The municipality of Enschede welcomes its international students from outside of the EU every year. This year the event took place on the 29th of September 2015 in Atak, where the Deputy Mayor and representatives from the University of Twente and Saxion met with a few hundreds of students who are now beginning their studies.
Enschede - modern student city
'Enschede has 160,000 inhabitants of nearly 160 nationalities. Among those there are 25,000 students, so Enschede is a true student city, where knowledge from all over the world is constantly exchanged. Enschede is now known for its international and innovative spirit. That is also thanks to the University of Twente, Saxion and thanks to you,' the Deputy Mayor addressed the present students. 'Enschede is a city for smart, energetic students with guts.'
As the Deputy Mayor of a city known for its progressive thinking, Eerenberg is naturally familiar with all the modern trends, and so he couldn´t leave the stage without taking a selfie with the largest group of international students that Enschede has ever seen. 'Now you can at least say you got a selfie with the Deputy Mayor.'
What do students themselves think of the city that is to become their home for the near future? 'I´ve heard that there are more international students than expected, which is great because it leads to better services and international cooperation, thanks to which I also ended up here,' says Clifton Amoida from Surinam, studying civil engineering at the UT. 'It´s been very pleasant for me. The introduction was basically a one huge party with a lot of nice activities. It´s a great experience and you get to meet many interesting people.'
Any cultural shocks? 'Not for me. Dutch are very direct, but I´m used to that already,' answers Amoida. 'However, I know a lot of international students who suffered a total shock after they arrived.' Faezeh, a UT student from Iran, has also experienced a very nice welcome: 'There were no big surprises. Nowadays, you hear things and see things on TV or the internet. The introduction period also helped to get us acquainted with the environment, so there is nothing surprising, but it is exciting.'