Here you can find an interview that we conducted with Judith about her minor in Politiek en Bestuur!
Which minor did you do?
I did the Dutch minor ‘Politiek en Bestuur’, in English translated to ‘Politics and Governance’ (administrative law).
What made you choose this minor?
IR is a very interdisciplinary study, thus naturally I think most students are more passionate about certain fields of IR than others. For me this was definitely law. Additionally, as IR is very internationally focused, I was also very interested to learn more about Dutch governance. This minor combined these two interests perfectly.
What were the subjects you had in your minor?
The minor existed both out of Dutch and English courses. I took Introduction to law for non-lawyers (Inl. Recht voor niet juristen), Administrative Law (Bestuursrecht), Public Administration (Elementaire Bestuurskunde), Social Sciences (Theorie Sociale Wetenschappen), Contemplating Democracy and the Rule of Law and Law, Religion and Society (Recht, Religie en Samenleving).
What was your hardest experience during the minor course?
The hardest thing about doing this minor was probably its schedule. As an IR student you have to do specific courses from this minor, as the other ones overlap too much with IR itself. Therefore, in the first block I did 4 courses, which is quite intense. Especially as you have exams for all 4 courses. However, in the second block you only have 2 courses! This took some extra planning, but overall I think it was still very doable and I personally managed very well.
What was the best experience during the minor course?
I think for me this was really the Dutch Law and governance part of the minor. I really enjoyed taking the law courses as it made me understand the basis of the Dutch system, and it made me understand the core of some very relevant issues within Dutch society. For example, the course Law, Religion and Society really dove into how the Netherlands is always trying to balance the division between state and church, and how this causes quite some issues within our society. Think about how Church Services were allowed to continue fully during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Did the course meet your expectations? Yes, why/ No, why not
Yes, it definitely lived up to my expectations. Naturally there were some courses I enjoyed less, but overall the courses combined really offer a great perspective which is very useful as a Dutch IR student I believe.
Which other minor did you consider?
I also considered the general Dutch law minor (minor Rechten). This minor does not so much focus on the political and governance side of the Dutch system. For me this minor did therefore not fully match with my interests.
Do you think that your minor will be useful for your future career?
Yes, why / No, why not
I believe this minor is very useful for the future career of Dutch IR students. It really gives you quite some knowledge on governance in the Netherlands and on the relevant parts of Law with regards to politics and governance. This kind of knowledge is really helpful, especially if you will end up working for the Dutch government or governmental organizations.
What would you say to future IRIO students who consider this minor?
I would say if you are a Dutch IR student, and you have affinity with politics and law, go for this minor!
If your minor was in Dutch, how was it to study in Dutch again after years of studying in English?
I must say this was quite a challenge. It feels quite odd to write answers on an exam, or a short essay in Dutch. I did struggle a bit on how I had to write academically in Dutch, but I got used to it very quickly. Especially in exams, it also did not really matter if your answers were not high level academic Dutch. So, I would not worry about this, it’s just something to get used to.
Ratings: Rate from 1 to 10
Was the minor doable? (1 very hard <-->10 very easy)
7, the minor is very doable. I finished it with higher grades than many courses within IR!
Was the workload less/the same/or more than the IRIO programme? (1 much less workload <--> 10 a lot more workload)
5, due to the structure of the minor with being an IR student, the workload is quite high in the first block with 4 courses. However, overall compared to the IRIO programme, which has a very high workload, the minor is very much doable.
How much would you recommend doing this minor? (1 not at all <--> 10 100% yes)