Check in with our Semester in Amsterdam blogger Sophia and learn about academic life and online learning.
Holaaa! As promised a blog about the academic life at the VU. I am currently taking two courses - Applied Statistics and Documentary Film, International Law and World Politics. The second is extremely interesting! We analyse documentary films dealing with International Criminal Law, which is super interesting as it combines filmmaking with politics and law.
All courses are online, so there is not really the chance to meet each other but group assignments have worked pretty well so far. In the beginning I was quite thankful for everything to be online as I have less pressure to be on time for a course and can study according to my individual time schedule., However with time this gets pretty monotonous. For this reason I try to study at different places: the study rooms at my dorm, the university and of course, my room as well. In my opinion, the university is the best place to go. There are a lot of places to study either on your own or even in small group rooms. Anyway, one has to be early in the morning to be able to find a nice spot.
Unfortunately, cafes are still closed. I think, cafes would be the nicest to study, especially for more relaxed tasks. Online exams are also fun! Every time, one has to do a desk scan and yeah, there has always been a technical issue so far; either my computer was super slow or the official program shortened the time… But overall, everything is working out fine. Further, I have about two assignments every week with a deadline for uploading my results. As I’m very good at procrastinating, this is extremely stressful for me. My record is an upload about 30 seconds before the assignment upload closed (but I’m proud to say that I've never missed a deadline so far!!).
Sitting in front of the computer most of the time can be very exhausting. Therefore, it is super important for me to go outside from time to time and stretch my legs xD. I recommend to do this every two hours at least. It is getting warmer and warmer so maybe in the future it will be possible to work outside as well. In the evening I like to hang out with friends for one or two drinks and forget about the academics. Sometime soon we might be even able to go to bars again and have some nightlife!