Living on campus | “Ik voel me hier zo veilig”

Living on campus | “I feel so safe here”

19 April 2017

During a trip to Amsterdam and Keukenhof park, in the spring of 2015, the American student Ronnie Gross (21) fell in love with the tulips. When she later heard from fellow students at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta what it was like to study Industrial Design at TU/e (hip and fun), she knew for sure that she wanted to come here.

“In any event I wanted to go abroad,” says Ronnie, “because it is very expensive to study in Atlanta. I like that Eindhoven is small, that it is surrounded by other European cities, and that you can open the windows here.”

That feature of the windows is something she only discovered here, because in all three of the apartments in which she lived in Atlanta, that wasn't the case. Another thing she has discovered here is that it is wonderful to go to the pubs on Stratumseind by bike. “And I feel so safe here. It’s a nice feeling. If I get mugged, I’ll probably just get stabbed with a knife and not shot with a gun!” She laughs, but isn't joking when she says that sometimes in Atlanta she would look back over her shoulder to see whether she was safe. “Atlanta is a big city, and in big cities you have to be aware of your surroundings at all times.” 

Key words she attributes to Eindhoven are ‘relaxed’ and ‘slow’. Her leisure time is spent doing water color painting, sketching, reading and lying in her hammock on her tenth-floor balcony. And she often hangs out with a group of friends, all Aurora residents. “At the weekend there are often spontaneous trips and parties in someone's apartment.” The last one was a Vladimir Poutine party where the Canadian version of the Dutch ‘Kapsalon’ (think fries with cheese and gravy) and a lot of vodka was brought along.

Her favorite places on campus are the canteen of Laplace and on Thursday the student bar The Villa in the Paviljoen. And she likes to jog around the Karpendonkse Lake, “so my pants still fit me.” Ronnie is almost sorry that she is staying here for only six months, although she admits she does miss her family a little bit. In the summer she will be going back to Georgia to complete her Bachelor's.

What she is certainly going to miss when she leaves are the Dutch coffeeshops (she already knows The Pink, The Wall, De Bakkerij and Upstairs), the stroopwafels (especially freshly baked) and the coffee-drinking culture. The spontaneity of having a coffee with friends you bump into on the street isn't something she is likely to experience in Atlanta.

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