What are the effects of climate change on marine life? What causes a disease like cancer and how can you fight it? What happens in the brain while you are asleep?
The field of Biology is concerned with how plants, animals and humans are made up and how they function. The difference with biology at secondary school is that this degree programme involves more exact science: you will study more mathematics, physics and chemistry. Scientists are expanding their horizons more and more. As a biologist, you will increasingly work together with scientists of other disciplines. This interaction will provide you with useful knowledge.
Choose the Major that suits you best!
Many universities offer degree programmes in Biology. The big advantage of studying in Groningen is that you can choose the exact specialization that suits you best. After the broad-based first semester, which comprises course units that cover virtually all aspects of biology, you will choose a specialization that you are interested in, for example Ecology or Biomedical Life Sciences.
The second year is when you make your definitive choice of Major. You can choose from the following five Majors:
Ecology & Evolution
Molecular Life Sciences
Behaviour and Neurosciences
Ecology and Evolution is really fascinating
Studying Biology in Groningen attracted me because you get lots of choice in relation to which areas of biology you''d like to study. This flexibility was important for me as I did not know what aspect of biology I wanted to major in. But from trying all the various courses in the first semester, I decided to major into Ecology and Evolution, which is really fascinating, as you get to study ecology on the molecular levels but also in terms of large ecosystems over lifetimes.
Also, Groningen is an amazing city, plus I feel particularly welcomed as an international student. I now live in a nice house in a village just outside the city, and really enjoy cycling to the Zernike Campus or to the city centre each day.
An opportunity to develop myself
As a student in Groningen, there are lots of opportunities to become active in your student life by joining one of the many committees that exist for all types of associations or within the University. I became active within GLV Idun, the study association for Biology, Biomedical Engineering and Life Science and Technology.
Over the years, I have been a member of several committees, where I organized fun activities for the association and learnt a lot about teamwork and planning. I am currently the chair of the association’s board. I not only became a board member to have a fun year, but I considered it an opportunity to develop myself and learn more about the structural organization of study associations and the University. I am able to work closely with my fellow board members and learn more about leadership, teamwork and communicative skills.
I can definitely recommend students doing something beside their studies. During your student life, you will have enough freedom to do whatever you want. It is not only a great way of meeting new people; you are also able to learn one or two things that can be quite useful in your future career. Whether you become active at a study association, student association or a student sports association, it will be a great experience.
After wrapping up my board year, I would like to start my Master’s degree programme in Biomedical Sciences in Groningen. Being able to conduct research and finding different answers for how the human body reacts attracted me to Biomedical Sciences as a major. The fact that the programme collaborates closely with the University Medical Center Groningen, where ground-breaking research is being performed, makes me very excited and it is something I wish to be involved in. I am looking forward to further developing my scientific skills and working in a medical-oriented environment.