Leiden LLM European and International Human Rights 2019-20


RadNair
Hi everyone,

I am from India and have received an offer from Leiden for their LLM in European and International Human Rights Program 2019-20. I wanted to know (from someone who has already completed this course or someone who is planning to do it) about the course, the university, student life in Leiden and the job prospects after the course?

I have received offers from QMUL, Essex, Groningen, QUB and Kent's BSIS for their respective LLMs in human Rights as well so I am quite torn as to which would be the best choice for someone who wants to find work in an international human rights organisation immediately after the course is complete. I have also applied to the Geneva Academy's IHRHL program (without scholarship), Uni of Nottingham and LSE (applied in March 1st week) but I haven't heard from them yet. If I am honest, I will tell you that I am leaning a bit towards Leiden and Essex, but I can't be sure unless I do more research.

Anyone who knows something that might help in making my decision easier may kindly put their two cents in. I wish everyone the best with their applications.

Looking forward to a lively discussion.

Thank you.
Hi everyone,

I am from India and have received an offer from Leiden for their LLM in European and International Human Rights Program 2019-20. I wanted to know (from someone who has already completed this course or someone who is planning to do it) about the course, the university, student life in Leiden and the job prospects after the course?

I have received offers from QMUL, Essex, Groningen, QUB and Kent's BSIS for their respective LLMs in human Rights as well so I am quite torn as to which would be the best choice for someone who wants to find work in an international human rights organisation immediately after the course is complete. I have also applied to the Geneva Academy's IHRHL program (without scholarship), Uni of Nottingham and LSE (applied in March 1st week) but I haven't heard from them yet. If I am honest, I will tell you that I am leaning a bit towards Leiden and Essex, but I can't be sure unless I do more research.

Anyone who knows something that might help in making my decision easier may kindly put their two cents in. I wish everyone the best with their applications.

Looking forward to a lively discussion.

Thank you.
quote
Hi RadNair, I haven't actually completed the Advanced LLM, I'm accepted to start in September 2019 as well. I have however been studying in Leiden for the past six years and am finishing up a Dutch LLM right now, so can tell you something about the student life.

I do know Advanced LLMs are very demanding and the amount of time in class are quite high compared to the usual amount of lectures in Law studies in The NL, but seeing the amount of hours you're in class, you get to spend a lot of time with your classmates. I work closely with students from the Advanced LLM in Children's Rights and they're together a lot of the time, either studying in our wonderful library, restaurant or cafe or just hanging out around our faculty. There's a lot of guest lectures or excursions.

As for student life otherwise, we Dutchies always say Leiden is a 'student city' and for instance Amsterdam or so is an 'international/tourist city'. Everywhere you go in Leiden you see students, of which a lot are actually internationals. Leiden is a small city, but very characteristic and it has a lot of student associations, of which some also accept international students like ISN! It's not necessarily a city where you can go to clubs, but that's why we have night trains connecting all the big cities and which only takes a maximum of 1.5 hours, but every day there's cafés opened and its a very lively city! I could go on for a long time, let me know what else you would like to know!
Hi RadNair, I haven't actually completed the Advanced LLM, I'm accepted to start in September 2019 as well. I have however been studying in Leiden for the past six years and am finishing up a Dutch LLM right now, so can tell you something about the student life.

I do know Advanced LLMs are very demanding and the amount of time in class are quite high compared to the usual amount of lectures in Law studies in The NL, but seeing the amount of hours you're in class, you get to spend a lot of time with your classmates. I work closely with students from the Advanced LLM in Children's Rights and they're together a lot of the time, either studying in our wonderful library, restaurant or cafe or just hanging out around our faculty. There's a lot of guest lectures or excursions.

As for student life otherwise, we Dutchies always say Leiden is a 'student city' and for instance Amsterdam or so is an 'international/tourist city'. Everywhere you go in Leiden you see students, of which a lot are actually internationals. Leiden is a small city, but very characteristic and it has a lot of student associations, of which some also accept international students like ISN! It's not necessarily a city where you can go to clubs, but that's why we have night trains connecting all the big cities and which only takes a maximum of 1.5 hours, but every day there's cafés opened and its a very lively city! I could go on for a long time, let me know what else you would like to know!
quote
Hi RadNair, I graduated from the IHRL program in Groningen in August 2018 and might be able to provide some insight to your queries above; I will address them in turn:

(1) Course
I only have good things to say about this program and would recommend it wholeheartedly. I learnt a lot and had to learn very quickly because this program is incredibly (emphasis) intensive. Students are expected to engage at a very high level and produce quality work - which means a lot of reading, studying, analyzing, and critical thinking (and a LOT of resilience). There was a good balance between lectures, self-study, and seminars. I really liked the smaller class sizes because this meant that you get to interact with the lecturers/ professors more. Groningen was the first uni in NL to offer an IHRL course so you know that they have tried and tested the course to ensure it's success, especially since they were ranked the best uni to study IHRL in NL (according to Keuzegids). I would definitely re-consider Groningen :)

(2) University
The study advisors for the LLM program are very capable and provide excellent support to their students. The uni also organizes a lot of career-related workshops (I attended workshops on how to prepare your CV and cover letter in the legal field) and they have a walk-in store where student assistants check your CV and/or cover letter. Facilities wise: we have new library and there are many faculty-specific libraries where you can study. Since I spent a lot of time in these libraries, I can safely say that it's a very conducive environment to study.

