Nothing tops Groningen!
"My name is Natalia and I am a recently graduated medical doctor from the University of São Paulo, in Brazil.
My first contact with Groningen and the UMCG was back in 2010, when I applied for the International Summer School Oncology for Medical Students. I had such a great time during the two weeks that I spent there and I liked the city and the Dutch culture so much, that when I returned to Brazil I decided to apply for a position as an exchange student, to be a part of a research project for one year at the UMCG.
So I returned to Groningen in 2011. From the very beginning I felt really welcome in the UMCG. Both my supervisors and my colleagues were very receptive and very kind to me, helping me around and making me feel really at home. Regarding the academic aspects, my experience also could not have been better. My supervisors gave me a lot of attention and guided me through every step of our project. We had weekly meetings to discuss all of the important points and they gave me a lot of feedback on my work. I learned a lot from my research experience and it was very enriching for me. Our project was so successful that when I returned to Brazil in 2012, we started a very interesting study in collaboration with the University of São Paulo, on the same research line. We were granted a scholarship (Special Visiting Researcher) for a three-year project and one of my Dutch supervisors visits us twice a year for coordinating the project and teaching courses. Now, after three years of internships and research in Brazil, I am preparing myself to go back to Groningen, this time as a PhD student, for continuing the research project we started in 2011.
Groningen is an amazing city. A great part of its population is made up by students, so it has a vivid and intense student life, with a very busy night life and many cultural activities going on. It is also very diverse. There you can find people from countless different countries, coming from extremely different cultures, sharing experiences and learning from each other. Another great thing about the city is that you can go everywhere by bike, so it is very easy and quick to move around (which was especially nice for me, since I am used to spending hours sitting in the car in traffic jams here in Sao Paulo).
Additionally, Groningen is located very centrally in Europe, allowing you to travel around a lot. There are many low cost airlines flying from Groningen, and cities close by, to basically everywhere in Europe and it is also really easy to travel by train.
I had the best time of my life living in Groningen and I am very excited to return to this beautiful city that became my home away from home. I would totally recommend it to any student who wants to have an intense experience living abroad, both personally and professionally. Nothing tops Groningen!"
As of November 2014 we are delighted to announce that Natalia is also our student ambassador for Brazil! Would you like to ask Natalia a question? If so, feel free to contact her by email.