Articles of the former Credo Committee

01/12/2020

It's more than just a birthday box - Eva Mostert, 3rd of April 2020

An interview with Huib Lloyd, founder of Stichting Jarige Job

Imagine being a 8 year old child  with your birthday around the corner. You’ve seen all the birthdays of your best friends and how they handed out treats for everyone in class. However, your parents told you that there isn’t enough money for you to hand out treats in class. You feel ashamed because that would mean that you are the only one who isn’t handing out treats on your birthday, so your parents decide that you’ll stay home. The day after your birthday you’re back at school and when your classmates ask you where you were, you just say ‘sick’…

I don’t think many of us can imagine this scenario, but it is happening. While we think that poverty is only far away, it is also here in the Netherlands. Whilst in one street you see that things are going well, in the next street you see poverty. When you go inside the houses especially, you’ll see a kind of hidden poverty. This hidden poverty sometimes even includes not having enough money for the birthday of a child.

“An organization that consists positivity”

Ten years ago, after the birth of Huib Lloyd's son, they received far too many gifts. One year later, for his 1st birthday, the received far too many presents again! There were so many that Huib didn’t even know what to do with them. After reading some research about Dutch poverty, he noticed the problem and decided that something needs to be done about it. And here is where it all started. The name, Job, comes from his brother that died during this time which made the organisation even more personal. The term Jarige Job arose. However, if he was going to do it, it had to be the most beautiful and coolest organization there is. An organization that is built on positivity.

“That is what we do, here at Jarige Job, we provide birthday packages.”

 

Stichting Jarige Job works together with the Voedselbank to carry out screening and make sure that the packages get to the right people. These are families who have to live on about 12/13 euros a day. In addition to the screening, they also do the logistics. A week before the birthday of the child, the parents get the birthday box with the regular food package. Because they are able to do it this way, Stichting Jarige Job can remain anonymous. It is the parents who ensure that the birthday can be held. These packages contain everything you need to make a birthday a very nice family party. Streamers, balloons, birthday cake, some treats, multiple gifts and most importantly; treats for the class at school.

Pieter can’t celebrate his birthday because there’s no money.”

The organisation tries to make more people a part of Stiching Jarige Job, from kids to elderly. It is easy to explain to a child: tell a child that someone can’t celebrate his or her birthday because of money and the light goes on. The child will refer to his/her own birthday, to something positive and that is not possible for all the children. That is why Huib Lloyd developed an education programme. Huib Lloyd also tries to involve young people who face barriers to the labour market.  “They walk around like they are the boss. And at the end of the they, they feel proud of what they have done for another.” Stichting Jarige Job also offers company outings in the form of teambuilding; first a meeting, then the packing. They also organise the valentine’s day event; Daten met je hart. In addition to all this, they even organise more serious things like matching refugees with partner organisations who offer them their first jobs. This creates a beautiful connection.

“We get questions from companies, asking what the can do for us. It’s not about the money. You are dependent on it, but it will come naturally. The companies are the ambassadors. We look at how we can use them, for example, by using their expertise or network. You need to make things concrete and tangible.”

Stichting Jarige Job is all about birthday packages. In the meantime, they are making many connections. It is also relationship management, realizing added value by making connections. Stichting jarige job is more than just a birthday box.

“Do something for someone else. Because every child deserves a birthday” – Stichting jarige job

 

Living in a 'Magic Mix' - Kirana Hoogenbosch, 12th of March 2020

The (Dutch) housing market is becoming a nightmare for certain groups in our society, including us (students)! You’ve probably heard of problems surrounding student housing; there is barely any room left in the big student cities, and if you can find a room, the rent  is often insanely high. The same goes for other minorities. We’re talking about Seniors, starters, expats, migrants and patients or clients who have just come out of care. These groups are all comprised of people who are new in the housing market and have a relatively small budget.

Even though the people in these groups are very different in nature or origin, they’re experiencing the same problems in trying to find a house. So why not try to combine these groups? Typical student rooms are often concentrated together, with lots of spaces for students in one building, whereas suitable housing for migrants is often concentrated in a certain part of the city. 