(3) Student Life
If I am not mistaken, about 20% of the population in Groningen consists of students. It's also been getting more international in recent years. If you're looking for night life, Groningen has a lot of bars and clubs in the city centre that students go to. Since it's a small city, it means that getting home after a night out is a short bike ride away. Other than that, there is a also a very nice park, many cafes and stores in and around the city. I'd look at this website to get an impression of Groningen's student life: https://www.groningenlife.nl/en

If you want to participate in other extra-curricular activities besides your studies there are plenty of options. Nexus and ELSA and law-students associations but you also have, among others, Amnesty and UNICEF student groups that work on human rights issues,

(4) Job prospects
I managed to secure an internship at the IRMCT right after graduation and am now at the ICC. Many of my classmates also managed to get internships/traineeships in the past year. The program definitely prepared well academically for my internships.

When you say work at an international human rights organization, do you mean internships or a remunerated position? From my personal experience, getting a job right after graduation in the field of human rights is incredible tough. Most of the people I know who want to work in an international (human rights) organization (regardless of whatever uni they graduated from) have done numerous internships before getting a paid position. It also depends on whether you have experience prior to commencing the LLM of course :) Just wanted to put this out there because many students, myself included, thought securing a job in this field will be easy with a Masters but it is incredibly competitive. It's important to keep expectations in check in this regard.

Anyway, I hope this helps! I wrote an entire essay.... sorry about that. If you have more questions please feel free to ask and I'll be more than happy to answer them.
Hi RadNair, I graduated from the IHRL program in Groningen in August 2018 and might be able to provide some insight to your queries above; I will address them in turn:

(1) Course
I only have good things to say about this program and would recommend it wholeheartedly. I learnt a lot and had to learn very quickly because this program is incredibly (emphasis) intensive. Students are expected to engage at a very high level and produce quality work - which means a lot of reading, studying, analyzing, and critical thinking (and a LOT of resilience). There was a good balance between lectures, self-study, and seminars. I really liked the smaller class sizes because this meant that you get to interact with the lecturers/ professors more. Groningen was the first uni in NL to offer an IHRL course so you know that they have tried and tested the course to ensure it's success, especially since they were ranked the best uni to study IHRL in NL (according to Keuzegids). I would definitely re-consider Groningen :)

(2) University
The study advisors for the LLM program are very capable and provide excellent support to their students. The uni also organizes a lot of career-related workshops (I attended workshops on how to prepare your CV and cover letter in the legal field) and they have a walk-in store where student assistants check your CV and/or cover letter. Facilities wise: we have new library and there are many faculty-specific libraries where you can study. Since I spent a lot of time in these libraries, I can safely say that it's a very conducive environment to study.

(3) Student Life
If I am not mistaken, about 20% of the population in Groningen consists of students. It's also been getting more international in recent years. If you're looking for night life, Groningen has a lot of bars and clubs in the city centre that students go to. Since it's a small city, it means that getting home after a night out is a short bike ride away. Other than that, there is a also a very nice park, many cafes and stores in and around the city. I'd look at this website to get an impression of Groningen's student life: https://www.groningenlife.nl/en

If you want to participate in other extra-curricular activities besides your studies there are plenty of options. Nexus and ELSA and law-students associations but you also have, among others, Amnesty and UNICEF student groups that work on human rights issues,

(4) Job prospects
I managed to secure an internship at the IRMCT right after graduation and am now at the ICC. Many of my classmates also managed to get internships/traineeships in the past year. The program definitely prepared well academically for my internships.

When you say work at an international human rights organization, do you mean internships or a remunerated position? From my personal experience, getting a job right after graduation in the field of human rights is incredible tough. Most of the people I know who want to work in an international (human rights) organization (regardless of whatever uni they graduated from) have done numerous internships before getting a paid position. It also depends on whether you have experience prior to commencing the LLM of course :) Just wanted to put this out there because many students, myself included, thought securing a job in this field will be easy with a Masters but it is incredibly competitive. It's important to keep expectations in check in this regard.

Anyway, I hope this helps! I wrote an entire essay.... sorry about that. If you have more questions please feel free to ask and I'll be more than happy to answer them.
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