'What I like most about this specialisation is how diverse it is. We have courses in all different disciplines of economics, not just the neoclassical stream of which I was previously taught. It has challenged me to think about economics in a different way than what I learned in my Bachelor's. The professors really encourage critical thinking and always try to get us to question the status quo. It's not just exam based, but we also have lots of presentations, assignments, and group work, helping me to develop lots of soft skills as well which are equally as important. I also love the group we have - because we're only around 18 students, you really get to know everyone and we occasionally do things outside of class together as well. It's nice to know that if you're struggling, you always have someone to reach out to.
The atmosphere in class is very casual and informal, something I wasn't used to. The classes are small, which allows for a lot of personal contact - I'm on a first-name basis with all of my professors, and I know that I'm always free to send them an e-mail if I need help with anything. The classes are discussion-based, and we are always encouraged to ask questions and challenge the ideas being presented (one of my professors even gave bonus points if we debated him!).
To be honest, I have to say that I haven't really struggled in my Master’s specialisation. All the professors and teaching assistants are really available, if I feel like I may struggle with the course I can always go to them early on and ask for help. Our student adviser is also amazing, and very willing to help if you come across any problems in your study. If I had to choose something, I would say balancing the workload is probably the most difficult. I find the coursework really interesting, the professors do expect a lot of you and the course load is quite heavy. While in my Bachelor's I was able to party for the first seven weeks of the block and then study intensively for the last week, at the Master's level you really need to start early to make sure you can get everything done.
I think it's important that there are people out there with this degree because behavioural economics is becoming more and more relevant every year. You can also take this degree in a lot of different directions. I know that I want to work in a company, whereas many of my peers want to work in government, and with this degree, both of those are equally possible. After I receive my Master's degree, I hope to stay in the Netherlands and find a job here with a company.’