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Marisha Student Vlog: #MyUGStory

Date:10 January 2018

Hi Guys! My name is Marisha Agarwal and this is my #UGStory. In this video I am going to talk about 4 things, namely “How did I find the university?”, “What made me choose the university”, “First Year Experience”, “Present Day: Second Year”


How did I find and choose the university of groningen?

So how did my search begin for this university? Well, it started off by looking at universities all across the country. I’m currently studying 2 Year Chemical Engineering, I was searching for universities offering this course. My search goes something like this. I have always been a city girl and I wanted to see what life would be like in a smaller town. This city has much to offer and I was really surprised to see that the university was so highly ranked. I love science! When I found out that there are so many celebrated scientists who have done work here, been students here or professors here, I was really excited as I was told by senior students that the student associations take us on excursions to see the different factories nearby to see what we have been learning from the books in the lectures, which I found very engaging because I could actually see what I was studying from diagrams in the book in real life. For me, that was one of the biggest points that stood out from other universities in Netherlands. Now comes the tough part, I had to choose which university I wanted to go to for the next 3-4 years, but that all boiled down to one thing and one thing only, which was was the way the city was. I fell in love with this city as soon as I discovered that this city is a melting pot of cultures. There are people from all across Asia and Europe to United States of America, to Australia, you can find anybody from anywhere and it's so nice to meet new people and make new friends. Also, this city if very student friendly which means that there are people aged between 20-21 years old and that is the average age of the city! It’s a very young city! Which probably means that the guy working at the supermarket or on campus is a student and probably your classmate. Another fun fact about the city is that it's a biking city! So if you want to get around from one place to another AND get your workouts done, its the best way! Lastly, this city is a hybrid of modern and traditional architecture. On one side you will see glass buildings, and on the other side you will see traditional, stone buildings and its so beautiful.  

First Year

So how was the first year for me, and Indian girl travelling all the way across the continent to Europe? Well, to say the least it was interesting. Interesting in a good way and a bad way. For me, I found Chemical Engineering in the 1st year was a little tough because I felt a gap between transitioning from high school to university lifestyle. But i was really lucky because the study advisors are the BEST people on campus. So if you have any problems, you can always go talk to them and they can help you out and solve any problems for you. So, in our course we have 1st Year BSc Chemistry and Chemical Engineering combined, which means that I had friends from a different study but we shared the same classes. I made a lot of new friends along the way who were from a different study, so we had a different perspective on the same question/problem, and I learned a lot from them which was really nice. Since the university is so highly ranked, there is a lot of pressure on us students to cope with the course pace and get your grades at the same time. The only one drawback of last year was that we had a BSA requirement, which meant that we had to clear 45/60 credits (ECTS) to pass the first year. That meant a lot of pressure for me because I was trying to settle down to a new country, I was also trying to make new friends, my new course scheduling and at the same time the added pressure of passing my courses just to clear the 1st year and all of this really triggered my stress and anxiety, as I was having a really tough time coping. But with the help and support of the study advisors and the university I managed to get through all of that and keep it behind me and I passed the first year and I’m good now.

So, a lot of people warned me before coming here that I might feel lonely or feel sad because of the change of weather and the sudden added responsibilities, but I think I really enjoyed the 1st year mainly because I was living in a student house. I was living with a lot of people who were just in the same boat as me. That's probably why we clicked so easily and became a new family. I also made friends with people form the Indian Association and we would have dinners every friday night. We would cook together and watch bollywood movies which also got rid of the homesickness, which was also really nice. I did join a dance lesson, I went for the ESN week where I made more friends, I went for excursion by the university and I also joined the Dutch LAnguage course offered by the university which really helped me in talking to the people at the grocery store and the marketplace because I felt a lot more Dutch.

Although there are a lot of good things about the city and university, there are a couple of bad things. Firstly, I notices that the dutch students tend to be in groups amongst themselves. However, they will welcome you with open arms if you approach them, and once you get to know them, they are probably the sweetest people you have met. Also, I had personal struggles figuring out the system of the bank and the hospital while at the same time I had classes to attend and a lot of activities. So for me it was a bit overwhelming, but I just managed my time well and I had the support of my friends.

Present Day

So now that I am in my 2nd year of Chemical Engineering, and I can say that I am really happy. I have managed to figure out my study plan and now I understand what to expect from the professors. I am really enjoying my courses mainly because now we are doing the more engineering-intensive courses and that's really what i am passionate about, so i am really enjoying that. Also, we get one to one time with the professors because we are a smaller group which is great! I have also joined the ACLO sport facility where I am doing sporting and dancing activities. I am also a board member of the Groningen Indian Students Association, and that's fun because I get to meet a lot of new people and discuss new ideas and topics.

So the 2nd year is awesome so far! So this is my #UGStory. I hope you liked the video, until next time!


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