Master’s Student in International Development Studies: Part I

By: Siti Widyastuti Noor · 24 June 2020
Category: Student life, WUR Courses

Before starting my master’s in international development studies at Wageningen University, I wondered; Can I survive to learn all courses? Can I pass the exam? Will I have a lot of readings before starting the class? Will I have a nice classmate? How is thesis life? And other questions and doubts before coming to Wageningen.

Here, I will share my experience as an International Development student.

Following courses…..and group work

During my first year, I followed several courses, both common courses and specialization courses. All common courses usually in a big class, consisting of students from different specialization. My first course in Period 1 was Perspective and Theme in International Development Studies. This is an introductory course, where professors from different specialization background gave lectures in this class. As I have my bachelor’s in political science, I was really struggling to study the material from other specializations. However, in this class, there are group works where the members are from different specialization. I used these opportunities to learn from them and also to know new people.


What I like from studying at Wageningen University, the students are encouraged to work with people from different background and being an open-minded person when learning other science. I think the experience of studying with people from different background in my first year has familiarized me with this. However, ACT is a more complex and difficult course. This is because students were assigned to a group with different study background. Then, we need to give a consultancy to an external party (can be government agencies, organizations, companies, or research institutions).

For me, ACT was challenging but I learn a lot from this course. I was assigned to a group where we need to give a consultancy to a biodynamic certification body, Stichting Demeter. I learned from the project and dynamics of group work!

Group photo at BioFair 2020 in Zwolle 🙂

Thesis Life

Finishing my thesis was one of the happiest moments in my Master journey. It all started with an idea and write it into a proposal! My thesis is about the interactions of Indonesia and the EU over the EU Renewable Energy Directives and palm oil trade. During the proposal writing phase, I planned the framework that I will use and how to get data. Here, I make the planning for my fieldwork. I went to my country, Indonesia, to do interviews with my thesis respondents. I also went to Brussels to collect data about the EU policy.

After the data collection phase, I need to analyse the data and write the thesis report. This was very exhausting for me. However, I learned a lot of new things besides my thesis topic, such as academic writing, asking questions, handling feedback from my supervisor, and time management.

I finally finished writing my thesis report in March. Then, I have the final presentation and thesis defence in April. I had the virtual thesis defence with my examiners. In my country, passing a thesis exam is one of a milestone for students. Usually, students who passed the thesis exam will take a photo with their supervisors and friends who watched the exams. As it is an online exam, I only took a photo with my Indonesian corridor-mate who also had her exam in that period.

with my corridor-mate, after passing the exam

Well, these are so far the highlights of my WUR journey. I am now having my work-from-home internship and hopefully, I can graduate in August. I am curious where all these experiences will bring me in the future! But, I had a lot of fun and learn a lot by studying at WUR!

More information on my study program can be found here.



Siti Widyastuti Noor

Siti Widyastuti Noor

Hi! I am an Indonesian student at Wageningen University & Research, pursuing my Master's degree in International Development with a specialization in Politics and Governance of Development. I really enjoy living in Wageningen and I will share my experience of studying here, I hope every reader will enjoy my posts

There are 6 comments.

  1. By: BLESSINGS KELVIN KAYIRA · 07-07-2020 at 20:13

    I would like to enroll for a Masters in International Development after hearing a lot of goodies about your university.

    1. Siti Widyastuti Noor
      By: Siti Widyastuti Noor · 10-08-2020 at 16:00

      Good luck with your application!

  2. By: Celine · 24-08-2020 at 14:03

    Loved this post! I am thinking about applying to this program as well. Do you know anything about the job perspectives?

    1. By: gomez033 · 28-09-2020 at 17:06

      Dear Celine,

      Thank you for contacting us. I will send you a private email with some useful information and links.

      Kind regards,

  3. By: Rizky · 19-09-2020 at 18:04

    Mba Siti, kalau fieldwork mya itu wajib gak sih? Bisa ada alternatif lain kah?

    1. By: gomez033 · 29-09-2020 at 10:16

      Dear Rizky,

      I will send you a private email so you can ask for the information you need.


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