New Year’s Served on a Platter

All of the Erasmus students are already enjoying the winter break and the most magical time of the year. Everybody had been waiting for these holidays, preparing presents for families and friends, making their own New Year’s wish lists and decorating their places. But it goes without saying that the New Year could not be as memorable as it is without a table full of tasty winter dishes! Since Erasmus is quite international, I decided to ask some of the diverse freshmen about their traditions for preparing the New Year’s meal.

Enjoy tasty stories from fellow members of our program and maybe find some dishes that can be included in your New Year’s menu – or all year round, who’s judging?

Continue reading “New Year’s Served on a Platter”

Love for coziness

Winter has come, finally, and the weather is getting colder each day. Needing to wear at least four layers of clothing to go out, it has begun to seem better to stay inside rather than going out. I don’t know about you guys, but I definitely get this feeling a lot –  and this makes winter my favorite season, because I do not need to make excuses for it.

Over the year, I have become obsessed with different types of lifestyles, such as Hygge. I am not good at applying new things in my life, however, researching those lifestyles helped me effectively become “cozier”, especially in the winter.

Hygge is, in essence, the Danish people’s happiness secret. Hygge is the feeling we get when we are in our comfortable space and doing our favorite things (watching Netflix, in my case) while we are in a “cozy environment”. I read up on it, and I believe it is not applicable to every season, because the cozy feeling mentioned in the book is more about lighting candles, having a blanket and wearing oversized sweaters. My definition of Hygge refers to staying at home and chill during a cold winter day, which gives me the best feeling I can have throughout the winter.

But what can be done during our ‘Hygge sessions’? Here are the five things I do when I wanna get cosy.

  1. I make myself a dessert, like a cake or a magnolia, and prefer to choose something that takes time to cook so I can do the other things while it is getting ready. Something that takes time also lets me relax.

  2. I light a candle, of course. Candles are really important to me, because I can’t imagine a cozy day without having the smell of fresh vanilla in my nose. Trust me, I could write a whole another article just about candles.

  3. I prepare myself a cup of tea. Experimenting with different flavors is my favorite; sometimes I mix cinnamon, orange peel and green tea in a French press or I make it with apples and ginger. It depends on the mood I have. Of course, you could always buy some pre-packaged tea from stores instead – or maybe ask your roommate or friend that is obsessed with tea to do at least this part of a Hygge session together.

  4. I choose what I want to watch when the tea is brewing, and sometimes it lasts so long that I spend my whole cozy night looking for shows. I prefer not to choose beforehand because you never know what your mindset will be like while you’re in the moment, and this way I try new shows and movies. 

  5. Finally, most importantly, take the food you prepared, put it on a plate in a fancy way (because, let’s be honest, you are going to take a picture of it) and find a comfortable position for yourself. I usually lay down on my bed, but everyone is different. It is more about finding a comfy spot and this is very important. 

These were the five steps for nailing a cozy night, afternoon, or morning accompanied by the wind and rain outside. I guarantee you, all the stress will go away,  just like a meditation-session!

HOI: Mayowa, the ‘temporary’ Human of IBCoM

With the exchange destination announcement taking place yesterday, IBCoMagazine decided to give you an insight of what it is like to be an exchange student, from our very own (temporary) human of IBCoM.

Mayowa was born in the UK, raised in Ireland and with Nigerian roots, she seems to be the perfect match to our international environment – which she finds fascinating.

When asked why she chose to study here, at Erasmus University, Mayowa said: “I’ve always heard about the great quality of education in the Netherlands and I chose Erasmus University particularly because of the diversity of students and nationalities it was representing, which was very attractive to me.”

Unlike many of the exchange students following the IBCoM programme, Mayowa has a background in Information to Social Computing & Economics. “I’ve always had an underlying passion for media and communications” says Mayowa “and have always thought how I could also apply my economics skills to it.”

When it comes to the difference between the Dutch and Irish education systems, Mayowa says the Dutch one is definitely stricter. “The lectures and tutorials are way shorter in Ireland and usually take only around fifty minutes. The workload is also something I had to adjust to in the first term.”

What she likes about the difference between the systems however, is that tutorials here require student participation and engagement, which allows you to get a greater insight into someone else’s perspective. All in all, Mayowa says she does feel more at ease with the Irish system, but would prefer the Dutch one. “The workload and ongoing revision of study materials here really help me better prepare for exams. My time-management skills have also improved, which I am really happy about.”

When leaving for exchange, without any doubt, on has their own concerns and worries about how they are going to integrate in the chosen destination. On that note, I asked Mayowa what was her experience with regards to inclusivity in the Dutch society. “All in all, I believe the Dutch society can be defined as inclusive. However, sometimes I find myself receiving e-mails and announcements from the university in Dutch, which makes me feel like there’s still a division between the Dutch and International students.” Mayowa also finds it odd that certain associations and fraternities are welcoming only for Dutch students.

However, she says she is almost 80% sure she wants to do her Master’s programme in the Netherlands. “I believe I’ve achieved more during my time her in terms of education and career wise, which is why I would like to come back.”

I was curious about what Mayowa thinks could be improved when it comes to welcoming exchange students at Erasmus University: “The thing which I liked less was that exchange students were in the same group with the first years IBCoM, which I find a bit odd. In terms of advice on how university functions, I think first years needed it more than exchange students, and such advice was a bit irrelevant to us.”

Overall, Mayowa seems very much enthusiastic about coming back to the Netherlands in the future, and is always glad to answer your questions if your exchange destination will end up to be Ireland.

Thank you Mayowa!