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UCL or Leiden (MA Linguistics), could anybody please give me some advice?

Hey guys! I am applying for 2022 linguistics programmes, and have received an offer from UCL. But I have some concerns and didn't really decide, so I am applying to Leiden University recently as a Plan B.
Here are some pros and cons, and maybe who read this could kindly give me some advice to make a choice.

UCL
Pros
Excellent reputation and world universities rankings
Active social and cultural life in London

Cons
High living costs and tuition fees
Slim prospects for non-EU students to find a job (btw I am Chinese)
Course quality not as I previously expected (Some friends told me that in UCL, undergraduates and graduates are taking linguistics courses together, with the only difference that graduate students have a slightly more rigorous grading system. Is that true? I was totally shocked hearing that.)

Leiden University
Pros
The syllabus focuses more on sociolinguistics (which I prefer than UCL's general linguistics).
Lower costs of living and tuition fees
Relatively easier to find a job in Netherlands (though it's always difficult to find a job as international students who don't major in cs or mkt).

Cons
Not as prestigious as UCL
Lack of academic resources compared to UCL (I'd like to apply for a PhD after working for several years, so it really matters).
Possible unpleasant experiences (An Indian student who studied international relations said she suffered from discrimination against non-EU students, and the teaching staff were frequently absent during office hours. And another student confirm her story.)

Both UCL and Leiden seem not perfect. I also applied for Edinburgh and KCL, for their syllabus are consistent with my academic interests, but neither has made me an offer yet. As for University of Amsterdam, I asked some linguistics students and they told me UvA student satisfaction is not as good as Leiden in linguistics, though it ranked much higher in the QS.
Thank you for reading this! Basically that's all my concerns. I'd definitely appreciate it if you could give me some advice or provide insights from another perspective.
(edited 2 years ago)
Original post by UnaStayingUpLate
Hey guys! I am applying for 2022 linguistics programmes, and have received an offer from UCL. But I have some concerns and didn't really decide, so I am applying to Leiden University recently as a Plan B.
Here are some pros and cons, and maybe who read this could kindly give me some advice to make a choice.

UCL
Pros
Excellent reputation and world universities rankings
Active social and cultural life in London

Cons
High living costs and tuition fees
Slim prospects for non-EU students to find a job (btw I am Chinese)
Course quality not as I previously expected (Some friends told me that in UCL, undergraduates and graduates are taking linguistics courses together, with the only difference that graduate students have a slightly more rigorous grading system. Is that true? I was totally shocked hearing that.)

Leiden University
Pros
The syllabus focuses more on sociolinguistics (which I prefer than UCL's general linguistics).
Lower costs of living and tuition fees
Relatively easier to find a job in Netherlands (though it's always difficult to find a job as international students who don't major in cs or mkt).

Cons
Not as prestigious as UCL
Lack of academic resources compared to UCL (I'd like to apply for a PhD after working for several years, so it really matters).
Possible unpleasant experiences (An Indian student who studied international relations said she suffered from discrimination against non-EU students, and the teaching staff were frequently absent during office hours. And another student confirm her story.)

Both UCL and Leiden seem not perfect. I also applied for Edinburgh and KCL, for their syllabus are consistent with my academic interests, but neither has made me an offer yet. As for University of Amsterdam, I asked some linguistics students and they told me UvA student satisfaction is not as good as Leiden in linguistics, though it ranked much higher in the QS.
Thank you for reading this! Basically that's all my concerns. I'd definitely appreciate it if you could give me some advice or provide insights from another perspective.


1. You haven't got a decision to make until you get an offer from Leiden.
2. You shouldn't judge a place on a single or even couple of reported incidents, racism, crime, violence, bad coffee, whatever you are worried about, bad things go on everywhere if you look at tiny details.

Wait until you have all the offers through, and then decide, because the pros and cons may be very different by then.
Reply 2
Original post by UnaStayingUpLate
Hey guys! I am applying for 2022 linguistics programmes, and have received an offer from UCL. But I have some concerns and didn't really decide, so I am applying to Leiden University recently as a Plan B.
Here are some pros and cons, and maybe who read this could kindly give me some advice to make a choice.

UCL
Pros
Excellent reputation and world universities rankings
Active social and cultural life in London

Cons
High living costs and tuition fees
Slim prospects for non-EU students to find a job (btw I am Chinese)
Course quality not as I previously expected (Some friends told me that in UCL, undergraduates and graduates are taking linguistics courses together, with the only difference that graduate students have a slightly more rigorous grading system. Is that true? I was totally shocked hearing that.)

Leiden University
Pros
The syllabus focuses more on sociolinguistics (which I prefer than UCL's general linguistics).
Lower costs of living and tuition fees
Relatively easier to find a job in Netherlands (though it's always difficult to find a job as international students who don't major in cs or mkt).

Cons
Not as prestigious as UCL
Lack of academic resources compared to UCL (I'd like to apply for a PhD after working for several years, so it really matters).
Possible unpleasant experiences (An Indian student who studied international relations said she suffered from discrimination against non-EU students, and the teaching staff were frequently absent during office hours. And another student confirm her story.)

Both UCL and Leiden seem not perfect. I also applied for Edinburgh and KCL, for their syllabus are consistent with my academic interests, but neither has made me an offer yet. As for University of Amsterdam, I asked some linguistics students and they told me UvA student satisfaction is not as good as Leiden in linguistics, though it ranked much higher in the QS.
Thank you for reading this! Basically that's all my concerns. I'd definitely appreciate it if you could give me some advice or provide insights from another perspective.

For me, Leiden is better, because its academic training is more rigorous than that in UCL. Leiden linguistics programme is for someone who is familiar with linguistics, while linguistics MA at UCL is a conversion programme. My friends who are admitted to MA linguistics at UCL this year only have introductory knowledge in linguistics.
I didn't apply to Leiden, but I submitted applications to UCL and Utrecht. Now I have received offers (Msc Language Sciences & Mres language speech & cognition) from UCL, but got a rejection from Utrecht. Really like Netherland, but it doesn't like me.

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