The last few years, new initiatives have been set up to try and combine these groups. Instead of building new, expensive houses for people with bigger budgets, old buildings are being renovated and flipped so that they can be used as housing for these vulnerable groups. And instead of appointing such a building to one group, companies are trying to create a ‘magic mix’. Besides from the fact that the building van be used for multiple groups, this has more advantages. 

The groups can use each other’s unique differences: Combining students and ex-patients or clients, for, example, can have a positive impact on the recovery of those patients. Often in these combinations, a student can get a room for a relatively good price, whilst also making a promise to look after their vulnerable neighbours.The same goes for students living together with seniors. This, in turn, can be a great alternative for elderly people who are still very independent but wish to have help or safety nearby. 

Lastly, these projects are giving a boost in the market for affordable budget homes. Instead of building new houses for families or expensive houses, they flip old buildings (as longs as they are still safe and habitable), which means there is no need for destruction of houses or building new. This perspective also makes there projects sustainable. It is also a great opportunity for students who might have the ambition to work in the field of social work or social care, or for students who don’t want to live in a typical student building. 

 

Is mindfullness bullshit? - Iris Hoogesteger, 2nd of March 2020

In this social media era we’re receiving more and more stimuli throughout the day. If you want, you can get information about anything and everyone all day long. We're constantly confronted with all kinds of opinions and photos from people who seem to be busy doing fun things all the time while you're sitting at home watching Netflix on your own. In addition, we also have stress because of our studies or work and sometimes it just gets too much. That's why there's a need for greater self-awareness and peace that goes against the fakeness of social media and searches within the truth of oneself. People are looking for something deeper to experience less stress, to become more aware of themselves and what they are feeling. A popular way to do that is with mindfulness. But does it work? Can you get calm and aware of your own body and feelings or is it all a myth? I tried it for a couple of weeks and here is what I learned from my experience:

First when I tried it, I was a bit sceptical. It all seemed very lofty that you can get closer to yourself through exercise. Just breathe in and out and feel your body, seems a bit too easy. Why would I do this anyway? But fortunately you can make it as lofty as you want. There is a famous exercise “3 minutes breathing space” where you take three minutes to first be aware how you sit and how that feels. Notice the body sensations and how you are feeling. Then you have to focus specifically on your breathing. And after that back again on your whole body. I personally didn’t like to listen to an audio where someone tells me what to do. I was never a fan of being read aloud. So, I tried it on my own but as a result, I noticed that my attention was quickly diverting from the exercise. So not a success for me. I was getting unmotivated until I discovered mindfulness is so much more than meditation. 

I think the key is to make it your own in ways you feel comfortable. Because of my impatience I started to do short check-ups. A moment where you observe yourself and the situation you are in. What do you feel? What effect has this situation on me? In this way you remind yourself to live in the moment and be more aware of what you want and feel. But you don’t have to do the exercise exactly as told. Even enjoying the water falling on you when you shower. Or noticing the birds chirping while you’re taking a walk. Even really feeling the compliment you just received is mindfulness. Personally, I like to put my aroma diffuser on and just enjoy the scent. And it helps me be aware of my breathing if I sometimes try the 3 minute exercise. 

Mindfulness is especially good for people who think they are not really living, who want to get to know themselves, want to know what they need and for people with anxiety. Did you know that breathing in deep actually manipulates your brain with a signal that you’re relaxed? Also does mindfulness help when worrying a lot or when you’re  getting in a negative, downward spiral. Most of the time worrying is about the past or future. This way, you won’t get lost in it. Besides that, mindfulness can’t be done wrong. You need to be easy on yourself. If you don’t feel anything or can’t describe the emotion you’re feeling, don’t worry it’s not about doing it right it is about awareness and relaxing. It’s about you and everything you’re feeling is okay. Just be friendly to yourself and try again next time. If you notice that your thoughts are wandering off, just try to focus again. In conclusion, mindfulness is such a broad concept that everyone can fulfil it in their own ways.   

