Crossing continents for a Masters in law, thanks to a scholarship from the Erasmus Trust Fund

Vanessa Nethania Parka 1

Vanessa Nethania Parka from Indonesia will never forget the day she found out she had been awarded a fully funded scholarship for a Masters in Commercial and Company Law at Erasmus School of Law.

“I was in my car driving to work. I was late, it was raining and the traffic is always heavy in Jakarta. Suddenly this email popped up from the Erasmus Trust Fund saying I had got the whole scholarship,” she explains. “There was no-one to tell as I was on my own, so I just screamed! I could hardly believe it. Then I forwarded the message to my friends and family, asking them to read it as well. Was this for real?” 

It wasn’t a dream and before too long the young lawyer was boarding a plane for the Netherlands to begin a new chapter in her life and career. Her achievement is even more special as she is the only person to be awarded this prestigious faculty scholarship in 2022/3. 

So many opportunities

Arriving in Rotterdam last August was very exciting as Vanessa had never been to Europe before. Her parents came along as well for a few weeks to help her settle in.  

Now halfway through her course, she’s studying alongside talented lawyers from all over the world, enjoying life in Rotterdam and getting used to Dutch weather. 

“Winning a place at one of the best universities in Europe has brought me so many opportunities. It would have been impossible for me to come here without this generous scholarship to meet the cost of my tuition and living expenses. Rest assured, I’m making the most of my time in Rotterdam. 

“I know my Masters will enable me to take the next step in my professional career. I’ve made plenty of new friends, we’re learning so much together and exploring the Netherlands at weekends. It has even brought me a new role. During an internship with a Dutch company, I discovered they needed legal assistance for a sustainability programme in Indonesia. As I’m already a qualified lawyer in my home country, I’ve got involved with the project.” 

Vanessa Nethania Parka 2

Ready-made network

Vanessa always knew she would like to study in the Netherlands because of the country’s historic links with Indonesia and chose Erasmus School of Law because of its global reputation. Erasmus School of Law has an international focus, with options to examine legal aspects of sustainability, technology, and artificial intelligence as well as mainstream commercial and company law. 

Now looking ahead to her career after graduation, Vanessa is determined not to lose touch with her friends in Rotterdam, or EUR, once she’s back in Indonesia: “We are already talking about working together on joint projects. We may live and work in different countries but, as we already know each other, we’ll have a ready-made network of valuable contacts and trusted colleagues.” 

I’m sure my postgraduate year and experience of living, studying and working in Europe will result in many new opportunities

Keeping her options open

While Vanessa was at school, she had ambitions to become a diplomat and considered studying international relations before eventually deciding on law. Although she specialises in commercial and company law, she is keeping her options open as she has kept her early interest in public policy and governance law. 

“I’m sure my postgraduate year and experience of living, studying and working in Europe will result in many new opportunities and I am very grateful to the Erasmus Trust Fund for believing in me and granting me this scholarship,” she says. 

More information

Do you also want to help fund scholarships for talented students like Vanessa? Support one or more participants of the Erasmus Charity Run via this link.

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