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Interview Noortje Hoevens

Interview Noortje Hoevens

‘Many students don’t know how committed lecturers are to helping them. We’re always trying to encourage students to get the most out of themselves’

My name is Noortje and I come from Zeeland. In 2016, I enrolled in the Public Administration programme at Radboud University. I used to play a lot of football, but I stopped when I came to Nijmegen. As a student, I was an active member of Study Association BOW. After a while, I noticed that I was quite good at research. One thing led to another, and I ended up applying for a PhD position.

The 3-hour commute from Zeeland meant I had no choice but to rent a room. I hesitated between different cities, but in the end, Nijmegen felt like the best fit. In Zeeland, I’d always lived near the beach. Nijmegen is really far from the sea, so when I discovered that there was a Waal beach, I was really excited.

The beach feels like home to me, and it’s my favourite place in Nijmegen. I often come here to walk or do activities.
I’ve lived in Nijmegen since 2016. It’s a really friendly place, a bit like a village. You can see it in everything: you’re always running into people you know. It’s not a big anonymous city. And there are lots of bars and cafés with a homely feel. All of this really helps people to feel at home.

Nijmegen does tend to attract people with little interest in big city life. Once you’ve outgrown the surrounding small villages, you end up in Nijmegen. And the people who live here are really good company. Many of them come from Brabant and Limburg, and they bring their own culture to the mix.

When I first started studying, the Faculty was still located in the Thomas van Aquinostraat (TVA). There was a really pleasant atmosphere among students and lecturers. Now we’re located in the Elinor Strom building (EOS) and we share corridors with other study programmes, which is also great fun. TVA felt convivial and snug, while EOS is a beautiful building, very open and light. I hit it off with pretty much everyone at the Public Administration department. The students in my cohort were all quite active and involved. After studying for a while, you get this easy and friendly interaction with lecturers. And now I get to experience this dynamic from the other side, which is just as much fun. We’re all trying to create the best atmosphere possible at the department.

For example, many students don’t know how committed lecturers are to helping them. We’re always trying to encourage students to get the most out of themselves. We’re a fun young team and we are willing to put in the extra effort to make things happen.

Right now, I’m doing research, but I also plan to complete the University Teaching Qualification (UTQ). I’m currently working on some subjects for that, which makes me feel like a student once again. It’s nice!

Apart from the Waal beach, which feels like a bit of Zeeland in Nijmegen, I feel most connected to the square near De Waagh. The Grote Markt also feels like home, and it has a great vibe. Plus, I really enjoy the fact that I’m still sharing a house with so many BOW members, so I get to spend a lot of time with them.