Hello, my name is Maximilian, 1st year student at UCG. Today I enjoyed my time outside in the warm spring sun. Although, remembering having exams next week, I rushed home, biochemical processes in my mind. At a stoplight, my mind started wandering – sunlight, exams…. It’s been over half a year since I joined UCG! Time passed so swiftly that I barely noticed. As the stoplight turned green I could barely think of glycogen degradation anymore – instead I pondered – why on earth did I move to the Netherlands? Reasons for those are plenty, some of which personal. But if someone were to ask me, I would tell them 3 things: International Studies, Top University, and New Life.
Firstly, I enjoy an international atmosphere. While it is easier to connect to people of the same culture and language, I find it more enriching to have people from all around the world – around me! From the daily Smalltalk and jokes, to the group projects, up to the deep discussions which happen after a nice dinner – I feel like I learn something new every time.
Secondly, the Rijksuniversiteit Groningen is a unique place to study at. On one hand the University has been within the top 100 ranking, which sounded appealing to me. Also, the University College Programme was exactly what I was looking for – being able to focus on what I like (biochemistry) without having to abandon learning about different disciplines. Even going as far as to find viable connections with the newly acquired knowledge. On top of that, the city of Groningen is unique in its feeling as a University city. With a 25% student population, you can really feel a fresh wind wherever you go. Yet it is cosy enough to not be too busy on the streets. As a friend likes to put it: “Groningen has all the benefits of a Dutch city, but without all the tourists.”
Lastly, the biggest point for me to move here, was to start a new life. At first, living on my own was scary – everything was dependent on myself. That the clothes are clean, that the fridge is full, even that the floor stays dust-free. However, with time I learned to adjust to the new, sovereign life, and can’t help but notice that I’ve grown through it.
In the months I have spent here, I feel like I’ve made many new international contacts, lived a student life like no other, and have become a more responsible person. So, in the end, while rushing home to study for my upcoming biochemistry exam – I smile – because I know I have made the right decision.