JanPieter Baarsma (Medical Student, Netherlands)

My name is Jan Pieter, I am from the Netherlands and I did my research elective at MRINZ for 5 months from February 2017 to July 2017.

First a little bit about the city and the country. Wellington is an amazingly vivid city. There are heaps of interesting cultural places to visit and together with the great coffee, bars and craft beer culture it’s clear why Wellington won the title of ‘The worlds coolest little capital’. Wellington lies along a geological fault, this forms the hilly surroundings of Wellington city (and causes an earthquake every now and then) and together with its situation at the sea makes Wellington a great city if you’re into the outdoors. If you’re more of a city person then I can assure you that the great coffee, craft beer scene, cinemas and bars (with a lot of live gigs) will cover for those needs. And within just a few hours drive or even shorter flights you can see the most beautiful nature you’ve ever seen; waterfalls, snow-capped mountains, glaciers, sounds and geothermal area’s which will make you wonder if you ever want to leave. There’s a reason they filmed the Lord of the Rings in New Zealand.

If the amazing city and the amazing scenery haven’t convinced you already then let me say some things about MRINZ. Every medical student in Holland needs to do 5 months of research and I wanted to do mine abroad. A Dutch girl from my university, Susanne, did her internship at MRINZ a few months before me and she talked so passionate about it that she got me committed to go for it as well. It’s been one of my best experiences. Everyone at MRINZ is very friendly and helpful. Everyone is eager to learn from each other and help each other out when needed. There’s a very social atmosphere. Every morning there is a quiz around coffee time, people have lunch or go for a run together and most of the Friday’s we used to go out and have some drinks together. I spent my time working on a feasibility study, which was the main project I needed to report about for my university. But apart from this I had the opportunity to work on several other projects to add to my learning curve.

Working at MRINZ has been an exceptional experience and I will never forget all the great people I met!