Issue 2: January 31, 2016
HOW TO: CREATE A
ON A BUDGET (p. 22)
how to . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
ACTUALLY GET AN
We know the struggle is real. (p. 20)
and how an IBCoM assignment can change it... (p. 4) (p. 22)
“The Balancing Act” How to:
s we start our third term of the year, Christmas break seems far away. All IBCoM students have migrated back to the Rotterdam area. Our two weeks of freedom were spent in many different ways, we discovered new countries, stayed in the Netherlands with our family and friends, or went back to our ‘homes’. The latter might seem the most straight forward, but for many of us it’s the most complex.
I am vaguely reminded of my home in Kralingen, Rotterdam. It’s hard to imagine my tiny student apartment, the lack of an oven, and the countless Albert Heijns in the neighbourhood, as I see the city lights of Manila in the far distance. It is easy to forget this world exists. However, this is the world where I am getting an education, carrying out my internship, and creating new relationships. This is where I am becoming independent, but have ‘’What is home to you?’’ is one all these activities really made it of the hardest and most com- my home? mon questions I’ve been asked as a semi- ‘international’ student. Perhaps there is no single definiThe easy answer is my current tion of home, yet we keep trying location, or my ‘passport coun- to search for one. I believe this try’, or either of the countries my struggle is quite common and alparents grew up in. However, ways present in our multicultural can we really identify one of the ‘IBCoM’ lives. We find ourselves many places we created lasting longing for places where our memories and have friends or families and friends are, places family members as our one and filled with memories. Yet new only home? memories are constantly being created, especially as we enter At the moment I’m sitting on 2016 and start internships, exthe balcony of my parents’ home changes, or even careers abroad. right outside Manila, the Philippines. The house is located in the These are exciting times ahead as hills, outside the pollution of the we keep broadening our definicity but is still nearby the centre. tions of home. So let’s dive into I hear a mix of crickets chirping the second issue of IBCoMagaand a lovely karaoke party hap- zine and explore what it means pening down the valley. These fa- to you. miliar sounds, smells, and humid temperature bring a feeling of bliss. I know this is not my only Editor-in-Chief home any longer; life here has moved on without me, and I’ve Jessica van Wijgerden moved on as well. I’ve created a new home in the time since I left this one.
CONTENT Definitions of home
5 tips to survive the winter blues
How to actually get an internship
Mauritius: The Multicultural Island in the Indian Ocean
The struggles of an IBCoM graduate
How to sell your IBCoM degree
Remarkable news 1001
Making Rotterdam your home
Feeling at home, away from home
Rotterdam cafes youâ€™ve never heard about
The balancing act
Creating a home on a budget
Definitions of “
hen starting the second year as IBCoM students we have the amazing opportunity to choose certain courses ourselves out of a range of various fields according to our personal interest. One course I am going to introduce to you now is SMPI, which stands for Social Media, Prosumption and Identity. The course content takes a theoretical approach to what we take for granted nowadays – our activity on social media. You examine closely what involves the portrayal of ourselves on social media, what sharing pictures and updating statuses mean in a bigger picture and how our identity is constructed by the way we share information about us, our activities, friends, food and everyday life. In order to experience and understand the concepts, which are essential to understanding this matter, students who take this course are required to keep working on a continuous blog over the period of the term. The assignment involves setting up and running a blog on social media, may that be an Instagram or Twitter account, that is up to you! The assignment provides a lot of freedom especially regarding the topic you want to blog about. You can choose whatever matters to you, something
personal or something fun. Topics ranged from Rotterdam nightlife over food and smoothies to travel photography. While doing this assignment you are supposed to consciously create content on a regular bases throughout the course and observe the development of your blog, looking at likes, followers and response as much as the way it impacts you personally, your everyday life and personal habits. My peer student Roshni Hendrian started running an instagram account called “definitionsofhome” and she gained almost 100 followers over the course of 8 weeks. Roshni is half Indian half German and came to the Netherlands in Summer 2014 to study IBCoM. She loves travelling and experiencing new cultures and considers herself more or less as a social media addict (as probably most of us do right)! Thus she is aiming on finding an internship involving social media marketing and young audiences. Afterwards she hopes to get spot in Barcelona for exchange since she has never been to Spain before. How come she chose SMPI from so many other interesting courses? Roshni was so lucky to have some insider (ex-IBCoM student) rec-
ommending the course! She also said that the appealing course description combined with her interest in social media determined her choice in the end. She also had deep interest to what extent social media affects us in the offline world as well. She said that “The assignment helped me understand my own social media habits much better, as well as understand how and why particular brands and established social media ‘people’ post what they post. It has really opened my eyes and the defintionsofhome assignment made it even more enjoyable!” The reason she chose the topic “definitions of home” for her practical assignment has to do with her personal background: With her multicultural family Roshni was never able to answer the question “Where is home?” properly since she spent her live in places of cultural extremities, such as Berlin and Dubai for example. She thought it was interesting to find out if fellow students also had particularly unique or conflicting definitions of home. As a result you get to pinch on what home means to students of the Erasmus University and what an IBCoM course can result into:
by Merle Ullrich
What is home to you?
