The colorful wolf

June 22, 2010

Construction worker

Filed under: Thoughts — randy @ 9:12

Good morning everyone (it’s morning now in Holland). I thought it about time to give you an update on what I plan to do with my life. As you may have guessed from the title of this blogpost, I decided to be a construction worker.

Oh wait, no I didn’t.

Jokes aside, I think you all know from the posts I wrote during my cycling trip that I was coming back to Holland, and that I wanted to continue studying. More specifically, I am looking for a place to do a Master in Cognitive Science. The easiest option for me is to get one from the nearby university in Groningen. I could easily live with my parents and get financed by the Dutch government to study. Obviously the obvious choice is not my choice.

After going to Japan I really do feel as if the world has opened up for me. Choosing to stay put in the same town that I was born in seems ridiculous to me right now, although some of my family members cannot imagine an alternative. Emotionally I want to find out new places and meet new people. Logically it’s quite hard to deny the convenience of studying in Groningen. Yesterday, when I started looking for universities abroad, I felt happy. Giving my life meaning again, and more specifically a meaning that does not involve staying at home, made me happy. My mind is telling me to go someplace different.

But where to go? I’m considering a lot of places actually, in a lot of countries. Indiana University in the US appealed to me a lot because Douglas Hofstadter teaches there. Unfortunately most universities in the US are quite expensive. Alternatively, if I study in London I can get a Master in cognitive science in one year for less than 6000GBP. Then again, the London life is very expensive and I might get in trouble with money. I expected the Dutch ‘stufi’ (money received from the gvt. for studying) to help out in that, but it turns out to be very little. It’s good that I can receive stufi even when studying abroad though.

Another issue with stufi is that I am soon not eligible to receive any money. It seems that you can only receive money from the government for studying up until 10 years after you first applied. I spent 5 years in Japan and 4 years in university, so I don’t have a lot of time left. It’s a bit strange that this clause is mentioned only once on the stufi website, and all other information is repeated 3 or 4 times. I wonder if there’s some headroom for me here. Even if there isn’t, the amount of money is laughably small so it’s not a big deal if I can’t get it.

You may be asking, why cognitive science? Well, I’m not going to elaborate about this today, but for now let me just say that I firmly believe that all problems in the world can be solved by figuring out how the human brain works. I hope that gives you some food for thought.



  1. Have you thought about coming to South Africa?

    Comment by slowvelder — June 22, 2010 @ 14:28 | Reply

  2. Actually, I haven’t. But now that you mention it I guess it’s worth considering. Any good university you can recommend?

    Comment by rheide — June 22, 2010 @ 16:34 | Reply

    • There are quite a few worth looking at – I think some are affiliated with Dutch Universities. Take a look at Stellenbosch-in the winelands in the Cape, If you prefer the city – University of Cape Town is good. The other three I would look at would be the University of Pretoria, University of Potchefstroom or Rhodes University.

      Comment by slowvelder — June 23, 2010 @ 6:34 | Reply

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