Fine Art student shares her Double Degree experience

19 November 2018

Rosa Zangenberg
Rosa Zangenberg

Rosa Zangenberg (DK), is a 23-year old Fine Art student at the Royal Academy of Art, The Hague (KABK). She is one of the early participants of the new Double Degree trajectory – combining their bachelor Fine Arts programme with the bachelor Arts, Media and Society at Leiden University.

This trajectory has started in September 2017. Upon successful completion of the four-year trajectory students receive both a bachelor’s degree from the Royal Academy of Art (KABK) and a bachelor’s degree from Leiden University.

We asked Rosa about her experiences in this Double Degree programme:

Why did you apply for the Double Degree programme?
For me, it has for a long time seemed the optimal solution to do a combination of both studies. Before I started my Fine Art studies at KABK, I studied Art History for a year in Aarhus University, Denmark and even before that, I took a preparatory course in Fine Art, also in Denmark. This might perhaps say something about my struggle to choose between the two. I think my "struggle" is that I am at first of all a creative person but at the same time I am highly motivated by a strict discipline which is sometimes an aspect that can be less noticeable in art schools. That said, I think what matters the most is that I feel that what I learn in both schools just adds to each other. The theory and history motivate me to think about my own practice in a wider context but it also inspires me. The same goes for my studio practice in KABK where I constantly feel the eagerness to learn more about the field I am in.

How does the combination of this programme work for you?
Practically, they have made it very easily to combine! I can without problems attend all mandatory courses and classes in each school. However, it is sometimes hard to mix them up too much both practically but also psychologically. I don't like to be in KABK and in Leiden University both in one day since I strongly feel both school needs my full, deep attention and that takes time to get into. A few times I have informed my teachers in KABK that I needed to stay home, simply because I had a lot of workload in Leiden due to exams and papers. That, they're usually fine with.

How do the topics in the University programme affect your artistic practice?

Usually, when taking the courses in Leiden, I don't feel an immediate connection to my own work, simply because I am obliged to look at the material from a distance and as a theoretical scholar. However, it is often that I can reflect on it later and suddenly see the connection to my own process. This for instance happened this semester when taking the course "Cinema and Photography" in Leiden. In this course, I learned about the paradoxical aspects of photography as being in the non-space between "is" and "was" and "here" and "there". I use photographic references a lot in my work and before that, I had never reflected upon what the photograph in fact did to my work.

Would you recommend this trajectory to other students?
I would recommend the course to a student who is eager to learn, who loves to read a lot and to write a lot and also one who is not afraid to miss out on everything. As a Double Degree student, there are certain aspects that I cannot do during my studies, such as doing an exchange. I would not recommend it to someone who wants to work on the side. The Double Degree requires a lot of hard work end flexibility - but with the right mind set it is 100% worth it!

What do you expect this Double Degree will bring you in the future?
Currently, I don't want to think so much about what the Double degree practically could be used for in the future. I see myself mainly as an art student, and I keep reminding myself that I moved to the Netherlands because of my Fine Art studies at KABK. In that sense, studying Arts, Media, and Society is an incredible tool for me to become the artist that I aim to be. That said, I am still on the first year in Leiden and I want to keep open for anything that could happen!