PPLE student Emma Rengers
Class of 2017
'When I was still in secondary school, I really did not know which study programme to choose. When a friend told me about the PPLE programme, it sounded really good to me.'
'I come from a small village in the Netherlands, so I had no international experience whatsoever. What I like about the PPLE programme is that it is really international. This year, there are students from 25 different nationalities. It might sound like a cliché, but being around people with so many different backgrounds and nationalities really broadens your perspective. Also, I have always liked a challenge. PPLE is a bit more demanding than most Bachelor programmes, which made it more appealing to me than the other programmes.'
Beyond the bounds of one discipline
'I like the fact that PPLE is an interdisciplinary programme. The courses really force you to go beyond the bounds of one discipline. For example, the course 'Law, Justice and Morality' is not only about law. Of course, we read legal cases, but there are lots of other additional aspects to the course. We discuss moral philosophies (Kant, Aristotle, etc.), economic and political theories (Locke, Piketty, etc.), and everything in between. The interdisciplinary courses make us think open-mindedly and acquire a broad range of skills and knowledge.
Combining the four disciplines is definitely an academic challenge.'
Beyond the official curriculum
'Besides the ‘normal’ PPLE curriculum, there are all kinds of other activities you can engage in. I myself am a member of the Talent Development Programme Steering Committee. The Talent Development Programme enables PPLE students to look beyond the official curriculum. We often have guest speakers coming over, who share their experiences of the 'real world' with us. That way, we can link what we learn in class to what happens in actual political parties, NGO’s, or corporations.
We have already had guest lectures by Sander Wirken (co-founder of Niños de Guatemala), Coen Brummer (speechwriter for the Ministry of Safety and Justice), and many more. We also had Study Skills workshops and Academic English workshops, and we went on a trip to the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia in The Hague.
The members of the TDP Steering Committee organise such activities for the PPLE students. As a member of the committee, I got the opportunity to organise a Skype-conversation with a Syrian activist who fled from his country because of ISIS. All these extra activities are not only fun, they also give us a better understanding of how the theories we learn in class can apply outside the setting of a university.'
A demanding programme
'I would recommend you to study PPLE if you are looking for an internationally oriented, challenging, and expansive bachelor programme. Prospective students should be aware that the PPLE programme is demanding; we spend quite a lot of time in our PPLE building. However, if you are interested in the programme, I think that it would be time well spent. Also, if you know that this is what you want to study and do, I would advise you not to be discouraged by the selection procedure. Writing an essay and doing an interview might make you feel a bit nervous, but in the end, it is all worth it!'