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Peta, a student – and a free spirit – from the world

Hello Peta! Could you introduce yourself to Pequod’s readers?

Hey my name is Peta, I am 23 years old Australian-Swiss-Belgian student in Communication and Information Sciences and I am currently studying in Tilburg, the Netherlands. I love moving around, discovering new people and places (and food!!) and I would describe myself as being a free spirit, as cheesy as that may sound.

Why did you choose the Netherlands?

I always wanted to study in a different country for my master because I did my bachelor in Geneva and Sydney. I like discovering new places, and I knew that Dutch universities are good. I speak Dutch and my grandpa was from the Netherlands, so moving here was an opportunity to discover a part of my heritage. In addition, I was looking for a country with a relaxed attitude, which I thought I might find here. 

Describe your life in the Netherlands (your occupation, your everyday life, social life, etc.)

I guess that most of my time is dedicated to University because I want to do well and I am very interested in what I am studying. For the rest, I spend time with my new friends, I try to discover some cool new places around the Netherlands and enjoy special beers way too often. At the moment my social life is a bit limited because of University deadlines but I always enjoy having a laugh around some beers!

How is living in the Netherlands different than living in your country?

I grew up in Switzerland which is a very quiet and conservative country, which honestly does not suit my outgoing personality. When I lived in Sydney, I found a country where the relaxed and fun-loving atmosphere really suited me and I guess the Netherlands is somewhere in between both countries. I really miss the Australian weather and the beach, and this country is really, really flat compared to Switzerland. But when I move someplace new I try not to compare it too much to the previous place I lived in because I think you have to try to discover the new aspects of every new place and try to enjoy the best of them.

Which is the biggest challenge of moving to a new country? Have you had any regrets so far? What do you miss the most?          

I think the biggest challenge is not being able to take my friends with me because they are spread out across the world and having to make new friends.

I enjoy deep friendships which are difficult to find when you move somewhere new. I try not to regret the things I do, because I firmly believe that, in the end, you regret most what you do not do. I am not particularly attached to places so if this does not work out I will just move again. I really miss my friends and family obviously, as well as some aspects of the cities I lived in previously (Tilburg is really quiet) but someone told me not to hang on to the past and to enjoy the present, so I try. And who knows what tomorrow brings!               

What does Europe mean for you? Do you perceive the existence of Europe as a community? Do you feel part of it? Do you feel European?

For me Europe is mostly the geographic definition of it. Having grown up in a country which is not European and being born on the other side of the world I do not particularly feel European. I actually do not believe that Europe should be one big community and I know that is controversial . I feel that by focusing on Europe we lose the individuality of the member countries . For me Europe is an agreement or a collaboration but countries should not disappear under the “European Umbrella”.

beer, Belgium, Europe, european umbrella, featured, free spirit, netherlands, switzerland, sydney, tilburg

Alessandro Ausenda

Inizio il mio percorso studi come perito chimico, ci metto circa tre anni per realizzare che una vita in laboratorio tra provette, becchi bunsen e distillatori non farà per me, decido quindi di abbandonare il mondo incantato di Mr. White. Cambio totalmente indirizzo studi e scelgo lingue, concluso il liceo linguistico mi iscrivo presso l’Università degli Studi di Bergamo dove mi laureo in Lingue e Letterature Straniere Moderne. Attualmente sono iscritto alla Tilburg University, MSc in Business Communication and Information Sciences. Da sempre interessato all’arte in ogni sua forma espressiva, adoro il mondo dell’informazione, della divulgazione scientifica e della ricerca in ambito internazionale. Nei primi mesi del 2015 mi viene offerta la possibilità di collaborare con Pequod, contribuisco alla sezione Internazionale cercando di dar voce ai nostri coetanei e alle loro impressioni riguardanti esperienze di studio, idee e progetti futuri.

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