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The Radboud University

The best “traditional university” in the Netherlands

Being located in Nijmegen, the oldest city of the Netherlands, the Radboud University was founded in 1923. Nowadays approx. 20.000 students study in seven different faculties: the Faculty of Arts, Law, Medical Sciences, Management, Philosophy, Theology and Religious Studies, Science and the Faculty of Social Science. Since the university is focused on international research in several fields, most master degrees are taught in English, whereas most bachelor degrees are taught in Dutch.

One could name numerous note-worthy alumni of this university, but the most notable would probably be Frans de Waal. After graduating in Primatology and Ethology in 1970, he became very well known for his research in primate social behaviour and the comparison of primate and human behaviour.

Besides famous people graduating from the RU, the public university also attracts important and well-known researchers from all over the world for events. Radboud Reflects is a university-intern organisation, run by students, organising events, invite speakers and plan workshops. These are free for students, professors and alumni of the university. In 2018, they organised a discussion with Daniel Dennett, who is an American philosopher, writer, cognitive scientist – and superstar of the current scientific world.

But also the day-to-day life at the Radboud University is very pleasant. Where as in Germany there is quite some distance between students and professors, in the Netherlands, it is the opposite: it might happen that you meet your professor in a karaoke bar at night, which is totally fine. Nobody addresses their professor with “Prof.” or “Dr.” but instead you just call them by their first name. This creates a comfortable and close atmosphere. All in all, this is a very good university to spend the best years of your life (:

Text written in June 2019.

Short bio of the volunteer:

Rebecca, 25 years old, from Germany and no longer “the new one” in the Madeira Heritage voluntary program. Experienced and educated in social psychology, but still not able to read people’s minds. Passionate about (classical) music, interculturality, and other people.


Erasmus+ is a programme of the European Commission embracing the fields of education, training, youth, and sports during the period 2014-2020. One of the major aspects is the cooperation between the different fields where the programme acts, hence contributing to a diverse and rich Europe.

Amongst the several goals of the programme, the following are prioritised: the objectives of the Europe 2020 Strategy, including the headline education target; the aims of the strategic framework for European cooperation in education and training (ET 2020), including the corresponding benchmarks; the sustainable development of Partner Countries in the field of higher education; the overall goals of the renewed framework for European cooperation in the youth field (2010-2018); the objective of developing the European dimension in sport, in particular grassroots sport, in line with the EU work plan for sport and the promotion of European values in accordance with Article 2 of the Treaty on the European Union.

In order to achieve these goals, the Erasmus+ has several action policies. The Key Action 1 (KA1) is directed towards the mobility of people; Key Action 2 (KA2) for the cooperation for innovation and the interchange of good experiences; and Key Action 3 (KA3) which is for the support of reformation policies.

European Voluntary Service

Since 1991 the University of Madeira Students’ Union has developed a wide incentive policy for voluntary work. In 2013 the Students’ Union started the process to receive, send and coordinate Erasmus+ projects of the European Voluntary Service, in order to have a larger influence in the volunteering field. The Union received its first volunteer withing the ambit of a KA1 project in 2014. Many efforts have been done to allow young people from Madeira to take part in several initiatives in Europe, as well as propose several projects allowing young people from several countries to work in the projects of the Students’ Union of the University of Madeira. The main goal of the voluntary work is the contribution of the volunteers to the communities and places they will be staying, being their work not rewarded with payment.

We believe that the European Voluntary Service is a mechanism full of experiences, allowing the approved candidates to have the privilege of taking part in these projects and benefit the places and communities where these volunteers will be staying.

Since 2013, the University of Madeira Students’ Union has received volunteers that have collaborated in several activities and initiatives. Besides being able to enjoy a wonderful experience which will contribute to their personal and professional growth, they are able to contribute in a unique way to the community in which they are inserted and to join dozens of volunteers from the University of Madeira.