Just in, fresh internationals. About 1100 foreign students visited Welcome Day. Meet Hanze’s new arrivals: Milad from Iran and Era from Kosovo.
‘I have big dreams with my music. Happiness, kindness. Yes, I have a message: let’s all strive for a better world. Peace in the world. That is the goal. To achieve that, we have to listen to each other. And what better way to do that than through music? When we get to know each other’s music, we get to know each other.
Milad Dehghan (33), Iran
‘I play classical piano, Mozart and Beethoven. And Bach! Wonderful, yes, I play Bach. Very different, but still the same is Persian music, I play that too of course. The third leg is ambient music, I play that too. My plan is to make very new music from all that, a fusion of east and west. I am very curious to see whether that will catch on.
‘In Iran, I did a bachelor in Industrial Engineering and a bachelor in Piano. No, not jazz, there is no such education in Iran. So we don’t have jazz in Iran, but we do have Yazd. That is the name of the city where I come from. Please, look it up, it is beautiful.
‘Groningen is great too. We have been here for five days now and we have enjoyed it all five days long. I say we, because we are working together, the students of the master New Audiences and Innovative Practice. And we want to perform together as soon as possible, on stage. And you, my dear friend, are invited!
Era Alija (20), Kosovo
‘Gjakova is the oldest city in Kosovo, and I mean really old, there was already a settlement in prehistoric times. I study Social Work. The next six months, I will be following the Hanze exchange programme Healthy Ageing. There is no such thing in Kosovo; there is healthcare, of course, but it is not aimed at preventing illness. I think prevention can be an excellent task for social work, it certainly fits in well with it. If all goes well, in six months’ time I will be one of the few Kosovars who know something about lifestyle interventions and healthy ageing.
‘There are four of us in Groningen now, Social Work students from Kosovo taking this Healthy Ageing programme. We know Groningen pretty well by now. We have a lot of fun, but our situation is quite sad. None of us has a room.
Sometimes you are rejected because you are not Dutch, I have no idea why
‘We have a scholarship, but no roof over our heads. We’ve been here a week now and so far all leads have been dead ends. You think you have something and then you discover that the address doesn’t even exist. Sometimes you are rejected because you are not Dutch. Why? You name it, I have no idea. It doesn’t always feel safe either. That is why we are always together when we go and see something. Never on our own.
‘At the moment we stay in a hostel and next weekend we will go an stay with my aunt in Osnabrück. Two hundred kilometres of travelling is doable, but not every day and not for a long time. It would be a pity to have to go back, because I love Groningen. The buildings are so different from what I am used to. So much older and bigger. And the atmosphere is so nice.’