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Daphne Marino, international alumni ambassador 2012-2013, Mexico

Daphne Marino

Name: Daphne Marino

Home country: Mexico

Programme: Master of Arts in International Relations and International Organization

Scholarship: Orange Tulip Scholarship for Mexican students

Contact: daphne.marino

Its existing curricula allows you to improve your research skills along the seminars, while it also helps you develop your working skills during the internship phase. All in all, the IRIO Master’s degree is highly fulfilling.

About stuying in Groningen

The University of Groningen was my first choice because it offered the perfect combination between studies in International Relation and International Security. Moreover, its existing curricula allows you to improve your research skills along the seminars, while it also helps you develop your working skills during the internship phase. All in all, the IRIO Master’s degree is highly fulfilling.

During the program, I learnt patience and tolerance while working in teams with students from different parts of the world. I also improved my research, writing, debating and oral presentation skills during the seminars of Human Rights and Democracy Building as well as in the seminar of Power Configurations. During the internship, I had the opportunity to experience German culture, while working for one of the top five development think-tanks worldwide. Overall, the biggest challenge I had to overcome was finishing my Master’s thesis on time. I felt highly satisfied with the results of my research. However, I must recognize the guidance, commitment, and advice of my thesis supervisor as key to my success.

My first shock regarding the education system was with the academic calendar. In Mexico we do not refer to it by ‘weeks’, as in ‘the course “A” starts on week 36 and it ends on week 42’. In Mexico classes are per semester and usually they all start in the same month and end on the same month. Another big difference is the grading system. However, I was several times warned about it. Still an 8 in the Dutch grading system was not as satisfactory for me as it was for Dutch students.

Groningen is a wonderful city for students. The university buildings are located in strategic areas, for example the main library is right in the heart of the city. This makes it very comfortable because after a hard working day you can always meet friends downtown to chill out! Apart from the academic life, Groningen offers thousands of activities every day of the week. From Salsa dancing lessons and other sport activities to festivals, plays, movies, public shows, concerts in the parks, and even a fair twice or three times a year! However, what I liked the most and I will always miss was the excellent bike paths all over the city as well as the bike trips you can make with your friends to the big lake and the surroundings of Groningen.

Amongst the top things I enjoyed the most in Groningen was my friends at the student house (Martini house); the students’ organizations: ESN and SIB Groningen (they had fantastic activities, from lectures and parties to trips abroad like Morocco and Brussels); and the safety environment of the city.

The Dutch culture is quite unique. Although attempting to learn their language is very challenging, communication is easy because everyone speaks English. However, if you have high expectations about finding a student’s job you should be aware that apart from dish washing and cutting kebab meat, it is hard to find one without speaking Dutch!

My contact person was so nice and helpful that even after a year I still remember her name: Anna de Vries. Seriously, before you arrival, you can send them any enquiry and they will try to help you as much as they can. A few advice to new students is to join groups such as ESN on facebook, shop at Aldi and Lidl for your groceries, buy a cheap bike, get the discount card for the trains if you are staying more than a year, and just do not forget to pack salsa valentina!


Daphne Marino studied International Relations and Diplomacy at UNAM in Mexico City. She is now a graduate of Master of Arts in International Relations and International Organization with a specialization in International Security from the University of Groningen. She has worked for the Canadian government since 2008 in several administrative positions. During the summer of 2012 she attended as an observer the Managing Global Governance School for emerging economies in Bonn. She also did a research study for the German Development Institute on biometric technology and the implementation of the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) program.

Miss Marino has been rewarded as a distinguished student as well as for her writing skills. As a former girls scout she enjoys traveling, camping, and doing extreme activities. Moreover, she is good at learning foreign languages and she enjoys mingling with people from different cultures. She describes her-self as a globe trotter.Her current goal is to become a specialist on security in the area of international organized crime. While looking for a PhD to further expand her knowledge, she hopes to work one day for the International Police as a professional researcher. Meanwhile, she is grateful to the University of Groningen for selecting her as an International Alumni Ambassador. Thus, she is looking forward to helping other students to have a satisfying experience in the Netherlands.

Last modified:11 July 2019 12.58 p.m.