Sumadi Lukman (28), Indonesia

MSc in Oncology, VU University Amsterdam

I chose to undertake my master’s programme in the Netherlands because of the worldwide reputation of its quality of education. Dutch scientific research is placed in the very top ranks. The curriculum is designed so flexible that we can select subjects based on our interest.

Furthermore, opposite to my own country, the relationship between students and teachers is quite close, and we can even call teachers by their first names and work alongside with them without a gap. 

Practical education

In my programme, we have to do two internships. I did my first internship in the Clinical Genetics Department of VU University Medical Centre, in the project of genetics in breast cancer.

Currently, I am doing my second internship in NKI/AvL (the Netherlands Cancer Institute / Antoni van Leeuwenhoek hospital). In this internship I work in a bigger team. We are trying to elucidate the molecular insights of anti-oestrogen resistance, and our ultimate aim is to provide information which can result in defining drug selection criteria per patient.

We are doing experiments in the laboratory such as cell culture, gene transfection, microarray, and many other molecular techniques. We have a work discussion twice a week where we can share our results and also get feedback from other group members. All people here are very helpful, always willing to spend their time to answer my questions and ready to help me.

Outside working hours our relationship is also quite good. We always have lunch together and we sometimes plan group activities, like last week, when we visited a museum. I feel as part of a family with them. 

Friendly and compassionate people

In the NKI, around 50% of scientists are foreigners. For me, working with people from various backgrounds is very interesting, since we can share different cultural perspectives. Most research centres and universities in Holland have this international profile in which international students are mixed with Dutch students.

Even if accommodation in some cities is not easy to find, most of the time universities provide help for international students on this matter. According to my experience, Dutch people are friendly and compassionate, although they need a little while to become open towards foreigners. But once they start opening, they are your best friends.

What I like most about studying in Holland is the flexible programmes and the availability of various research projects.


last modified Oct 31, 2014 09:35 AM