International Student Report: Sharmin Garayeva

February 23, 2016

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F.l.t.r.: Lise, Eefje, Lidewey, Joyce and Sharmin at the Career Experience 2014
Hello, I am Sharmin Garayeva and I am studying Econometrics at the University of Groningen. As a person who has never left her home for a long period, coming to Groningen was the biggest step I have ever taken in my life. Studying abroad was a decision that has been made in one minute.  Out of the blue, I erased all my lifelong dreams about being a doctor and decided to study Econometrics (EOR) in The Netherlands. After long and tiresome preparations I have finally made it to the University of Groningen. It was my first journey alone to a country that I have never been to and my first time away from my family for a long period of time.
When I first came to Groningen my impression was: “I have found what I needed.”. As a rain loving person, I suppose choosing The Netherlands, especially Groningen, was the best decision I have ever made.  It feels like they build this city especially for students: it has mostly a young population and one will never feel himself alone or out of place. It feels like my second home and there are a lot of places where I can spend my free time with friends.
At first, like everyone else, making new friends and getting adapted to a new enviroment seemed very difficult to me. Nevertheless, it was not the case. On the first day at the university I already made few friends and the number raised as the time passed. I joined all study associations including VESTING, which helped me to find my study materials and so on. Even though I am the most passive member of VESTING, it is still interesting to join some socials to get to know my friends and classmates better. In my opinion, spending time with friends and going to social activities are some of the most important things in student life. I am very glad that I am experiencing very good friendships here and I am sure that our friendships will continue even after the university.
Making new friends from different countries, sharing information and getting acquainted with new different cultures is a very nice experience.  Even though I still did not have much chances to visit other European countries, I visited other cities in The Netherlands and each of them made different and good impressions to me. Since there are other international students like me here, I don’t have any problems making new friends from other countries, like Germany, Turkey, China and so on.
In conclusion, being here is one of the most valuable times of my life and I hope it will always be in my memories forever. I am happy that I shared my story and thoughts with you.

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