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'The academic environment is excellent'

  Afroja Khanam

  Bangladesh

  Advanced master of Governance and Development

 There are very few universities which offer this particular programme. I got admission offers from a number of other institutions but eventually decided on UAntwerp. I also had an opportunity to work with a few Belgian university professors while I was in Bangladesh, and I was able to discuss higher study issues with them, and their opinion on various Belgian universities and master programmes was also very helpful. So when I was accepted at UAntwerp and after I arrived here, it really did not seem totally unfamiliar.

I decided to join this particular programme for several reasons. One of them is certainly its relative uniqueness - only a few institutions offer such a programme. The depth and diversity of the programme content appeared quite challenging and at the same time very appealing. And of course, the possibility to apply for a VLIR-UOS scholarship was also a big factor.

Study programme
I really like my study programme and am enjoying the wide variety of topics it covers, although it can be quite demanding due to its steady high workload. However, as it is a 2nd cycle master programme, this intensive workload is providing me with an appropriate foundation for pursuing doctoral studies in the future. And the academic environment is excellent, with so many resources available in the library as well as electronically. I very much like the teaching methods and the very systematic organisation of the modules in this programme. As we progress from module to module, I admire how they have been structured in a linked manner. We students are being gradually prepared here with a comprehensive understanding of the topics from many different angles.

My programme is fully taught in English, so there are no language problems in class. Also, outside the university it is hardly a problem if you don’t speak Dutch, since almost everyone speaks English and is more than willing to help you out. With 23 nationalities currently enrolled, the programme is truly an international one. So studying here means to link myself to the wide world, not only academically but socially and culturally as well. This programme provides a great opportunity for networking.

I also get frequent chances to attend conferences, both in-country and abroad, which provide me with an opportunity to interact with scholars from many different fields from other institutions. These knowledge and experience sharing events are greatly enriching my own understanding.

Antwerp 
'Antwerp is good for everything.' It’s good for studying, leisure activities, and it offers a great nightlife too. It’s also a good transportation hub which places it at an advantage point for traveling - the airport and train stations are easily accessible. And if you love beer, then you are absolutely in the right place in Belgium, with its more than 600 different varieties of beer! And even if you are like me and don’t drink, you can still admire the many colorful varieties of Belgian beers. Something else you must definitely try while here are a good portion of French Fries or rather Frietjes from a local 'Frituur'. However, what you shouldn’t do is ask for FRENCH fries. Otherwise you risk being kindly reminded of WHO actually invented them. And believe me, it obviously wasn't the French ;-)