Student Story – Almudena
Almudena also showed her favourite places on campus in a student tour at ood.wur.nl. But I also talked to her about her experiences with studying and living in Wageningen.
Hi Almudena! For people that don’t know you yet, could you give a brief introduction of yourself?
“My name is Almudena, I am 24 years old and I come from Spain. I am studying the master’s Plant Biotechnology with specialisation in Plant breeding & Pathology.”
When did you first hear about WUR and what was your motivation or passion to study in Wageningen?
“I heard about Wageningen University during my Erasmus stay in Nijmegen. One day I came to Wageningen to see how it was with the programme ‘Be a student for a day‘. I really liked the university because it is very new. I enjoyed the way the lectures were given and I liked everything I saw here. I also was feeling happy in the Netherlands and I really liked the country so I decided to come back to do the master’s here.”
How did you choose your programme? What was the moment you knew for sure what you wanted to study?
“Actually I changed my programme at the beginning of this year. I started in Plant Sciences and I switched to Plant Biotechnology where I could find more opportunities to specialise and do my master’s thesis in the field of phytopathology and plant breeding. Since my bachelor’s, I knew that I wanted to study plants and especially the field of phytopathology. But I knew it for sure last period when I study a subject related to that (Molecular aspects of bio interactions). Then I realised how fascinating is it and how important is to do research on that topic.”
Which part of your study do you find the most interesting?
“As I said before, what I find more interesting are the courses related to plant breeding and phytopathology. I really like the way they teach at WUR, by applying what you learn, during the practicums we have to be self-sufficient and organise ourselves what is very helpful because we will have to do that during our thesis and in our future jobs. Another interesting thing is that here in Wageningen there are people who come from different countries around the world, so working with people from other cultures is very enriching.”
Where do you see yourself working in the future?
“I don´t know it yet, but my plan is to stay in the Netherlands, probably working for a company as a plant breeder.”
Where do you live? In a student house like Starflat or do you rent a room in the city?
“I live in Hoevestein, one of the residences from Idealis. It is one of the Starflats that you can find close to the campus. I share facilities with 8 people but I have my own room. I really like my place, I feel very lucky with my flatmates and in this kind of housing there is a common area to spend some time with the flatmates and having a social life at home.”
And what about the student life? What do you do besides studying?
“I do sports, I go to the Bongerd and I go swimming too. A new hobby I started when I arrived is climbing. I did a climbing course with a friend last October and I really enjoyed it, so now I sometimes go climbing to the climbing gym in Arnhem and it is super fun. Another thing I enjoy here is going to the river when the weather is good, going to the market and having a beer in Café de Zaaier with friends.”
As an international student abroad, how do you meet other students?
“I first met other students during the AID, then I met friends of my friends during parties and activities. Also in my student house with my flatmates and their friends. Finally, I have also met people during the courses, because there are group works and we work in pairs.”
How do you experience the international atmosphere on campus?
“For me, the international atmosphere on campus is something super interesting and enriching. I am learning a lot about other countries and cultures around the world. Their traditions, typical food, different perspectives and ways of living. In this aspect, I feel that I learn something new every day.”
What do you think about the campus? Do you have some favourite spots?
“The campus is amazing, I really like the buildings and all the facilities there are. It is very nice that there is a lot of space to study and do group work and also places to chill and relax, for example, The Spot in Orion.”
Also, do you have favourite spots in the city and why?
“I like going to Café de Zaaier to have a beer and get coffee or a hot chocolate at Columbus. I enjoy nature a lot too so the forest close to the university and the river are good places to disconnect and relax.”
In what way does living in the Netherlands differ from your home country?
“The weather is the main difference. I come from the south of Spain where it is much warmer and less rainy. Going everywhere by bike is also different from my home country but I really like it. There are also cultures differences between people from the Netherlands and from Spain.”
What do you like the most about studying and living in the Netherlands?
“I like how everything is well organised here (transport system, the university..) and also the international atmosphere.”