Why study American Studies in Nijmegen?

The specialization American Studies offers you the opportunity to immerse yourself in the culture, literature, history, politics and media of the United States. This specialization allows you to gain an in-depth understanding of one of today's most influential countries in the world: the ideas and values driving it, the history and politics shaping it, and the local and global cultures to which this has given shape. While you are learning all of this, you will be working hard to learn to speak and write American English at a professional level of fluency.

 

A challenging and dynamic program that brings together the study of culture, politics, literature, history, media and language

The American Studies specialization within the Bachelor's degree program in English Language and Culture at Radboud University distinguishes itself from other similar degree programs by the range of academic approaches and topics that it combines. It offers a highly varied set of approaches to understanding American society, arts and politics, as well as English as a spoken, written and linguistic entity.  At the level of content, it requires students to rise to the challenge of becoming experts in US society and culture and of speaking English at a professional level. At the same time, it demands of students a striking willingness and ability to alternate registers, frameworks and cognitive methods as they shift from analyzing political history to English syntax to literature to media. Along the way, the program combines the transmission of a solid, classic foundation in American Studies and English, with attention to some of the most exciting current events in politics, media, literary arts, and linguistics whose impact extends across the world.

 

Full immersion in English, with an exceptionally strong focus on language acquisition and communication courses throughout the program

The Dutch are ranked among the best (non-native) speakers of English in the world and our program intends both to contribute to and uphold this tradition. If you choose to study American Studies at Radboud University, you will learn to speak and write English at a high professional level. The first year pays extensive attention to creating a strong basis for speaking and writing English fluently and eloquently, and for understanding its linguistic structure. The attention to meeting demanding standards of spoken and written English fluency continues apace throughout the program. Furthermore, you will have Dutch as well as international peers, giving you the opportunity to speak English informally inside and outside the classroom. You will soon discover that you are learning not only from your professors but also from your peers!

 

A dynamic international faculty who are experienced scholars in the field of American Studies

Our study program is taught by dedicated and inspiring lecturers and professors who are engaged scholars in the field of American Studies. They incorporate current research conducted in the field of American Studies in their teaching. In this way they ensure that our students are up-to-date on contemporary developments and are able to critically analyze these developments, for instance in the fields of US Politics and International Relations, Popular Culture, and African-American History and Literature.

 

A program and faculty geared specifically to the excitement and challenge of getting to know the United States from an international perspective

Beginning with New Amsterdam – as this became New York – the Netherlands has exceptionally strong economic, cultural, political and historical ties to the United States that go back to before the country’s founding. The effect of this ‘close friendship at a distance’ has been to make the Netherlands particularly suited as a country from which to study the United States. On the one hand, the long history of friendship, exchange and alliance means a close familiarity. On the other hand, distance has meant both a capacity for engaging the US as a critical outsider and for creating a program of study in American Studies that does not assume prior knowledge in order to ensure success.

 

The opportunity to study abroad (and go on our study trip to the US)

Radboud University offers you the exciting opportunity to study abroad for a semester as part of your Bachelor's program. During the first two years of your Bachelor's program, you learn about US society and culture through in-depth academic study. During your semester abroad (should you choose to go) you will experience North America directly, in all its lively immediacy, while choosing from a range of universities in the US and extending into Canada: everything from small colleges in beautiful Appalachia and upstate New York, to urban universities in New Orleans, Boston, Ottawa (Canada) and beyond, to universities in the American West and Berkeley, California. Exchanges are also available to universities in the UK and in Europe with academic programs in or related to American Studies.

 

A small-scale, very personal approach to students enrolled in the program

Radboud University is known for its personal approach to learning and education. You will experience this personal approach first hand, inside and outside the classroom. The small-scale teaching at the Faculty of Arts means that your professors know you personally and that you have frequent contact with your lecturers, professors and fellow students. Furthermore, you will receive guidance from both a staff mentor and a student advisor during your studies.

 

A university setting (voted ‘best traditional university of the Netherlands’) that offers a centralized campus and lively cultural activities close to both nature and the beautiful historic city of Nijmegen

Nijmegen offers students a ‘campus style’ university that creates a sense of community and combines educational activities with social, cultural, sporting and leisure possibilities. The medieval center of Nijmegen (with origins dating back to the Romans) is a ten-minute bike ride away, across the street from our department is the Sports Centre with dozens of student sports teams, even as the surrounding countryside is filled with possibilities for biking, hiking, jogging and local pancakes. Course-related outings to museums, research centers, and cultural events – alongside the many activities offered by our student organisation USA Nijmegen – take place on campus, in the city and far beyond (including our very popular biennial study trips to the United States). And all this at the university that has been awarded top spot in the rankings of traditional, general universities in the Netherlands by the renowned Dutch university guide Keuzegids Universiteiten seven times in the past ten years! The Keuzegids Universiteiten is published annually and is an independent guide which critically assesses the quality of Bachelor's programmes and universities. The areas assessed include the expertise of lecturers, the number of contact hours and the quality of the facilities. The Keuzegids relies largely on the assessment submitted by students in the National Students Survey. 

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