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“The best advice I could give to anyone wanting to study here is to just do it. I'm sure they won't regret it”

Name: Michael Zuravlovs
Study Programme: Astronomy (Bachelor)
Country: Latvia

“I'm from Riga, the capital of Latvia in Eastern Europe. Although it's a large city and there are some good universities, I didn't feel challenged enough in my studies. I wanted to broaden my horizon and really dig into a subject in order to stay motivated. Riga couldn't offer me that. That's why I decided to go abroad.

When I looked for places to study, I wanted to make sure that I would go to a 'top 100' university that offered interesting degree programmes in English. That way, I would be challenged studying, but I would also be able to improve my language skills. English is essential, and I didn't get a chance to speak, read or write it much at home.

When I found the University of Groningen, they were very helpful with the application process. There is a lot of stuff to fill in and sort out, and it is important to get it right. Fortunately, I could always get in touch with any questions. The only thing I wish I'd known then was to start looking for rooms straight away. It's not hard to find one, as long as you take the time to look.

The programme was exactly what I was looking for: tough, but interesting. I like being busy and putting a bit of pressure on motivates me. The lecturers all speak English and are really engaging. I particularly like the tutors that are students themselves, as they are able to explain things on our level, from our point of view. There's always someone to ask for help or advice.

The Netherlands did not disappoint either: it is a cool country, and although I was excited about being able to learn more about my study subject, I also enjoyed discovering a new city. It really broadens the mind. It's a very compact, beautiful city, so it's easy to get around and find your way. There are lots of busses and of course you can get anywhere on a bike.

It's a real student city: over 25% of the population are students, and there are lots of things to do to entertain yourself and meet people. There are over 4000 other international students from all over the world, and it's nice to hang out with them and share similar experiences. The Dutch students are really easy to talk to and are always up for a chat or helping out. And although everyone speaks English – even in the supermarket - the Dutch spirit is contagious.

The best advice I could give to anyone wanting to study here is to just do it. I'm sure they won't regret it. Oh, and they can drop by my place any time they like”.

Last modified:01 February 2017 11.44 a.m.