by Ilayda Hagens
ach year after all the holidays and Christmas breaks are over I am personally completely done with everything that involves my least favourite season of all: winter. Personally I would be ready for 30 degrees, sunglasses and shorts again on the 1nd of January but unfortunately this is Holland so the cold and dark days drag on for at least 3 more months. What happens to me and from what I noticed, to many more people during this time a year is the winter blues. Typical symptoms of having winter blues is feeling drained, depressed and dull. So if you recognize that feeling of wanting to stay in bed and just sleep all day or mope around and have negative thoughts then these 5 tips will be very helpful for you:
1 2 3 4 5 6
L et t her e be lig ht ! The main reason why winter is such a depressing season is because there is literally a lack of sunlight. It is scientifically proven that vitamin D from the sun increases the production of serotonin in your brain which basically give you “the happy feelz”. It’s dark when you go to school and it’s dark when you get back… so when you don’t get enough of the real light just create your own! Turn the long and dark evenings into your advantage by decorating you room with nice Christmas lights and candles. If you light these every evening, I can guarantee you will feel a lot better. Get your la z y but t out of bed Getting enough sleep every night is very important, especially when you’re feeling a bit down and drained but it is even more important to maintain your daily routine and get out of bed at some point, even if you don’t have class or only start at 1 p.m. Why? Because more than 8 hours of sleep per night will make you feel even more tired and believe it or not when you get out of bed and mingle with the rest of the world probably more exciting things will happen than in your bed… N o pa in no g a in And I am not talking about muscle gain here but endorphin gains! Yes, you heard it. Another way to actually increase “the happy feelz” is by doing exercises. After you got your butt out of bed, doing sports is a good way to start your day because it will make you feel a lot happier and energetic afterwards. Hea lt hy food Another annoying but good tip is eating healthy food. We obviously all know that fruits and vegetables are important in our daily diet since these vitamins are absolutely crucial for a healthy lifestyle but especially when you have less energy than normal, the sugars you get out of fruits are the ones you need. But of course chocolate also helps… Trea t your s elf! But most important of all, you should be good to yourself! So plan or do things that make you happy. It can be super motivating to have something to look forward to and it could be anything: shopping with your best friend, a city trip, having a crazy night out, a day at the spa, cook your favourite dinner for your friends, chocolate fondue or a Lord of The Rings marathon. Whatever makes you excited, just do it because the main thing it that you spoil yourself from time to time.
- HOW TO ACTUALLY -
GET AN INTERNSHIP
n the second year of IBCoM, it is mandatory to do an internship in the field of communication and media. The good thing about this set up is that you can do internships anywhere you would like and even research internships within IBCoM itself if that falls under your area of interest. Going on an internship is a chance to find out if what you think you like right now is actually the area you would like to pursue in in the future. Something can sound really interesting until you actually get the chance to see how it works in actuality, so be sure to choose something relevant to you! An internship gives you a chance to match what you’ve been learning over the past two years with a more practical side. Of course, it is also an opportunity to build connections that you can later rely on. In all the guest lectures for Communication and Media Practice, it was stressed that students should capitalize on creating connections and starting to build a professional network from now. If it has been repeated so much, it probably means that it is useful advice. Finding an internship may be difficult, but if you’re struggling right now, be sure to reach out to the internship coordinator Renée Mast! If you’ve already found a possible internship, you also have the opportunity to discuss with her whether or not it meets the IBCoM requirements. Loads of useful information is available in the internship manual, so ensure that you use it.
© TNW News
by Nympha Richardson
Before landing that ideal internship, there are a few steps to take that we thought we’d share with you. The first thing you have to do is figure out exactly what your goals are for your internship. Ask yourself where your interests lie and in what sort of industry you would like to work in. Would you like to work in an NGO or a commercial company? Huge company or startup? By narrowing down exactly what you want, it will be easier to filter vacancies and direct your search more efficiently. Once you determine what you are looking for, the next step is to make sure that you are what they are looking for. Work on your cover letters and tailor them specifically to the organization you would like to apply to. Revamp your CV to include your relevant experience in the field of communication and media and do some research online on interview strategies. Be prepared! Vacancies to apply to are everywhere if you look hard enough. Internship opportunities are posted on Facebook by different companies and the ‘M&C Career Services’ page also frequently posts opportunities for IBCoM students. Also, utilize your LinkedIn account and follow relevant companies to you. If none of this works, then a good old fashioned Google search never fails. Good luck!
