New arrivals are totally stoked

At January 31 about 230 students arrived at Hanze Campus for their stay in Groningen. What do they expect to experience? Some serious dancing, that’s for sure, says 21-year old Ajna Cunjalo from Bosnia.

‘I have been here for only three days and I have already fallen totally in love with Groningen. The atmosphere in the city is such a difference from what I am used to. People seem to be having fun all the time. They are smiling and talking all day long.
‘Bosnians tend to be more heavy-hearted. You are right, they do have reason to feel that way. For many of them life is not easy. Poverty makes life very difficult. The average income in Bosnia is about 300 Euros a month. Making both ends meet is a struggle.

‘The three of us will manage, we have got each other to lean on

‘Our present home is five kilometres from Hanze Campus. We didn’t know what bus to take, so we went walking. Just like we did the previous days. You might say it gave us enough time to have a look at the city. It is really beautiful and the centre is vibrant. Tomorrow we will move to an accommodation near the train station.

‘In my home town of Zenica I am a student of Nursing. I have still two years to go. After that I could go and try to earn a master’s degree, but I am not sure I will. Things may change, of course. One thing I always will keep doing is dancing. Modern dance is my thing, Hip Hop and the like.

‘Living in The Netherlands is really expensive for us. But okay, we gained Erasmus funding and we share our accommodation. We, that’s my long-time friend Miran, my friend Merjema and I. I have known Merjama for merely seven months, but we have become really close. Miran is like a brother to me, so the three of us will manage. We have got each other to lean on. We also take the Healthy Ageing Programme together.’