Alumni Spotlight: Theresa Lieb (Class of 2015)

After obtaining her BSc in International Development[1] at LUC, Theresa Lieb (25, Class of 2015) took a year off from studying to get some practical experience. She went to Brazil where she did an internship for the German Development Bank (KfW) working on financing the transition to renewable energy in Brazil. After that, she stayed in Brazil to intern with the German Development Service (GIZ) in their “Green Economy” project. Earlier this year, she started an MPhil in Environmental Change and Management at the University of Oxford.


Where did you go to school before LUC?
Originally, I come from Germany, where I did a ‘regular’ Gymnasium.

How did you like being at LUC?
I definitely enjoyed my courses and the small-scale teaching style at LUC. I made some great friends there, for the rest of my life. The experience at LUC was rather intense and you always had lots to do, especially in terms of essay writing. But, in a way, getting used to the work load has been very helpful for my later internships and current study at the University of Oxford.

You graduated LUC with a major in International Development, do you feel like that left you well prepared for your internships and Oxford?
The biggest take away for me was how to do research and write papers, applying different methodologies, as well as thinking critically and structurally. I still use these skills all the time.

In terms of direct contents it´s a bit more complicated because I am studying a slightly different topic now. But I am using environmental economics again. Also, some of my knowledge on institutional design, policy making and natural resource management is still helpful as background theory.

At LUC we deal with global challenges and are taught to dream big. So, which global challenge are you going to solve in the future?
I am now focusing a lot on environmental issues and also learning much about climate change, so I will definitely be working on treating our planet more sustainably. I am, specifically, interested in the future of food systems spanning from climate-smart agriculture to plant-based diets and urban food governance. But you can´t really solve any global challenge without systems thinking, so what is really required is structural change and more cooperation and communication between fields to reach that.

[1] For graduates after 2016, the major in International Development has been combined with the major in Policy Science to form the major Governance, Economics and Development at LUC.

Winter Alumni Gathering

Dear LUC Alumni,

We would like to officially invite you all to LUC’s first  Winter Alumni Gathering! Join us and catch up with your fellow LUC graduates and LUC staff, learn more about the LUC developments, share your stories and enjoy a drink.


Date:           Saturday 17 December 2016
Time:           16.00 – 18.30
Location:    LUC The Hague, Anna van Buerenplein 301, The Hague

16.00 – 16.30    Welcome & Registration
16.30 – 16.50   Update by the College Board
16.50 – 17.10   Round table session on the alumni network: What can we do for you?
17.10 – 17.30   Share your story
17.30 – 18.30   Drinks @ Coasters (student bar)

We kindly request you to register for this event using our online form.
We hope to see many on the 17th!

If you don’t live in The Netherlands, but would still like to be connected and have some drinks with fellow LUC graduates abroad (e.g. in London or Berlin), please send an e-mail to and we will bring graduates in touch!

Alumni Spotlight: Hylke de Sauvage Nolting (Class of 2016)

Hylke de Sauvage Nolting (22, Class of 2016) did not waste any time after graduating from Leiden University College The Hague. Almost immediately after receiving his BA  in ‘World Politics’, he got on a plane to his next destination: the prestigious Yenching Academy to study Politics and International Relations at Peking University in Beijing, China.


Where did you go to school before LUC?

I completed my VWO at Unic in Utrecht. This is one of the most progressive schools in The Netherlands, with a lot of freedom for the students and a focus on the development of skills, not just on gaining knowledge. Before coming to LUC, I took a gap year to work and explore a little bit of the world. I have always travelled quite a bit with my parents, but going out there by myself really was a great experience!

How did you like being at LUC?

In retrospect, I could not have made a better decision than coming to LUC. It has been the place where I have been able to develop all different kinds of skills and where I have gained a lot of knowledge about all these different subjects and academic areas!  The focus on preparation, in-class participation, the courses, the professors, the level of education and my fellow students have made my time at LUC very special. I also liked that because you live on campus for two years you get this great community feeling. I always felt quite proud to be part of this community!

You graduated LUC with a major in World Politics, do you feel like that left you well prepared for Yenching Academy?

Some things are very similar to LUC, and that is also the reason that I like Yenching: it is an international environment in which you can learn from and become friends with people from all over the world; the program is interdisciplinary, providing me with the opportunity to choose a wide variety of courses; having small classes, the program is based on student participation; and both LUC and Yenching are small-scale colleges, where you have the opportunity to get to know most students and professors very well.