7 © SquareSpace
hen I first told people I was travelling to Mauritius, the most common responses were blank faces, followed by an “ah yes… In the Caribbean… Right?” or occasionally by an honest “Great! But where is that!?”. It might be a popular tourist destination in my home country of France, but in the Netherlands, it doesn’t seem to be as much of a hotspot. The tiny island of 1,3 million inhabitants is situated in the Indian Ocean off the coast of South Africa and Madagascar, and has all of the characteristics of a volcanic tropical island. White sandy beaches, turquoise ocean, palm trees and dense jungles: check, check double check! I could go on for days about the beauty of the island, but as they say, a picture is worth a thousand words, and honestly, this isn’t what
struck me most about the island. It wasn’t the stunning nature, the splendour and beauty found on every corner… No, what I found most fascinating and unique about the little African island were the people. Mauritius has a long history of colonialism. The island was discovered by the Dutch (who killed all the Dodos, then left), colonised by the French, then by the British, and finally gained independence in 1968. However, even though the British did officially colonise Mauritius, the island’s culture and language unofficially stayed French, since the British only used the island’s capital city, Port Louis, as a strategic military base. Furthermore, most Mauritians are from Indian descent (68%), African descent (27%), Chinese descent (3%) or French descent (2%).
This has lead to four main religions on the island: Hinduism, Christianity, Islam and Buddhism. The three main languages are Creole (a mix of French, Asian and African languages), French and English (the ‘official’ language). It may seem like a weird mix, but basically, once slavery was abolished in 1848, the French still wanted cheap labour in Mauritius, so they exported workers from India and China. Consequently, the entire island is covered in sugar cane, and the reason I could get great rum for very cheap! It is precisely this multiculturalism that struck me the most, as I hadn’t researched much about it before my arrival (I mostly Googled pictures of Mauritian beaches and dreamed about what my tan will look like). Getting off the plane, my dad rented a car and we made our way towards
Multicultural Island in the Indian Ocean
the hotel. We paid for the car in Rupees, spoke to the car rental employee in French, listened to BBC on the radio, drove on the left side of the road and passed by an array of Hindu temples, mosques, and Catholic churches. I had never experienced so many different languages, cultures and religions in one country before, or at least not in such close proximity and in such a small amount of time. It took a while before I could acclimate to my surroundings. The prominent culture in Mauritius is Indian, and we saw this increasingly throughout the duration of the trip. However, this made me wonder, were there any frictions between the various societies? If growing up in Northern Europe has taught me anything, it’s that too many different cultures living in close proximity might cause many issues. A week after landing on the island, my family and I were on our way back from the beach, when my dad had a craving for oysters. We asked around and were directed to a rundown fisherman’s hut by the shore. The man who greeted us was in his 60s, claiming to be the best fisherman on the island. He introduced himself as Pierre, and refused to let us sit without giving us rum, and a tour of his shark jaws collection, which fuelled my dad’s paranoia of swimming in the ocean for the rest of the trip. Once we had dutifully finished off our glass (or two) of rum and the negotiations regarding the oysters had finally been settled, I decided to ask Pierre a few questions about the atmosphere amongst the different cultural groups in Mauritius. He explained that there is peace and harmony amongst all religions, as they are all taken seriously and respected equally. However, he claims there is segregation amongst social classes, that Indo-Mauritians had the better work opportunities than Creole (African-Mauritian) people, and that the few French-Mauritians (whites) on the island do not mingle with the rest of the population. He said that himself, as a Creole man, is a fisherman due to his background. When I probed further as to whether this causes friction amongst the different communities on the island, his answer surprised me. He looked thoughtful for a second and replied “No. Nobody from the island is from Mauritius; everyone has come from abroad, bringing their heritage with them. We must respect that.” Walking home that evening, the burn of the rum still hot in my throat, I became more observant of my surroundings. I started to look around for clues, to see if what Pierre had said made sense. Throughout the two weeks that followed, we made plenty more trips all around the island. We saw the huge villas with mass security and high walls that belonged to the French across the street of the slums inhabited by Creole or Indo-Mauritians. Contrasting this, however, was a radio announcement we heard by the Indo-Mauritian president during the Islam Eid al-Fitr festival, stating and reinforcing the importance of respecting and honouring all religions and traditions. The multiculturalism I experienced in Mauritius will stick with me a long time, as will the way in which tradition and religion is so deeply respected amongst communities. The island, uninhabited until the first French settlers, was built on these different cultures, and each new culture brought with it new religions and traditions. I would recommend to anyone struggling to see the possibility of harmonious living amongst different cultures, to visit this small African island in the Indian Ocean.