 

Are we all becoming hypochondriacs? - Sanne Kuijpers, 21st of February 2020

People are more and more afraid within this modern world. The 21st century is a century where fear has a key position in everyone’s life, and it is something that we can’t get rid of. Research shows that risk-taking is declining immensely and that people rather choose for the safe option than being at risk of failing. ‘’We are living in a culture of fear!’’, scientists are screaming at us through their articles, books and other publications. And being afraid is something bad. Taking risks is necessary for growth and innovation. Always trying to go for the safest option will result in a society that is paralysed, it stagnates our progress. And for us, as the younger generation, that is especially threatening. But how is it possible that we are afraid, and for what?

Just as it is the cause of almost every modern problem, social media is one of the biggest reasons for us being hypochondriacs. A hypochondriac is someone who we call a ‘doom-thinker’ and can only be pessimistic and see the danger or worst in any given situation. I’m not saying that we are all like this, but it is true that more and more people are slowly becoming one through circumstances they can’t foresee or prevent from happening. We are only pawns in the world’s biggest game of chess. I’ll start by giving some examples so you can understand me a bit better. One of the biggest threats of the moment is the Coronavirus. A phenomenon that they blew into our world around mid-December 2019. Once it became known that this was a virus that was never seen before and that there was no cure, people totally freaked. Everybody was afraid of catching the disease and because it originated in Wuhan, China, others being racist against people with a Chinese origin was inescapable. Social media completely took over and started something called ‘The epidemic of the ‘20s’. In 1920 we had the Spanish flu, which killed up to 100 million people. In 1820 and 1620 we had the yellow fever, twice, that killed 30-90% of the population of Southern New England. And in 1720 there was a big plague in France which also killed a ton of people. So obviously, it is totally justified to think that we will all die because of this Coronavirus in 2020. And this is only one example of the many things social media completely blew out of proportion because everyone who googled the Coronavirus thoroughly knows that it can be cured as long as you aren’t a very old person with poor resistance or someone who lives in an area without paramedics available. 

Another current thing is the fear for a dying planet because of the climate. Humans are destroying the planet by just doing what they have done all along but now, we have apparently come to the end. Something has to change because otherwise... but actually, otherwise what? I am not sure if I want to start this conversation because I know many people are very pro-climate and really believe that they are changing the world by being environmentally-friendly, but I just can’t resist. I have visited countries where everyone drove on polluting mopeds and where nobody cared about the environment because they were busy with getting food on the table at night. The fact that The Netherlands is a progressive country that wants to really matter and do the right thing, is great, but unfortunately all that air that we try to keep clean, is not staying in concentration above our country and will not be enough to save the earth from dying. Every era comes to an end, look at the era of the dinosaurs, or the ice age. Maybe it is time for the era of humans to end as well, who knows? The argument that there came a point where we started destroying the earth we’re living on, and that we can reverse back to that point, is untrue. Since the existence of the first Homo Sapien we were already killing the earth. Burning forests so we would have better hunting grounds, traveling to other parts of the world and extinguishing hundreds of animal populations within years after arrival. Destroying the earth is in our genes, in our DNA, and being afraid that the end is near is useless because we have no control over it at all. And just think about it, would we even know that we were killing the earth if it wasn’t for social media or technology telling us? The hottest day ever was measured 1913 and there were no signs of a climate change back then. 

These are only two of a hundred different reasons to be afraid. We could keep going by talking about the alleged start of WO III or the terrorist attacks haunting our societies. But being afraid of things is, in conclusion, something that is unavoidable. We are updated 24/7 with terrible news via social media and can’t help but overthink everything we read: ‘’What if this will happen to me?’’, ‘’How can I protect my loved ones?’’, ‘’Is this something I need to worry about?’’, ‘’Should I still go out and have fun while so many people live in such bad circumstances?’’, and so on. Life is hard and unfair, but you only have one life as well. One time to have fun, to enjoy the things you’re doing, to take risks and go on adventures. If we are afraid all the time, then what is life, and what is it worth? We’ll all die one day anyways. And that is something that we certainly can’t prevent from happening.

