Just in, fresh internationals. About 1100 foreign students visited Hanze’s Welcome Day. Who they are? Meet Pietra and Lucca (Portugal) and Jemila (Nigeria).
Pietra and Lucca Gasparian (20), Portugal
‘Groningen is even better than the internet says’, laughs Lucca Gasparian. ‘Laid-back, relaxed’, adds his sister Pietra. The Portuguese twins have already seen a lot of the world. Their father’s work took them to Ireland, Scotland, Florida and Brazil. ‘And now Westerbroek’, says Pietra, ‘we have been living there for a month now. A nice place, not too far from Groningen, but very friendly and rural. We love the peace and quiet of the countryside’.
At Hanze University they are going to study International Business, because they definitely want to be in business later, a company of their own, nothing more and nothing less. ‘I can already picture it vaguely’, Pietra says, ‘it will be something in health care. In combination with clothing, because I also find fashion interesting.’ Lucca also sees a bright future in this branch. ‘I love sports cars. Wouldn’t it be fantastic to find work in that world? Maybe sports car clothing is a gap in the market. But first let’s study. Next week we start the introduction.’
Groningen, better than ont the internet, reminds the two new international students bit of the city they call their real home, Aveiro. ‘Aveiro is a student city too, with many young people’, Pietra says. ‘A bit touristy, but not too much. It is a lot warmer there, of course. Groningen, on the other hand, is bigger and busier.’ Lucca doesn’t have to think very long for mentioning the similarities: ‘Relaxed, Groningen and Aveiro both are really laid-back.’
Jemila Adams (28)
‘I am cold. You would think that after two weeks it would be less, but no, I still haven’t got used to it. Of course, Abuja is very hot, but it’s just that: that’s what I’ve been experiencing all my life. I am used to heat and bustle, always noise around me. That is a bit different in Jistrum, you might say that.
‘Jistrum, yes, that’s the Frisian town where I live with my boyfriend. First we met online and then in real life. It clicked and that’s why I am here now. I’m not homesick either. Not really, just these temperatures.
‘In Nigeria, I had my own business, trading in all kinds of things. What the customers wanted, I bought in China. Clothes, for instance, I did in school uniforms, to name but a few. Or personalized socks. What those are? Just think about that for a moment, haha.
‘At Hanze University I am going to take the master’s in International Communication. Anyone who does business internationally needs communication skills. My English is pretty good, because all Nigerians speak it. If it is not their first language, then it is their second. My mother tongue is that of the Igbura, a small tribe, one of many in Nigeria.
‘Jistrum is a bit quiet. I think I am the only black African there, that is: I haven’t met any others yet. I cycle a lot, you know. When I go to town, I first have to pedal for 25 minutes. To Buitenpost train station. Yes, Buitenpost, I can pronounce that quite well by now.’