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A Day in the Life of an LLM Governance and Law in a Digital Society Student

Date:15 October 2020
Lucas Haitsma
Lucas Haitsma

Hi! My name is Lucas Haitsma, I am 23-years-old and half Dutch and half American. After pursuing my bachelor in International and European Law and then a first masters in Global Criminal Law, I am now pursuing a second masters in the area of Governance and Law in a Digital Society (GLDS) at Campus Fryslân! 

Governance and Law in a Digital Society (GLDS) students study the challenges arising from an increasingly digitalised society. We examine the possibilities that digitalisation offers organisations, but also the social problems that arise from digitalisation and the role the public administration and law plays in solving these issues. If you are interested in what the day in the life of a GLDS Student looks like, then you are in the right place!

It is a Tuesday today in Block 1 – that means my class today will start at around 10.45 and finish at about 17.00

7:30 AM – Wake up

While some of my classmates live in Leeuwarden, I live in Groningen which means I have to commute to Leeuwarden on the days when I have class. I like to be at the campus by 9.30, which means catching the train from Groningen at 8.42 and being out of the door by 8.30. 

8:42 AM – Train Ride

Like many of my classmates, I take the train to get to Leeuwarden. I very much enjoy taking the train as it helps me to structure my day. I will usually take this time to plan out my day/week, work on any assignments, or do any readings that I still need to finish. 

9:15 AM – Arrival in Leeuwarden

Once I arrive in Leeuwarden, I walk 5 minutes from the train station to Campus Fryslân. Once at the campus, I walk through the sliding doors, disinfect my hands, greet the secretary, and head upstairs to find a study spot and keep working before class.  

10:45 AM - Class – Policy Analysis 

My first class is policy analysis, a project-based class involving a lot of discussions. This is one of my favourite classes of the block as it involves looking at real policy challenges related to digitalisation and thinking about the underlying problems in order to come up with possible solutions. This class is great and I like it a lot as it involves a lot of critical thinking and interesting discussions. In the class itself, we explain our policy problems to each other,  our possible solutions and talk with each other to get feedback on it. In a multidisciplinary study, such feedback is incredibly valuable as it encourages you to think about problems and solutions from different angles and perspectives.  

12:30 PM – Lunch

After the first class, I head to the cafeteria to get something to eat like soup or a sandwich. I will normally sit with people from class and discuss the material from class, work on any group projects, or just general chit-chat. 

13:15 PM – Class – Policy Science in a Digital Society Lecture

After lunch, I head back to class. Policy science in a digital society is incredibly interesting as we discuss topics such as choices based on big data, automated decision-making and enforcement, and transparency. This class combines lectures from teachers specialised in these areas as well as guest lecturers from companies and governmental organisations. Today, we have a guest lecturer from a company developing AI technology who will be talking about AI and the societal implications of such technology.

15:00 PM – Quick coffee break

In between class, as people hit the afternoon dip, it’s nice to all grab a quick cup of coffee to spruce us up for the final class. This is a great opportunity to talk to classmates, teachers, and ask any questions to guest lecturers. 

15:15 PM – Policy Science in a Digital Society Seminar

Seminars provide a fantastic opportunity for students to become the teachers of a certain topic. Each student gives a presentation related to one of the topics of policy science in a digital society. Today, it is my turn to give a presentation and I will be presenting about how AI is used by the Dutch police to predict where crime will occur. Giving such a presentation is a great opportunity to become an expert on a certain topic and share it with your classmates. The presentations always end up in discussions in which people of different academic backgrounds can share their opinions about the topic presented. 

17:00 PM – Finish class and head to the station

After class, I talk to classmates for a bit and then head to the station to catch the train back to Groningen at 17.21. In the train, I will do some more work such as working on my Dutch and my programming skills.  

18:09 PM – Arrival in Groningen and of the working day

I get back to Groningen at 18.09 at which point I will usually go to the gym before heading home to eat and wind down for the evening. My typical evening activities will consist of hanging out with some friends, having a drink, watching some series, or hanging out with my girlfriend.