Rhine-Waal: An international and tolerant university that opens doors.

An experience report by Kilian Wirthwein Vega


My name is Kilian Wirthwein Vega, I am originally from Würzburg, Germany and I have been a student of the bachelor course International Relations at Rhine-Waal University of Applied Science from 2012 until 2016. Currently, I am studying a Master in Conflict Studies at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE).

My enthusiasm for interstate cooperation and diplomacy, which I have strengthened during my studies, was one of the main reasons to apply for an English-speaking study programme in Kleve. During the three years of study, following aspects shaped my personal and academic career: the internationality (over 100 nations are represented in the different faculties), the possibility of carrying out semesters abroad and internships and the multi-disciplinary academic education. Through my time in Kleve, important opportunities for my future were created, which I deeply appreciate.

Initially, I was told that it has disadvantages to studying at a newly established university. If I look at it now, my experiences during the time tell me another story. Of course, a good amount of self-initiative is demanded. At the beginning of studies, for example, no debating club was in existence which is why two colleagues and I founded the student organization Current Affairs Society, which aimed at practicing parliamentary debates, organizing legislative simulations and publishing academic articles about politics.

Thanks to the initiative of many students and the support of the professors a great amount of extracurricular activities were formed within a small period of time. 

After three very interesting semesters in Kleve, I decided to do an Erasmus semester in Istanbul, Turkey. I gained valuable experiences, had the opportunity to discover a new culture and built friendships which will hold for the rest of my life. The university offers an excellent network of partner universities all around the world.

During my 5th semester, I went to the German embassy in Madrid, Spain where I completed a 5-months internship. Many of my colleagues had the opportunity to work for the United Nations, other embassies, NGOs or political parties around the world (the list is very long).

When returning to Kleve after only one year, I noticed that not only had the amount of students risen tremendously, but also the sports and free time events had multiplied to a great offer of diverse activities. This is an advantage that derives from the devise of Innovation which is part of the university´s code of practice. To be part of an institution that is still in a creation process promotes the capabilities of each individual student in a very intensive way.

Another advantage of this university is the personal contact between professors and students. While many universities work in a very anonymous way, in Rhine-Waal one can always find helpful and individualized support. The correct contact person is always available.

It is hard for me to describe the impact of the Rhine-Waal University on my personal development in a few words. Because words are not enough: Studying here has to be experienced by everyone him/herself.

The content of this page was created by Kilian Wirthwein Vega.