'I decided to take the chance and conducted research about a very famous street market in my hometown Munich.' Read what Andreas Marx tells about Urban Sociology.
My Name is Andreas Marx (24) and I’m close to finish my Master's degree in Urban Sociology. After completing my Bachelor degree in Sociology at the Ludwig-Maximilians-University in Munich, I decided to apply for the Urban Sociology track at the UvA. I chose this programme, because I’m very interested in the way cities “work” and especially the question, why so many people can live together in such a dence location. Cities are unique, because you can’t find another place that provides you with so many different education and job opportunities, medical support, access to any kind of consumption goods and cultural events. It’s a place where you can meet more people with different cultural or ethnic backgrounds than anywhere else. Everybody can develop an individual lifestyle and perform in any field of interest. I wanted to know more about cities and the relation between their citizens and institutions.
Furthermore, I decided to come to Amsterdam, because the Graduate School of Social Sciences at the UvA is one of the best and well-known social sciences institutes in Europe and I got the chance to work and study with colleagues from all around the world and becoming friends with many of them. The lectures are also international and previously worked at universities in Boston, Los Angeles, Paris or St Petersburg. The semester is split into blocks, which means you have an eight weeks period with two or three intensive courses and afterwards new courses begin. This kind of working fits very well, because you can better focus on just a few topics instead of learning for ten different subjects at the same time.
No doubt, I learned a lot in the courses and the international lectures provided us with a lot of useful literature and varying ideas and theories according to the course topic. The atmosphere between the students and the lectures was very friendly and you get great support from the whole staff of GSSS.
In my year in Amsterdam I focused a lot on spatial theories and the meaning and symbolism of architecture in cities. Furthermore we did own research about cycling matters and the modernization process of Amsterdam-Noord. For the master thesis, the lectures gave us the opportunity to choose an independent topic with a lot of freedom according to theory and research methods. I decided to take the chance and conducted research about a very famous street market in my hometown Munich. The UvA supports this approach and generally gives the students the opportunity to decide about the location of study.
After finishing my master degree, I hope to reach another master programme in Urban Studies (either in Germany or somewhere else in Europe) to get deeper knowledge about the political, economical and decision-making mechanisms in cities to improve my social sciences background. I’m seeking for a career in urban planning and city development.
Last but not least, the cultural offerings and the beauty of Amsterdam with all the little canals and many bars made my stay to be remarkable. The people are friendly and speak fluently English. Though, you should not miss the chance to live in this vibrant multicultural modern city with this unique flair and also being part of this excellent university. Honestly, Amsterdam is a place of great pleasure.
Andreas can be contacted by e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.