Hi! My name is Roos de Vries. I am 21 years old and, for the coming year, I will be the Portfolio holder for Internationalization and Communication. I’m super excited that you’re reading my blog!
On the surface, I seem very Dutch- I’m 1.85 m tall and my name is probably one of the most common in the Netherlands. But, actually, I was born near Detroit and spent my childhood in the beautiful, sunny California. (In case you’re wondering, I didn’t surf to school.) My parents are Dutch, so I grew up speaking Dutch and English at home, which comes in super handy now J. In high school, I did a lot of community service, ballet, and science. In 2015, I moved to the Netherlands to study Advanced Technology.
Starting at the University of Twente was a huge step for me, as it is for most students. You move out of your parent’s house, and suddenly have to buy your own food, make new friends, and motivate yourself. Being the ‘strevertje’ (tryhard) I am, I also joined 10 Astatine committees, Honours, CrossFit, Arabesque, a study trip, promoted my study, and became a communications employee at the SU. But, what I didn’t realize is that when an international student starts studying, they face extra challenges. Moving to a foreign country means things you thought were obvious (like hugging everyone you meet, eating apples with peanut butter, or joining lots of committees) are brought into question. People look at you funny when you do ‘perfectly normal’ things. You have to relearn a lot, and it’s hard work. This experience (more than my extracurriculars) has been very significant for me.
The UT offers a lot of academic support for international students. But, we are unique in our wide range of extracurricular support for students. I wanted to became part of the Student Union Board to help expand and improve the offer of extracurricular activities and support, especially for International students like me.
So yeah! I’m super excited to be part of the Board! After my first few weeks, the overwhelming number of initiatives which I could pick up is still very daunting. Luckily, Jordi Weggemans has given me the best possible starting point. And, I am inspired by the rest of the Board, and all of our employees and committees. It’s gonna be (Trump hand motions) a GREAT year.
P.S. Feel free to mail me, drop by, or say hi if you see me!