Interview With a Master Psychology Student


An Interview with Emily: An International Masters Psychology Student

Meet Emily Thomas from the UK, she has been studying her Masters in Brain and Cognition at Erasmus since September. With her time in education coming to an end it is a nice time to reflect on her university experiences, both here and in England.


How have you enjoyed your time in the Netherlands?

I enjoy living the Netherlands, so far the most fun experience I have was Oktoberfest in Munich. Which, although not in the Netherlands, was a fun part of my time living abroad. I particularly enjoyed huge tents that we were in, the dressing up, the drinking and the singing…basically everything typically associated with Oktoberfest! I have also enjoyed exploring other parts of the Netherlands and culture, like at Christmas with the markets, and for carnival.

What are you studying at the moment?

As a Master student in Brain and Cognition, for the last couple of months I have been doing quantitative research – so testing participants. I am pretty sure I have met the whole of the first year of the International Bachelor of Psychology. Despite the long hours and the repetitiveness the process has mostly been interesting and enjoyable. However, there have been a few amusing hiccups along the way. Whilst testing some participants, I went to call my next participant and she wasn’t there. I went back in 5 minutes and she still wasn’t there. Instead, there was another girl sitting there who asked if she was my participant. It turns out that my participant went with the wrong person. So I had no participant, the other girl had no experiment and the other girl had done the wrong experiment. So the message to be taken away is that researchers are human too and they make mistakes!

Where do you want to be in 6 months?

I would like to be a research assistant or a tutor. I have applied to a few places both in the Netherlands and in England, but I would like to stay here in the Netherlands! I don’t want to do a pHD straight away as it could be too much education all at once. A position as a research assistant gives you a lot of experience which you can use for your own research in the future, and I like helping people, so tutoring would be a great way to do this while staying in the field.

How do you feel about entering the ‘workforce’ for the first time?

I am looking forward to it as I have not had a proper job before, so it will be exciting. I am most looking forward to being in a team and working with people. You are no longer ‘just a student’ but you become more equal. There is a lot of teamwork in a research assistant role, and I feel that if you’re employed you are a bit more respected.

Where do you hope to be in 5 years?

This is a more difficult question… I don’t really know! One goal I want to reach is that I want to learn how to drive, I didn’t learn before I left for university and I didn’t need it at uni because I would walk everywhere and you don’t  need to drive in Rotterdam.

What’s it like living and studying in the Netherlands?

I love cycling, it a really efficient method of transport. In fact, all the transport here is really good, especially when compared to the UK. It wasn’t particularly hard to move abroad. Apart from Maybe the language aspect. When I go the market sometimes I feel really awkward speaking English and wish I could speak Dutch already! So It would be great to experience Rotterdam as a Dutch person.

How does your Rotterdam University experience compared to your UK experience?

I really like it here, it is bigger and there is more going on and a lot to do. But although my university in the UK was smaller it wasn’t so small that there was nothing to do. I always liked how you could literally just walk everywhere, my house was only 10 minutes walk to uni, although now it’s only a 5 minute cycle which is better. Here there always seems to be organised events, which wasn’t the case in my university town in the UK, so it’s a fun place to be.

By Olivia Hobden


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