IB History in Erasmus Rotterdam Watch
Anyone applied for IB History in Rotterdam? What are you thinking for the housing and whatnot? Also, is anyone going to Eurekaweek?
Dear Madam, Sir,
I am writing to apply for the Erasmus university Rotterdam History Bachelor’s programme 2018/19, and am currently studying for my A levels in the United Arab Emirates.
Comprehending the process by which we have reached the current point in civilization, and how different events changed the course of history across the world intrigues me. For instance, had Leon Trotsky taken control of the newly formed communist state rather than Stalin, we would have a completely different view of Russia, having a large effect on a global scale. This is because unlike Stalin, Trotsky’s primary aim wasn’t to rule as a dictator and eliminate all enemies to communism in Russia, but rather to spread communism by funding socialist uprisings in multiple countries all around the world.
I grew up in Dubai, and am captivated by how Sheikh Zayed was able to unite all 7 Emirates in 1971, considering their regular conflicts and desire to annex each other’s land. It is an underappreciated historical event that displayed unity and wish for peace, and is only amplified by the rate of development of the United Arab Emirates in the past 50 years, establishing itself as an international economic powerhouse while maintaining cultural and national identity.
Visiting my homeland Poland every year, reminds me why I enjoy studying history, and gives me the opportunity to take a deeper look into historical events such as the 1944 Warsaw uprising, which was the most significant resistance movement during WW2. My great grandfather was part of the resistance movement against German occupation, operating in the underground resistance system, and was captured and shot dead by a German shooting squad, making this historical event very personal for me.
After reading Andrew Marr’s ‘The Making of Modern Britain’ I understood how the 3 themes of economy, politics and social welfare are all interlinked and all have to be optimised to maintain and strengthen a country. For instance, the UK’s economy was affected by the introduction of the NHS in 1948, with its extensive costs transitioning the UK into a period of economic stagnation. Studying history has helped me to improve my writing and analysis skills, this being displayed when I achieved 100 percent in my GCSE coursework on the Vietnam war. What was compelling to me was the lengths to which the USA was willing to go to due to fear of communism, entering into a costly war where thousands of lives were lost, not only of soldiers, but also innocent Vietnamese civilians.
I hope to continue elaborating my writing skills and to develop new methods of analysing historical interpretations. I also hope to deepen my knowledge on European history, especially economically and politically. On completion of my history degree, I hope to continue studying history and progress to a master’s degree.
Why Erasmus University Rotterdam:
I have chosen to study History at Erasmus University Rotterdam as it precisely fits my preferred methods of studying history. The course splits its focus to investigating the social, economic, political and cultural themes, which is similar in content and structure to my A level history course. I believe that it will be beneficial as it will allow me to categorise information into these 4 themes and analyse how a country or institution is affected by any of them through time. I am also looking forward to comparing themes, for instance why there were economic advancements in a period where political tensions were high, or how for e.g. the holocaust occurred due to Jews being considered obstacles to the German economy more so than being socially rejected, as described by Gotz Aly and Susanne Heim in their ‘Architects of Annihilation’. As a whole I will be able to view the bigger picture of historical events and their impact.
I am currently studying the rise and fall if the British Empire 1763-1914, including similar aspects of history to ‘The World and The West’ which explores ‘the European Challenge and the overseas response in the age of empire’ an imperative resource used in the first module studied in the course at Erasmus. This will help me gain contextual knowledge of the period, as well as the nature and challenges of an expanding empire.
What appeals to me most is the international nature of the college, creating a multicultural atmosphere, hence making it easier for me to settle in and feel at home. Erasmus university Rotterdam offers an active learning environment, encouraging students to work in small groups, therefore promoting discussions. I relish engaging in debates as it adds to my understanding, and ability to think from different perspectives and look at a historical event in a more comprehensive manner.
The city of Rotterdam is another reason why I chose Erasmus as my first choice, with its modern/artistic architecture and a seemingly lively and buoyant atmosphere. What allures me is Rotterdam’s historical struggle, having to be re-built from scratch after its bombing in WW2, much like my hometown Warsaw, and how the city saw it’s destruction as an opportunity to develop Rotterdam into a modern, more practical destination.
This combination of factors has helped me decide that Erasmus University Rotterdam International History Bachelors is the course and university for me.
International career aspirations:
After completing my bachelor’s degree, I hope to continue with a Master’s degree in the Netherlands, either continuing purely History or specialising in international studies, with the aim of working in the sphere of international relations.
Nationality: Polish-Egyptian (Mum Polish, Dad Egyptian) Polish passport. I therefore speak 3 languages. (Polish, Arabic and English).
Previous education: GCSEs and GCE A levels
International experience: I live in Dubai, known for its multi-cultural population, making living there already an international experience. Furthermore, I have been to multiple countries around the world including my home countries, Poland and Egypt on several occasions. I have also taken part in multiple swimming competitions abroad, travelling with my club to Manchester and Norwich several times, helping me develop travel skills, as well as organisation and independence.
I hope to contribute my passion and efforts to Erasmus University Rotterdam, and become a worthy and valuable member of the team.
Thank you for your consideration,