Why We Chose To Get Our Master’s Degree In The Netherlands

The Netherlands is a popular place for students to study because it has a good reputation for education, is surrounded by beautiful nature, and has a lot to do between classes and studying.

Chance to go to school in a diverse

Ellis got her bachelor’s degree in the United States and then worked for a year in a private laboratory. She is now getting her master’s degree in medical biology at Radboud University.

Ellis said that she wanted to push herself by going to school somewhere new and traveling around the world. She thought the course at Radboud University was a great way to combine her love of travel with an interesting degree program.

She said, “In the end, I chose the Netherlands because of the study program and because I wanted to learn a new language, experience a new culture, and see a country with an innovative and unique approach to healthcare and medicine, where I hoped to start my career.”

Ekaterina also wanted to learn more about the world. After getting her bachelor’s degree in physical chemistry in her home country of Russia, Ekaterina was eager to go abroad to get her master’s degree in the same field.

Ekaterina said, “I realized that not only did I want to get a master’s degree abroad, but I also needed to.” Scientists must be able to work together on multicultural and international teams if they want to solve global problems.

“Due to the wide range of English-taught programs, the multicultural environment, and the high quality of scientific research, the Netherlands turned out to be a great fit.”

A pleasant environment

Leoni is from the country of Germany. After getting her bachelor’s degree in the Netherlands, she went to Radboud University to get her master’s in mathematics.

Leoni cared a lot about feeling at home at college, which was one reason she was nervous about studying abroad at first.

She said, “It’s important for your studies and your overall health that you feel comfortable. Pay attention to what your instincts tell you.”

Leoni liked how open and positive things were in the Netherlands, which also gave her a lot of room to grow as a person.

She said that she liked how easy it was for students and teachers to talk and how friendly people were in the Netherlands.

The Dutch people’s friendliness was another thing that stood out to Ellis.

She said, “I found the Dutch to be friendly and helpful, whether it was speaking English to me when I didn’t understand, showing me around campus, or making me feel welcome in the dining hall.”

Excellent master’s programs

Radboud University in the Netherlands has more than 50 master’s programs and 150 specializations.

The part of Radboud University’s math degree that really stood out to Leoni was the social part.

She said, “Students and teachers talk to each other quite often to share ideas and find out how everyone is doing.”

“If you are having trouble with a module, an older student can usually help you. We all sit around and play cards, so it’s not hard to find someone to ask. Even now [during COVID-19], a lot of mixing is still going on.”

After getting a good theoretical foundation in her bachelor’s degree, Ekaterina chose to study in the Netherlands so she could get some hands-on experience in physical chemistry.

She said, “I came here to get experience in the real world. The thing I like most is being able to work with scientific equipment. I really like that the university has done everything it can to make sure that we can still use labs even if there is a pandemic.

While Ellis said that she likes the way students are expected to be interested in their degrees, self-motivated, and willing to ask for help at the university, she also said that she likes the way she learns there.

She said, “There’s a lot of focus on group work, which helps everyone learn more and take part more in the course.” Students are expected to participate in class, and I like that my professors are easy to talk to.

“I’m glad I ended up at Radboud because it’s a great school with good education,” she said.

A strong focus on work

The structure of a master’s degree is very career-focused and puts a lot of emphasis on hands-on experience.

During her master’s degree, Ellis did two research internships. She said, “My research experiences will prepare me for a wide range of jobs in the healthcare field, from research in the public sector to development in the private sector and everywhere in between.”

She also said, “I’ve loved studying here and making new friends through my program. I feel ready to keep going with my career, and I’ve been able to build a good professional network that I’m excited to learn more about when I graduate.

Ekaterina’s two internships have given her the chance to focus on different parts of her degree. For example, she has worked on developing ways to measure the structural anisotropy of plant-based meat substitutes.

She said, “Even though I don’t know much about this subject, I feel confident because I’ve learned a lot at university.”

Leoni is writing her master’s thesis while doing an internship at a company. She liked how her course gave her the freedom to choose an internship that fit her needs.

She said, “My interests are in a field that is easy to use to solve problems in the real world. That’s why I wanted to do an internship outside of my school.” That wasn’t a problem at all, and I was free to look for a subject that interested me.”

The student lifestyle in Nijmegen

When it comes to things to do outside of class and lab, there are a lot of options for students in the Netherlands, especially in Nijmegen.

Ellis suggests a variety of things to do, like art shows, film festivals, science fairs, and the weekend market in the city center. He also suggests yearly events like the Vierdaagse.

She said, “At that time, there are a lot of fun traditions and activities, and you can buy a lot of tasty seasonal snacks. It was a good way to learn about Dutch culture and traditions, and why some of them are controversial!”

Leoni likes that she can hang out with her classmates and professors and also do things that are more important to her degree program or career.

Students in Nijmegen often get together in cafés to catch up with each other or study. “Cafés change from places to have lunch with your grandmother to places to grab a drink with friends in the afternoon to places where chairs and tables are moved to make dance floors at night,” said Leoni.

Students in the Netherlands are also very active. There are a lot of sports and active things to do in the Netherlands, both at the university and in the country as a whole.

Leoni said, “The sports center on campus has so many different sports. Think of basketball and field hockey, but also of more unusual sports like ultimate frisbee, bossaball (a combination of football and volleyball played on a trampoline), and pole dancing.

Ekaterina remembered the cycling the most. She wasn’t much of a cyclist before she went to school in the Netherlands, but now she rides around 200km a week.

Ellis said, “Coming from mountainous Colorado, I was a little worried about how flat the country was and that there might not be many people interested in climbing or mountaineering. But I’ve found a great group of people here to go on trips with to Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg, or the Alps, and there are great climbing gyms in Nijmegen and many other cities in the Netherlands”.

A lot to look into

The transportation system in the Netherlands is very good, which makes it easy for students to get around and see more of the country.

Ellis said, “The Netherlands is a fun place to visit and easy to get used to if you speak English as your first language. It’s also a great place to start a trip to the rest of Europe.”

Ekaterina said, “In the year and a half I’ve been in the Netherlands, I’ve been to many cities. I can say for sure, though, that Nijmegen is my favorite.

“Since I love being in nature, I have explored all of Nijmegen’s surroundings, and a few places have become very important to me. All nature lovers should visit the Millingerduin Nature Reserve and the National Park De Hoge Veluwe.

Leoni agreed with what Ekaterina said. She said, “A lot of cities have these off-the-beaten-path blocks and houses that are like hidden treasures. When you go to a new city, try getting lost for an hour or two. You could find your new favorite place.”


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