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Student Spotlight: Sjoerd Verstege, MA International Relations

Why did you choose to study at Webster University Thailand?

Sjoerd VerstegeWhen I started to search for graduate studies I came to the conclusion I wanted to do something with International Relations, even though my undergraduate degree is in Financial Services Management. I've visited several universities in Switzerland and The Netherlands and I have basically decided to study in Switzerland, but at that time I already lived in Thailand for several years and decided to visit Webster's campus in Bangkok. After consulting with the Head of International Relations here I changed my decision, he asked me straight forward where I wanted to work? For me the answer was clear, in SEA. So, he advised me why don’t I start making a network where you want to work afterwards.

What do you enjoy most about studying at the Webster Thailand?

The small interactive multicultural environment the Bangkok Academic centre provides. As a European citizen, it was an enlightening period in which I have learned a lot about cultures in the region and beyond from students from around the world. And I have nothing but the utmost respect for my professors at Webster's Bangkok campus, their education and experiences are impeccable!

Learning from experience is an important part of the study experience at Webster Thailand. Did you undertake any practical experience during your degree?

Even though the entire MA International Relations program is only 15 Months, I managed to incorporate both an internship of 8 weeks plus study abroad for 8 weeks. Both experiences have brought a great amount of experiences, which I can utilize for my future.

What do you hope to do once you have finished your degree?

I would love to work for the United Nations or an NGO in the region, but I’m also interested to work for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of The Netherlands in an office in the SEA region.

Have you used the University’s academic or social support services while studying, what are your thoughts of the service?

Throughout my program I created a very good connection with Webster's Career Advisor, he is a very approachable and helpful person who doesn’t hesitate a moment to help me or other students to get us that job or internship we so badly want.

Tell us about any social activities on or off campus you have become involved in.

Sjoerd VerstegePersonally I was involved in establishing a Rotaract Club on the Bangkok Academic Campus in which I was selected as the Charter President. The student and members have put faith in me to make this club happen under the sponsorship of Rotary Club of Bangkapi. In this position, I have learned a lot and created an impressive network of professionals in the region.

What's your favourite place on campus?

My favourite spot in the Bangkok Academic Campus was in room 402. This room wasn’t used much for lectures and for that reason I retreated often with other classmates in that room. Eventually we had sort of a study group in this room with students from MA International Relations, this really helped me during my studies. .

What advice would you give a student considering coming to Thailand and studying at Webster University Thailand?

Thailand might sound for many people a destination way out of your comfort zone, but the living standards are very good compared to many western destinations. Many of my fellow students have a similar opinion, knowingly that this one was of their biggest concerns prior to their departure.

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