Hanze University welcomed over a thousand new students from abroad. What do they expect of their stay in Groningen? Today’s stranger in town: miss Twin Peaks.
Doroteya Veselinova (18), Bulgaria
‘I have been in Groningen for less than a month and it already feels like my second home. In Bulgaria stress is reigning, people have to make every effort to make ends meet. Poverty can bring out the unfriendly side of people.
‘Look, I’ve already made a painting of one of the Groningen canals. I was still young when my mother gave me a book about Vincent van Gogh. The work said little to her, but for me it was overwhelming. What a power and imagination. Painting and drawing, I have wanted that ever since. I really love it. The fire started burning and it has never been extinguished. Now I can enjoy four years at the Academy Minerva.
‘I came to Groningen on 1 August. My father and I took two weeks to discover the city. And of course my parents wanted to know if I would be at my place here. It is a big step, I come from a small village in the north of Bulgaria, Dvi Mogili. That means Two Hills, or Twin Peaks. Groningen is very different from what I’m used to. So flat, so neat, the streets are very clean, the houses, everything.
‘I’ll stay here for at least four years. I do want to learn Dutch. I hope that will increase my chances of getting a job, because I have to earn money. Money is a problem, of course, but that applies to most students, doesn’t it?’