The University of Groningen is a top 100 university with a great employability rating , and all the information I found on the city and Dutch culture really appealed to me. In Spain, the university atmosphere is quite laid-back and I missed learning in a motivating environment. Back home, students don't take the first year particularly serious, but here people are really pushing for top marks. Groningen is a university city, and being around other students wherever you go makes it easier to feel at home, and to stay motivated to study hard.
I had done some scientific research when I studied Psychology in Málaga and hoped to find a similar opportunity in Groningen. Computing Science makes you think in an analytical, logical way, and although it's tough, I really enjoy it. I have worked hard, and got into the Honours College, a group consisting of the top 10% of students. We are allowed to take extra classes, both in and outside of the faculty, and are invited to do research. I guess the Dutch mentality of trying to get the most out of your studies rubbed off on me.
I really enjoy the student life here. Classes are focused on practice and examples rather than the dry theory, and the lecturers know how to share their knowledge in a concise, focused way. They all speak English well, which is great, but I would probably advise prospect students to learn a little bit of Dutch too. Although everyone speaks English in the Netherlands, it can be difficult to find a part-time job if you have no knowledge of Dutch.
Fortunately, Dutch people are very direct, and it is easy to make friends. There is so much to do and see in Groningen: I spend my afternoons in the park, or go to one of the many activities hosted by the international students. You hear the most amazing stories: I have met more interesting people from all over the world in these six months than I have in my entire life.