LVelkov
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I'm an EU student applying to Amsterdam next year.
I've searched the forum and there's really not much here about the 3-year PPLE (Politics, Psychology, Law and Economics) at UvA. So far, I gather that PPLE is a prestigious and intensive course in the Dutch capital, highly international and requires no prerequisite subjects. For native English speakers, Maths is all that is really required. According to the website, grades should average a B but I reckon it's pretty competitive to get in and so you should really be looking at B's and above to secure a place. It honestly sounds fantastic to me!

What is the acceptance rate?
Is an interview required?
What is the dropout rate?
How much free time per week while studying this course?
What is the course like/experiences from PPLE students?
Specifically PPLE-related course/organisation/study advice?
What is it like living/studying in Amsterdam?
To any Dutch uni students - how have you found the Netherlands experience and what are your tips/pros/cons/stories?
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hysterria
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Hello! I'm also considering this! Since I'm from the Netherlands I can't really say anything about international students enrolling, but since it's in English I guess that won't be a problem. I've visited an information afternoon on this course and this is what I remember regarding your questions:

First, you'll have to apply through Studielink (I suppose that's like UCAS but Dutch), and if they consider you an eligible candidate, you'll have to do an inverview (I think they do Skype interviews for international students?).

The programme is 180 ECTS credits, which is the same amount of credits as almost every other three-year Bachelor's degree. Therefore, this degree supposedly won't take you more time than other degrees, however, it's possible to enroll in additional electives, so you'll earn extra credits and therefore also spend more time studying. According to studiekeuze123.nl, which is like a website with statistics for all degrees, you have about 12-18 hours of lectures/other classes each week.

Now this is just my personal opinion, but I wouldn't recommend studying in Amsterdam. Okay, the university is good, good education, good facilities, etc, but the city is a lot less favourable. It's just all tourism, everything is so busy, and finding cheap housing is close to impossible. Most people studying in Amsterdam either live with their parents, or end up in a small flat (often far from the university), in some poor neighbourhood. However, the UvA does have a housing programme and if you get lucky, you might get yourself a nice place.

I hope my answers were helpful to you, good luck on further deciding what to do!
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LVelkov
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(Original post by hysterria)
Hello! I'm also considering this! Since I'm from the Netherlands I can't really say anything about international students enrolling, but since it's in English I guess that won't be a problem. I've visited an information afternoon on this course and this is what I remember regarding your questions:

First, you'll have to apply through Studielink (I suppose that's like UCAS but Dutch), and if they consider you an eligible candidate, you'll have to do an inverview (I think they do Skype interviews for international students?).

The programme is 180 ECTS credits, which is the same amount of credits as almost every other three-year Bachelor's degree. Therefore, this degree supposedly won't take you more time than other degrees, however, it's possible to enroll in additional electives, so you'll earn extra credits and therefore also spend more time studying. According to studiekeuze123.nl, which is like a website with statistics for all degrees, you have about 12-18 hours of lectures/other classes each week.

Now this is just my personal opinion, but I wouldn't recommend studying in Amsterdam. Okay, the university is good, good education, good facilities, etc, but the city is a lot less favourable. It's just all tourism, everything is so busy, and finding cheap housing is close to impossible. Most people studying in Amsterdam either live with their parents, or end up in a small flat (often far from the university), in some poor neighbourhood. However, the UvA does have a housing programme and if you get lucky, you might get yourself a nice place.

I hope my answers were helpful to you, good luck on further deciding what to do!
Thanks so much for the reply! Are you applying for next year or did you already apply (receive an offer)? Ah, so an interview is 100% necessary. Do you have any clue what kind of questions they ask - is it specific to the course or just why you want to study?

Yeah I heard how hard it is to find accommodation! I myself have never been to The Netherlands but since I'll be having a year off (hopefully doing a foundation year in the UK while I wait), I thought I could maybe look for accommodation in Amsterdam early if I apply as soon as it opens and am lucky enough to get an offer! Hopefully the housing programme works out, but you have a point and it's not good to rely on it. What's the city like, though? I heard from a friend of mine studying in Maastricht that it's an amazing place for students and the atmosphere is great.
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hysterria
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(Original post by LVelkov)
Thanks so much for the reply! Are you applying for next year or did you already apply (receive an offer)? Ah, so an interview is 100% necessary. Do you have any clue what kind of questions they ask - is it specific to the course or just why you want to study?