Inspirational quote: ‘’Don't wake up when it’s too late’’

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a2KRXcwOeVM

 

Experiencing the new way of working - Sebe van Huisseling, 13th of February 2020

 

As students we are daily encountered by the fact that concentrating isn’t something that comes easy. Some students prefer to work in the library, some prefer to work at home, and some prefer to do nothing at all. It is simply a working process to try and figure out what suits you best. But not only students deal with difficulties finding out what the most efficient way of working is. Research shows that nearly half of the people in the office have difficulties when it comes to concentrating. It is also said that it takes 24 minutes on average for a person to concentrate again after being interrupted from work. Therefore, private as well as public organizations are trying to find the perfect working method in order to improve efficiency. 

One popular method that is being used by (public) organizations is the new way of working or activity-based work and is  found frequently in public administrations all over Europe. It shows a vision where staff can work at different spots in the organization, at home or in cafes. Besides that, it’s possible to work flexible hours during the week. Multiple empirical studies have shown that new working methods in terms of temporal and spatial flexibility have the potential to improve working conditions, outcomes, the quality of work and therefore the efficiency.  This way of working differs from the old way and breaks the walls of the stiff bureaucratic way. 

New way of working.

Old way of working. 

Choose where you would like to work (Company, train, public facilities, cafe’s, coworking locations etc.) 

Work at the office within set times. 

Results as an indicator for success. 

Importance of being present and making hours. 

Leadership based on trust. 

Leadership based on control. 

Good IT facilities for flexible work. 

Good IT facilities at the office. 

The municipality of Rotterdam also introduced this new way of working back in 2014. While introducing this method the workplaces per person decreased from 1,2 to 0,7 workplaces per person. As an intern at the municipality in Rotterdam I am confronted with this new way of working every week. I realized that for some officials, changing from one way to another, comes easier than for others. Because of the flexibility it’s pretty hard to find a quiet place and concentrating can be difficult. An option of course is to work at home or with your headphones on. However, research has shown that a third of the people don’t trust their coworkers and think that they are simply taking days off. 

Fact is, that more and more organizations are implementing this way of working. The possibility that you will work with this method is  very likely. Do you think this new way of working suits you?

 

How to 'upgrade' your student life in February - Doina Balica, 31st of January 2020

 

There is a saying that university years are the best years of your life. All these wonderful moments are usually coming into a student’s life in a natural and random way by just starting the course, making new friends or exploring the city. Nevertheless, after some time I have realized that besides the fact that this is true, there is always a “but”. But what if I want to expand my social circle now? But what if I feel that my academic evolvement is stagnating? What if I can do more?

To answer this dilemma, I came up with a ‘personal-experience’ plan, that involves only one ingredient: Facebook.

The easiest way through which you can maximize your achievements is by visiting as many as possible events. The fastest way to find these events is by having a look on Facebook. But to help you with that, here is a list with what might improve your goals.

Need more friends?

You can always look up some parties in Rotterdam as the city never sleeps. If you are an international student, joining a new place will help you discover how locals like to have fun and how easy it is to meet people from various countries.
If you are not a party person, no worries, Cedo Nulli's got your back. There is always a chance to attend quizzes, food workshops and many other events that match your interests.

Here they are:

https://www.facebook.com/events/1240500169471587/

https://www.facebook.com/events/616094152542045/

https://www.facebook.com/events/879302335821804/

Want to improve your English? (or any other language)

When it feels like you lack some words, try to visit a library where you can buy or borrow a new book. It will immediately increase your vocabulary and chances of getting better grades on assignments. A great place where you can find books in multiple languages are Donner and Central Library Rotterdam. 

https://www.facebook.com/events/821546324936849/

https://www.facebook.com/events/404005073813590/

Want to show the world what you’re good at?

Picking events that are matching your interests and talents are not just excellent for your development but also can help you create great connections in the needed social entourages. Let your skills shine at every possible occasion while EUR takes care of the rest.

https://www.facebook.com/events/172090644025062/?active_tab=about

https://www.facebook.com/events/169543804390046/

https://www.facebook.com/events/645442462860565/

 Finally, I can say that yes, university years are fun, but if you put some effort in your daily activities than it truly becomes the greatest experience of your life. If you do not want to miss any other upcoming events, don’t forget to follow @cedonulli.eur on instagram!

