Mohsin Siraj, Pakistan
Originally from Hyderabad, Pakistan, Mohsin Siraj is a Ph.D candidate at TU/e who has lived in Eindhoven for 3 1/2 years, refers to his new hometown as "A peaceful, quiet but still a lively town."
Why did you move to the South Netherlands?
I moved to Eindhoven to pursue my MSc studies at TU-Eindhoven. Currently, I am continuing my studies as a PhD student at the same university (TU/e).
What was the most difficult part about moving to the Netherlands?
As I was travelling for the first time to any foreign land, I was confused and conscious about everything from living to studies. But fortunately everything went smoother than expected.
Do you belong to other clubs and/or organizations?
During my MSc studies, I had been involved in different international student associations. Recently, I am working voluntarily for a local English newspaper 'Eindhoven News'. We are trying to offer a platform for all international expatriates in Eindhoven to better understand and being better informed about their surroundings in a language known to them. I write regular articles about the ups and downs of the life as an expat in Eindhoven from different social, cultural and economic perspective.
Do you consider yourself integrated? If not, why not? If so, why?
It's a difficult question. I never feel fully integrated, I have my comfort zone and as per my comfort levels I have developed my own circle which though has some intersections with the local environment. I have a strong affinity with my own culture and that makes the integration a bit complicated.
Did you experience culture shock?
Yes, I am from a disparate culture. Cultural shock is a very broad term that encompasses a complete personal disorientation due to different ways and norms of life. I did experience that in almost every walk of life.
Do you speak any Dutch?
Unfortunately I am still a beginner in Dutch.
Do you ride a bike?
Of course, my bike is my Ferrari.
What do you miss most from home?
My family and friends
What do you like the most about the Dutch culture?
The welcoming nature towards expats.
What is your favorite Dutch holiday?
King's Day is crazy.
What do you like most about the Netherlands?
The Netherlands is a wonderful country, life is smooth and comfortable. People are mostly very welcoming and helping towards expats. Here universities have a high standard of technical education (which is my primarily reason of stay) with a great research collaboration with industry. I have learnt to 'only work' during work and else 'enjoy' when to enjoy (without keeping any burden or pressure of work in mind).
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