23.03.2017 11:54


Veerle: a girl that never stops

Autor: Denisa Funtíková | Kurz: English section | Kategorie: Features and other

From the moment you meet her for the first time, Veerle is a likeable, pleasant and smiley girl that you want to talk to and get to know better. Also, she is tall with blonde hair and blue eyes. Presumably, you would guess she could be Dutch. Well, and she really is.

Originally from Alkmaar, quite small city with population around 90 thousand, Veerle studied at Utrecht University where she gained bachelor degree at the field of European Governance. Currently she is staying in Brno while doing Double-degree Master program.

She is a person full of surprises. Traveling lover with a passion for music and painting. At her young age - 21, she’s already visited a great deal of different countries.  When you listen to her, you have a feeling she is a wind that never stops. I did my exchange in Melbourne, Australia for one semester. I traveled in Australia as well, as well as to Indonesia, New Zealand and Hong Kong. I had other travels too. Sri Lanka, UAE, Morocco, and many European countries” Actually, we met at the French class where she stated she used to work in France during summer as an animator. Asked if she should pick up one country she visited that impressed her most, she says: “I think New Zealand because it’s so diverse. One moment you’re in the rainforest, the next you’re on the beach and the next you’re on a glacier.”

When talking about Netherlands itself, Veerle is really the right person to compare Dutch people with other nationalities. She breaks the stereotype by saying there are much more diverse people than blonde with blue eyes. Especially Amsterdam, as wide-open city with strong alternative scene, is a paradise of diversity when comparing to Brno. Also LGBT community is remarkable here; no wonder Amsterdam is said to be European gay capital with all of its gay prides. In Brno, there are hardly any colored people on the street, whereas in Netherlands it’s as common as normal Dutch people, in the cities at least. But also hardly any diversity in clothing style etc.” And what about Dutch obsession with bicycles? Sure, there is some. “Haha, people do always ride bicycles! For my high school I had to bike an hour per day and for my work, icecream shop, even more. Factually, there are more bikes than people in the Netherlands. I have 2 for example.”

Veerle and her travelling experiences prhaps make you wonder why she has chosen Brno this time. Maybe after travelling to such exotic countries, she needed something completely differenet, something more European? She herself admits, she was expecting something new and interesting. Although she visited most of European countries, she has never lived in one in the central Europe.“I like Brno, it’s a welcoming student city. However, I had some bad experiences when one my bag with passport, wallet etc. was stolen from my apartment. When I went to the police there was no one speaking English. This is quite sad to hear, but on the other hand, it is hard to compete with Netherlands where, as well as in near-by Scandinavian countries, almost everyone speaks English. No matter if they are 7 or 70-years-old.

Finally, it was a real pleasure to get to know Veerle better. She is my peer but she has experienced much more than me. I am sure that when her exchange program in Brno ends, she will find another new place to stay. But not for too long. There are plenty of spots she has never been to yet.




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