 

Why are antiheroes so attractive? - Kirana Hoogenbosch, 16th of January 2020

 

Recently, Netflix launched the second season of their hit-thriller series 'You'. Maybe you're binge-watching the season right now, or you have sat through all ten episodes already (like me). The show is about Joe Goldberg, who is a psychopath with an unhealthy obsession for his love interest. There are a lot of enthusiastic reviews written about the series, but there's also a lot of criticism about how the show portrays problematic behaviour like stalking and intimidation and how Joe’s character influences the viewers. Even though he goes around obsessively stalking girls and murdering people 'out of love', a lot of fans tend to be heavily attracted to him. But how does this work? Is it solely his looks, or are there more things that make him so likeable? If we do our research, there are actually lots of comparable cases: let’s dive in!


Joe Goldberg in 'You'

There are a lot of factors that come into play, but there are two main points we can look at. For the biggest part, it is about justifying actions in a way that makes them acceptable for viewers. When we're talking about Joe Goldberg, his actions are justified because he does it 'out of love' or for the love of his life. Besides that, he has a very likeable personality apart from the murdering and stalking. He helps his neighbour and cares deeply for other characters. You can also sympathize with him because of his traumatic past.  Another peculiar case, for example, is Rico's Vleugels (Rico's wings) by Dutch writer Rascha Peper. It's about an old man with dementia abusing a 14-year old. How terrifying or creepy his actions may be, in the book they are justified because he is old, lonely and sick. The reader can sympathize with him, because he is an old, sad man in the first place.

There is also a certain phenomenon called hybristophilia, where people are attracted to others committing heavy crimes. This is also known as the bonnie and clyde syndrome. There are a few identified causes: Some people believe that they can change the cruel people into ‘normal’ people, or that they can have a positive influence on them so they will better their life. Close to this cause is when people see the little boy or girl that the cruel person once was and they want to care for that ‘inner personality’. Apparently, it’s often the case that these people with hybristophilia see a different personality behind the psychopath or villain or they want to believe they have a softer personality somewhere inside of them. This syndrome also works for real life cases. Ted Bundy, for example, had a lot of admirers who would even send him nude pictures or beg him to murder them (which is, of course, an extreme case). Or think of Charles Manson, serial killer and cult leader of the Manson family. Even though he heavily abused and murdered people, heh ad tons of fans, followers and groupies. In these cases, it's also common that the 'fans' personlly justify the actions for themselves. They are often attracted to these man because their personalities, or at least the ways in which they present themselves, are not like typical serial killers. In these cases they're charismatic, intelligent men with a good education; which, for their followers at least, weighs up against their actions.


Charles Manson and his 'Manson girls'

So: A villain, psychopath, serial killer, murderous person or any other crazy personality can become attractive if his or her actions are justified in any way possible, that makes them acceptable to others. This justification can be anything from love, to a need to survive or personal problems or suffering. And next to that, but especially for extreme cases and real life cases the bonnie and clyde syndrome comes into play

Another important thing to note when it comes to fiction is that it is not real. Of course you wouldn’t normally be attracted to a serial killer or murderous villain. But because the character is not real, you can allow yourself to fantasize a little. Not everyone thinks the same about these characters, because some are more sensitive to these situations than others. But don't be ashamed of yourself if you're attracted to a Joe Goldberg or an Edward Cullen, because these movies or films are made to be like this and there are lots of others thinking the same way.


Ted Bundy and his admirers in court

 

Music as therapy? - Iris Hoogesteger, 9th of January 2020

 

When the holidays are over the time has come where it is still cold but not “gezellig” anymore. No more happy Christmas music, no more cute lights, we have to eat healthy again and get back to work. At the end of the year everyone starts to realize what their 2019 was like. Instagram exploded from the Spotify wrapped of 2019. Which drove everyone crazy. Like I don't need to know that you listened 2324 minutes to music. But I understand the fact that people listen to music so much. You used to have to buy a record player and record to listen to music. And you couldn't take it with you. Today listening to music is so much easier. You can basically listen to music everywhere you want and get access to a lot of music too. But what makes music so attractive that we can't get enough of it and want to listen to it anytime we can? Music releases something within us that we all love. Whether it is to make us feel happy or to process our sadness. But why?