By Anna Mlikota Le Guennec
he field of communication is a tremendously popular one, however it carries a stigma of ambiguity concerning future job prospects. A successful career, economically speaking, is less likely with a communication degree. According to George University Center report from 2013, communication and journalism majors earn less than the average college graduate. Overall, the academic field collects around 54,000 US dollars annually, while other bachelor graduates would make around 61,000 US dollars. So why on earth would you choose to enter this field? Takia Ksartryo (21) ended up studying communication through series of random events and compromises. Initially, her desire was to attend a design school in Vancouver, however her dad was uneasy about this decision. ‘’He did not think there were many prospects with a degree in design‘’, she tells me. Her father urged her to study International Business Administration, which was far from her interest in the creative industry. Eventually, she ended up enrolling in the International Bachelor of Communication and Media (IBCoM) study at Erasmus University, Rotterdam. This course seemed to be the perfect middle ground between her father and her own wishes, and they were both pleased with the decision. Throughout her time at IBCoM, Takia did not worry about the ambiguity of her bachelor degree. She admits that within the course there was not much preparation for the work field. ‘’However, it did form my interest in marketing and branding. It opened the door to try new things.’’ The many readings and assignments slowly developed her interests. Also, the countless presentation made her
THE STRUGGLES OF AN IBCOM
GRADUATE by Jessica van Wijgerden
become more confident and open to others. ‘’ I was very timid person before, but now I’ve become even more relaxed’’ she explains. Takia reflects that there was one other aspect that prepared her for the workplace; ‘’IBCoM has a lot of group projects, and it helps you to learn to adapt to another.’’ A trait that is actually quite essential within professional setting with co-workers. After three years of endless assignments, presentation, and exams, Takia finally graduated in October. Flying caps and emotional goodbyes from the international student body concluded the ceremony. Takia, Indonesian by nationality, decided to stay in the Netherlands. Unlike her fellow students, who either went back to the home country or continued with a masters degree, she decided to jump start her career without fully realizing the complexities of this huge step. Immediately after graduation Takia began looking for internships to enrich her resume. ‘’It is more appropriate at this time in my life’’, Takia explains. ‘‘Most ‘legitimate’ jobs ask for at least 3 years of experience, and I thought shit I don’t have any. ‘’ She found a position at Headmade, where she works on the strategic and concept development of mobile apps. Takia hopes to expand her resume, gain more experience in the workplace, and help her create networks. The latter, Takia realized in her previous internship experience at Poet Farmer, is hard to create as an international student. The main language of her colleagues would be Dutch, which mean she couldn’t fully participate. In a mildly frustrated tone, she confides; ‘‘my colleagues would often talk to each other in Dutch, and when they spoke in English I knew that it was meant for me.’’ Even though they were more than willing to speak English if she would request them to switch language, the default language would remain Dutch. Networking was hindered in a non-international setting such as at Poet Farmer. On the other hand, being an international student within the broad field of communication has its benefits. Takia is perceived as a well adaptable, flexible, and open employee within her workplace at Headmade. She has lived in several places around the
world and is sensitive to the multicultural diversity of a working environment. Her skills in different disciplinarians such as branding, marketing, and design makes her an attractive candidate for any creative communication industries. Right now, the problem isn’t the bachelor she obtained, but the timing. She’s a fresh graduate, with ‘not enough’ experience. Although experience is lacking, Takia’s many qualities in the business, media, and creative markets open up a lot of doors within the field of communication. Since it is so incredibly broad, it helps to be multi-talented, but it’s necessary to also a specialist in an area. For Takia, IBCoM helped her identify her true interests within the field of communication. When I ask
her what her dream job would entail, her eyes light up and tells me; ‘’ I would like to try to work in the fashion industry, like planning out photo-shoots and perhaps taking on the role of a creative director. ‘’ Her heart seems set in the direction of her ambitions. For an outsider, communication studies might seem like vague collection of different fields with not enough financial benefits. However, for an insider it is a playing field of endless opportunities. As I discover Takia’s development within IBCoM and the workplace, it is clear to me why she chose the course. The field is really only suitable for a specific type of person. It is for the flexible, open-minded, and multi-talented people who are ready to take part of the globalized and technologically dynamic world.
hat exactly is the study of Communication and Media?” Coming from my own personal experience, this is the question that IBCoM students may face at one point during their job interviews. The field of communication encompasses wide range of topics, from a face-to-face communication, mass broadcasting, communication between and within organizations, and etc. As vast the course is, to employers it may not be clear what skills a communication and media student can contribute to the company.
12 © Huffpost.com
Despite the wide range, the common factor among the topics of communication study entails the most effective and efficient exchange of information. Good communication skills can assist the sales of product to the public, and create and sustain a good relationship with an organization`s consumers, investors, and clients. Career paths for communication students can take numerous directions, such as; a PR officer, executive producer, brand strategist, and marketing director. To get a clear overview, I divided the career paths into three different fields; PR/Marketing, business, and media industry. I will explore how you, as communication and media student, can pitch themselves in front of the future employers in these three fields, basically: how you can sell your IBCoM degree.
