Skip navigation

To make your visit to our website even easier and more personal we use cookies (and comparable techniques). With this cookies we and third parties are able to collect information about you and your internet behaviour on our website (and possibly outside of our website). With this information we and third parties are able to adapt content to your interests and profile. In addition, cookies allow us to share information through social media. You can read more about our cookie policy.


"Groningen is a vibrant city, but when you get on your bike, you’ll be surrounded by greenery and calmness pretty quickly.”

Bianka Sieredzinska, 31, is doing her PhD in Groningen. Just before the pandemic, she moved from Warsaw to the north of the Netherlands. When she first arrived in the city, it was the week of Kingsday. “It was quite rainy on Kingsday. The streets were sticky from all the beer. So, it was probably a good thing that the rain could wash it all away.” But it only took that first week for Bianka to be sold on Groningen. She moved a month later.

In 2019, Bianka was working with a partner in the lab back in Warsaw. He tipped her about a PhD position in Groningen. She had heard about the city before and knew that it was a vibrant place. After some additional research she decided to apply. “I am doing my PhD within a bigger project that is focused on a sustainable future. It seems to me that Groningen is becoming a real sustainability hub, which I personally really like.” Bianka can often be found at the Zernike campus, working on her research. She loves working there, even though the campus is located a bit further from the city center, with many green areas and a great food court.

Something else that Bianka likes about Groningen, is that everything is very well connected. You can reach almost everything either on foot or by bike. When the weather is nice, Bianka loves to step on her bike to explore some of the idyllic towns next to Groningen. “Places like Haren or Paterswolde are very nice”, she recommends. Or she visits one of the parks in the city, to sit on the grass and read a book.

When choosing her PhD program, Bianka kept two things in mind. First and foremost, the scientifical part of the PhD needed to match her interests. “Luckily, Groningen is big on chemistry.” And secondly, she wanted to match with the city as well. “I think Groningen is a city full of balance. It is the right place for very sociable people, but also introverts can ground here. It is a vibrant city, but if you step on your bike you'll be surrounded by greenery and calmness pretty quickly. I love the combination of both.“

Bianka is now a real Groninger. She has a favorite hairdresser, goes to her regular shops and visits the market. Some vendors even know her already. Another favorite spot of hers is the Prinsentuin, a beautiful garden in the middle of the city center. And for great coffee with the best view, you need to visit Cappuvino.

The best advice that she can give to new students is to be open. “Join clubs or associations that match your particular interests. You can always find something for you here." She also emphasizes that if you don’t know something, you can ask the people around you. There are always people to talk to in her dorm, and Bianka considers the Dutch to be very open to help and they are often able speak English. “The city is very international. And don’t be afraid to go somewhere alone, it is very safe here.”

Discover more