Roeland did a gap year before applying to PPLE College, during which he volunteered. As a socially engaged student he likes having fellow students who are also interested in societal challenges.
"I’d originally intended to study Politics, but felt that I might be somewhat limiting myself if I did. I’ve got broader interests than just pure politics and while I was searching for alternatives, I found PPLE. Although I didn’t think I’d be equally interested in every aspect of PPLE (I was never really a fan of economics in high school, for a start) I wanted to develop this rich perspective. I’m into societal problems and how to fix them, you can’t look at these problems from a purely political perspective. I wanted to get the whole picture of these issues."
"In my gap year I did an internship for an NGO that collects research on labourers’ working conditions and present-day slavery. One of the things the company did was developed a tool, that allows workers to anonymously report their conditions and then based on that work with the large businesses themselves to tackle these problems. This internship is what persuaded me to choose PPLE instead of politics. I’d love to get back into that line of work someday, but for that area you also need knowledge about a law and economics background."
"I expected it to be tough; all the work necessary to get accepted had made me nervous. Now that I’m here though, it’s perfectly manageable so long as you stay on top of it and get your work done on time. I Also thought there’d be a lot of politically engaged people here, and there really are. The international students are especially opinionated. Studying with such a diverse mix of people, you get to meet people from very different backgrounds, with greatly different world views and experiences."
"I love living in Amsterdam. I was lucky enough to find a place in a nice area very quickly, which helps, but what I really like about Amsterdam is how diverse it is. It’s more than a typical a student city, where you meet another student on every corner. It’s a living, breathing city. More than just a university bubble, there’s a huge amount of different stuff to, and your never short of new things to try. It’s a city that’s a lot of fun to explore, and I’m nowhere near finished exploring after a year here!"
"I do think you get the most enjoyment out of PPLE if you really are interested in explaining the world, our societies’ institutions, and the problems that come with them. What PPLE’s great for is making you more aware of all the things around us that we take for granted. For example, in the first semester we were taught about the different forms that power can take, how to observe them in our daily lives, and how to tell how we ourselves had been shaped by them. It was quite an eye opener to be completely honest."
"Lots of the things we learn in PPLE can be applied to everyday situations, from watching the news, to hanging out with friends. I love the new insights PPLE has given me, and if you’re the kind of person that like me wants to learn more about the world we live in, I’d recommend PPLE to you."