How to choose a programme?

Choosing a study programme is a big responsibility. You have many resources available to assist in your research and planning. Leiden University wants to help you be well-prepared and confident to make an educated decision when the time comes. Here are some suggestions to help you along the way.

1. Discover yourself

Talk to your family, your friends, your teachers and your counsellor at school. Inventory your interests and talents:

  • What inspires you?

  • What are your favourite subjects?

  • What are you good at?

  • What don’t you like to study?

  • Are you independent or do you need extra guidance?

2. Design your list

What’s most important to you in your university choice? For example:

  • Reputation of the university

  • Study programmes and subject choices 

  • Large lectures or small classes (or a mix of both?)

  • Cultural, extra-curricular and social opportunities 

  • Internships and study abroad options

‘People who study anthropology are very open-minded. We try to understand why people do what they do. Anthropologists question everything; no subject is too out there. I think it’s great that you can have such good conversations about the world, about social issues such as gender and sexuality, and that everyone dares to talk about them. 

I’ve always been an avid photographer. In my third year at university, Leidsch Dagblad, the local newspaper was looking for seven Cultural Anthropology students who wanted to be city photographers for a year. I photographed young people who had unique stories: homosexuality, someone with foster parents, a young DJ on his way to the top, and so on. After that year, I started doing more with photography. Now I photograph student rooms and take pictures at student galas. Thanks to a partnership between Leiden University and the Royal Academy of Art in The Hague, I’ve taken several photography courses. I think it’s very cool that you get opportunities to develop yourself outside your studies, and I think it was quite unique that I was able to take art courses there.’

Wilke Geurds
oves to take photos