Patrick Annez de Taboada

The world needs change and innovation, and the younger generations are aching to make a difference. But we often don’t even know where to begin.
Patrick Annez de Taboada
Student Management of International Social Challenges

As our world and the news surrounding it becomes more complex every day, it is not difficult to find yourself overwhelmed. The world needs change and innovation, and the younger generations are aching to make a difference. But we often don’t even know where to begin. Many of us have a vast array of interests and choosing one subject to specialise in may close doors that we are not yet ready to close. There is, however, a potential solution in the form of the Management of International Social Challenges programme at Erasmus University Rotterdam.

One and a half years into my studies, and we have already delved into international migration, trade, law and regulation, political science, as well as economics and the make-up of the European Union. I find myself understanding, as well as critically analysing, the most pressing issues in society in a completely different way. Major political decisions, economic fluctuations, changes in demographics: these processes begin to make sense, and the solutions are now within our reach of understanding.

In the first year, the majority of the lessons are done through Problem-Based Learning (PBL). PBL enables students to research a specific problem before conferring with their classmates and establishing together a consensus on theories and solutions. In such a diverse and international environment like there is at Erasmus University Rotterdam, learning from one another means that you are constantly exposed to new perceptions and ways of thinking that may challenge or enhance your own ideals. Subsequently, you begin to see the world in a more enriched and holistic manner. My second year, so far, has taken up a slightly different format with more focus being placed on case studies and thoroughly interesting assignments.

Aside from significantly furthering my knowledge of how the world around us works, I have made friends for life in a city that is pulsing with an enlivening student vibe. Its early days, but my post-high school life couldn’t have gotten off to a better start.