After graduating from UCU, there are many paths in life you can take. You might start a master's programme, begin working, or perhaps you will take a gap year. On this page you can find general information about the University College Alumni Association, who can help you throughout your further career path, as well as information on how to start looking for a master's programme or how to find housing after UCU.
Alumni are ambassadors for the university and help define the profile of the college, not only in the Netherlands but also internationally. Furthermore, alumni form a very important network and a valuable source of expertise on life after UCU (further education, employment, research projects etc.)
The University College Alumni Association (UCAA) represents all UCU alumni and sees its main task as maintaining connections between those alumni. UCU alumni are updated on the whereabouts of their fellow graduates and interesting events through newsletters and the alumni magazine, Post. This magazine includes articles written by alumni, for alumni, about their internships, their work, their lives, etc. It also includes articles from College Hall.
UCU's Alumni Officer Judith Hoogmoed is in position to develop purposeful connections between UCU alumni and UCU’s curriculum, community, and career services; organize alumni events on the UCU campus; coordinate UCU’s communication with its alumni worldwide; develop and monitor alumni policy and advise UCU management in this matter. The Alumni Officer works closely with the staff and students at UCU, with the UCAA and with the UU alumni office.
You can find more information for the alumni community on the UCU website.
UCU offers solely undergraduate programs and there is no Master’s program that automatically follows afterwards. This means that you will have to find one tailored to your preferences yourself. If you, like many students at UCU, have not yet decided what direction you want to take after UCU, talking to teachers, fellows, or your tutor, or by researching a bit yourself might give you an idea of what you would like to do.
Who to talk to?
Whether you already have initial ideas or you have no clue at all, the following people might be useful:
- Teachers: talk to one of your teachers with experience in the field of your interest.
- Fellows: they are the track supervisors and have great experience in their field and often have good relations with the relevant UU faculty.
- Career Development Officer: The CDO advises students in planning their futures, and his office is located in College Hall.
- Tutors: If you do not know who to go to for advice, your tutor is a good first step. The tutors will most likely be able to redirect to someone who can help you. However, keep in mind that they might not be specialized in your field of interest.
- Others: Alumni, friends or ASC.
ASC’s Master’s Guide
The Academic Student Council has published the ASC Master's Guide that provides you with detailed information on how to find information about master’s programs, write a successful application and apply for scholarships.
The first and easiest way to start looking for a master’s program is on the Internet. A convenient tool to find a master’s that suits you is through master’s degree portals. These are websites that list all the master’s a country has to offer, and you can search them based on your interests and prerequisites. Studiekeuze123 (in English: Study Choice) is a website funded by the Dutch government that lists all the masters in the Netherlands. If you are thinking about doing a master’s degree in another European country, try the Masters portal. This initiative by a group of students that later became EU education professionals, browses through 15.000 masters that can be taken in the European Union.
b) Searching for universities
Look for master’s programs at specific universities. Google ‘University Rankings’ and you will find many different lists of top universities and their most prestigious programs. Perhaps you would like to study in a specific country or city? Most universities will have web pages about their master’s programs. Utrecht University offers more than a hundred Master’s degree programs taught in English, and many more in Dutch.
c) Master’s information days
Many universities organise master’s information days including lectures and information stalls for their different programs.
Keep in mind that some universities require you to apply up to a year in advance. After having decided on a master’s degree, you will need to know exactly how the application process works for a specific university. There are a number of things to bear in mind, such as admission dates, prerequisites, financial matters, legal matters specific to countries. Remember to start in good time.
Start thinking about this in your first year of studies! Why? Read on!
Despite the fierce loyalty all students and alumni feel towards their college, believe us when we say that there is a life after UCU. As soon as you’ve completed your studies at UCU you’ll leave the campus that has been your safe and familiar home for three years. Although many UCU alumni leave Utrecht or even the Netherlands to pursue a master’s degree, about 40% stay in Utrecht and have the challenge of finding a new room off campus. According to SSH (the student-housing corporation of Utrecht), half the students looking for a room find one within 3 months. So waiting times are not that long, but you have to prepare yourself properly to stand a good chance of a nice, affordable room!
The best thing to do as a first-year student in Utrecht is to subscribe to SSH. For a one-off fee (approximately €30) the benefits of an early subscription can be huge. Rooms through SSH are generally comparatively cheaper for their size than rooms through the internet or other privately owned student houses. SSH allocates about 10,000 rooms in Utrecht to students.
How to go about renting a room through SSH depends on the type of room you want. For most rooms, you will have a sort of interview with your potential new unit-mates (in Dutch we call this ‘hospiteren’). You can respond to empty rooms on the website of SSH. The 15 respondents who have been subscribed to SSH the longest will be invited to go ‘hospiteren’. The unit-mates then pick their preferred applicant.
SSH also rents out temporary rooms (for less than a year). For these types of room ‘hospiteren’ is generally not necessary, but you have to be subscribed for at least 2 years in order to be considered. Thus, it is very important to subscribe yourself as soon as you’ve chosen to study in Utrecht!
Other ways to get a room include internet-sites such as Kamertje, Kamernet, Opkamers or Kamer or, of course, through a friend, friend of a friend, or friend of a friend of a friend! Always tell everybody you know that you are looking for a room; this will significantly increase your chance to get one quickly! This website (in Dutch) helps you to calculate the maximum allowed rental price of your room according to the ‘rental point system’ devised by the Dutch government.