17 May Rico Tjepkema: ‘International students should feel at home’

The past weeks our candidates introduced themselves to you. Today, we end with our number 1: Rico Tjepkema.

Who are you and what are your roots?
My name is Rico Tjepkema. I was born in Dokkum, a Frisian city which I still like to visit every once in a while. With 75% Frisian blood I like to call myself a Frisian, even though the other 25% is Gronings. The biggest part of my life I have lived in Burgum, where I followed the first three years of secondary school. I completed my secondary school at the CSG Liudger Raai in Drachten. Besides my study, International Relations & International Organization, I like to involve myself in politics. Most of my spare time I spend with my friends and family.

What do you like about the Faculty of Arts?
The most impressive feature of the Faculty of Arts is its location. I feel very happy when I see that all my classes are in the city centre, where the university was originally founded. My dorm is 150 meters away from the university, so everything is within reach. I am also very fond of the students of the Faculty of Arts. Somebody once told me that each faculty, generally speaking, draws a specific type of student. When I look at the Faculty of Arts, I certainly agree with that statement.

What do you want to improve at the Faculty of Arts?
What I dislike about our faculty most, is that I have the sense that the international students are not being treated in the most welcoming way. This needs changing. International students should feel just as welcome as Dutch students. Besides that, I believe students should be more in charge when it comes to constructing their own programme of classes and courses. Students should be allowed to be in charge of their own future.

What do you want to achieve for your fellow students?
Evidently, Letteren Vooruit has presented a party line, in which all standpoints of the party are covered. We should not only formulate demands, but also have to think constructively about important matters and we should come up with concrete proposals. That is the only way to really make way for the interests of the students.

What are your ambitions for the future?
I am not sure yet what I want to study after my bachelor. Probably I will focus on the European Union, which I believe is the most interesting subject when it comes to international relations. Furthermore, I would like to be of political value to the society. I have a clear vision when it comes to improving matters and I can not wait to apply this vision to the Faculty of Arts.

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