At LUC we deal with global challenges and are taught to dream big. So, which  global challenge are you going to solve in the future?

Looking around, there are obviously many global issues that need to be solved. I feel like having studied at LUC and now at Yenching Academy allowed me to delve into these problems even more. With my background and interests I think I would mostly focus on tackling income and wealth inequality, both within The Netherlands and abroad. A man should have dreams right? Internationally, inequality is the main root of poverty. In The Netherlands, inequality is in my opinion the main cause of many societal problems. Overall, I think I would like to contribute to reducing inequality, improving the life of people.

Where in the World: Jessica Brugmans, Class of 2013


At the moment I am living in Pokhara, the second largest city of Nepal, snuggly nestled between beautiful Lake Fewa and the Himalaya. When I’m not completely distracted by the awesome views inviting exploratory hikes all around, I am working at my internship at Bioversity International. Pokhara and Bioversity are not just my place of work, but also the base-camp for fieldwork throughout Nepal that I’m doing for my Master’s thesis.


After LUC I stayed in The Hague for another amazing year, in which I got my LL.M. in Public International Law in Leiden. Even though the highlight of the program was learning to be a lawyer in the Telders International Law Moot Court Competition, I decided that court-life isn’t for me, or at least not yet. Therefore, I decided to head to Aarhus, Denmark for a MSc in Human Security. It is there that I rekindled a passion for climate change, food security and agriculture that the fast and dangerous world of international law had pushed to the back burner. Studying in Denmark is fantastic, there is preference for the small-scale student focused education that LUC has spoiled us all with, the local vikings are a good crowd and the hills can be scaled on a citybike. Still, after all these years of grassy fields and coasts I decided it was time for a change of scenery, which is how I ended up in Nepal.


The organization I am working with is, together with a wide array of other stakeholders, implementing a long-term UNEP project on the integration of traditional crop genetic diversity, in order to create a buffer against environmental change. This means that on several places in mountainous Nepal they are implementing measures to enhance biodiversity in agriculture. Such measures include among others community seed banks, participatory plant breeding and diversity fairs where farmers show off the plethora of varieties they grow. I am contributing to a framework that will ensure availability, access and benefit-sharing of the genetic resources farmers possess, and the traditional knowledge associated with it. Staying true to my interdisciplinary roots, this means combining the international treaties, domestic laws and policies, as well as customary practices and agricultural choices. With my internship I get access to not only farmer communities but also government officials, NGO staff and others to gather my own data on benefit-sharing that I will use for my thesis back in Denmark. I am for example currently participating in a workshop on seed systems that includes practitioners and experts from all over the world

12064147_10204908867867834_2013123372_nThere is a lot going on in Nepal at the moment, and its people and agriculture are infinitely diverse, which makes the work extra interesting and definitely keeps me busy for now. After this I get to return to Denmark for one last stretch of student life. What comes after that is still a little unsure, but so far it’s always worked out, and I’m positive that won’t change.


Evolucio Board 2015

Hi everyone! Hereby we would like to present ourselves to you as the new Evolucio Board. This year’s board will have a different structure then the previous boards. Therefore we would like to introduce ourselves and our positions to everyone. The Board of 2015 is comprised of six members, who have graduated in either 2013, 2014 or 2015.

We would hereby like to present the Evolucio Board of 2015:

PicMonkey Collage

Georgina Kuipers – Coordinator 


Hey! I am Georgina Kuipers, a member of LUC’s founding Class of 2013. I majored in World Politics and went on to get my MSc (Research) in Political Science and Public Administration at Leiden University. While I love hearing the stories of my friends traveling all over the world, I’m sticking with The Hague for a little while longer. LUC was my home for three years and I’d love to stay connected with the amazing people I met there – and all other wonderful future alumni – through Evolucio.

Odette Vriese – Event Coordinator


 Hi everyone! My name is Odette Vriese, graduate of LUC’s Class of 2014. I did a major in World Politics and started last year with my MSc in Public Administration, the track Public Management, at Leiden University. Since I was a board member last year and decided to stay in The Hague for another year, I also wanted to remain part of Evolucio. Together with Ruba we will organise a few different events for both alumni and the current LUC community, such as the return of the current affairs night – keep an eye out for that one! Above all, I would love to stay in touch with LUC for another year through Evolucio while also showing that there is life after LUC.

