Ömer – ‘Brabant is a very welcoming place.’

Name: Ömer Turan
Country: Turkey
Study: Automotive Technology (Master)
Location: Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e)

How did you come across this study at this location?
“I finished my Bachelor in Turkey at the end of 2010 and I wanted to do my Master in an European country. The TU/e master program was promoted at my school in Turkey and I liked its structure and the fact that it is a multidisciplinary study. The program consists of some compulsory courses which are provided by six different departments and I could fill in the rest of the program very free and personal. On top of that the TU/e has a good international ranking.”

How did you prepare for your international move to Brabant?
“Since the Master was offered by a relatively new department, they were looking for successful students to count for a scholarship. I was lucky to get that, so that made the financial part easy. To know more about the university and living in Eindhoven, I contacted Turkish students that followed the same study. I found them on the website of the TU/e and via a Facebook-group for international students from the TU/e. They were all very positive, so I had no more doubts.”

What are your plans? Will you stay in this area?
“I would like to, because I know and like the system here. It depends on the job opportunities. But I’m positive about that, since I already worked at DAF in Eindhoven and currently have a good job at Bosch in Tilburg. There are a lot of interesting companies in this region and it’s a very organised and mobile country, so if I were to find a job elsewhere in the Netherlands, I could still take it and keep on living in Brabant. Lots of young professionals do so.”

Which factor is leading in choosing your first job in the Netherlands?
“The job market. But I must say that, thanks to the education and experience I had here, I’m now able to work in a lot of other countries as well. So many different nationalities live here in Brabant and everyone speaks English, so that brought me many values.”

Would like to keep on living in Brabant, regardless where you end up working?
“Yes. It has become my second home, Brabant suits me. I like the straightforward attitude here, even though I had to get used to that. But it feels comfortable and it provides very worthy feedback. It’s an open culture and I find that locals really appreciate internationals looking for a higher education. They like your contribution to their country. It’s a good region for people with new ideas. Also, the infrastructure is very good and in the cities you can do anything by bike. And, very important of course, most of my friends live and work in Brabant as well.”

What advice would you give other international students who want to come here?
“There are always things to worry about when you start somewhere new. But the Netherlands is a very welcoming country. You won’t have to feel alone here and you will definitely find things that fit your interests and goals. Don’t hesitate to connect with people and your stay here will meet up to your expectations.”

Any points of improvement?
“Only regarding the massive bike theft. I love the fact that you can cycle everywhere; it’s practical, good for the environment and your wellness. But about six or zeven of my bikes were already stolen which I’m not counting anymore. A small tip to avoid risk of theft could be to buy an expensive lock, even if it costs as much as your bike, and use the underground bicycle parking if available.”

What is the most remarkable, typical Dutch phenomenon you experienced?
“Dutch people can do anything while riding a bike. They eat bananas or apples and at the same time transport two children by bike; one in the front and one in the back. Even in the winter.”

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