Erasmus in Groningen
Time in Groningen Post on Erasmusu.com
My name is Oisin Brennan and I spent the second semester of the 2019/2020 academic year in RUG Groningen.
I am Irish and moved from Galway to Groningen, I found Groningen to be a great city. I stayed in the student accommodation that was almost exclusively for Erasmus students. I found this to be of real benefit and enabled me to meet many people from a wide range of cultures enhancing my experience.
In terms of the university experience, it was great. The coursework in RUG is slightly different to what I was accustomed to in NUIG, semesters are divided in two and you sit exams after 6 weeks of classes. I found this to be more beneficial as I only had 3 or 4 modules and it gave me more time to study the material In-depth. As well as this participation in class and in workshops/tutorials are key with presentations on material covered in class making up a lot of continuous assessment. I found this was a good way of ensuring I kept on top of work and to understand the material better.
The university facilities were great, the Zernike campus is very modern and offers lots of study space and meeting rooms while also being very easy to access by bike. The original college building and library are in the city centre, but I rarely used these and instead used the Zernike campus mostly.
The city itself is great and like much of Holland the main means of transport is cycling, when I was there, I rented a bicycle from a service called Boogle bikes (https://www.booglebike.nl/?lang=en), it was reasonable at around 12 euro a month and this included any minor repairs along with a key and lock.
In terms of travelling, we used Flixbus and BlaBlaBus to travel to a few places in Germany, they worked out to be the cheapest normally. We did use the train network a bit in particular when arriving and leaving the train runs from Schiphol airport in Amsterdam to Groningen this was great when we had all our luggage. But still found the busses to be the cheapest and were value for money (they nearly all had Wi-Fi and charging ports).
The nightlife in Groningen was great but differed a bit from Ireland, nights out started a lot later and the busiest nights were from Thursday through Saturday. There are student bars and clubs in particular beside Grote market that we found to be great craic especially from Thursday to Saturday when a lot of the students would be out.
- Visa type cards were not accepted in a lot of places, only MasterCard.
- My Vodafone X student plan from Ireland worked the whole time I was there for the same rate.
- Shops only open for a short while on Sundays in the afternoon
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