Ruba Nawaz – Event Coordinator

1235010_224122734404446_98046416_n What’s up?! I’m Ruba Nawaz. I graduated this year and already miss LUC, which only means one thing: be part of Evolucio! Apart from staying in touch with LUC and the alumni community, I hope to organize together with Odette some cool events this year to engage with current students as well. I’m currently doing my Masters in ‘Philosophy, Politics and Economics’ (PPE) in Leiden and also conducting a few independent filming projects in The Hague. Thankfully enough reasons to still hang around in The Hague, where I spent three amazing years of my life.

Lieke Bos – Online Coördinator


Hi! I’m Lieke and I’m from LUC’s founding Class of 2013, when I graduated in Global Justice. Originally from the Netherlands, I’ve since LUC wandered across Asia and Europe – both studying and working. I did a double masters in International Political Economy at the University of Warwick and Strategic Studies at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (NTU) in Singapore. Currently I’m working for an intergovernmental organisation based in Singapore, so drop me a line if you happen to be around or pass by, I’d be more than happy to show you around or give you any tips.

Ilene van Brouwershaven – Online Coordinator


Hi everyone! My name is Ilene and I graduated from LUC this summer as a member of the Class of 2015. This year I hope to further explore my interests in life by doing internships, voluntary work etc. The LUC alumni community is an interesting and inspiring one, one where we can inspire each other and profit from each other’s expanding knowledge. As an online coordinator I hope to contribute to this by providing and managing a platform for all of us to stay in touch where ever in the world we are! 

Eliza Grisle – Database CoordinatorAAEAAQAAAAAAAACUAAAAJGY2ZmFiMzJhLWVlZjItNGI5My04ZmYxLTM3Yjg4YmFhMmIyNg

 Dear all, My name is Eliza and I’m a member of Class 2014. Currently I am doing my LL.M. in Leiden and previously have worked at the ICC, OPCW and the Latvian embassy in the Hague. During the last years, both at LUC and when starting my professional career, I have learned to appreciate the importance of a good network. Therefore, I have joined the Evolucio board to work on creating a comprehensive LUC Alumni Network. Throughout this academic year I will contact alumni from all graduating years and ensure that Evolucio has a strong database containing our whereabouts, studies in progress or completed, internships, jobs, etc. Wishing you a successful year, Eliza


We are all looking forward to a great year. If you have any questions, remarks or ideas please do get in touch with us!


Evolucio Board 2015

Welcome to the alumni community, Class of 2015!

The Graduation of the Class of 2015 took place on Friday the 3rd of July at the Koninklijke Schouwburg in The Hague. Below is the speech that Christine Everaars, board member of Evolucio, performed during the ceremony.

Good afternoon all! 

A bit less than five years ago, LUC courses started at Lange Voorhout, with only a small amount of students and professors. The first two years were fun, but LUC was still in baby shoes. In september 2012, you guys joined and made LUC to one whole, with students in all stages of the programme. 

Since that time, a lot has changed for you. Let’s start with the most obvious change, which the class representative also mentioned: moving from Lange Voorhout to the Anna van Buerenplein. From one beautiful characteristic building, to the also beautiful but definitely less characteristic one. You guys changed this. With your committee, college and other activities you gave colour to this building. Even though AvB did not always become more beautiful after your parties, it definitely became more characteristic… 

But there was more; you moved from being introduction week ducklings, to introduction week mommies and daddies, and eventually to those who didn’t really care about introduction week (except for the BBQ, of course). You changed from being first, to second to third years (some of you even fourth years). From being newbies to experts.

Just a few minutes ago, another thing has changed: You just moved from LUC to our alumni society, Evolucio. Because even though you leave LUC, that does not mean that LUC leaves you: that is one thing that does not change. Together, we want to stay connected online and offline, and we hope to see you on many of our events. 

To show that life after LUC is also full of choices, options and changes, we have compiled a short video of alumni life. Enjoy and welcome to the alumni community!


Call for Board Members

The Evolucio Board is looking for new board members!

