Monday, December 19, 2011


Hi Everyone!
Welcome again to another one of my adventures. It's been a while since I've wrote, cause I think last time I did not even receive grades for the first two courses. Lucky for me (and you since I might not have been here writing to you otherwise) I passed both courses! And now I am already very far into the second period.
This period contains somewhat more let's say accurate topics than the first period had to offer. Since I've chosen to do a master onEconomics of Public Policy and Management and public policy is in the papers every single day this is rather normal and I must say I also like it.
Firstly a few weeks ago we talked about pension schemes during the course of Public Risk Management. Since I'm working at an investment agency that offers pension product (in the Dutch third pillar of the pension system) and is soon to position itself on the market with a product in the collective second pillar this topic was highly interesting for me.
Secondly and more in a broad sense, I'm writing a paper on the EU Emission Trading System. The emission trading system that was implemented to fight what is called the biggest market failure of all times, environment damage (mostly due to greenhouse gasses). A few weeks ago I visited a lecture on this topic, since as of january 2012 this system will be expanded to include aviation companies, EU as well as non-EU airlines. From systems competition theory (broadly talkes about in my other course Policy Competition in an International World) it makes no sense that the EU is doing this, since it can have major competitiveness disadvantages! What we're trying to do is answer why the EU is still implementing this and if the policy is sustainable in an international world.
Thirdly, today we had to hand in our thesis subject proposal if we want to pick our own subject instead of picking from a list of subjects offered by USE. Since I wanted to be sure to really write about a subject I was sure I was going to enjoy writing about I thought through some subjects and eventually decided on writing about the reconciliation of work and family life and the division of labour and care between parents. I'd found the right supervisor for this subject pretty quickly and got her approval for supervising my thesis. And while I handed my registration form in this morning, when I read the Volkskrant this evening there was a column of a D66 politician exactly about this subject!
And that's what I like about this master, that these subjects are talked about in the streets and in the papers, and that I actually learn to think about them in an academic way.

Saturday, December 3, 2011


Hi everybody,

recently, I have received Emails from some of you asking questions about LUISS and living in Rome. I think it will be best if I am answering the questions here, so that everybody has the chance to read them.

  • Are there many contact hours a week, or is there a lot of self studying?

On average, I have two lectures per day. There are long lectures (3 hours) and short lectures (1,5 hours). LUISS only has about 3000 students in total, the classes are very small (30-40 people). The atmosphere of the lectures is therefore more familiar. Unfortunately, we do not really have tutorials.

In our first semester at LUISS, we had Accounting as well as Financial Markets and Intermediaries. For those two courses, the professors offered tutorials. However, the tutorials always took place with the whole class. In some courses like Marketing and Management we used to have a lot of guest lectures. Those lectures have been held by important and interesting persons with whom you can also get in touch and establish some networks. For instance, this week we had a guest lecture with the Italian general manager of the media department of World Disney.

  • And how is daily life as a student in Rome?

Daily life as a student in Rome is great! Rome has one of the biggest ESN associations in Europe and they organize a lot of events, trips and parties. Believe me; you will not get bored in Rome. There is always something to do and every day is different.

  • Is LUISS what you expected, what do you think of the courses, how are the lectures and tutorials (comparing to the quality of USE)? How did you experience studying at LUISS?

Since you are not studying Economics, but Business, the courses will be more focused on the micro- rather than on the macro-perspective. Compared to Utrecht, courses are of equal quality, but you will have to do oral exams here. Don’t worry. With oral exams you can mostly increase your grade and even though the whole class will sit in the room chatting and talking while you are having your exam at the front desk with the professor, it is really not as bad as everybody always think it is. During the week, I am spending far more hours at university than I did back in Utrecht.

Studying at LUISS is a lot different compared to Utrecht University. First of all, the semester is far more relaxed than in Utrecht. In the first few weeks, you will have time to party and to follow extra activities. There is no need to bring or buy a printer. LUISS offers you 100 pages of free prints per day. So that’s a very generous service. Even though I am spending more time at university, you still have to study at home. In addition, you should ask some of the Italian students where you can buy books. There is a special shop where you can buy them a lot cheaper.

In case anyone of you has some more questions, do not hesitate to contact me. I am sure that every one of you will like it in Rome and that you are going to have a great time over here!