Life at Vrije Amsterdam and focus on Climate Programs

 Veröffentlicht am 24.03.2022.

"The international atmosphere at our university is certainly something that defines VUA"

Alexander Lindemans shares his insights about studying in Amsterdam

Alexander Lindemans, 28, works as an international student advisor at VU Amsterdam, where he helps incoming students that want to pursue a Master’s degree at their university. He is originally from Belgium, but studied himself in Amsterdam.

 

Mr. Lindemans, you have been working as International Student Advisor at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam since September 2017. Why did you choose to work in this position and why the VU Amsterdam?

I decided to work in this position because I have been an international student myself. I finished my Erasmus program in the Czech Republic at the Charles University in Prague. After I completed my studies in Ghent University in Belgium, where I am originally from, I did an extra master at the Universiteit van Amsterdam, the second university in Amsterdam besides VU.     

Studying abroad was the best decision I have ever made. It has given me a lot on multiple levels and allowed me to grow academically, personally and professionally. As I really enjoy being in a university setting and atmosphere and because I really enjoyed being  an international student myself, I decided to apply for this job.

Alexander Lindemans
Alexander Lindemans

What are your daily working routines, and how can foreign students apply for VU in general?

My daily working routines consist of handling applications from international students that want to pursue a Master’s degree in Law at VU Amsterdam. Besides that, I also handle all communication with students that are interested in pursuing a Master’s degree at the same faculty. I am also involved with the organization of the introduction periods for international students, both in February and August.

Finally, I have been, and I still am involved in multiple side projects such as working with international student ambassadors, organizing events for scholarship students, and going to international fairs in countries such as Germany, Greece, Italy, Russia, Bulgaria etc. By attending these fairs, students from these countries can inform themselves about what we have to offer them.

International students can very easily inform themselves through our website or by simply emailing us. We have a very big team at the International Office that helps students from everywhere with not only their application but also other practicalities such as housing and visa. When students are sure that they want to go for it, they can apply through www.studielink.nl. The whole application process happens online.
 

What are the most common admission problems that you and the admission center have to deal with, and are there any possibilities of financial support at VU Amsterdam?

The most common issues are students that have a complex educational background. Before a student is able to gain admission to our university, he or she needs to make sure that he or she meets the admission requirements. In most cases this is very easily determined, but some cases can be very complex.

There are definitely possibility of financial support at VU Amsterdam. We offer multiple scholarships and provides a lot of information to students about other scholarships.
 

Is there any special story (regarding admissions) that has particularly stuck in your memory, Mr. Lindemans?

I would not mention one specific case, but there have been multiple cases where I have been able to help students that were in a difficult or doubtful situation, but that were very motivated. For these students, admission to our university was not guaranteed, but we decided to give them a chance. I can tell you that these students, that were very motivated, did not disappoint and obtained very high grades. Cases like this make me happy.

Almost 1/5 of students at our university are international. The international atmosphere at our university is certainly something that defines it and that makes it special and interesting to work at.
Alexander Lindemans

How many nationalities are covered at your University, and what defines the study and working life at VU Amsterdam according to you? And what makes the city special?

We have a very big amount of nationalities, above 100. Almost 1/5 of students at our university are international. The international atmosphere at our university is certainly something that defines VUA and that makes it special and interesting to work at. As we work at the University, the atmosphere is always very vibrant with a lot of young and ambitious people walking around, still with their complete life ahead of them.

The same atmosphere can be found in the city of Amsterdam. If you walk on the streets you will see a very big amount of young and vibrant people around, that’s what makes it a fascinating place to be as a student. There is always something to do, whatever you like to do.
 

At VU, LL.M. students can choose the program International Law on Climate Change and Sustainability. What does this course offer, and what makes it unique?

VU Amsterdam is the first university in Europe to offer an International Business Law degree that combines an outstanding, all-round Master’s program in Business Law with a specific focus on climate change

During this Master's program, students will be seeking answers to highly important, yet complex, questions such as: What are the legal means to fight climate change and what rights and responsibilities do businesses and governments have in terms of sustainability? Can states be forced to bring their policies in line with the Paris 2015 Agreement? 

The combination of business Law, climate change issues and an international classroom is what makes this master program very attractive and special 

Life at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

A specific International Business Law degree: Climate Change and Sustainability

Will this program continue to be relevant in the future, and what skills can young lawyers take from it into their professional lives?

This is definitely a program that is relevant for the future. Climate change is one of the biggest problems that the current generation of young students will have to tackle and deal with. Young lawyers will learn from experts in the field and will benefit from the international environment that the classroom of this master program offers. International law concerning climate change issues is a field that still has to develop itself much more, and with the experience that the students from this program will have gained they will be able to contribute to that.
 

Your conclusion?

I really strongly advise students to study abroad if they have the opportunity to do so. For the majority, this is a life-changing experience that they will never forget. You can combine such an amazing personal experience where you make new friends and meet new perspectives from all around the world with following unique master programs such as international business law - climate change and corporations.  I can guarantee that you will benefit from the courageous step of studying abroad for the rest of your life.
     

Thank you!

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
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Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

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