The week of international students Abbas and Lena

Lena Thamsen (23) and Abbas Sabbah (32) are taking part in Tilburg’s TOP week. They’ve flown in from Germany and Lebanon to follow the pre-master’s track in Communication and Information Sciences. Univers asked them how they’re experiencing the TOP week and Tilburg so far.

Hi Abbas and Lena. What’s your first impression of Tilburg?

Abbas: “It’s perfect. The people are friendly and everyone tries to help you settle in. Everyone is welcome and treated equally. And I also like the music, a lot of different styles are played. I’ve spent a few years in Europe before, but this is my first time in the Netherlands.”

Lena: “I really like how close by everything is. The campus is compact. In Hamburg, where I studied before I came here, I had to ride my bike across the entire city to get from one university building to the next. Here, there’s no need for that. The same goes for the city center. It’s small and compact, and you can easily ride get around by bike. That’s great!”

How do you like the TOP week so far?

Abbas: “A lot! Our group is great and I’ve really enjoyed these past few days.”

Lena: “I thought we’d learn more about the university. But it’s all just parties, really. Not that I’m complaining, haha!”

Abbas: “Yeah, I don’t have a problem with that either!”

Are you used to consuming large amounts of alcohol back home?

Lena: “Absolutely. Yesterday’s cantus actually reminded me a lot of our Oktoberfest. It was so much fun.”

Abbas: “Definitely. I am used to drinking Gin and Rum.”

How’s the vibe in your group?

Abbas: “The vibe keeps getting better and better. Everyone in our group has enrolled for the same program, so we have that in common. We’re going to do the pre-master’s track this year and our mentors are doing the master’s track, so we’ve said that we’ll stay in touch. If we have any questions, we can always talk to them about it. A good prospect!”

Lena: “And we have a mix of international and Dutch students in our group, so we’re also getting to know a lot of Dutch students. You often see that the Dutch hang out with Dutch while international students become friends with other internationals, but we’re all blending together now. I really like that.”

Are your mentors doing a good job?

Lena: “They’re doing great! Out of everyone in the group, they’re always the drunkest.”

Abbas: “Our group is hilarious. It’s complete chaos, everyone keeps getting lost all the time.”

What are your expectations for the rest of the week?

Abbas: “It’s so much fun already, and I think it’s just going to keep getting better.”

Lena: “I’m really looking forward to tonight’s event: the pub crawl!”


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