A year in Maastricht: Parting words from our 2023-24 MPP Student Ambassadors

Our Master’s in Public Policy and Human Development (MPP) 2023-24 Student Ambassadors Kendra Larach, Lucas Boh and Carmen Duran reflect on their time as MPP students


L-R: Kendra Larach, Lucas Boh, and Carmen Duran








As we look back to 10 months ago, we still remember the MPP Introduction Days at the start of September 2023 and how everything seemed unknown. The major feeling we sensed was excitement, but as classes started, other feelings snuck in, such as fear and stress. We were being challenged left and right, and sometimes things seemed quite overwhelming. However, without even noticing, all of a sudden, we were part of a community. A community that we looked forward to seeing every day, and little by little, the feeling of stress started to disappear. One moment in particular stands out: sitting in the famous Cube, struggling with STATA (statistical software used in the MPP) before one of our final exams, staying late after a tutorial. The practice problems looked almost like another language! But one of our fellow MPPers coached us through the problem, and sat down beside us to talk through it, which really helped.

We realized we were capable of doing every single task, and at the same time, we created our own little family in Maastricht, which helped us along the way. 

Master’s Open Day (11 November 2023). Three generations of MPP Student Ambassadors: L-R: Kendra, Kathleen Hopewell (2022-23), Leopoldo Pérez Obregón (2021-22) and Lucas.

Lucas and Kendra photographed during the annual MPP trip to Geneva in February.















At the beginning of the year, two promises were made to us.

The first one was clear from the beginning: the programme was going to demand all our dedication right from day one and would be intense. The first tutorial required pages of readings to complete by the next day, and this was a first taste of the learning pace we would experience during our time in Maastricht.

But despite these overwhelming feelings, we discovered that the second promise was quickly being fulfilled as well: the MPP is highly rewarding. After completing every task, assignment, presentation and exam we had to prepare for, the joy and sense of achievement that followed made all worth it. And more importantly, the feeling that we were learning and acquiring new skills every week.

Looking back now, we are grateful for every single feeling and challenge. When comparing the Kendra, Lucas and Carmen that arrived in Maastricht in September with ourselves now, it is difficult to believe all we have achieved after only 10 months.

There is no denying that each and every one of our cohort learned a lot both inside and outside the classroom in the past year, and there is no one else but the people we met here that we would rather have done it with. We are grateful to every single person that was part of our journey this year. Sitting at the MPP Closing Ceremony, we felt the strong sense of community we all created this year, a particular accomplishment that all the MPP students should be proud of. We feel enriched by our classmates’ insightful perspectives that spanned across the globe. We would not change anything, as every moment brought us to where we are today, and we are proud of how far we have all come. 

Carmen and Kendra at the world-famous Keukenhof spring gardens in March.

Snow at UNU-MERIT in January!













To learn more about our Master’s in Public Policy and Human Development (MPP) programme from a student’s perspective, check out our MPP Student Ambassadors Instagram page!



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