First of all, when we listen to music, dopamine arises in our brain. Which we know is a happiness hormone. The nucleus accumbens in the brain plays a role in the development of dopamine. This part of the brain is also active when using drugs such as cocaine. Besides that, there are a lot of things going on in our brain while we are listening to music. Why do we feel so many emotions with music? Well, when you feel those Goosebumps coming up with a certain song it’s the amygdala in your brain which is working. The amygdala is the part that regulates our emotions and because of that allows us to remember better because memories with emotion are better memorized. But also, because the hippocampus stores memories with music in the long-term memory.

Because of all the activation, listening to music is already good for your brain, but when you play an instrument or learning to play one it’s even better because then there is even more going on in your brain. Then the motoric and sensory parts start working. With touching, for example, the snares from a guitar. Together with the other parts that are working extra hard to listen to what you play while you are playing an instrument. And if you are really good and can read notes, well then your brain is doing a lot of things together. 

So… that’s a lot of information and terms but what can we do with this information? What are the advances from the activity in our brains while we listen to or play music? Because there is so much activity going on in the brain it can improve the different parts which all represent a different purpose. Your two brain hemispheres are working together when playing music with both hands. If these work better together, it increases empathy, helps with memory and problem-solving abilities. It makes the brain more flexible. Research shows that children who received music lessons from the age of 6 to 9 generally perform better than children who did not. This is because, for example when triggering the hippocampus, we improve our memory. 

The most wonderful thing of all this is that it can activate parts which are still working besides other parts that maybe don’t function well anymore. Think of mental health issues. Like someone with dementia. Dementia particularly affects the hippocampus, an essential component of the human memory system. However, this amnesia often concerns recent events, while events in the distant past remain surprisingly intact. And what we just learned is that memories with music stores in the long-term memory. What means that people with dementia can often remember events or particular feelings when listening to music. Listing and playing music for them can’t sadly improve the short-term memory but it can make them feel safe for a moment because they are back to the time they remember for a second. 

But there are a lot of people that would benefit from music therapy. People with autism find it hard to communicate and can in that way communicate through music. By continuing to stimulate the social brain function with music, the ability can be increased. Music therapy already has a lot of success stories. A woman who lost her speech due to a cerebral haemorrhage suddenly sings along flawlessly when her favourite song is played. Neurological music therapists such as Evelien Mescher can list countless examples of success from their practice. In an interview she says the following: "A woman wanted so badly to say to her partner again: "I love you." I put that sentence to the melody to sing it together. Then we pronounce the sentence while I give the rhythm by tapping her hand. That way another part of the brain gets activated and she can just pronounce the sentence."

In my opinion we should benefit more from all the perks that come with music. In the form of music therapy, in combination with other therapies or giving music lessons. It would be great if there were more music lessons in care homes or hospitals. To ease the tension and make the people feel more at home. All in all, the benefits of music should be more apparent and applied in the healthcare sector.

 

Brexit: Where the hell do we stand - Sanne Kuijpers, 20th of December 2019

 

Hi guys, welcome to the fourth Credo article of the year. Brainstorming for topics to write about, we accidently stepped upon the pile of shit that we call Brexit these days. Because everyone is confused about what is going on and how far this ‘escaping Europe’ is put into action, see here a ‘short’ (as far as that’s possible) recap of what happened in the past few months and what we’re looking forward to in the next. Buckle up guys, let’s go. 

On the 23rd of June ’16 the Brexit referendum took place where 51,9 percent of the population of the United Kingdom voted in favour of leaving the European Union. Optional, when an outcome is this close, is to maybe reconsider but instead they pulled through and announced an official withdrawal from the European Union only a few months after the referendum. It was ought to be a two-year plan where the UK would withdraw from Europe on the 29th of March ’19. As you all know, it did not really work out as planned and we are still living in a UK including Europe. To understand how and why all this is taking so long and is becoming so complicated, we have to start with the prime minister:

If you want to know who is to blame for the Brexit debacle: It starts with the name David and ends with Cameron. This guy has been prime minister for over six years and in his last year of ruling he set a date for the referendum to take place. Even though it was his idea, he campaigned for staying in the EU and didn’t want a Brexit at all. He solely wanted to live in a ‘reformed EU’ which actually means: an EU that’s more profitable for the UK. Shocked by the result of the referendum, the poor bastard resigned as prime minister and he passed the baton to our dear Theresa May. 

