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Mattanja Gerritsen

Bachelor student Art History
Mattanja Gerritsen

About Mattanja

Hi there! My name is Mattanja and I’m 21 years old. I am a third year student of the bachelor Art History. Besides my love for art, I enjoy writing and making music. I am also active as a member of the University’s Green Office.

Why Art History?

My study choice was a long and tedious process. I was in secondary school and I was struggling to choose between applied sciences and university. Eventually, I ended up following two extra years of pre-university education in order to go to university after all. Since History and visual arts were my favourite subjects in secondary school, I love writing and art works tell stories, I became intrigued by the subject of art history. A few months later, I found myself wandering around on the open day of the bachelor Art History in Groningen.

I enjoyed the open day very much, but I was still left with a lot of doubts. Studying art history sounded like fun, but I was afraid that the job opportunities would be very limited. During the student for a day, however, I found out that the bachelor is not limiting at all. Art History at the University of Groningen has a very broad vision on the arts. For example, besides the courses on visual arts, you also follow a lot of courses on architecture and landscaping which make for a versatile and unique programme.

As I mentioned before, I doubted a lot between the applied sciences and university when I was in secondary school. The practical approach to learning of the applied sciences spoke to me, but the great thing about following the programme of Art History, is that you can apply the theory you learn in practice. For example, there are classes in collaboration with the art academy Minerva and excursions are organized regularly so that the material in your book becomes tangible. There’s another advantage to following this study: on your next city trip you can guide your friends or family around the city and tell them all about the churches, city halls and museums that you pass. This way, you’re constantly applying the studied material in practice and you can function as a free city guide!

Why Groningen?

I was very much attracted by the international focus of the programme. The possibility of studying art history in a different city, was therefore not really an option for me. Besides, from the moment I set foot in Groningen, I felt at home. The city is not too big and the streets are never quiet here. Throughout the last two years, I have lived in different parts of Groningen and every neighbourhood has its own charm. There’s always something to do somewhere! To me, this is what makes Groningen the perfect city for students.


I would like to learn more about the social context behind the art works that we study. Therefore, I’m hoping to start a study in History next year. Eventually, I want to combine these two fields of history and art history and focus on the social context and the stories behind the art works.

Golden Tip

Don’t be scared off by the landscaping courses, if these make you doubt the programme. You will learn to see the beauty in landscaping soon enough!

Last modified:28 October 2021 1.26 p.m.
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