Marnix Francot was born outside of Amsterdam and is currently an undergrad in the
International Studies department at Webster Leiden. In this interview, he discussed
why he decided to attend an American university and his work with the Model United
Where are you from?
That’s hard, actually. I was born close to Amsterdam and lived there for around two years. Then I moved to Belgium and lived there for six years. After that, Germany for eleven years and now I’m in Leiden. I’ve been all over the place.
What made you decide to attend an American university here in the Netherlands?
I started at a Dutch university in International Studies but I thought the program was too vague and way too big. I was just one of 450 first year students. We had no contact with our professors and I felt like just a number. It was also a relatively fresh program so they were testing a lot of new things and, halfway through the year, there were a lot of changes. It didn’t suit me anymore so I began looking for other possibilities. I started doing research on other International Relations programs and stumbled across Webster Leiden so here I am now.
Have you been involved with any clubs or student organizations at Webster Leiden?
Yes. I’m the Secretary-General of our Model United Nations Association. Right now, I’m preparing all of our delegates for a conference in Budapest this spring. I need to make sure they know what’s expected of them, the Rules of Procedure and other decorum. Between now and then, we’ll start on some policy writing and see what a debate is like. We’ll have two delegations going, one representing Germany and one representing Chile.
What have been some of your favorite classes?
I’m currently taking Principles of Macroeconomics and that’s really interesting. I’ve taken a lot of classes with Professor Russell. He’s very good at what he does and he’s very passionate about what he teaches. We also have interesting discussions in his classes.
Do you know what you would like to do after you’re finished with your studies at Webster Leiden?
I’ll most likely be graduating this December. I’ll have a half year available after that and I hope to go to Brussels to work for a lobbying firm. I’d really like to do an internship at the European Commission. That’s high on my wish list. Afterwards, I’d like to do a master’s degree.
10 Things About Marnix
1. Favorite food?
2. Favorite app?
3. Latest Google search?
Inflation rates in the United Kingdom for my Macroeconomics class.
4. Best spot in Leiden?
5. Favorite book?
The Great Gatsby. The book is way better than the movie.
6. Next trip you would like to take?
I’d really like to go to Cuba sometime.
7. Favorite movie?
Law Abiding Citizen
8. Facebook or Instagram?
9. Europe or the United States?
10. What three items would you take to a desert island other than food and water?
A book, a multitool and maybe my phone or an iPod with one of those solar panel chargers so it doesn’t run out of power.