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    Hello all,

    I recently got an (Unconditional) offer from Durham and AUC (Amsterdam university college, joint honors of the University of Amsterdam and the Free University Amsterdam). Expect to be getting the same from Trinity College Dublin and UCU (Utrecht university college, practically the same as AUC but run by Utrecht University).

    AUC and UCU are liberal arts bachelors where I will mostly do the social sciences. Durham PPE and TCD PPES/BESS (Philosophy/business, economics, politics & sociology, either way I will drop philosophy/business after the first year).

    What I'm aiming for is getting (to some level) an understanding of how the world works, in the sense of the big picture, and hopefully that understanding will enable me to make some change. So the question would be which university you'd think would enable me the best to achieve this understanding.

    That's the academic factor. I'm also not sure about studying in my hometown/country. Don't get me wrong, I love Amsterdam, but I think studying abroad might be a very valuable experience to broaden my horizon and get different perspective on loads of things, and I think it could further help my personal development to become more independent etc. Then again being in a village (Durham) with nothing but a university doesn't really sound like I'm getting out of my bubble as well... Maybe someone has some experience with this?

    The last factor are the costs, which is important. AUC would come down at about 13000 euro's per year, TCD at about 15000 (expecting to rent a shared apartment privately), and Durham 19000. I'm not hundred percent sure though about these figures (the foreign ones of course), especially because I saw some grants with Durham I'm not sure are meant for foreigners etc... Generally I need the minimal comfort and am good at cutting my expenses, traveling through india on less then 10 bucks a day at the moment for example... So if some one could comment on more realistic costs that would be great.

    For fun I just like to have a few beers with some friends, and catch a party from time to time (not a must). Like to stay away from bars with loud cheesy music, same for the parties (some underground scene, talking about Dublin of course, would be great). For sports I want to take up Krav maga or any other fighting/self defense sport for mental & physical strength as well as being able to kick some robbers ass if it might turn ugly...(which is ****ing expensive, but cheaply possible for students in Amsterdam....). Oh and I don't like posh or snobby people at all (I know people will be diverse anywhere of course, just putting it out there). I'm into meditation as well, but you don't really need anything for that (though nice nature, which I figure can be find in Durham helps of course). Oh and if anyone could comment on how it's like moving from a city to a University town like Durham, that would be nice.

    I hope I kind of gave an impression of what I expect from my university and home place and that you'll be able to give me some good advice accordingly, because I'm still really unsure myself and could really use some new insights and advise.

    Thanks you so much,

    Chris.
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    First thing to say: whichever one you pick, you'll have a great time, and you'll definitely get your "understanding of how the world works, in the sense of the big picture" at all four options.

    All of them are known for their small town feel, and their intense environment both socially and academically. There will be loads to do and you'll meet many awesome people. Even in Amsterdam, which is the only one in a city, will feel more like a bubble-village while you're at the AUC. Since British/Irish/Dutch culture are so similar, I don't think you will experience much special "broadening" from studying abroad - you'll get just as much from the new experiences you'll have at the Dutch UCs.

    I studied in a small college town in the UK (Cambridge), and I have to say it's not really a big deal - it's quite easy to find your niche in that environment and have a good time. The main problem I experienced was the work level expected of you, which was too heavy and prevented me engaging with some of the student activities I was interested in, but I'm not sure if this is a problem for you or not.

    I would advise you to choose a UC if you think you'd appreciate the broad liberal arts curriculum, and choose Durham or TCD if you would prefer to focus on your philosophical and economic subjects. There's not much else between them. One thing I would say is that at your age, I was convinced that I was only interested in politics, philosophy and social science, but since having started and finished uni, I've realised that I really wish I could have studied at least a little science/computing/maths. If I was doing it again I'd choose a UC or a US college, but obviously that's just my personal preference.

    There are reviews of all of these unis except Durham at Uni in the USA, if that's helpful.
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    I have heard Durham is good
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    (Original post by John Wallis)
    First thing to say: whichever one you pick, you'll have a great time, and you'll definitely get your "understanding of how the world works, in the sense of the big picture" at all four options.

    All of them are known for their small town feel, and their intense environment both socially and academically. There will be loads to do and you'll meet many awesome people. Even in Amsterdam, which is the only one in a city, will feel more like a bubble-village while you're at the AUC. Since British/Irish/Dutch culture are so similar, I don't think you will experience much special "broadening" from studying abroad - you'll get just as much from the new experiences you'll have at the Dutch UCs.

    I studied in a small college town in the UK (Cambridge), and I have to say it's not really a big deal - it's quite easy to find your niche in that environment and have a good time. The main problem I experienced was the work level expected of you, which was too heavy and prevented me engaging with some of the student activities I was interested in, but I'm not sure if this is a problem for you or not.

    I would advise you to choose a UC if you think you'd appreciate the broad liberal arts curriculum, and choose Durham or TCD if you would prefer to focus on your philosophical and economic subjects. There's not much else between them. One thing I would say is that at your age, I was convinced that I was only interested in politics, philosophy and social science, but since having started and finished uni, I've realised that I really wish I could have studied at least a little science/computing/maths. If I was doing it again I'd choose a UC or a US college, but obviously that's just my personal preference.

