I always admired his ability to make sense of the world and his understanding of the past. Historians might not build bridges, save people from a burning house, or harvest a field, but the historical knowledge they collect, upon closer inspection, seems essential to understand people, the society we came to live in, and our very own lives. The International Bachelor of History at Erasmus offers a great opportunity for anyone interested in contemplating human life and society.

    Examine the past in a critical sense
    During the first year, you are introduced to the main strands of European and global history in a series of courses that start around the year 1500 and move to today. Also, you will learn about the major social thinkers and their ideas. While presented with this vast amount of evidence and information, you are trained to assess historical evidence and interpretations, to analyse change and continuity, and most importantly — to examine the past in a critical sense. All of this provides a wonderful opportunity to engage in debate and to render a different perspective.

    Focus area of interest
    In year two, you are encouraged to focus on a area of interest. I chose social history for its humanistic goal of trying to explore the human experience in other times and places. There is a great sense of beauty and excitement in trying to understand how people in distant times chose to build their lives and tested their moral sense and values. The knowledge that social history brings, offers a unique perspective on human life and gives great hope for individual liberty.

    A lot of support along the way
    Although the programme is challenging at times, you will never feel alone on any issue. The interaction and reciprocity between students and teaching/administrative staff are highly regarded at Erasmus University, and you will be offered a lot of support along the way. Recently, the sudden shift to online classes has taken place with the same level of care and attention as before — an effort that deserves the utmost praise. So, do not be afraid to talk to someone, or ask for help.

    Mila van der Ende

    Mila van der Ende

    Mila van der Ende - Student International Bachelor History

    I preferred to do this study in English because it allows me to connect with students from many different places who, because of their various backgrounds, have different perspectives on history.
    Mila van der Ende
    I preferred to do this study in English because it allows me to connect with students from many different places who, because of their various backgrounds, have different perspectives on history.

    During secondary school I visited many different universities and looked at multiple studies in order to make a well informed choice. I felt a great need to choose a study that would challenge me, deepen my knowledge of the world and that would encourage me to look at things critically. This is exactly what the International Bachelor History at Erasmus University Rotterdam offers you.

    Awareness of your own bias

    Already during the first year students are taught to be aware of their own biases, find and study many different articles, books and opinions of academics to get a broad view of a topic. Students also have to write two papers for each course and give a presentation. These are generally very useful skills to obtain. Because I am Dutch it would be rather self-evident for me to do this study in Dutch, but I preferred to do it in English because it allows me to connect with students from many different places who, because of their various backgrounds, also have different perspectives on history which is a great way to broaden your view even more than the programme itself already does. I really have enjoyed my first year at EUR because I met a lot of nice people, definitely developed my writing and research skills and read a lot of interesting books and articles.

    Next to all this, Rotterdam is a very vibrant city for students and contains many great bars, restaurants and parks for students to spend their spare time at.

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