Want to become a member of a student association, be politically active, or are you looking for a nice room in the city centre? During the Eureka Week information market, first-years are swamped with practical information. On this occasion an inquisitive EM reporter is present to ask the pressing question: “Why are you in Rotterdam?”

Julian Brinkman 1
Image credit: Sanne van der Most

Julian Brinkman (17, bachelor IBEB)
“The best way to make new friends”

“I’m half Dutch, but I was raised in Germany. I spent the past three years at a boarding school in Scotland, so I’ve already spent time away from home and my parents. Fortunately, my grandmother lives near Rotterdam. That gives me a feeling of familiarity and she’s very pleased that I’m living so close. I’m about to start my IBEB studies. The programme is taught in English and that’s good for me, because I don’t speak much Dutch. When I’m finished, I want to do something with an international focus. Just what that is I’m not sure yet. First I’ll work for a large company and then maybe start my own business. My studies begin next week and I’m really looking forward to it. That’s the reason I’m here. But first I’m going to party. Eureka Week has been fantastic so far. I didn’t know anyone here and this really is the best way to get to know the city and make new friends.”

Lauren van den Enk 1
Image credit: Sanne van der Most

Lauren van den Enk (18, bachelor medicine)
“I had a good feeling about Rotterdam from the start”

“Both of my parents have desk jobs. That’s not something I want to do. Helping people and really making a difference for them is much more suited to my personality. Medicine is the study that would allow me to do this and it is what I’ve always wanted to do. Preferably in the biomedical field. That would allow me to combine the social aspect with the course-related content. My choosing Rotterdam was actually quite unexpected. I live in Naarden, so I was always more focused on Amsterdam. But when I visited Rotterdam, I immediately felt at home. I really liked the Erasmus MC building and everyone showed a lot of interest, including the senior students. I had a good feeling about it right away, just like I had at my secondary school. I thought: this is what I want to do. I looked at the city with completely different eyes. Old and new mixed together. It’s beautiful.”

Turan Kerimbay 1
Image credit: Sanne van der Most

Turan Kerimbay (18, bachelor IBEB)
“I wanted to go somewhere I’d never been before”

“I’m originally from Kazakhstan, but for the past few years I’ve been living in Turkey. And now I’m living on my own for the first time. I’ll be starting the IBEB programme next week. I wanted to go somewhere I’d never been before. New people, a new city, everything different. And so I chose Rotterdam. The pictures on the website and in the brochure were amazing. A new, modern city. Because I don’t know anyone here, I signed up for Eureka Week. It’s been great so far. New people and places every day and partying at night. Very different to Kazakhstan. Everything here is set up on a larger scale and it’s all very well organised. I also enjoyed the student associations, but I think I’ll skip them for this year. First I want to focus on my studies. I don’t know exactly where I’ll be in five years’ time. I hope I’ll have a good job somewhere in Europe or in the USA.”

Solange Eersel 1
Image credit: Sanne van der Most

Solange Eersel (18, bachelor Econometrics)
“There’s not a lot of choice of studies in Surinam”

“In Surinam, where I come from, choices are very limited when it comes to studies. I’m very good at mathematics and I like economics as well, so I’d like to study econometrics. That’s why I came to Rotterdam. Econometrics here has a very good reputation. I know the city a little bit. I used to live in Delft and I always went shopping in Rotterdam. But I don’t much about the city outside of the city centre. That’s why Eureka Week is the perfect opportunity to get to know Rotterdam better and to meet new people. Because I don’t know anyone here, but I’m sure that will change. I’ve really been enjoying myself here, except for all the beer, ha ha. I don’t really like beer, so that rules out joining a student association. And then there’s still my study. I’ve heard from a lot of people that the first year of econometrics is very difficult. Still, I think I can handle it.”

Sherida van IJsselmuide 1
Image credit: Sanne van der Most

Sherida van IJsselmuide (22, pre-master Media and Culture)
“Getting reacquainted with a city I used to know”

“Before this I studied journalism at the University of Applied Sciences Utrecht. I also work as a freelance journalist for Metro and Jan. I was interested in a more in-depth study before entering the labour market, so I decided to first take the pre-master and follow up with the Media and Culture master. I want to continue working in journalism, but I would prefer setting up something myself or having a managerial role. Rotterdam isn’t completely new for me. I’ve always lived in Spijkenisse and I always went to Rotterdam for a night out or for shopping. When I was eighteen I moved to Utrecht and didn’t come to Rotterdam very often after that. In that sense Eureka Week is a bit like getting reacquainted with a city I used to know. What I noticed right away is that Rotterdam has become more fun and trendy. I want to enjoy my life as a student here in Rotterdam the same way I did in Utrecht, and meeting fun, new people is part of that. That’s why I’m participating in Eureka Week. It’s been very enjoyable so far and I expect that I will make some very good friends during this time.”