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PPLE student Luca Burckhardt

Meet the PPLE community

Luca tells us why he chose to study PPLE and whether his expectations were met.

Luca Burckhardt

Why PPLE?

There were a few reasons really. Primarily, I wanted to do an interdisciplinary course with a strong focus. In PPLE all the subjects are related. The major allows you to specialise. It still gives you a strong, broad basis though, which I like as interdisciplinary education is growing and increasingly useful in today’s society. The UVA’s also pretty highly ranked in all four of the subjects, including economics, which I was the most interested in. I also really wanted to study in Amsterdam for the city itself, of course. Finally, the rigid application progress gave me a good indication that this course would be serious and intense, which I wanted.

Expectations coming into PPLE

I mainly wanted to be around motivated students, who not only want to work hard but are ambitious and talented too. PPLE has quite a few of these students to offer. The main thing was that I didn’t want to be bored; if I’m not being challenged at university, why bother? Given that it was Amsterdam I also expected it to be fun. Of course, one of the most important things about university is the people. I want the people near me to be inspiring and fun, and I wanted them to push me and think differently to me. I definitely think I’ve found those sorts of people in PPLE.

What is it like to live in Amsterdam?

I’m not going to lie; it’s a bit expensive. But it’s also beautiful. The architecture is amazing, and there’s no better way to experience it than cycling through the city. There’s a huge amount of diversity within the city, from the old imperial palaces, to the strange new bars popping up in the North. There’s also always something new going on. It’s very easy to get distracted in this city. People are always doing something, and it’s easy to get involved.

To whom would you recommend PPLE?

I’d recommend PPLE to you if you’re someone who enjoys interaction: presenting, argumentation, discussing, PPLE’s great for that. The curriculum gives these skills a large amount of attention, and outside of the classroom PPLE’s a great place for stimulating conversation. You can always find a good discussion going on here. I’ve really improved the way I present myself to others, and have developed my critical thinking and oratory skills. These areas are just so important for your professional life, and if you enjoy this, or want to improve in this area, PPLE’s definitely a good course to do so. Besides this, PPLE provides a strong foundation for one’s chosen major. For me, the economics track covers all necessary areas for a basic economics degree and builds on this by giving interdisciplinary courses as well.