Aside from all the academic and educational benefits, going on exchange is of course a great way to get to know new people, and to prove to yourself that you are capable of adapting to a completely new environment.”
“During the Research Master programme, I had made the decision to go on exchange to Linköping University, in Sweden. I had previously gone on exchange to Cardiff as an IBCoM student, and was very much looking forward to going abroad again. My exchange as a master student was a particularly useful experience for me, as I was considering to apply for a PhD position after the Research Master, and was planning to do this outside of the Netherlands.
Exploring a different academic climate was a very useful experience, and made me more certain of my choice of pursuing a PhD abroad. Not only did I get a clearer picture of what my life would look like at an institution outside of the Netherlands, but I also got to talk to academics and PhD candidates from different fields and backgrounds. Being abroad for a while also made it easier for me to build a more international network, which was both interesting and useful.
In Linköping, I followed a range of courses in fields of study I was not very familiar with (such as Applied Ethics, Intersectional Gender Studies, Semiotics), which was fun and challenging. These courses may not always be directly applicable to your personal interests or Master thesis topic, but I believe that exposing yourself to unfamiliar things is often a great mental exercise, and makes you reconsider your own views and ideas.
Aside from all the academic and educational benefits, going on exchange is of course a great way to get to know new people, and to prove to yourself that you are capable of adapting to a completely new environment! All in all, going on exchange was a wonderful experience for me, and I highly recommend it to anyone following the Research Master programme."
After graduation, Iris worked as a lecturer at the Department of Media and Communication, where she mainly taught research-related courses. Currently she lives in Norway, where she recently started her PhD at the University of Oslo.