Sam van Stokkom

Portretfoto Sam van Stokkom
The thing I like about Arts and Culture Studies is the fact that it is more culture-focused than art-focused. A lot of attention is payed to the way art interacts with culture and society.
Sam van Stokkom
Arts and Culture Studies
Study start date
Study end date
Previous education
Merletcollege Cuijk, VWO, profile C&M

Sam is studying Arts and Culture Studies.

Why did you choose Radboud University?

The university is really close to my hometown. I liked the idea of staying close to home when starting my studies. I also already felt comfortable on the Radboud campus because I used to visit it quite often during high school. When I stumbled upon Arts and Culture Studies, my choice was easily made.

How did you experience the transition from high school to university?

For me, the transition was very weird and probably not representative for many students, since it was during the heights of the COVID-19 pandemic. There was a massive gap between the end of high school and the beginning of uni for me because of the first lockdown that lasted a few months, and the summer break after that. Maybe that's why my first months of uni were quite a shock for me, as I was overwhelmed by all the work I had to do in contrast to me not having done anything for those past few months. Within the studies, we have the Mentoring Programme which assists students during the first year. However, I mostly turned to the study association or older students when I needed help; I felt like they were more approachable and always ready to help. 

What do you like about the Bachelor's programme and why?

The thing I like about Arts and Culture Studies is the fact that it is more culture-focused than art-focused. A lot of attention is payed to the way art interacts with culture and society. I was glad that there isn't that much time spent on pure art history, but more on what art can mean for the world in general. The most challenging thing about this programme is that you need a lot of determination. You have to have a lot of motivation to get through your first year, as you need to make countless assignments, read many texts, and plan everything out yourself. Of course, there are people who can help you with that, but eventually you'll have to rely on yourself to actually get it done. 

What do you think about the atmosphere in class?

I think the atmosphere is great. I used to be in the board of the study association, so I was really involved with a lot of students and professors. But even if you're not in such a position, you can still make a lot of friends. If you put in some effort (preferably at the beginning of your first year), I really think you can make friends that will stay with you for the rest of your studies, or even the rest of your life. As for the relationship with professors; I have noticed most professors get along really well with their students. The study association makes an effort to connect these two groups as well and I think that's really nice. 

What are your plans once you have received your Bachelor’s degree?

As of now, I don't really have an idea. I would like to do a Master's here, I think. The way I envision my future is constantly changing. At this moment I can see myself teaching here at the Radboud, and maybe work on all kinds of research projects alongside it, because that is what I like to do now. But who knows, I might have a totally different idea next year. I'm studying Arts and Culture Studies because I enjoy doing it, not because I need this programme for something I want to do in the future. 

Are you involved with the study association of your programme?

Yeah, as I mentioned I was in the board of Study Association KNUS; I was the Secretary. This was such a wonderful experience. I got to meet so many wonderful people and got to see from up close how the association can create such a beautiful community within the studies. A study association adds so much to the studies and to student life in general. I really think a study programme would lose all its charm if it didn't have a study association.

What do you like about Nijmegen?

I don't live in Nijmegen, but I know the city really well because I live so close by and have been visiting it for my entire life. It does feel like my second home, definitely. There are so many fun clubs, lunchrooms, restaurants, cultural institutions, parks, etc. The city is not too big and not too crowded, which I really like. As a student, you just feel completely at home.

Did you visit any information meetings at the campus before you signed up for your studies?

For me, the open days, experience day and study choice check were really important. I have attended a lot of open days, and it wasn't until the very last one that I encountered Arts and Culture Studies. In my opinion, open days give a pretty solid impression of the atmosphere of the campus and the study programme you're visiting. I have also been to an experience day, which I thought was super nerve-wrecking but I forced myself to do it, and I'm glad I did. I got a really good impression of the contents of the study programme, and it was good to visit the university on my own and get more acquainted with it. I attended the study choice check online because of COVID-19, but I still liked it very much. I remember getting super excited and just wanting the academic year to start already. 

What would you advise students when choosing a study programme?

Start visiting open days early, and keep visiting them. I went to my first open day when I was in 4 vwo (which was three years away from my high school graduation), and decided on a study programme at the very last moment in 6 vwo. If you've registered for a study programme, be sure to participate in the introduction week that is being organized for you. This is your chance to meet the people of your study programme and already make new friends. I would also highly recommend joining the study association of your programme! That is, in my opinion, the best way to start your studies at any university. And lastly: don't worry too much! Everything will work out for you, even if you still haven't found your study programme in your final year of high school. ;)