What do you like about the programme/specialisation and why? How has the programme/specialisation challenged you (in relation to your previous education)?
I already have a one-year Master’s in cognitive neuroscience from Maastricht University. However, I wanted to dive more into the molecular level. So I chose a second Master’s in biomedical science with a specialisation in medical neuroscience. Here at Radboud University, I'm free to choose the courses that interest me the most, even though there are not directly from my specialization. I value the time we can spend on internships during this Master's programme; we can do 3 internships and we can even decide how long they last. It’s very enriching! I have experimented the challenges of building and conducting research, I have strengthened my resilience and learned how to take critics as feedbacks to improve. On another note, the coordinators of my specialization are caring and always available for students that need advice. Finally, as an international student I am super happy to be in a specialization that has a good number of internationals. This way I could easily make friends that relate to my experience abroad.
What do you think about the atmosphere in class (for example the relationship between students and with the teachers/researchers)?
There is a very respectful atmosphere! Lecturers are usually happy to answer questions, for a large part of them it seems like they care about their students. As an international student I have met very nice people, welcoming and open minded. Naturally, internationals and Dutch tend to form two different groups, but such implicit rule can easily be offset by personal initiatives.
What do you find most challenging in your Master’s (specialisation)? Have you encountered any obstacles?
I would be lying if I said that it is an easy programme. There have been times where I was overwhelmed by the number of assignments and lessons to learn. Deadlines and exams have pressured me and few times I had to choose to study instead of exercising, cooking or hanging out with friends. But you know, it is also about mindset. I love learning about neuroscience in general and that is an intrinsic motivator. Even though assignments are consequent, they are relevant and fascinating, especially because we can usually choose the topics we want.
Are you currently doing an internship? Or what is your thesis about?
I am just starting my first internship at the Donders Institute. I am working on a specific project, a multicenter comparison of sensory evoked fMRI in the rat. I will deepen my skills in data analysis, programming, as well as academic writing skills. With the support and guidance of my supervisor I aim to publish the final paper in a good journal of neuroscience.
Why do you think is it important that there are people out there with this degree? What are your plans once have received your Master's degree?
I think we need qualified people to conduct research within neuroscience. The 2 years Master’s seems to be a good option to learn the skills needed for a future great carrier. We dive into the world of research with 2 internships as well as with courses that help us think as researchers.