By Jaerim Hong
PR/Marketing, Hire Me! During our studies, one goes through various articles and literatures concerning the theories behind the language, symbols, and its impact on specific social group. Such knowledge is definitely useful in PR/Marketing where the goal is to create a bridge between the organization or a product and the public. Strong communication skills would support the organization with the creation of effective content accordingly to the target audience. This can be a flyer, verbal sales, press release, or an online media campaign. In addition, with the advent and the widespread of social media network and smartphone devices, organizations and industries are transforming and adapting to these new medium. A communication degree prepares you you to gain a profound understanding of different media outlets in a sense of how a producer of information should design, plan, distribute and interact with its audience. Furthermore, being part of this new generation, you have naturally grown in and operated in this new medium environment, developing an insider understanding in this new environment.
Moreover, as all industries are exposed to more and more of a multicultural environment. An organization needs to be more careful with operating under different culture. Communication students recognizes the multicultural landscape, understands what different culture entails in terms of different values, norms and meanings each audiences hold.
Business, Take Me! Good communication skill is crucial at any instances in the world of business. Through a good communication, an organization or a company can create and sustain a good relationship with its consumers, investors and clients. It comes in real handy for the corporations when their brand image take a hit from a bad incident. When a company takes receives negative press, managerial team would solve material problems, getting the system right. On the other hands, communication student would be focusing on getting a companyâ€™s image back to what it was, or even better. Communication student would know how to manage the opinion of the public via communication of politics, strategies, and practices. Communication skills do not only concern the external com-
munication. For the organization to function at its best, an efficient and effective internal communication is crucial. With the blueprint of the departments within the organization and their relations, communication students can design and moderate the internal communication model. Moreover, human resources are one of their most valuable assets. Working in human resources, a communication student can manage and enhance the motivation, work ethic, and performance of the employees.
Media, Pick Me! Media industry is one of the most popular destinations communication students pursue as, one may guess, the prime goal of the industry is to communicate information and supply entertainment for the public. Although the media industry is highly specialized, and competitive, from the production, planning, writing, managing, etc, the abilities to well standardize and distribute right information in a right time, in a right manner are core elements of the occupation. Moreover, with an indepth understanding of symbols and its impact, communication students are able to create and deliver an effective mass broadcasting content.
Are You Ready? Hopefully, by reading this feature, you have better idea of how what you have studied during the IBCoM program can be applied in different industries in multiple ways. Now, go out there, sell your degree to the employers. Be confident. You are a IBCoM student after all.
by Lianne Dusseldorp
Pokémon theme song earns a spot in The Top 2000
very year, the Dutch radio station NPO Radio 2 broadcasts The Top 2000, a radio programme in which people can vote for their favourite song in the hope it will be feature in this list as one of the 2000 best music records. From Christmas Day on, the radio station counts down to the most popular song, which will be played on New Year’s Eve. While classics such as Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody and The Eagles’ Hotel California dominate the list every year, Dutch student Wisse ten Bosch thought it was time to add another classic: Jason Paige’s Gotta Catch ‘Em All. Through Facebook, Ten Bosch asked people to vote for the song, in order to get it on the Top 2000. With success: the song will be played during the holidays. However, which place it will take, is still unclear. (from AD.nl, 2015)
Losing for being too handsome
illiam Masvinu, former winner of Zimbabwe’s annual Mr. Ugly contest, lost his title in this years’ edition to newcomer Mison Sere after being called “too handsome” by the judges. The former winner did not take the judgement well, as he claimed to be “natural ugly”, in comparison to his competitor, Sere. Masivnu now hopes the new judges in next year’s edition will agree with him, as he is determined to win back his title.
Running in a wedding dress
n November 28, Thai radio station Eazy FM hosted its fourth edition of ‘Running of the Brides’. The challenge, running 600 meters in running shoes and a wedding dress, was accepted by hundreds of brides who all had their eyes on one price: a wedding and a honeymoon to the Maldives. (from Young & Connected)
(from Young & Connected)
Finding your Disney Happily Ever After
ndlessly swiping left on Tinder and checking out which people you crossed paths with on Happn.. It has become impossible to imagine our everyday life without dating apps. However, it takes a lot of time to find someone who you do not only find attractive, but with whom you also share some common interests. This is exactly what Davis Tavres thought after several dating sites failed to find him a perfect woman: someone to share his great love for Disney with. Thus, Tavres came up with a new concept called MouseMingle, thé dating site for Disney fans. Besides the typical personal information, users can also provide information on their favourite Disney movie and character. So forget Tinder, Happn and Grindr, and start searching for that one person to have a Disney marathon with. (from Mashable)
MAKING ROTTERDAM YOUR HOME
by Brechtje Stam
© gigapan.org 16
