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UZ Gent (university hospital of Ghent where I studied for my masters) view from my dormitory room

Jihyeon Seo

University: Ghent University

Program: Biomedical Engineering (Cemacube)

Period: September 2015-September 2016

I have done my Master’s degree program in Biomedical Engineering at Ghent University (UGENT), Belgium. I was part of the Erasmus Mundus Master program called CEMACUBE and I spent my second year of my Master in Ghent. Before that, I have spent my first year in Prague, Czech Republic but previously I also have lived in Sweden for a year during my bachelor as an exchange student.

Based on my experience of living in different European countries, I can say that the time I studied at UGENT prepared me the best for the next steps in my life. I had never been challenged like that before for my studies. Compared to other european countries, there is a really high study load for students in Belgium. There was a list of reading materials which you need to read before attending each class. Even though there was nobody that forced students to prepare for the classes but everyone seemed to be so motivated and hard-working. My colleagues influenced me positively to put more effort into my studies.

The unique part of the evaluation system of Ghent University is that you have to take an oral exam right after giving a written test for every subject. No matter how correct your written answers are, you will pass the exam only if you are able to explain them orally without reading your answers. Therefore, I had no choice but to work on each subject comprehensively and I had to devote all my energy to studying. In addition to this, the grading scale in Belgium is from 1 to 20. When you get 10 or more than that, you pass the course. Due to the unique evaluation system, it is quite hard to get 10 points even if I have studied wholeheartedly. 

In retrospect, it was never easy to study and live in Ghent, however, I can say for sure that it really helped me to build a solid foundation for my career and also helped me to grow as a better person.

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