After taking my Bachelor´s in Electrical Engineering here at the University of Twente, I had no trouble deciding on the next step: a Master’s programme in the same subject. The interesting research options with a medical/social slant appealed to me, especially since I’d already taken a minor in medical and sports physiology. I selected my courses so that I could specialize in Biomedical & Environmental Sensor Systems (BIOS) and Biomedical Signals & Systems. I eventually discovered that neurophysiology combines well with signal analysis, so I added that to my package.
Twente was a natural choice for me because I had done my Bachelor’s here and had established good contacts within the programme. I never really considered going to another university given that there is plenty of choice here and because I was so satisfied with my Bachelor’s.
A Master’s is an entirely different proposition to a Bachelor’s. You have far more freedom. You can select the courses that suit your own ambitions and interests, and you have to arrange your own assignments. One particularly enjoyable aspect is the chance to take courses from other programmes. It puts what you are doing in a wider perspective and gives you new inspiration. I did an internship at a research institute in Japan, where I worked on the data-analysis of neural cell networks. I had a great time: I learned a lot and had so many new experiences!
In the first year you take courses, but the emphasis is less on lectures and more on individual assignments. This means that your workload can vary from one quarter to the next. Now, in my second year, I am virtually working full-time on my projects at the research group (internship and graduation project). In the evening, I am free to enjoy myself. I play sports or grab a beer with friends at home or at the study association. I’ve always been pretty active in the various educational bodies, such as the programme committee and the faculty council. It is good to have your say about the quality of education and these bodies provide a good platform for that. You can learn a lot from it!