Independent journalism about VU Amsterdam | Since 1953
16 June 2024

Campus
& Culture

‘I didn’t have anyone helping me’

How are you doing, after almost two years of pandemic? There is even a chance that students will be confined to their rooms for the third spring in a row this year. In this ten-part series seven Dutch and three international staff members and students tell us how they are faring. Part six: Lior Tabibi, second-year student philosophy and artificial intelligence student.

“The pandemic has served as a wake-up call for me, which is a positive turn of events. I was working with computers and software development and wasn’t enjoying that a lot. I started to think: Is this really what I want? Is this what I should be doing with my time and with my life? So I decided to put those activities to the side for some time. Moving to the Netherlands was partly a result of that wake-up call.

When I came here during corona, I had to quarantine. I didn’t live at Uilenstede yet and didn’t have anyone helping me. That’s why half a year ago I started a group with Maëleen Riochet for students who are quarantining. For instance to ask practical questions about how things work in the Netherlands, or to help with groceries. The group is still fulfilling its function today, so it has been very nice that we could help people with helping each other.

Enjoying every minute

I don’t know if I will stay here indefinitely, but I am enjoying every minute that I’m here. Unless something in my life changes, I will keep things as they are. The Netherlands offers openness, freedom and opportunity. In this time of my life, it seems like the right place for me.

I think that as international students we do live in a bubble separate from Dutch society in general, but I don’t mind. I am learning the Dutch language and with time becoming better at it. Despite not liking the recent lockdown, I have been doing well and kept seeing my friends. Now that things are opening up and the weather is improving, I feel like we’re getting back on track and heading towards better times.” (NK)

Also read: 
Pandamn it (5): Anthropologist Younes Saramifar and Pandamn it (6): Salma Bel Lahdab, third-year student from Spain. And in Dutch, Pandemoe (1): VU Amsterdam host Corrie Koning, Pandemoe (2): Student Nathanael Korfker, Pandemoe (3): sports instructor Mickey Richards and Pandemoe (4) Professor of New Testament Bert Jan Lietaert Peerbolte. Pandemoe (7): professor ancient Greek Emilie van Opstall and Pandemoe (8), Griffioen programmer Kirsten Lenferink

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