ome, a word with so many different meanings and definitions. Wikipedia gives a very basic definition, ‘a dwelling-place used as a permanent or semi-permanent residence for an individual, household, or several families’, but for me, the word home is more connected to a feeling. ‘Home is where the heart is’ might be a cliché, but clichés often do tell the truth and I therefore certainly agree with that one. It is not easy to make something your home and that is why I wondered how international students tried (and may or may not succeeded in) making Rotterdam their home and if there are any differences to how I tried to make Rotterdam my home. Before I started studying here, Rotterdam was, for me, never really the place to be. Growing up in a town that was close to almost every big city, the choices of where to go were so big that Rotterdam never gave me any special reason to go there. I therefore started studying in a totally new environment, which I really had to get used to at first. Since I still live at home, the changes weren’t all that big, but a great part of my life suddenly happened in an unknown city. The first few weeks therefore merely existed out of going from Blaak to the University and back. As weeks passed by, however, I started to discover Rotterdam. To be completely honest, I never really thought that Rotterdam would be so great, but right now, I am so glad that I can start calling this city my second home. I even feel quite proud when Feyenoord wins, even though I never really liked football. This story is no different when it comes to the foreign IBCoMmers I spoke to. When I asked them how they were dealing with moving here and making Rotterdam their home, they all came with similar stories, which was really interesting to notice. Although they all came from different parts of the worlds, we soon agreed on one measure to make a place your home very soon: making friends. What furthermore helped them was orientating and visiting places in the city. Feeling at home was kind of hard for all of us at first, since none of us knew anyone here, but once the friends started coming along, the feeling of being at home started developing. When I asked them if they thought there was a difference in the ease of feeling at home if you are already from the Netherlands, they all agreed that there does not necessarily have to be a difference. Some things certainly might be more familiar, and of course, Dutch students are more familiar with certain customs. One of the students I spoke to explained that she was still surprised that cars actually stopped at pedestrian crossings, she always had to run for her life to cross the street. In the end, however, it is a new place and a new life for all of us and we concluded that, although cliché, home certainly is where the heart is.
Feeling at home, away from home
iving abroad is not always easy. Especially as a girl, most of us probably have a strong bond with their families. However, in order to grow personally and develop an independent self it is utterly important to take this step out into the world. Nonetheless, no one wants to get majorly homesick and I feel like Iâ€™ve found some important steps in order to prevent homesickness and to feel at home away from home. Adapting to a new country and home can certainly be made easy by adapting some skills therein. One of the most important things, is to decorate your room accordingly. In my case, I brought things from home with me, like pictures and small decoration items to make myself feel comfortable. And letâ€™s not forget bringing your own bed sheets. In my opinion
there is nothing better than falling asleep in between a familiar environment. Another thing that majorly helped me feeling content with my new place to life, was finding familiar products in the supermarkets of Rotterdam and also creating dishes that I already had back home. Thanks to globalization, you can find familiar stores for clothes and the like everywhere you go. I would say that can be called adaption made easy. No need to find new places to shop, except if you want to, of course. As I approached the Christmas season, I have to be honest and tell you that I missed a lot of Christmas events taking place in my hometown including rituals involving my family during that specific time of the year. In this case, I feel super lucky to have an incredibly mum, providing me with an advent calendar and Saint Nicholas presents. This
definitely made me feel a lot more loved and thought of. Most importantly though, it is to surround yourself by loving people. Even if you just got to know each other,as long as you are caring and approaching each other with an open mind and heart, it is possible to feel at home and comfortable wherever you may be in an instant. The people who are surrounding you can have a huge impact on how you feel. They can make a big difference and can help you to feel welcome and content in your new environment. Even if you only manage to bring a few of the mentioned habits with you into your new environment, I can guarantee you, it will make a huge difference in how good you feel about your new home. Finally, you will feel at home wherever you go and for now in Rotterdam.
by Carina Ju
Rotterdam Cafes you’ve never heard about by Nympha Richardson
he official slogan of Rotterdam “Make It Happen” speaks of the culture of the city and the work ethic that is exhibited by its inhabitants. The one thing that is necessary for all these university students, businessmen and women and workers across all the various industries to actually make things happen here is simple. Coffee. It is hard to miss that enticing aroma of coffee beans being roasted anywhere in the city (and equally as hard to ignore it and not walk into every single café you pass). It’s impossible to deny it, Rotterdam actually runs on coffee. It is the holy grail of drinks for sleep-deprived students who have just one more paper to write or one more exam to study for. It is the only source of energy for employees working to meet deadlines in the hustle and bustle of corporate life and it is the warm comfort necessary for everyone who wants to close their eyes and forget about this wet, dark gloomy weather we are lucky to enjoy in the city for over half the year.
I can go on and on about why coffee is a way of life. According to Kris Gunnars at Authority Nutrition, it gives you energy, lowers the risk of developing depression, is packed with antioxidants - and probably the most important one (at least to me) - helps you lose weight. There is so much variety in terms of mouthwatering cuisine here in Rotterdam, so that last reason ends up playing a pretty big role. So drink more coffee, people, it’s healthy! Whatever your motivations for drinking coffee, it does matter that you be kind to yourself and ensure you get it from a café that knows what it is doing. So, please step away from the generic corporate brand coffee and get to know the top 3 cafes in Rotterdam that provide top notch coffee and an atmosphere that will have you becoming a regular. The reviews come straight from customers themselves instead of employees; because, who better to tell you the truth about a café other than those who frequent it?
