The Internationals of Rotterdam

You see plenty of international people in the streets of Rotterdam but they aren’t specifically students. Who are they and why did they decide to go to Rotterdam? We took a “Humans of New York” approach to showcase these people. Also, I thought it would be interesting to ask questions that might help you as a student going forward. So in addition to discovering why they are in Rotterdam, we lastly asked what advice they would give to their 18 year-old self. 


Arsalan from Manchester

Arsalan was waiting at Rotterdam Central Station for a coworker. He took a moment in the mean time to tell us that he was originally born in Italy. When he was younger he moved to Manchester and told us “it wasn’t easy to learn and understand everything”. He is in Rotterdam specifically for work, mentioning “the person I am working with is in Rotterdam”. When we asked Arsalan what advice he would give himself if he were 18 again, he said he would “try to continue studying”. “Since you are studying you are more or less trying to earn money and you end up finishing your study as quickly as possible. When you go to work then you realize, university is better. So if you can study, continue to study, get a better education, you won’t like to work for some cheap company”.

Claudia and Aaron from Mexico

With 2 hours to spare waiting for their FlixBus, Aaron and Claudia told us they were traveling for their 3 year wedding anniversary. Originally from Mexico, they visited Paris and were en route to Amsterdam. Aaron said that “Rotterdam was on the map, so we decided to go”. Asking if anything odd happened during their travels, he said “I think it will happen in Amsterdam, but till now nothing crazy”. Lastly, asking what advice they would give their younger self, Claudia said she would tell her self to “Work hard, study and try to travel more. Also to study in a different country. We are really happy with the traveling now”. They explained that they “studied in Mexico and never did an exchange”

MingJie from Singapore

MingJie is an exchange student at EUR and was willing to talk with us despite her being on her way to top up her OV-Card. She decide to to do an exchange in Rotterdam because she “came here on a day trip before and really liked the architecture”. “I like the overall feel of the city”. About other places she’s visited, MingJie said she “actually haven’t been to many places, just around Asia and few Europe cities”, and recently haven gone to London. Although she’s still young, she still had a clear answer to the advice question. She would tell her 18 year old self to “to stop being so afraid of everything and really just give it a go because what is the worst that could happen. There is so much out there to do”.

Everyone was open to talk and it was interesting to see different internationals share their reason for being in Rotterdam. One thing in common between all of them is related to the advice they would give themselves. This can be best summed up in a quote. “People regret the things they didn’t do in life more than what they did do”. So despite your doubts, it’s worth giving all your opportunities a shot.

Written by Darnell Starling, from the Content Committee