Chiara Hoijer, Curaçao (20, Business Administration)

Chiara Hoijer from Curaçao

“No university degree in Business Administration is offered in Curaçao, which is why I’m getting my degree in the Netherlands. The Eurekaweek opening ceremony at Ahoy was very impressive, and the rector seemed an open-minded guy: all new students are welcome, regardless of their ethnicity and background. The fact that the Mayor, Ahmed Aboutaleb – who gave a speech – is of foreign extraction also made me feel like this city and university will accept and respect me.

The campus is a multi-cultural place, like Curaçao, but the main difference is the atmosphere, which is very easy-going in Curaçao. People on campus seem to focus more on themselves. Parties at student societies are completely different from what I’m used to, as well. Parties are less exuberant here, and people only drink beer! In Curaçao we prefer sweet mixed drinks and we mainly dance to urban and Latin songs and local music.”

Kevin Narang, Thailand (19, IBEB)

Kevin Narang from Thailand

“I have attended international boarding schools for years, all over the world – Thailand, India, the United States – but I had never been to Europe before. A friend of mine was already doing a degree at Erasmus University, and he told me there were many students with many different nationalities here. That kind of environment suits me.

I did not arrive in the Netherlands until last Sunday. I mainly think it’s very cold here. I’m obviously used to Thai temperatures. Rotterdam is completely different from what I’m used to, and the buildings are incomparable. Just like the people, who are much more outgoing here. For example, at the information market I chatted to quite a few people, and strangers are actually asking me whether I’ve had a nice day! I’ve also noticed that people eat a lot of cheese here. I’ve had cheese sandwiches five times already during the Eurekaweek! I want to join Antibarbari, and I hope to get more exposure to the Dutch way of life there.”

Marie, Norway (20, Arts & Culture Studies)

Marie from Norway

“I didn’t arrive in the Netherlands until last week. It’s my first time here, and I’m overwhelmed by all my experiences here: the architecture, the people, the campus… Compared with Rotterdam, the town in Norway I’m from is very dull. There are far, far fewer people there than there are here.

Nearly my entire group consists of international students. It would be nice to have more Dutch people on the group, for a change. I don’t feel close to Dutch students yet. I don’t know anything about Rotterdam student life, so I hope to get to know some people who have been attending uni here for a while and know the best parts of town, because I only saw a few during the tour of the city. I’ll be a student here for at least three years, so I’ll have plenty of time to make many new friends, both international students and locals. And to eat cheese – like a true Dutch person.”