I chose the former because I wanted bridge the gap between the two and study Mediterranean Archaeology not just in the Southern European setting usually preferred by scholars in this field, but also in its provincial, Dutch setting. After all, the Roman Empire stretched not only from Alexandria and Constantinople to Rome but also to the little country that we now call the Netherlands.
The Master's track in Classical and Mediterranean Archaeology allowed me a great deal of freedom to pursue this avenue of research: many course units and programmes are designed so that students can follow their own interests within the broad field of Mediterranean Archaeology.
One course unit taken by every Master's student is 'Archaeology of Today', which pushes students to think in new and different ways about the role of archaeology in Dutch and European society. Examining the political relevance of archaeology and public awareness of it (through museums, for example) was very thought-provoking. Considering how Mediterranean and Dutch archaeology could be useful in real life made us go beyond writing academic papers to address how archaeology can be relevant in European and Dutch society today.
After this Master's track, I hope to start working with the public in a museum where new research and the beautiful remains of our past are accessible to everyone. Many people are interested in our past and archaeology can help us feed this curiosity. By making the past tangible and human, everybody can see and experience how things used to be and where we come from.