Long have we awaited the moment that we could welcome international students at the LUMC again. Due to COVID, all student mobility was cancelled for over 1,5 years. And despite still having regulations in place, especially during the first semester of the academic year 2021-2022, it was refreshing to cautiously welcome international students again. We’re so pleased to see that the students who came to Leiden had a fun, meaningful and above all, educational experience. In a questionnaire, they’ve given us an insight into how they experienced student mobility during these strange times.
Pivotal for the success of student mobility is for students to feel they have easy access to information and contacts at the host institution, probably even more so in the midst of a pandemic. We’re glad to see the students in general felt they had solid contact with our International Office and received all the needed information. The information was clear and students, for the most part, knew what awaited them, as one of the students puts it: “The International Office team has been very helpful with all of the information given”; a testament for the hard work our colleagues at the International Office have put in to facilitate these students, who also felt they were facilitated greatly upon arrival.
In these tough times, having the students engage with each other is even more important than it usually is. Through different students associations, like the LisCo and the MFLS, the students were offered several possibilities to engage with other students, both local and international, to make them feel included and at home at the LUMC. We’re happy to see international students felt welcome and supported by these associations, which is also highlighted in a quote of one of the students: “LUMC students have been very helpful since day one. I had a really great time with them.” Or as another students puts it: “I know if I had questions I could ask LisCo or MLFS and they would help me successfully.”
Another crucial element for a successful study experience abroad is the course load. Different programs at the home university and host institutions can sometimes cause a discrepancy in the experienced difficulty of a program. We’re glad to see that most students fit in well within the programs they followed and that there was a good match between the courses and their backgrounds.
What’s most important though is that students not only have a good learning experience, but above all have a joyful experience! We’re so happy all students had a good time in Leiden and at the LUMC. For instance, one students says: “The LUMC environment is one of the best I have ever experienced. The study atmosphere is also very good for the students.” Another student adds: “Being able to experience European culture through school and travelling around the Netherlands for three months has been a life-changing experience. I will carry these experiences and knowledge forever in my heart. Thank you Netherlands for being such a wonderful home for us.”
We’re very proud of the great feedback we’ve received from the students, because that’s what our work is all about: to provide all students with the best possible learning and cultural experience we can. We will continue our efforts to perfect our work based on the feedback we’ve had. Even though so many things thankfully went well, there’s always room for improvement, and we will continue to work on constantly improving on all subjects related to student mobility.
To all students who came to the LUMC last semester: thank you so much for coming, it was a pleasure hosting you!
Edouard Fu, PhD student at the Department of Clinical Epidemiology at the LUMC, uses big data to study the effectiveness and safety of kidney, diabetes and heart failure treatments. With a Rubicon grant from NWO, Edouard will conduct further research at Harvard Medical School over the next two years.
From the 24th till the 28th of January, the LUMC organized the Data Ethics winter school on behalf of the Eurolife consortium, an international network consisting of 9 European universities. The network focuses predominantly on biomedical sciences, but also related subjects in the field of Life Sciences & Health. We are very proud of the amazing success of the winter school and the exciting responses we’ve had from students. In this article we would like to share the experience of one of the participating students, Jonneke Bouwhuis.
On June 23rd, we organized the first LUMC Global Community Meeting on establishing successful Sino-Dutch collaborations in (bio)medical research and education.