Living on campus | “Ik moest erg wennen aan het eten hier”

Living on campus | “The food here really took some getting used to”

27 June 2017

The Italian Gianmarco Venditti (28) is in the first year of his PhD pathway at the Department of Applied Physics. He is a fairly recent Aurora resident, since May 1st, but it suits him well. He is delighted with the natural light and the view out over the River Dommel from his studio on the fifth floor.

Gianmarco chose to do his PhD in the Netherlands because it offered some very attractive prospects. “The salary of a PhD candidate, for example, is much higher in the Netherlands than in Italy. If you take an apartment in Rome, almost half your salary disappears in rent. That makes it almost impossible to live alone."

Something he wondered about initially was how the central washers and dryers worked in Aurora. “First of all I had to put credit on my payment card via a website, only then could I use the washers. I thought that simply feeding in coins would be enough to make the machines work.” If there is one thing he could change about his studio, it would be to place the kitchen near the window. He doesn't find it practical having the kitchen next to the door.

For this Italian, Dutch food really took some getting used to. The transition was almost ‘traumatic’ for him. “In Italy we have a really good canteen on the university campus where you can get a wide range of tasty pastas and pizzas. You can get that here too, but it is different. And the Dutch eat much earlier, as early as five or six o'clock in the evening. I am used to eating not before about 10 o'clock at night.”

He enjoys living on campus. “It is a pleasant campus, there is a lot of greenery and I am at work in no time.” You won't find him doing nothing for longer than five minutes because then he starts to get bored. Even though he has been living in the Netherlands only a short while, he has already bought a brand new bicycle. “I really like the cycle paths in the Netherlands, and everything is close together so you can easily go by bike. In Italy the distances are much greater.”

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