Yeah I heard how hard it is to find accommodation! I myself have never been to The Netherlands but since I'll be having a year off (hopefully doing a foundation year in the UK while I wait), I thought I could maybe look for accommodation in Amsterdam early if I apply as soon as it opens and am lucky enough to get an offer! Hopefully the housing programme works out, but you have a point and it's not good to rely on it. What's the city like, though? I heard from a friend of mine studying in Maastricht that it's an amazing place for students and the atmosphere is great.
I'm not sure about the interview, but I think it's mostly about your motivation to study. I believe you also have to write an essay, which would be course-specific.

You should look into the housing programme though, because I'm not sure if it's open to international students as well! I know that for Dutch students it's only open to those who come to uni straight after high school graduation, but maybe for international students it's different.

I'm not from Amsterdam myself but have been there multiple times, and the city's very nice indeed! It's quite unlike the rest of the country, however, because there's so many tourists and souvenir shops and the ever-present scent of weed. But there's many events, it's very multicultural and the atmosphere is great! The university also has some very nice facilities/buildings .
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BurnToast
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Hey I was accepted in this years Early Bird applications enrolling in 2017/18The process is as follows: You write a Motivation letter and send the relevant documents, then you are either rejected or invited to the next round where you have to write a short Essay(about 2 pages) on a question given to you which usually deals with interdisciplinary thinking, esp. in the fields of politics, psychology, law and economics. Then, again if you are invited, you go to the last round which is an interview with a Tutor afaik who isnt on the admissions board, asking you General stuff about your Motivation letter and your academic ability and also just General things about you. I think they accept somewhere between 150 to 200 students each year.The tutition is double that of other dutch programmes. Although you have the same number of classes, you have extra contact hours with Tutors who will assist you in deepening your knowledge and help you write theses for class.A friend of mine who already studies european studies at UvA told me that PPLE is at least within the University seen as *very* prestigious. But no idea how well known it is outside of the netherlands, seeing that the course is only 4 years old and the first Batch of students has yet to be proven.As to internationality, my friend told me that about half of the students are dutch and the other half are internationals.I think you have one day of the working week off, but I am not sure. I also think that application Deadline was 1st of May.
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LVelkov
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(Original post by BurnToast)
Hey I was accepted in this years Early Bird applications enrolling in 2017/18The process is as follows: You write a Motivation letter and send the relevant documents, then you are either rejected or invited to the next round where you have to write a short Essay(about 2 pages) on a question given to you which usually deals with interdisciplinary thinking, esp. in the fields of politics, psychology, law and economics. Then, again if you are invited, you go to the last round which is an interview with a Tutor afaik who isnt on the admissions board, asking you General stuff about your Motivation letter and your academic ability and also just General things about you. I think they accept somewhere between 150 to 200 students each year.The tutition is double that of other dutch programmes. Although you have the same number of classes, you have extra contact hours with Tutors who will assist you in deepening your knowledge and help you write theses for class.A friend of mine who already studies european studies at UvA told me that PPLE is at least within the University seen as *very* prestigious. But no idea how well known it is outside of the netherlands, seeing that the course is only 4 years old and the first Batch of students has yet to be proven.As to internationality, my friend told me that about half of the students are dutch and the other half are internationals.I think you have one day of the working week off, but I am not sure. I also think that application Deadline was 1st of May.
Thank you for this! I really hope that when I apply next year, all goes well. I'm really keen on PPLE although it looks hard to get in so I wanna be all set when I apply for 2018.

Congratulations for getting in! Where are you from? If you don't mind me asking, what subjects did you take and was your grade profile like?
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LVelkov
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(Original post by immortaltsar)
Hi,

I got accepted to the PPLE Programme as well. I don't really think they have a really difficult admissions process per se, but do ensure that you meet their minimum criteria. I would recommend you to take the SAT-1 and score above a 700 in Mathematics to meet their Mathematics proficiency (that's what I did) and doing well in either the IELTS or the TOEFL Exam.

There is definitely an interview during the admissions process but you'll be misguided if you think that interview is akin to the conventional college interviews. It is more like a friendly conversation vis-a-vis the academic curriculum at PPLE. I must add, it is voice only so no video discussion.

With respect to your letter of motivation, I would recommend you to be creative and think outside the box. You know in my case, my letter of motivation was really unorthodox. Be unique and be you. Try using some life experiences and drawing analogies between that and your hypothetical tenure at PPLE. Think of it as an intellectual expedition. I quoted Montaigne and blah blah. Basically, do a ton of research and compare it with your fellow peers.

Continuing along those lines, the essay is pretty darn simple. It isn't really complicated. My essay for that matter was very detailed and had a lot of verbiage. It was approximately 1800 words long and ironically the word limit was around 1000.

The PPLE Admissions office is I'm assuming, will look at your overall profile and make a holistic assessment. Thus, you should ratchet up your extracurriculars and take part in different social ventures.