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Hopper Coffee & Bakery
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First on the list is Hopper Coffee & Bakery, located in the heart of Rotterdam at Schiedamse Vest. They’ve also recently opened up a new location on Zwaanshals. Both locations have the same minimalistic, wooden feel that immediately engulfs you in a feeling of comfort from the moment you step inside. It’s all in the small details: a wall sized chalkboard with the menu written on it, silver hanging lights from the ceiling and the freshly baked bread from the oven on display all work together to give this cafe its charm. The customers definitely agree. Hopper regular Koen tells me: “I’m really into the old school chairs and furniture, and definitely how nice the staff is! The location is really nice because you can go upstairs and sit and watch down at the café below you. On top of that, the food is all homemade and the coffee is just REALLY good. They serve proper lattes here.” Their years of experience has taught them the art of creating the perfect cup of coffee. Varied profiles of green beans are freshly roasted at their home base in Rotterdam North. The taste of these beans in combination with some frothed milk has the potential to turn even the coldest, darkest winter day into one filled with happiness.
Boon Second is Boon. Customers love the brightness that fills the café as a result of its large, glass windows; and on those days in Rotterdam when the sun is out, it is also possible to sit outside and soak it up. The rustic furniture and super friendly staff are more than capable of producing the simple feeling of home. Located on Provienierstraat, the café is surrounded by typical Dutch architecture, soothing greenery and other small, intimate cafes that are ideal places to unwind. When asked about why she enjoys coming to Boon, university student Jessie was quick to respond that: “The location is great! It is surrounded by cute houses and other cafes that creates a great overall atmosphere. The workers there are very international, friendly and talkative. The food is fresh, organic and delicious. They probably have the best coffee in Rotterdam, and the prices are very low too... do I really need to go on?” Jessie really didn’t need to. She summed up everything I could possibly say and more, all with bright blue eyes and a gleaming smile from behind of her steaming coffee cup.
photo credit: http://www.reinierdejong.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/uebwest.jpg
Urban Espresso Bar Last, but certainly not least, is Urban Espresso Bar. Though the menu and coffee is a bit pricey, the freshly baked pastries and quality of the roasted coffee is more than worth it. Being centrally located both on Botersloot (nearby the oh so impressive Markthal) and on the lively and culturally rich Nieuwe Binnenweg, this café is definitely one to consider the next time you are up for someplace new and welcoming. The café uses a special blend of coffee produced right here in Rotterdam because according to their logo, “you can drink sloppy cappuccinos anywhere in town.” To Urban Espresso Bar - and rightfully so – coffee is serious business. One customer who definitely appreciates UEB’s approach is Erasmus University student Jacqueline. She says that “having two central locations is really great because I can reach it easily no matter what part of the city I’m in. The coffee is to die for, and I’m really a fan of the food they serve here because it is all organic. They even have their own pastries and cakes, but I try to stay strong and not spend too much money on those.”
THE BALANCING ACT
by Reyhaan King
ongrats on completing the first semester everyone! I think by now everyone has had a little taste of Uni life, and I also believe people are starting to realize it’s an acquired one. I would like to share some of my experiences living the different uni lifestyles, the good and the bad ones. Before we get too deep into personality and lifestyle choice, let’s define the categories. There are three main lifestyle choices I have noticed in my time in IBA and now in IBCoM, they are: the party animal, the serious student, and the relaxed individual. These personalities, or lifestyle choices, are all interconnected and the consequences change depending on how much time you spend in each category.
THE PARTY ANIMAL
If you find yourself at every student party, good or bad, every chill sesh and get together, then you must have a lot of energy. Or you might be a party animal. I do my fair share of partying too, it’s great, a good way to relieve stress, meet people and experience the nightlife of Rotterdam. However, being hungover every day makes paying attention in classes pretty much impossible. And despite what you have heard, class is actually important so don’t let the bright lights fool you. Balance is the key. My advice to anyone who notices this description is similar to theirs, take a break, watch a movie, and re-orient yourself with why you are here and focus on the work you need to do.
THE SERIOUS STUDENT
On the other hand of the spectrum is the serious student, the student at home studying, or in the library studying, or at the restaurant eating a delicious meal before going back to studying. The most important reason for coming to university is to do well and get your diploma; however a one-trick pony can only do so much. The real world requires the ability to socialize and interact and let loose a little bit, because we are not robots, but people, and people enjoy a bit of fun from time to time. So if you find yourself staring at a computer screen for hours on end, do me a favour. Stop. Go outside and give someone a high five. Live a little. Meet up with friends and go to a bar. The work will still be there once you get back.
