Student testimonial

Giulietta came to the Netherlands after the bachelor Communication Science and Culture in Italy, because the master offered the opportunity to explore her interest in life sciences.

Communication science is always a bit of everything and nothing at the same time, and at times it can be hard to visualise the opportunities it gives

Giulietta completed her bachelor in Communication Science and Culture at the Free University of Bozen-Bolzano in Italy. As she wanted to follow a master allowing her to explore the possibilities of interdisciplinarity within communication science, she started a search on the internet for a master matching her interests. She found the master Communication, Health and Life Sciences at Wageningen University and Research and after admission, she decided to start with this master programme.

She really likes studying in the Netherlands and in Wageningen, since people are very nice and open. Moreover, everybody speaks English. According to Giulietta, the Netherlands has quite a lot of masters that are offered in English. Her final choice was the master at Wageningen University and Research because the master programme is two years, giving her the possibility to continue her education with a PhD. Another advantage of this master, was the fact that it is internationally ranked as very good.

When she read about this master, her interest was immediately caught. She always had been interested in biology, but her bachelor did not offer the opportunity to explore the life sciences. Giulietta realised that during the master Communication, Health and Life Sciences she could actually do more with that interest. Therefore, she chose life sciences courses of her interest: aquaculture and fisheries. The life sciences courses she followed were challenging, and at times she really struggled to keep up with the material. However, she was very motivated to succeed: “Sometimes you have to work a bit harder than the other students, but that was not a problem for me”.

During these courses Giulietta experienced how important interdisciplinarity could be: “Following these courses in another discipline was very nice because you bring in different perspectives and that is appreciated both by fellow students and professors”. Giulietta argues that by following courses in another discipline, you also learn how other scientific disciplines work, and how they observe and interpret complex issues.

Her interest in aquaculture and fisheries even grew in such a way that she will follow some additional courses related to this topic at the university. Moreover, she hopes she can do her thesis on this topic, and her internship as well.

Besides the life sciences courses, Giulietta found the communication courses also very interesting. Especially the course Advanced Communication Science where guest lecturers gave practical examples of their work in the communication field. These examples were very inspiring since “communication science is always a bit of everything and nothing at the same time, and at times it can be hard to visualise the opportunities it gives”.

When Giulietta came to the Netherlands she participated in the introduction period of the university, which is called Annual Introduction Days (AID), during which she got to know Wageningen and the university together with other new students. The group of students she met there are still her friends and they still hang out at least once a week. During this AID she also learnt more about the international student associations such as ESN, and many others.

Wageningen is not a big city, which is something that is appreciated by Giulietta because: “everything is just a short bike ride away”. Nonetheless, Wageningen is situated in the Netherlands in a way that bigger cities, such as Amsterdam or Utrecht, can be reached in about an hour. This makes it easy for Giulietta to enjoy the numerous events and opportunities throughout the year.

How to apply as an international student at Wageningen University and Research? The first thing that Giulietta did, was participate in an online open day, during which she had the opportunity to talk with the students who were currently doing the master. After that, Giulietta contacted the study advisor to make sure she fulfilled the prerequisites to enrol in the master. For the application she had to write a motivation letter, send her list of marks, and show a certificate of sufficient English (C1 level). For those students who have already graduated when they apply, the bachelor thesis can be included. Once Giulietta was enrolled, she started looking for a house and started to organise her insurance.

Her advice to students who get started in the Netherlands would be to get a good look at the application dates and deadlines, since those can differ from your own university. Moreover, one last advice from Giulietta: “Get ready for the rain”!