Evolucio aims to connect LUC’s graduates with each other and the college. Besides a new class of graduates, we will help celebrate LUC’s 5-year lustrum during the Lustrum Season (during the second half of 2015).

We are looking for enthusiastic LUC alumni who would like to join our team, and who want to contribute to the important relationship between LUC and its alumni. The Evolucio board consists of the following members:

  • Coordinator, who oversees the board, organizes the meetings and keeps in touch with LUC;
  • 2 Events coordinators, who plan and execute the events (including a big Lustrum festivity and of course the yearly graduation dinner);
  • 2 Online coordinators, who put together the newsletter and make sure to stay in touch with alumni on social media and our website.

We would like to determine the optimal allocation of functions during and after the application process, based on the applicants’ interests. An Evolucio Board position would take up to 2-3 hours a week (this may vary from week to week depending on the workload). We are a young and growing community, so we are looking for alumni who would like to contribute to its development and help come up with new ideas!

If you’re interested in helping out with a specific event, or would like to be a contact person at your location (e.g. London, Paris), we’d love to hear from you too! We’re planning on having Evolucio Ambassadors, much like LUC’s student ambassadors, to spread the LUC spirit.

To apply for a position in the Evolucio Board, please send an email to, with a short statement of motivation (max 200 words) and your CV before the 12th of July 2015. We will then select applications for a short interview. If you have any questions, feel free to email that address as well.

Where in the World: Lennart Hoedemakers, Class of 2014

As can be seen from our map, LUC alumni can be found all over the world. Today’s post was written by Lennart Hoedemakers, World Politics Major, Class of 2014.


Hi all,

My time at LUC, occupied with a major in World Politics and a minor in International Development, left me unsure as to what I wanted to do next. I had gotten increasingly interested in the economic development of countries, and specifically the role of multinational companies in this. I wanted to experience how and why the private sector appears to be so much more efficient in the attainment of their goals as compared to the often bureaucratic approach of many international organizations and institutions. Thus I ended up doing an internship at the Heineken Africa and Middle East department.

After a training period at the HQ in Amsterdam, and several visits to Kenya, I went to the main location of my assignment – Juba, South Sudan. My assignment here consists of several elements: my main task is to conduct a Trade Census, which is a survey of the beverage market in South Sudan. With this data it is possible to create a perfect picture of the number of outlets and the volumes of the market, allowing Heineken to adapt their strategy vis-a-vis the South Sudanese market. Similarly I am looking into the supply-chain and logistics of the South Sudanese market, and also assess what factors influence consumers here. Finally I’m actively involved in the organization of several Heineken events surrounding the Champions league this spring.


I honestly couldn’t have wished for a better internship; I have been given insight in the operations of Heineken International, in the process hiring, training and managing a team of 12 South Sudanese. Moreover, I have the independence to make localized decisions, while enjoying the supervision, support and resources of Heineken International. All in all, I’m very glad to have been given this opportunity, and don’t think I could have been learning more in any other possible way.

Regards from Juba,

Lennart Hoedemakers
‘Project Leader Trade Census – Heineken in Juba, South Sudan’

Leiden University’s 440th Dies Natalis: LUC Alumna Sophie Starrenburg receives Best Thesis Award of Leiden University

Monday the 9th of February 2015 marked the day of Leiden University’s 440th Dies Natalis. It also marked the day that LUC alumna Sophie Starrenburg, Class of 2014, was rewarded the Best Thesis Award of Leiden University, and gave a speech about her Capstone project at the Dies Natalis. We believe this was a huge honour for Sophie, and thus we asked her to share some of her experiences of that day with us:


Last Monday, the 9th of February, I was given the amazing opportunity to speak at Leiden University’s 440th Dies. It was pretty exciting, as I had never been to a Dies in Leiden, only to those of LUC; as such, it was a lot of fun to experience all the pomp and circumstance that comes with the event, and also to get a sense of how LUC, as an institution, fits into the broader picture. This is only the second year that the University has chosen to let students speak about their theses at the Dies; the main motivation is to showcase that student research can also be very interesting. Each of the faculties was asked to provide theses from the previous academic year which had been given internal/external awards; a panel headed by the vice-rector then went through all of the nominations and chose one to be presented at the Dies.

