What are the effects of climate change on sea life? How does a disease like cancer arise? What happens in the brain when 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 science: you will study more mathematics, physics and
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 specialization that suits you best
Many universities offer Biology degree programmes. The big advantage of studying in Groningen is that you can choose exactly the specialization that suits you best. The first semester covers basic topics that are essential for all fields of biology. After the first semester you can choose to follow the Major in Ecology and Evolution or the joint programme for the Majors in Molecular Life Sciences, Behaviour and Neurosciences and Biomedical Sciences. During the second year, these Majors will gradually start to differentiate. In the third year, you start with a Minor of one semester, in which you can either broaden or deepen your knowledge. In the last semester, you will complete your Bachelor’s programme with a Bachelor’s project in the specialism of your choice.
All your lecturers are involved in research in some way. Their research will help you become acquainted with the many new developments in the field of life sciences.
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.