This woman had no choice than to go along with the deal that was made: ‘Brexit means Brexit’. Not to mention that was one of the main reasons why she was chosen to be Cameron’s successor in the first place. The only thing she could do was to make it go as smooth as possible. I mean, we can’t blame her, she tried. She put together two proposals for Brexit but, because the house of commons mainly exists of pro-EU parliament members, they were both rejected. At the end of her rope she didn’t see another option than resigning. So, after almost three years of trying to make this Brexit happen and a lot of sleepless nights, I imagine, she didn’t manage and that is when Boris Johnson came into the picture. 

With Johnson as prime minister and Dominic Cummings by his side, every hope of a no-Brexit vanished, and it looks like this withdrawal from the EU is really about to happen. No-deal or deal, Johnson couldn’t care less. The goal was to implement Brexit on the 31st of October but, as you all know, that failed as well. Now, as the UK just voted for a new parliament on the 12th of December, the chances Brexit will happen soon are sky-high. Johnson is well over-represented in the house of commons and there is almost no doubt that when they will vote on the Brexit proposal again, on the 31st of January, it will be accepted. So, at the end of next month we will live in a UK excluding Europe. But what does that mean for us?

Actually, for us, as Dutch students, there won’t be hardcore changes. The value of the Pound is rising so a trip to the UK will be a bit more expensive. Also, airport security will be a bitch and traveling with a pet is not worth the effort anymore. When you are an exchange student in the UK you will not be allowed to work while on exchange and you will lose the extra in-Europe budget. Further, the price of typical UK food will rise in our own shops (fortunately their food sucks) and our most imported group of products from the UK is pharmaceuticals so: as long as you stay healthy, don’t travel to the UK and don’t eat their food, Brexit won’t affect your daily business at all. Isn’t that great?

 

Student housing in the Netherlands: How to get a room? - Sebe van Huisseling, 12th of December 2019

Finding a room in the Netherlands can be pretty hard for students. Especially when you live far away from your University, it can be devastating to invest a lot of time in it. For internationals it can be even harder to find a room. When it comes to finding student housing in the Netherlands, a lot of students make use of the concept ‘hospiteren’. This means that when you apply for a student house, you actually get invited to come over and have a chat or a beer with the residents of that particular house. ‘Hospiteren’ is not something that a lot of students like, but sometimes necessary for stepping into your college dream. But how does this work and what can we do to improve our chance in getting selected and chosen for a particular room? Here are some tips:

First of all, it is important to set up an interesting email or message. Most houses ask you to write a short but comprehensive message about yourself. Really think about what your interests are and how this will fit in with the ad. I am afraid that with just watching Netflix it will be hard to be invited.

Secondly after getting invited, try to make a good first impression. Take a shower, do your hair and spray some deo. Even though the beauty comes from the inside, people tend to be biased by the appearance of a person. Therefore, smile a bit, introduce yourself to everybody and try to remember their names. This will increase the likelihood that they will remember you.

Of course, its normal that you don’t like to ‘hospiteer’ for a room. But take a look at the bright side. There is a chance that you will meet friends for life, so be interested in them: maybe this is where your new life will start. If you come over as a person who has a positive and opportunistic vibe, your chances will increase! Therefore, it’s also important that you chat a bit with the other guests and do not see them as your competitors. The ‘hospitatie’ is of course different everywhere. It can differ from a casual speeddate or can turn into a crazy party. The fact is that you will not know beforehand. Therefore, it’s wise to take your time and don’t make a rushed impression.

Lastly, don’t take it personal when you won’t be selected. It’s hard to make a good impression in such a short time. Besides, if people won’t pick you, maybe it just wasn’t the right fit and it is for the best. There is a high chance that you will be grateful when finding a house where you fit in perfectly.  

