How do you develop safe apps for mobile phones? How do you produce 3D images of an MRI scan? How do you program a computer system to find the quickest travel route?
We are becoming increasingly dependent on computers, but they
cannot work without us either! After all, someone has to tell them
what to do. That requires people who enjoy devising ever-smarter
solutions and innovations.
Computing scientists design, improve and implement the software and computer systems that businesses and our social life cannot do without.
Use your skills as you learn
Computing Science is the discipline that involves the study and development of computer systems. This can involve either new or existing systems. The stimulating aspect of this degree programme is that you can put the knowledge and skills you acquire to practical use straightaway, for example by writing a useful computer programme.
More than just programming
If you choose to study Computing Science at Groningen, you will learn high level programming in several languages. But programming accounts for only a quarter of the degree. You will also be producing documentation, carrying out analyses, working on your math knowledge and skills, collaborating with others, giving presentations and writing.
Computing science is a good subject to study if you have wide-ranging interests; it can be easily combined with another subject area.
A new perspective on the programme
What I like most about Computing Science is its versatility. I find it very interesting that it's able to associate itself with other fields, like Mathematics and Physics. I enjoyed all the courses I have had so far, but I particularly liked “Program Correctness”. This course really gave me a new perspective on the programme.
I think studying here is quite different from what I was used to
in Romania. During high-school, we were always reminded of what we
have to do, whereas here all the responsibility falls only on your
I decided to stay in “The Student Hotel” for my first year. Living in a place full of students, all coming from different places, really offers you the opportunity to form new bonds and friendships!
Being around other students wherever you go makes it easier to feel at home, and to stay motivated to study hard
“I studied Psychology in Spain, where I'm from, but it proved to be very difficult to find a job in this economic climate. I've always wanted to study abroad, and decided to take my chances. I chose Computing Science as it combines science and engineering, but also because there are a lot of great career opportunities in this field. I have to think about my future, you know.
The University of Groningen is a top 100 university with a great employability rating , and all the information I found on the city and Dutch culture really appealed to me. In Spain, the university atmosphere is quite laid-back and I missed learning in a motivating environment. Back home, students don't take the first year particularly serious, but here people are really pushing for top marks. Groningen is a university city, and being around other students wherever you go makes it easier to feel at home, and to stay motivated to study hard.
I had done some scientific research when I studied Psychology in Málaga and hoped to find a similar opportunity in Groningen. Computing Science makes you think in an analytical, logical way, and although it's tough, I really enjoy it. I have worked hard, and got into the Honours College, a group consisting of the top 10% of students. We are allowed to take extra classes, both in and outside of the faculty, and are invited to do research. I guess the Dutch mentality of trying to get the most out of your studies rubbed off on me.
I really enjoy the student life here. Classes are focused on practice and examples rather than the dry theory, and the lecturers know how to share their knowledge in a concise, focused way. They all speak English well, which is great, but I would probably advise prospect students to learn a little bit of Dutch too. Although everyone speaks English in the Netherlands, it can be difficult to find a part-time job if you have no knowledge of Dutch.
Fortunately, Dutch people are very direct, and it is easy to make friends. There is so much to do and see in Groningen: I spend my afternoons in the park, or go to one of the many activities hosted by the international students. You hear the most amazing stories: I have met more interesting people from all over the world in these six months than I have in my entire life.
I started as a student, now I'm a project leader
'During my first year I got a job with Manter, a machinery automation company. I was involved in testing new applications.
This helped me get a better grasp of the subject matter and gave me plenty of practical experience and self-assurance, resulting in a job as a project leader as soon as I completed my studies. The projects I work on involve new software systems. Some days I’ll be training end-users, others I’ll design new features, while other days will be all meetings or we’ll spend the whole day testing and fixing bugs.
If I had to choose today, I would do Computing Science again. The demand for software developers continues to grow. I’d also choose to study in Groningen again. My friends studied in other cities, but we all agree: Groningen is the number 1 student city!’
Avdo Hanjalic, software engineer/architect bij Manter B.V