Meeting international students

“What are the three most important objects in your house?” The answers to this question can tell you a lot about the person you’re talking to. This was exactly the goal of the buddy meeting last Thursday in ‘Zomaar een Dak’. Sixty new students from outside of Europe met their buddy.IMG_4034

Door: Kristina Drcha 

The sixty buddies living in Belgium and studying at the university of Antwerp will make sure the new students feel welcome. During the meeting evening all the buddies play games to learn more about their new friends. They were already caught making inside jokes. Verrekijkers also met a few new students and asked about their plans and firs impressions here in Belgium.


Loris Ashti (21) from Syria and Russia, Master of Rehabilitation Sciences and Physiotherapy: Neurological Conditions.

“First of all I would like to learn the language and I’m also planning on finishing the masters degree here. I think Belgium and Russia are very similar if you look at the architecture, but I think Belgian people are nicer than Russian people, I don’t know why – laughs-. 

For me it was more like Belgium chose me than I chose her as the country where I would study. It’s all because I wanted to follow a specific master’s program and it appeared that Belgium had this program.”

Sophie Gillard (25) from United Kingdom, Master of Biology: Biodiversity, Conservation and Restoration

“Well at first it seems like there’s not much difference between Belgium and the UK, but then you notice some small differences you’re not used to like the shops’ closing hours and that in Belgium there are bikes everywhere.”

Pham (25) from Vietnam, Master in de toegepaste economische wetenschappen

“I always wanted to have a lot of time to travel besides studying and explore other cultures in Europe. In fact before I came to Belgium I had a lot of expectations, because as you know the western culture is very different from Vietnam, the country I come from. Therefore I thought it was a great opportunity for me to learn about these differences. I think the Belgian economy is different from Vietnam, but at the same time they also have something in common.”

Arno (19) from Belgium, history bachelor. He is Pham’s buddy. 

“Are you familiar with the Vietnamese culture, Arno?”

“As a history student I’m kind of familiar with the Vietnamese culture. It’s not like I have a lot of knowledge because I never went there myself, but I have seen documentaries and I know a bit about the past. So far I haven’t met anyone from Vietnam, Pham is the first one I know.”

“Do you want to visit Vietnam one day and get to know the culture better?”

“I’ve always told everyone I know that I don’t’ plan on staying in Belgium and living here my whole life. So far I’ve only been to North-Afrika outside Europe, but I really want to get to know better the west (Canada, United States) and the east (Asian countries like China, Japan, Vietnam).”

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