THE RELAXED INDIVIDUAL
This last category is yet another corner in the trifecta of lifestyles. You ever woken up and realized you had a full day of work and then completely ignored it to go relaxing and do nothing. Who am I kidding of course you have! We are all students here, and I know it may seem harmless, but bad habits form quickly and some work takes longer to finish than anticipated. Itâ€™s always better to balance studying and relaxing, why not start an assignment and finish it off another day. Why not study a chapter and watch an episode of Family Guy, the key is willpower, balance, and discipline.
If you are struggling do not worry, take a moment, breathe, there is a reason you are here, and you are perfectly capable of remaining here, good luck everyone! 21
HOME on a budget
by Ted Hoogkamer
“After long, home is a place where I yearn to belong”; a quote taken from Simply Red’s ‘Home’, one of my favorite songs ever made. But what is home? What does one yearn to belong to? Recently, I came across a friend’s Instagram-account that gave new insights here: @definitionsofhome – yes, free publicity all the way. Several people were featured in its associated pictures in a Humans of New York-like fashion, accompanied by a quote in which they enlightened us – very surprisingly – on their definition of home. “Wherever I feel free to raid the fridge” was actually a quotation by our very own editor-in-chief Jessica – what a mischievous mademoiselle right? With the help of many other amusing statements, such as “Wherever I feel comfortable wearing only my underwear”, eventually, an international mosaic of very divergent, yet similar descriptions of home was created. That being said, it is naturally always inspiring to hear these internationals talking about their “home(s)”, considering all the travelling experiences they have been exposed to. But here I am, a simple Dutch, poor student who has lived in The Netherlands all his life, already making a big deal out of his recent moving into his own place. How was I going to turn this new room into an actual home on a low budget? 22
irst of all, one of the main things that I encountered as being essential here, is furniture – obviously. Instead of going full on cray in Ikea, I had decided on buying the majority of my fixtures in thrift stores, as they provide not only cheap, but also very much vivacious bits and pieces that can really give one’s room that extra dimension. In my opinion, these second-handed pieces connote feelings of retro, nonchalant and edgy times, while also bringing up a certain feeling of safety and familiarity. The pieces could have even been owned by one’s very own Grandma. My absolute favorite item is my big vintage table with its chairs (which in total costed about 80 euros by the way), from which I have sight over the little, messy inside garden of my old-school looking neighborhood, further contributing to my nostalgic experience here. Next to location and furniture, one thing that is also of main prominence are pictures. I will refrain from going all basic on you guys, saying how “a picture says more than a thousand words”, but it cannot be denied that there is a certain power to images in creating a nostalgic, as well as cozy atmosphere.
Consequently, I have created two photo-walls surrounding my bed. Printing these images for 16 cents per piece only and using literally the most inexpensive double-sided tape ever, I managed to generate a personalized angle to my room that I can stare at endlessly (mostly when procrastinating of course). As one can see on the picture, I went even further here by adding Christmas lights throughout my image-walls, resulting in a situation where one can conclude that Bianca Ryan’s “Why Couldn’t It Be Christmas Everyday” has been taken extremely seriously. This brings me to my next point: details. Another over-used quote such as “it is all about the details” could once again be thrown in here, but in this case I actually think it is applicable (not even being sarcastic here). These small things are exactly what make one’s room even more personalized; these little Christmas lights, miniature cactuses, small Buddhas, random post-cards or even one’s Grandma’s tableware. All in all, however, what has just been summed up is actually quite materialistic in the sense that it is still about objects and things one has to consume in order to use, even
though they might be cheap. In contrast, the two things that I essentially regard as most important when the concept of home is considered, are for free: music and people. “Music?!” one might think, but well, my incredibly ethically sound ways of downloading music eventually result in no charges being present. When I can listen to my favorite music, a familiarity is felt in any strangeness; take for instance John Mayer – hearing the warmth of his voice will never fail to melt my heart and worries. However, in the end it is always about the people one loves to share all the aforementioned home-elements with; without the spirits of comfort, love, sadness, etc. one can feel with and through them, all else would be irrelevant. Plot twist, I, myself was actually also featured on @definitionsofhome and accordingly, I would like to end this piece with my own quote that I still stick to thoroughly: “Home is something that one can create anywhere, as long as one feels at ease and is surrounded by loved ones. Comfort and love; those are the key words.” Comfort and love; two things that can only be created and felt through human interaction.
THANK YOU FOR READING From Team IBCoMagazine: Editor-in-Chief Jessica van Wijgerden Managing Editor Ilayda Hagens Copy Editor Nympha Richardson Creative Directors Huong Vu Joshua Kruter Advisory Team Indira Gerards Brenda Grashoff Emma Hamilton Johannes van Engelhardt Photographers Mateo Garcia Beatriz Mateus Ece Topcuoglu Writers Jeroen Adriaanse Lianne Dusseldorp Anna Le Guennec Jaerim Hong Ted Hoogkamer Carina Jung Reyhaan King Alexandra Medvedskaya Brechtje Stam Merle Ullrich