Take my word of advice and don't focus on the acceptance and dropout rates. First focus on getting admitted. Keep your options open i.e. apply to the Erasmus University College, Sciences Po and a lot of other good Liberal Arts Colleges in Europe or beyond - so that even if one college rejects you - you have your options open.

I hope I did clarify some of your queries. I did get accepted for the 17/18 academic year - but I am not really sure of ultimately enrolling due to the lack of financial aid. Well, let's see.

Regards.
Nice! Thank you so much for the information - you clearly have a wealth of knowledge regarding the course and I appreciate you sharing your personal experience.

I myself have no grounding in applying to Dutch universities and thus only retain the expectations that UK universities have instilled on me. I suppose that is why I find myself asking about statistics in regards to prestige and probability, which is more of a thing over there than it is in the Netherlands.

You gave me warm advice as well as an authentic account of your admission. All the best for the future!
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katarinakat
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Hey guys!

First of all, congratulations to you who got in! If you want to get in touch and discuss accommodation or anything else I would love that.

I received an offer from PPLE at UvA as well. I think that the people above me did a great job at explaining what the application procedure was like. The interview was definitely not to test your knowledge but more like making sure that you know what is going on ( lectures are mandatory, you take classes in all 4 subjects all throughout your bachelor studies, you need to study around 20 hours weekly on your own etc. ). Also they will most likely ask you personal questions deduced from your motivational letter ( for me it was something about the culture of the USA, because I was an exchange student there and also worked there for a summer). Lastly, you will get a chance to ask them questions.

Unfortunately, I am unable to answer most of your questions since I am only going to start studying there in September myself. But as for the acceptance rate, I remember wondering this myself when I was applying, this year they received 950 applications and accepted 200 students. But don't let that discourage you. Just remember to do your best!

My last tip: try watching PPLE webinars that are on youtube, it will provide you with the big picture of what the school is like and guide you through the whole application procedure. I found it very helpful.

I wish you the best of luck
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BurnToast
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(Original post by LVelkov)
Thank you for this! I really hope that when I apply next year, all goes well. I'm really keen on PPLE although it looks hard to get in so I wanna be all set when I apply for 2018.

Congratulations for getting in! Where are you from? If you don't mind me asking, what subjects did you take and was your grade profile like?
First of all,
"With respect to your letter of motivation, I would recommend you to be creative and think outside the box. You know in my case, my letter of motivation was really unorthodox. Be unique and be you. Try using some life experiences and drawing analogies between that and your hypothetical tenure at PPLE. Think of it as an intellectual expedition. I quoted Montaigne and blah blah. Basically, do a ton of research and compare it with your fellow peers. "
This so much! immortalstar got it pretty much right with the MoL. When I wrote mine I quoted Camus and Hitchens, wrote about how my life experiences led to my choice of programme, the need and role of intellectuals today, and started with four very poetic lines on intellectualism itself.

I am half norwegian, half portguese but grew up in Germany and lived for two years in China, so I guess I covered the international part pretty well on their bucket list

I graduated from a german international school, so the subject choice was rather limited, but my focus was on Math and English, were I scored what would be As. (usually 14 out of 15) I have an Abitur of 2.2 on a scale of 1 to 6, with 1(actually 0,77) being the highest grade and 4 or less counting as failed. I think they wanted a minimum of 2.0 but apparently I convinced them otherwise I also did a couple of extracurricural activities(class president, Jazz Band, Drama Group, etc.) and an internship, but no idea how that factored in.

Personally, I think they aren't looking for the perfect student, but rather smart students willing to pour their heart into one of the four disciplines and engaged in intellectual thinking, which is something I like to think I showed well on my MoL, Essay, and, most of all, during the interview
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BurnToast
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(Original post by katarinakat)
Hey guys!

First of all, congratulations to you who got in! If you want to get in touch and discuss accommodation or anything else I would love that.

I received an offer from PPLE at UvA as well. I think that the people above me did a great job at explaining what the application procedure was like. The interview was definitely not to test your knowledge but more like making sure that you know what is going on ( lectures are mandatory, you take classes in all 4 subjects all throughout your bachelor studies, you need to study around 20 hours weekly on your own etc. ). Also they will most likely ask you personal questions deduced from your motivational letter ( for me it was something about the culture of the USA, because I was an exchange student there and also worked there for a summer). Lastly, you will get a chance to ask them questions.

Unfortunately, I am unable to answer most of your questions since I am only going to start studying there in September myself. But as for the acceptance rate, I remember wondering this myself when I was applying, this year they received 950 applications and accepted 200 students. But don't let that discourage you. Just remember to do your best!

My last tip: try watching PPLE webinars that are on youtube, it will provide you with the big picture of what the school is like and guide you through the whole application procedure. I found it very helpful.

