University of Amsterdam Versus KU Leuven

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Zamindar
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Decision Issue:

Urban Sociology (Research Masters) at the University of Amsterdam
Versus
Development & Cultural Studies (Masters) in KU Leuven.

Questions:

1) Which one of those universities will have more native speakers of English in the classroom?

2) Which one of those universities will have more native speakers of English teaching the courses?

3) Which one of those universities is more International in the Anglo-American sense (i.e. CNN-BBC audience type of student)?

4) Which one of those universities have a higher attrition rate (i.e. failing rate)?

5) Which one of those universities have more academic freedom (i.e. allows the student to pursue his or her own research without controlling them like school children?

6) Which one of those universities have higher potential in academic job markets in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia & New Zealand (the English speaking world)?

7) Which one of those universities have a higher quality of cultural life such as exhibitions, opera, etc. ?

8) Which one of those universities is more friendly with older and more mature students?

Any feedback from those who know these universities will be highly appreciated.
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returnmigrant
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Amsterdam is generally more 'English speaking' since the whole country is essentially bilingual Dutch-English, staff in shops and restaurants all speak fluent English, and you'll find BBC telly and films etc without subtitles. KU is in Belgium but is Dutch/Flemish/ French speaking with English as much more of a fourth language. Amsterdam is a very cosmopolitan city with lots of all sorts of international expats and a culture to match.

However, the city isnt the only thing you should be thinking about - make sure you really have looked at the difference in the two courses. It looks like one is taught and one exclusively research, and clearly they are in different subjects. In terms of academic credibility, both Unis are excellent.
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Zamindar
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Thank you!
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Zamindar
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I visited Brussels and Leuven last week and found major differences in culture of the two cities. Netherlands is cleaner than Belgium but people pay higher taxes. Netherlands does not have Dubai type of multicultural crowd and the driving on the highway is quite sober.

Although Leuven is a small medieval european town and KU Leuven has a good international reputation, Leuven is quite small and laid back compared to Brussels with fewer amenities such as parks, etc. Therefore, if the choice is between living in Brussels and living in Amsterdam, Amsterdam is a better city than Brussels. Although life could be spartan in Amsterdam and the wine, food etc. could be cheaper in Brussels, nevertheless, Amsterdam looks more disciplined than Brussels. Finally the Dutch are descendants of Celts and the Belgians are descendants of the Germans. The Dutch are overwhelmingly Calvinists and Belgians are Catholic. That is why Leuven has great architecture and the Belgian women are more traditional than the Dutch women. It will be easier to date and find girlfriends to marry in Amsterdam than in Brussels. Amsterdam is closer to London and Brussels is closer to Paris and Berlin, spiritually.
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