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Siobhan Brushett, South Africa

MSc Medical & Pharmaceutical Drug Innovation
Siobhan Brushett
Siobhan Brushett

Why the University of Groningen?

To be honest, it was through serendipity that I found out about the UG. I was searching for an international opportunity in Biomedical Sciences, which would give me the freedom to discover the area of Science I truly want to specialize in, and a university that would offer me a scholarship (the South African Rand to Euro exchange rate is tough). What I received was so much more than what I could have ever expected. The UG is a unique university that welcomes students from various backgrounds and provides excellent training by top academics in their field. The capacity for growth, both personally and professionally, is enormous. More than that, you have the added bonus of making wonderful friends for a lifetime with people from all over the world and creating amazing memories in a true student city.

Why Groningen?

Groningen is a city filled with both Dutch and international students. The internationals are all taking the same brave step to study abroad. So while you may feel isolated from your or homesick, there is always someone who understands. Irrespective of whether you have mastered the Dutch language or not, people are always approachable and willing to help. Although, I recommend you to learn the basics as this does help a lot - the University offers free Dutch courses. There are various student activities that you can get involved in, several clubs and societies you can commit to, and many restaurants and clubs to enjoy. Groningen is conveniently located with easy access to transport if you want to hop on a train or a bus and explore the rest of the Netherlands (which you should definitely do). The city itself houses some beautiful buildings and has a rich history of education.


I was born and raised in beautiful, sunny Cape Town in South Africa. It was there, at the University of Cape Town, that I completed my bachelor’s in Genetics and Microbiology and my BMSc(Hons) in Human Genetics. Thereafter, I worked for a year in a Genetics Diagnostic laboratory affiliated to Tygerberg Hospital and Stellenbosch University. In August of 2017, I took the brave leap of travelling halfway across the world (literally), to the Netherlands to pursue my master’s in Medical and Pharmaceutical Drug Innovation at the UG. By doing so, I was also lucky to do a short internship at the Sanger Institute in Cambridge, the UK. I will complete my studies in July 2019 and begin my PhD at the UG in September 2019. In between all the academic activities, I have also been involved in mentoring people in some capacity, and always love to engage with and help others in any way I can.

Last modified:11 July 2019 12.56 p.m.