by: Joren van Veen
One of the main reasons I applied to the Brandt School was that they did not only put emphasis on good grades in your undergrad, nor did they require a bachelor degree from an Ivy-league university. For the Brandt School it is ‘mainly about the kind of person you are’; entrepreneurial, a go-getter and curiosity are some of the terms they used on the ‘Admissions’ section of the webpage. And I believe that Brandt School was successful in selecting these types of students; the School is full of motivated students, coming from different backgrounds and eager to learn as much as possible in the next two years. This eagerness is both present in class, where discussions are lively and active, as well as outside of the classroom. My Facebook newsfeed is now filled with articles from The Economist and The New York Times, and from obscure newspapers from India and various NGOs.
However, the best proof of this atmosphere of learning are the many occasions where students offer to share their own knowledge. I, for example, held a presentation on ‘the liberal’ Netherlands, where I explained the Dutch marihuana, prostitution and gay policies. The debate was especially lively when discussing the drug policy, as we tried to analyze if a policy of tolerating soft drugs (i.e., marihuana as opposed to hard drugs like ecstasy, cocaine or LSD) could be beneficial for Latin American or European countries.
Life is currently busy as deadlines and exams are approaching, but the rest of the world has not stopped turning. Recent events in France once again show that we are living in a globalized world and the ‘leaders of tomorrow’ need to have a broad perspective to understand and anticipate properly. No university has concrete answers to these matters, but the Brandt School is definitely a great place to discuss and analyze them.