For the month of Saint Valentine’s day, we interviewed Gabriel – a first-year international IBCoM student from Chile.
You might ask – “What made a person to overcome such a huge distance: all the way from Panama to the Netherlands? Is it a love for studying, passion for the country or maybe everything at once?”.
It may sound surprising – maybe even funny, but it all started with the fact that the ambassador of the Netherlands lived in the same building as Gabriel. Maybe it was a sign or just a marvellous coincidence, but life eventually led him to Rotterdam.
Gabriel fell in love with this city… Quite romantic, isn’t it?
Gabriel shared the loves and passions of his life and talked about the things he appreciates the most while living in the Netherlands.
“Before coming here, I lived in Panama and thought that Europe [was quite] very old fashioned. But when I felt the dynamics of Rotterdam, saw all these new buildings, the amazing architecture, noticed how people in the Netherlands are so very open and kind – I immediately fell in love with it. I enjoy the international environment of the city. To be honest, I came to the Netherlands to visit a lot of different universities, but Rotterdam made me stay, so I decided to apply in Erasmus.”
Gabriel is one of those people who were in Polak, diligently studying for the exams to come and is always interested in learning new things.
“I think, what makes me passionate about studying is personal development. The most precious feeling is when you can apply the knowledge you got in the university in real life, for instance, while talking to your friends. Studying IBCoM for me has been mostly about people, that’s why I like it.”
“I am a very social person.” Gabriel tells us, “I get my energy from people. Having friends and a good discussion make me cheerful. While studying in an international program, it’s extremely interesting to see how people are so different but at the same time connected – I think, the [IBCoMmunity] is a place showcase and hone our open-mindedness and willingness to establish new relations.”
He also is an avid traveller. “Yes, I love travelling, but it is more cultural [than touristic]. Every time I go somewhere, I notice the differences in cultures. Even in the most basic things like supermarkets. Of course, it is more about people I encounter in different places. Thus, we go back to my love of communication. It is a real passion, I should say.”
We delved into his experiences moving to and living in the Netherlands – what appeals to him, and the comfort he found in the city.
“The way people think – that’s what really surprises me here. I came all the way from Latin America, which is very traditional, so these features surprised me. In the Netherlands people are very open-minded and do not take the comfort they have now for granted but constantly refine their surroundings. This country was the first one to legalize marijuana – government just didn’t see it as a problem; they were as well the first ones to allow gay marriages. Dutch people are fast forward thinkers, I would say. Even though this country is developed, liberal and democratic, they still strive to improve it. People do not rest and always find ways to innovate and develop the Netherlands.”
Gabriel’s last piece of advise – be really passionate about the things you do, and love the place where you’re at!