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Damian Ortiz Rodríguez, international alumni ambassador 2013-2014, Mexico

Damian Ortiz Rodríguez

Home country : Mexico
Program : Erasmus Mundus Program
Contact :

About studying in Groningen
Work was hard and demanding, but professors were really knowledgeable and committed, and attention truly personalized. Chilly rain and awkward parts of culture shock were counterposed with the building of strong lifetime friendships, together with the wonders of getting to know a whole new country from the start; interacting everyday with people from a myriad of backgrounds and nationalities made every day interesting in a different way than the last one. In my opinion, Groningen is the ideal student city: it is small, and as such, peaceful and relaxed, but it has all the services you need, and a number of bars and nightlife venues in general that you can’t fully explore in one-year time.

I also discovered Dutch summer can be really nice, I got to see Queen's day and the renowned tulips at last, and remembered how much had I missed many details that make days really ‘gezellig’ and ‘lekker’ (here, roughly: enjoyable). Biking every day and everywhere features prominently, no matter if it’s across the city or 2 blocks away, the city is just made for it. Other things I missed in-between and miss now, are fetching a hot freshly made stroopwaffel, or a cone of patatje oorlog from the market, going to a Belgian bar and taste every time a different beer, and even taking food from the wall after a night out. Also all the small peaceful ponds with lots of birds, the canals and the lifting bridges, and the beautiful architecture of the centre, as well as the contrastingly futuristic buildings of Zernike.

I was able to pursue my wonderful program thanks to a Talent Grant from the University of Groningen, so I’m really grateful for it, and as someone who had to choose among different top-level universities at every step, I don’t regret at all coming to Groningen. It might be hard sometimes, but it’s certainly an enriching experience, and it’s a place I would definitely like to go back to again, maybe sooner than expected. Happy 400, RUG!

Damian Ortiz Rodríguez was born in Mexico City. At 16 he won his country’s National Geography Olympiad and therefore represented Mexico at the National Geographic World Championship. Some years later he was invited by the U.S. National Youth Science Foundation to take part on the Youth Science Leadership Institute also as delegate of his country. He did his Bachelor studies in Biology at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), and during that time he also participated in international astronomical camps. Right after getting his Bachelor’s degree he started the Erasmus Mundus Master Programme in Evolutionary Biology (MEME), under which he spent the 1st semester in the University of Groningen. He moved to Ludwig-Maximilians University of Munich (LMU) for the following period, then spent a semester developing a thesis in Poland for the LMU, and after that returned to Groningen for his last semester and second Master Thesis. Currently, he is looking at PhD prospects and in the meantime working in website translation.

Last modified:11 July 2019 12.56 p.m.