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 Post subject: Life in the Lowlands
PostPosted: Wed Jul 23, 2014 2:06 am 
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Since the 'products' thread viewtopic.php?f=59&t=21063 was getting offtopic (not so much about products anymore), I made a new thread for other kinds of talking.

Bhadra wrote:
Things being in Dutch isn't a bad thing, I'm trying to learn to speak and read as much as I can before I get there (plus I like a challenge). It's not the same living in a country and not being able to speak the language. Plus being half Dutch I feel a little obliged to learn, in a good way.

Failing that there is always Google and Mac translate.

Lutin I would appreciate a tour, that would be cool. The only other person I know in Groningen is a German girl from Hamburg, you you have officially doubled the circle of people I know :D and she isn't vegan either.

What do you study/do at the University?


I'm in my last year as a PhD at the RUG. ....There are quite a few Germans around. Most of the Psychology Faculty is German, actually. Not many Dutchies there, they all go elsewhere (Rotterdam or Nijmegen). Did you see the PM I sent with more specific Groningen info? And sure, I'd be happy to show you around.

When I started a couple of years ago, Dutch was definitely required. But the university has been actively (aggressively) recruiting from abroad --- one of the grad programme directors recently told me the RUG is now the most international university in the Netherlands --- so there's a lot more English in the city now, too. A lot. Dutch is definitely helpful, e.g. my dept. is one of the last primarily Dutch depts. in the university, so even dept./research group meetings default to Dutch unless I specifically ask to switch to English. But pretty much in every other context, English is the norm.

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 Post subject: Re: People and events and etc. in the Lowlands
PostPosted: Wed Jul 23, 2014 4:59 am 
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Tofu Pup Forever
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Thanks for starting the thread sorry for going OT.

Yeah the Girl I know from Hamburg is doing Undergrad Psychology. I suspect its because the admission standards in Holland are a little different, and it may be easier to get in to Psych in Holland than Germany. Whats your Phd in?

I'm doing an Ma, hoping to move on to Phd after research masters.

I guess the international recruiting might be good for opportunities in academia, but it may have something of a cultural impact. Which is to say it would have a cultural impact on Groningen. It will be interesting to see as much of my experience of the Netherlands is small towns which aren't so cosmopolitan.

I didn't get your Pm, are there some settings I need to change for that?


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 Post subject: Re: People and events and etc. in the Lowlands
PostPosted: Wed Jul 23, 2014 6:21 am 
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Bhadra wrote:
I didn't get your Pm, are there some settings I need to change for that?


Bizarre. I saw it in my outbox folder for a little while, and can't find it now. I just resent it. I think the default for PM's is that, when one is sent, a message will go to your username's email address telling you you have one. If you look at the very top right of the screen, there is a link to your PM folder ("0/1/whatever new messages").

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 Post subject: Re: Life in the Lowlands
PostPosted: Thu Jul 24, 2014 10:43 am 
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I got your second PM.

I will reply in due course.

Yeah I don't get how it didn't come through either.


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 Post subject: Re: Life in the Lowlands
PostPosted: Thu Jul 24, 2014 2:11 pm 
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Hi Bhadra, it's good to see you found your way to the PPK boards! (sorry I didn't respond sooner, I took a bit of an internet break during our vacation)

What happened to you Leiden plans? Groningen is nice too though and more vegan friendly I think.

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 Post subject: Re: Life in the Lowlands
PostPosted: Thu Jul 24, 2014 4:47 pm 
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Good to hear from you Cornelie.

The crux of what happened with Leiden was that my application fell into an administrative black hole and a faculty debate about people doing one year long premasters programs. Meanwhile I applied to Groningen as a backup and was accepted into the masters program (albeit with a MASSIVE reading list to catch me up to speed.) and had to make a call.

In the end the fact that Leiden had sat on my application for so long that I was no longer able to apply for accommodation kind of sealed the deal. That and asking me to do two papers in Dutch, it was becoming untenable.

Its a shame as I did like the look of Leiden's faculty.

I may look into doing my research MA at Leiden, but there is some fun stuff going on in the faculty at Groningen so I guess time will tell on that one.


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 Post subject: Re: Life in the Lowlands
PostPosted: Thu Jul 24, 2014 4:49 pm 
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Actually I had a question as you are both Phd's and I'm hoping to go down that rout.

How difficult was it to get employed for you Phd?
Is it a case of who you know?

If this thread isn't appropriate pm or email me. thanks :)


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 Post subject: Re: Life in the Lowlands
PostPosted: Fri Jul 25, 2014 3:02 am 
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Good for you keeping your options open and having a backup plan! University politics/administration issues are the worst.

For getting PhD employment, it definitely helps to have good connections, or at least have one professor or post-doc who thinks you are the bee's knees. That could be enough to get a PhD in their project group.

For independent NWO funded PhD projects (and all PhD's really), it's important to get really good grades for your master; publish your thesis or another relevant project, peer reviewed if you can; and write a slamming application that speaks to the interests of non-specialists, has relevance in your field and seems doable all at the same time. Those things are much easier if you have the support of an experienced scholar, so it's always a good idea to find someone to mentor you.

This advice is very much based on my personal experience, so lutin probably has thing to add, based on hers.

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 Post subject: Re: Life in the Lowlands
PostPosted: Fri Jul 25, 2014 3:53 pm 
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Thanks Cornelie, I suspected as much.

The Icing on the cake of going to Groningen for me is that there is one Prof who comes from a similar academic background as me and is doing stuff I find super interesting. Hopefully I can work something out with him, I'm not really going to know till I meet people in person.

Getting peer reviewed, and writing something that is the 'business' is defiantly going to require some assistance.

Here's hoping it works out.

Here's also hoping finding some part time work will work out too.


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 Post subject: Re: Life in the Lowlands
PostPosted: Sat Jul 26, 2014 11:13 am 
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Which faculty are you in? Practices for hiring PhD's vary greatly from faculty to faculty, and research cluster to research cluster. e.g. in mine, I don't think anyone would expect publications. Obviously, having any would help, but it's definitely not required. fwiw, I'm at the Centre for Language and Cognition, and am affiliated with the Neuroscience grad programme. For both, it is extremely rare to have PhD's working on their own project. It is much more common to be hired to work on a PI's grant, in which case your project fits into their framework and you apply for the privilege of doing the PI's work. In pretty much all cases, being a PhD means being a full employee of the university, so on paper, we're treated differently (better) than PhD's elsewhere. (Bursary = scholarship PhD's, who have devised their own projects still exist, kind of, but their numbers of so few that they hardly bear speaking about.) I think it's pretty awesome, but it's definitely a difference I had to get used to. My background is US/Poland/India, and PhD's are treated ... very differently there.

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 Post subject: Re: Life in the Lowlands
PostPosted: Sat Jul 26, 2014 11:14 am 
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If you're in Natural Sciences or Psychology, part time university-related work should be pretty easy to come by. For the other faculties, not so much. For the actual Groningen world, I don't know. Pretty much everyone I've heard of wants fluency in Dutch.

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