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Franziska & Ben, Germany, Ambassador 2011-12

I'll answer together with my husband Ben, since we came to Groningen together. We both did our master degree there in 2009/2010.

1. What are we doing now?

We live in Franconia, a beautiful wine-growing area in our home country Germany. After completing her Master’s degree in Marketing Management in Groningen, Franzi now heads up a Marketing Group for Healthcare products at Siemens in Germany. She spent some months teaching at Tongji University in China and a year working for Siemens in France between Groningen and today. Her job takes her to customers all around the world, so the international experience continues.

Ben also took up teaching at a private college in China for some time after graduating from the Small Business & Entrepreneurship program and then started his career as a consultant on knowledge management and enterprise 2.0 projects. His client list includes many of the German DAX 30 companies, who use his services at home and in their international locations.

2. What was it like to be an international student in Groningen?

We hardly found another country in the world that was so easy to live in and so welcoming to international students / residents. We've encountered so many friendly, helpful people and really enjoyed the Dutch culture. At the same time, there were people from literally everywhere in our classes. That brought in a variety of new perspectives when working on assignments, and also created a unique atmosphere of sharing this experience in Groningen and your home culture with an extremely fun, diverse group of people.

3. The programs were really challenging, pushing us to our limits, which helped us learn that those limits were far wider than we thought. We approach topics differently now than we did before. We experienced an appreciation and attention from faculty that is very untypical in universities in our home country. And most importantly, today we have fellow alumni spread all over the world to visit and catch up with.

4. Do's: Time goes by so fast. Make the most of it. Go to all kinds of parties and university events, travel the country, indulge fully in this beautiful city. The museum and the city park were hidden gems for us besides the obvious night life scene in the city center. We didn't make it through all beers on the menu of De Pintelier but we tried. Besides socializing, make the most of the amazing academic opportunities RUG offers.

Don't: spent your time only in the library. Don't hang out only with students from your home country. Don't hang out only with international students; make an effort to engage with the Dutch students. They know each other longer and are close already, but they will be happy to have you in their circle and it will offer an additional layer to this amazing experience.

Franziska & Ben
Franziska & Ben
Last modified:01 May 2018 10.24 a.m.