News - November 16, 2017

YOU on campus - Morocco, Belgium and Wageningen

Liza van Kapel

Simon de Grève (26) recently started on a Master’s programme for the second time. After quitting his first Master’s and trying his luck on the labour market, he decided to give a Master’s degree another chance. ‘I found a programme that marries my two main interests: biotechnology and plant sciences.’

Photo: Liza van Kapel

De Grève looks like an average Dutch guy, yet he has actually only been living in the Netherlands for a few months. He was born in Belgium but has spent most of his life in Morocco. ‘I moved back at 16 but it didn’t feel like going back. My first memories are of Morocco, which has always felt like home. Despite visiting Belgium often, it felt like going to a new country.’

The new country had its perks: ‘I quite liked the Belgian life style: social life is much livelier there than in Morocco, and there is so much to do. The open air concerts are especially nice.’ He talks with the same enthusiasm about another passion of his: travelling. ‘It was great to travel in Morocco: the country is really big and it has everything from mountains to the coast. In Europe, however, you can easily travel from one culture to another, since the countries are so small.’

My first memories are of Morocco, which has always felt like home

He points out that many different cultures are represented in Wageningen, creating an international atmosphere familiar to him from the international schools he attended. ‘I had definitely missed that atmosphere during my Bachelor’s degree course in Brussels. Everything was in French and I felt like I was not fulfilling my full potential. I really wanted my new Master’s to be in English: it opens up far more opportunities.’ 

De Grève knows a thing or two about job opportunities. ‘After quitting my previous Master’s, I experienced the jobs you can get with a Bachelor’s degree and found out how limited the options are. You often lose, either to someone with a more practical education or to someone with a Master’s degree. I realized how university trains you for the full research track, all the way to a PhD.’ It motivated him to start another Master’s, but he is not sure yet whether he will do a PhD. ‘I might, I really like the facilities and atmosphere here. So who knows, someday?’