I started my studies in Wageningen with the Bachelor International Development, because of my interest in developing countries. Later on I started to focus on the Netherlands, because I discovered that there is a lot to explore and develop here. I switched to a free bachelor and designed a programme with courses in communication science, management and policy.
During the Master Applied Communication Science, I also followed courses in the field of urban planning. Through one of the lecturers I started working as a student assistant on a project from the Science Shop. I did research on village identity. I was interested in the changing relationship between citizens and the government and continued with this topic in my PhD, after I had completed my master. Financially this was difficult at first, but eventually I found organisations that were interested in supporting me. I was able to do a few projects for the Science Shop and collect my data.
I have been working on my PhD for three years and have collected all of the data. Now it is time to publish scientific papers. I will remain involved in the ongoing projects and I also hope to obtain my teaching certificate, because I enjoy coaching students. I hope to combine research and teaching in the future.
My advice: make use of the freedom provided to focus on your own interests and start building your professional network during your study. This will not only motivate you, but can also help you get started after you graduate!