“The third year of the psychology program gives you a lot of freedom. You have the opportunity to follow your interests and choose subjects that really stimulate you.”
As I am not from the Netherlands, I was already living ‘abroad’ in Groningen. Thus, after an endless back and forth, I chose not go abroad to study at an attractive location such as Sao Paulo or Hong Kong. I wanted to make most of my studies here in Groningen.
I was interested in modeling society as a complex adaptive system and the relation between individual behavior and societal phenomena. Within my regular program I enrolled in mostly social psychology courses and courses on individual decision making. In the third year it was possible to select subjects that were relevant to me with no obligation to take subjects that meant less to me. On top of this decision latitude in the regular program it was possible to design your own minor called, ‘free choice minor’. Following my interest I took courses on social networks in Sociology, a course on modeling primate behavior in Theoretical Biology, and surprising myself – a calculus course for Computer Scientists. The many opportunities to choose allowed me to specialize, follow an intrinsic interest, and distinguish myself from fellow students. It was also a lot of fun to meet students from different faculties, discovering how our styles of thinking and what we have been taught differ. I will use all this knowledge I have accumulated for my bachelor thesis and for a research internship in an attempt to learn about how we individuals affect society.