Short recap of my Capstone, for those unaware: I looked at the ways in which international law protects tangible and intangible forms of cultural heritage, concluding that the current approach doesn’t work too well. I argued that the criminalisation of cultural genocide (which had originally been part of the concept, but was scrapped from the Genocide Convention) could provide a possible solution, as it captured the effect that cultural destruction can have on groups and could possibly aid timely intervention in potential genocidal situations.

In the run-up to the day, after practicing with an organising member of staff, I was essentially given one message: the speech needed to be slower, shorter, and simpler. She also informed me that there would be 1200 people in attendance, a matter of which I had been blissfully unaware up until that point (let’s just say I wasn’t exactly primed to present to crowds of that magnitude). Despite the existential angst produced by being forced to reduce one’s Capstone to essentially 500 words –as well as many practice sessions in which I forced myself to speak ever slower and slower –I managed, and by the time the actual day rolled around, I felt pretty prepared (but also experiencing what one might call impostor syndrome). The worst moment was waiting by the side of the stage as I was introduced, but once I was behind the podium and started speaking, I got into the flow of things – and before I knew it, it was over!

In the end, the whole experience was far more fun than I would have thought it could be: I got a lot of nice reactions afterwards, and entered into some interesting conversations with some of the attendees (was pulled into a conversation with one of the honorary doctorates, Peter Katzenstein –I could have probably really used a World Politics or Human Interaction major with me at that moment!).

Here’s to hoping that we’ll see another LUC’er on stage next year –and that all my fellow alumni are doing well, wherever you may be.


Sophie Starrenburg
Class of 2014

Welcome to the alumni community, Class of 2014 ½!

As of Wednesday, the Evolucio community is a few alumni richer. The graduates of the class of 2014 and a half, experienced a very personal send-off by LUC. After reminiscing on the adventures, high and low points and other memories of these graduates, they were welcomed by Luc van der Stegen as the new batch of Evolucio alumni. We want to congratulate Anita Awolaja, Judith Bayer, Elizabeth Bogaert, Casey Bryan, Kaiyuan Chen, Vanessa Escoto, Su Jeong Ji (Suji), Freya Koci , Miika Korja, Maria Madland, Matthew McEveety, Madeleine McMurray (Maddi), Joes de Natris, Taymur Mustafa, and Sarah Wildeboer with receiving their bachelor’s degree. We wish you the best of luck in all your future endeavours! Below is the speech that Luc performed during the ceremony.


Honourable guests, LUC staff and students, and lastly, my graduates, friends and febbies,

Last summer, Georgina gave this speech, and she started off saying that a lot of things had changed since the previous, first speech of our Alumni association which was given for the first graduation of Leiden University College– for one, she mentioned, her hair was a whole lot shorter. Well, my hair has stayed the same, I actually go to the exact same place, to the exact same lady in Chinatown to get my exact same hair cut for the past 4 years. I might have slipped up once.

A few other things have also stayed the exact same since; EVOLUCIO has organized an Alumni dinner every year, EVOLUCIO has skated on ice every year and EVOLUCIO has welcomed each batch of LUC’ers into its community. And this community, you’ll be part of it everywhere, you can go anywhere, and the community will still be with you, provided you’ll be in London or the Netherlands. Or our newest regional expansion; Taiwan.

 But let’s go back to when you guys were barely here: I observed your little group awkwardly from afar, slightly like a baby giraffe, some would characterize me. I can remember that you were sitting together in the common room of our shared student housing, conversing quite animatedly (they were yelling), and I was a little bit skeptical of what was happening with this rowdy bunch. I didn’t expect to get to know them, you, as soon as I did, I expected it even less than one would expect the Spanish inquisition.

It would only be several weeks later that I was walking around on the third floor of the Klok (our student housing), the night before the Earth exam and in the middle of the hallway, I encountered this table with two girls studying at it. And right away, they pulled up a chair and invited me to their little last minute studying session. And then I knew that I had become a part of this little, warm and very very welcoming community of febbies (the name that the February intake students adopted themselves). In the same way, I would now like to pull up a few extra chairs for you guys and invite you to our new shared table; EVOLUCIO and on behalf of the whole EVOLUCIO board, invite you to all future EVOLUCIO events to come.


If you ever have any questions or would like to connect to your fellow graduates, or have a cool idea for an event, don’t hesitate to drop a line, and we’ll see you on our events, facebookpage and webpage.