Caroline Collins (Scotland), Systems Biology
Learning with others is a beautiful experience

Hello! My name is Caroline Collins. I am from Scotland, but have lived in Sweden, Thailand, Luxembourg, Germany, Belgium and, now, the Netherlands.

Embarking on a new career
At 48, I am quite a bit older than the average Master’s Student. I had a stimulating first career working in aviation and in teaching, then, when my children were very small, I decided to embark on a new career. I became fascinated by the way that mathematics can enable us to reason and shape our thoughts beyond intuition, so I set to work and gained a bachelor’s degree in mathematics, during which I opted for extra subjects like natural and artificial intelligence, biological psychology and complex systems.

Make a contribution to medical research
When I saw that Maastricht University offered a master’s in Systems Biology, this field where mathematics and biology meet, I was really excited by the idea that I might be able to make a contribution to medical research. This is a dream shared by others on the programme, though our small group of master’s students are just starting out. We have recently completed our first two courses: for me, an opportunity to get to grips with biology and physiology, and learn some laboratory skills for the first time. For others, a time to brush up on their high school math.

Learning with others is a beautiful experience
The Problem-Based Learning method employed here at Maastricht University gives us the opportunity to really get to know each other in the group, working together to improve our understanding of the topics under discussion. Learning with others is a beautiful experience and Maastricht is a great place to live. The city is just the right size and you can get around easily. The best way to travel is by bicycle: safe, fast, easy…and free.

Other testimonials

  • Picture of student in front of landscape
    Sebastián Ayala Ruano (Ecuador), Systems Biology
    The Systems Biology master’s programme is the perfect combination of the research fields I am interested in (Biology, Math, and Computer Science)
  • Thijs van Loo
    Thijs Van Loo (Netherlands), Systems Biology
    To me, Problem-Based Learning is about learning and understanding problems together with your classmates, while having guidance from your teachers. This forced me to think more about course materials allowing me to understand better.
  • Liam Glueck
    Liam Glueck (Ireland) Systems Biology
    Throughout my bachelor’s Biomedical Sciences in Maastricht, I developed a strong interest in the intersection of biomedical science and mathematics, hence Systems Biology was the perfect choice to challenge myself within both domains.
  • Iga Skorupska
    Iga Skorupska (Poland) Systems Biology
    I chose Systems Biology as it combined my interests – biology and computer science and therefore, Systems Biology seemed like the best of both worlds.
  • Paula Casademunt Porte
    Paula Casademunt Porte (Spain), Systems Biology
    Coming from a large city, Barcelona, it was quite a big change when I first came to Maastricht. However, since it is a student city, there is always something to do. Especially during the warmer months, there are loads of events, concerts, activities.
  • Rosan Olsman
    Rosan Olsman (The Netherlands), Systems Biology
    I chose the Systems Biology master at Maastricht University because of the application of systems biology approaches especially for human health.