I wish you the best of luck
Congrats to you too! If you don't mind me asking, did you apply to other universities? And have you already signed up for the university housing? Oh, and do you already know which subject you will choose as your main subject?

Looking forward to seeing you there
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katarinakat
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(Original post by BurnToast)
Congrats to you too! If you don't mind me asking, did you apply to other universities? And have you already signed up for the university housing? Oh, and do you already know which subject you will choose as your main subject?

Looking forward to seeing you there
Thank you! I will send you a PM
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Pierredhx
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Hey, it seems like I'm a bit late... But I would like to know if PPLE is a heavy demanding program? I'm currently living in Portugal and studying at a prestigious French international school but I've always been that kid that doesn't really do much and still somehow manage to get good grades(14/20 of average, part of the top tier of most classes) and I was wondering if PPLE is one of those programs that require you to attend plenty of classes and that also impose you a ton of work. Or is it more like the "Trinity PPLE clone" where it's a light program that gives more freedom to the student on the way they're working and that isn't really demanding, but by the end of the semester/year you have some crucial essays to write before a deadline.

I'm sorry if my English is confusing, I'm on the bus right now....

Thanks you very much and I hope to see you there (who knows)
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lilyisstressed
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I know this thread is a bit dead, but if anyone is still reading this, how long did it take you to hear back after sending the application? I applied the end of last month and I can see through their tracking system that my status is currently "admission decision". I know the essay round is mid-January but do they get back to you before that? I'm pretty nervous and stressed just having this up in the air, I don't think I can wait till January lol.
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username839699
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(Original post by lilyisstressed)
I know this thread is a bit dead, but if anyone is still reading this, how long did it take you to hear back after sending the application? I applied the end of last month and I can see through their tracking system that my status is currently "admission decision". I know the essay round is mid-January but do they get back to you before that? I'm pretty nervous and stressed just having this up in the air, I don't think I can wait till January lol.
I want to apply too (so, haven't yet), but from what I've read (and being somewhat familiar with a Dutch uni), my best guess is they'll respond in January. Check your e-mail 2-3 times a week, just in case. Or turn on notifications for it on your phone or desktop, if you prefer. So, patience...

Don't fret too much. If you applied early, you likely have a higher chance of getting in. I'll be applying with a bigger applicant pool after! :P

Good luck with your essay.
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matteawueee
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(Original post by lilyisstressed)
I know this thread is a bit dead, but if anyone is still reading this, how long did it take you to hear back after sending the application? I applied the end of last month and I can see through their tracking system that my status is currently "admission decision". I know the essay round is mid-January but do they get back to you before that? I'm pretty nervous and stressed just having this up in the air, I don't think I can wait till January lol.
I am in the exact same position as you. I haven't heard back anything either.
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Pierredhx
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(Original post by Lilium)
I want to apply too (so, haven't yet), but from what I've read (and being somewhat familiar with a Dutch uni), my best guess is they'll respond in January. Check your e-mail 2-3 times a week, just in case. Or turn on notifications for it on your phone or desktop, if you prefer. So, patience...

Don't fret too much. If you applied early, you likely have a higher chance of getting in. I'll be applying with a bigger applicant pool after! :P

Good luck with your essay.
Actualy no, I went to the school for half a day and talked with some of the teacher that does the admission and aparently applying earlier doesn't mean you have higher chance of getting in. But good luck anyway
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matteawueee
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(Original post by lilyisstressed)
I know this thread is a bit dead, but if anyone is still reading this, how long did it take you to hear back after sending the application? I applied the end of last month and I can see through their tracking system that my status is currently "admission decision". I know the essay round is mid-January but do they get back to you before that? I'm pretty nervous and stressed just having this up in the air, I don't think I can wait till January lol.
This is the answer I received on a question I asked the admission office:

"That is not a problem, no need to send another copy! We have received your completed application, you should hear whether or not you have made it to the next admissions round in mid-January."
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JamesCS1999
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Hi guysI don’t know If this thread is dead but I’ve been accepted onto the PPLE programme for 2018 and just thought this would be a good place to talk to fellow applicants etc. Who else is applying for 2018 start?
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matteawueee
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Hi, I have applied as well. Have your heard back from UVA already and hence are accepted into the essay round?
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NayC33
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Hey, congrats first of all! I have applied as well - however they haven't replied to my offer yet. I emailed the admissions office last week and they said I would receive a response within two weeks (of the email being sent; so next week I'm hoping!). Did they ask you to move into the essay round directly, or do you still need to wait? I shall update once I receive my offer (wether it be a rejection or accepting -_- fingers crossed)
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