    There are reviews of all of these unis except Durham at Uni in the USA, if that's helpful.
    Thanks for the reply, already a great help. I think Trinity college Dublin will be different though regarding ''the bubble'', as you don't have to stay at the campus (which I can't afford anyhow) and is definitely a city, over double the inhabitants of amsterdam as far as I know.

    I guess the costs for studying in Durham would be somewhat comparable to that of Cambridge, could I ask you how much you spend in total (including tuition fees, accomodation etc..) per year?

    The reviews are only for paying members unfortunately.

    And do you really think there will be such small a difference between let's say dublin and amsterdam? I mean, just going to the Hague or Maastricht is already a huge difference comparing to Amsterdam.
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    (Original post by dinus13)
    I have heard Durham is good
    Good in what respect?
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    (Original post by kasparbedonyan)
    Thanks for the reply, already a great help. I think Trinity college Dublin will be different though regarding ''the bubble'', as you don't have to stay at the campus (which I can't afford anyhow) and is definitely a city, over double the inhabitants of amsterdam as far as I know.

    I guess the costs for studying in Durham would be somewhat comparable to that of Cambridge, could I ask you how much you spend in total (including tuition fees, accomodation etc..) per year?

    The reviews are only for paying members unfortunately.

    And do you really think there will be such small a difference between let's say dublin and amsterdam? I mean, just going to the Hague or Maastricht is already a huge difference comparing to Amsterdam.
    Dublin is a little bigger than amsterdam, and you're right that it's probably less of a bubble, but I bet you that most of the students spend time with each other and not with non-students (unlike, say, a London uni or somewhere like Manchester/Leeds etc). This tends to be the case if you go anywhere prestigious with old and beautiful architecture.

    There will definitely be a cultural difference between dublin and amsterdam too, but it won't be huge. It'll mostly be superficial things like different turns of phrase or drink-buying customs - it won't be a completely strange experience like studying in America or China.

    As for costs, British unis charge £9,000 per year tuition. You'll probably need about £4-7,000 more for living costs (Brits get this as a loan, I don't think other nationalities are eligible for this).
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    Go to AUC thats my ideal choice but im waiting to hear from them along with LUC (I have a maths deficiency so theyre hesitating ) - i have an unconditional at all my UK unis too and also applied to TCD.
    I think the liberal arts course is amazing. I have such a broad scope of interests and it lets you explore all of them academically then channels them into a personalised degree. Also i love how liberal and free amsterdam is. Im only concerned about how pressures it is academically (the first year in the UK doesnt count- you just have to pass) and also bit concerned about being the only british one there as i believe very few apply to AUC as its not very well-known and to sound kind of uptight. sometimes its just nice to chill with someone who totally gets your humour and gets where youre coming from - granted this will always vary slightly from culture to culture which is just something you deal with.
    Durham can be quite sloaney as reputations go - it has a high academic rating though and the only clubs off-campus are a train ride away i believe so youre good to go there!
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    (Original post by fjoanne99)
    Go to AUC thats my ideal choice but im waiting to hear from them along with LUC (I have a maths deficiency so theyre hesitating ) - i have an unconditional at all my UK unis too and also applied to TCD.
    I think the liberal arts course is amazing. I have such a broad scope of interests and it lets you explore all of them academically then channels them into a personalised degree. Also i love how liberal and free amsterdam is. Im only concerned about how pressures it is academically (the first year in the UK doesnt count- you just have to pass) and also bit concerned about being the only british one there as i believe very few apply to AUC as its not very well-known and to sound kind of uptight. sometimes its just nice to chill with someone who totally gets your humour and gets where youre coming from - granted this will always vary slightly from culture to culture which is just something you deal with.
    Durham can be quite sloaney as reputations go - it has a high academic rating though and the only clubs off-campus are a train ride away i believe so youre good to go there!

    don't worry, everyone loves the britih humor!

    I'm hoping to get into AUC too, and am slightly worried that they aren't as international as they claim to be. (german myself)

    GO TO AUC !
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    (Original post by kasparbedonyan)
    .

    And do you really think there will be such small a difference between let's say dublin and amsterdam? I mean, just going to the Hague or Maastricht is already a huge difference comparing to Amsterdam.
    I'm not sure if I'm too late with this information but I'll reply anyways.
    I have lived in dublin myself for a year and am planning to go to amsterdam now.

    Dublin is a big city, but not that big too be honest. It doesn't feel as big as it is. It is however also very very expensive.
    Even groceries etc are higher than what I'm used to. I know amsterdam is expensive as well, but not thaat expensive.

    you should know that, that auc campus is outside of amsterdam, so not actually in the city.
    TCD is very beautiful and having gone to UCD in dublin I have to admit I was always a bit jealous. As far as I know there is also a great cultural life in Dublin, with many concerts etc.

    When I was in Dublin I lived further outside as well which was quite nice, being able to get all the benefits of the big city as well as having a place to get some rest.
    I did have an amazing time there, it is very beautiful and the sea is very close. many plus points

    as far as I know dutch people are a lot more alternative compared to the irish, but both cultures are really friendly and outgoing. The irish do drink a bit more excessively though
 
 
 
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