Euroculture Spotlight #5: Marloes van der Weij
14 Feb 2017
The fifth edition of the Euroculture spotlight features Euroculture Groningen’s Marloes van der Weij (Euroculture course manager and study advisor at the University of Groningen, Euroculture consortium secretariat).
Thanks, Marloes, for taking the time to answer our questions!
What is your affiliation with Euroculture?
I have been course manager and study advisor of the Euroculture programme at the University of Groningen since 2002. So I have seen many cohorts of students up until now.
What is your current occupation?
I am still working at the Euroculture department in Groningen, both as course manager and study advisor, but since 2002 the job has gradually become more substantial. First by extending the master from 60 to 90 ECTS (in 2006), and next by making it a 2-year master of 120 ECTS (in 2011). Linked to both these changes we prepared and submitted an Erasmus Mundus application to the Euroculture Commission and were lucky to be selected for the Erasmus Mundus master scholarship programme. As, since 2006, the Euroculture consortium is coordinated by the University of Groningen, managing the consortium secretariat has been added to the job, for which the work became a bit too much and (luckily for me!) since then I have a colleague to share the work with. Currently that’s Albert and Rieke. The past years I have also been supervisor for the Euroculture placements in Groningen.
Would you like to share something special about your Euroculture experience?
Euroculture students have something ‘extra’; they are open-minded, usually have travelled a lot and have lived in different countries. Having to adapt to different cultures and systems makes people flexible, independent and self-confident and I think those are precious skills in life. The past years I have attended some reunions of former Euroculture-Groningen groups: Euroculture alumni meeting each other after 5, 8 or 10 years. All coming from different places to meet in Groningen (or sometimes at another location), some are married, some already have kids, they have nice job experiences to share…. It’s really nice to see that they are still in touch and share this ‘Euroculture-feeling’ and that some have become really good friends.
What do you like the most about Euroculture?
For me as a coordinator it’s an interesting and rewarding process to see all these enthusiastic students starting with the master, and some of them having their difficult moments during the master – and if possible I guide them through it – and in the end to see them so happy and proud when they complete the master. At the graduation ceremony it sometimes really feels hard to say goodbye to the students, but I am always very confident that they will find nice jobs and that they will manage in life. And I must add here that by working for Euroculture I have come to meet very nice fellow-colleagues at the partner universities which have become good friends now. And last but not least, it’s a pleasure to work with my colleagues of the Euroculture team in Groningen.
What did you do before Euroculture?
Since I graduated from the master Romance languages and cultures in 1998 I have been working in several jobs at the University of Groningen. My first position was a festive one: I was part of the team organizing the programme for the 385th anniversary of the university. Next I worked as an assistant to several policy officers at the Arts Faculty. After that I became a manager at the Center for Japanese Studies, and I worked at the International Office of the Faculty of Arts.
What are your plans for the future?
The future lies within the now. I like what I do.
Where is the best place you have traveled to and why?
Chile, especially Patagonia and visits to the houses of Pablo Neruda. I am fascinated by Chile’s past and Chilean culture.