Here are some webpages that can help you with finding a room in the Netherlands:

Facebook:
Kamer gezocht/aangeboden (group)
Kamers in Nederland (app)
Kamergezocht (page)

Sites:
Esteon.nl
Kamernet.nl
Findroomate.nl

 

Meet the editors! - Editorial Staff, 5th of December 2019

 

The new academic year 2020/2019 brings a new editorial staff. We have already started working on the platform and are very excited to bring new life into Credo! For you guys, our readers, we thought you might want to know who is behind the articles and what our staff looks like. So, with no further-ado, meet the editors!

Name: Sanne Kuijpers

Position: Chairman

Study: Sociology

Interests and daily business: I work three days a week at Humanitas, household support for the elderly, and do the financials in the management committee of the Stadswonen building where I live together with the four best roommates ever, in our apartment called: ‘Casa JP’. Next to that I try to go back to my hometown, Maastricht, sometimes to see my family and old friends but when I stay in Rotterdam for the weekend, I am never too busy to party! By becoming the chairman for Credo this year, I aspire to create a fun and entertaining magazine that people read out of interest. By putting in the effort and getting ourselves out there I am certain we will eventually see the results we wish for and get on the right track to becoming a committee everyone will remember!

Name: Kirana Hoogenbosch

Position: Writer

Study: Public Administration

Interests and daily business: In my daily life (besides trying to keep up with studying), I spend a lot of time with my two housemates and good friends, since I moved to Rotterdam this year! I like to spend a lot of my time here in Rotterdam since I’ve totally fallen in love with this city, but I try to go home to Papendrecht weekly. I just started working in Sliedrecht at ASVZ, which is a healthcare institution for the mentally and physically disabled; something I really enjoy doing. I am also half Indonesian and I try to go back to the far east regularly, because I miss them dearly. Lastly, I have a passion for writing and reading. Which is (of course) one of the reasons why I applied for the Credo staff. I am super excited for what’s coming this year and I hope to surprise you guys with fun and interesting articles!

Name: Sebe van Huisseling 

Position: Secretary

Study: Public Administration

Interests and Daily business: As the student life is not only about studying as hard as you can, you will not be surprised that I have some side-interests as well. My spare time is therefore filled with a lot of original activities like soccer, netflix, house/disco parties and craft beers. That's why I joined the Erasmus soccer association this year, also known as Antibarbari. There I practice my drinking capabilities, as well as my social skills. Because I spend a lot of time at antibarbari, I also need to finance all these interesting activities. That's why you can find me at the SS Rotterdam, where I work and assist people who play our Escape Room. As you would have guest, I also like writing and putting my mind on the paper. That’s why I am very thrilled to be part of the Credo committee this year!

Name: Iris Hoogesteger

Position: Visual designer

Study: Psychology

Interest and daily business: Currently I work 2 days in the week at the Intratuin in Zoetermeer where I live with my parents. But I’m a lot in Rotterdam because of the study Psychology which I started this year and of course for credo! Since I was little, I like to be creative. As a child I was always singing, dancing and crafting. When I went to school I played in musicals and followed art lessons but when I knew that I was going to University I didn’t want to let that go. That’s why I applied for the credo committee. Now I can be creative and meet new people in Rotterdam. My goal is to bring credo to another level. More attractive for readers and new cool videos that people are going to like so that credo becomes more popular! I’m really looking forward to this year. 

Name: Doina Balica

Position: Writer

Study: Management of International Social Challenges (MISOC)

Interest and daily business: I’m always standing by my favorite quote: “Expect problems and eat them for breakfast”. This led me to the decision that  this year I want to move to Rotterdam and start a new life as a student at EUR. Back home in Moldova, I was always finding a way to be busy, and I couldn’t let that lifestyle go, which is why I applied for Credo. I used to be a photographer, a volunteer, a summer-camp teacher, a Young European Ambassador (check it out), but now I am a Credo writer and I couldn’t be more excited about this new challenge! My aim is to represent and help international students through my articles and to delight you with some memes and jokes. 

 

The international dream in Rotterdam - Doina Balica, 29th of November 2019

According to eur.nl, the number of international students at Erasmus University Rotterdam is more than 5800 and includes around 130 nationalities. Being an international student myself, I would say that these numbers are quite impressive and exciting, but at the same time are giving a feeling that all these people are extremely different from each other because of their various backgrounds. This may be true, but there is one thing that connects all of us at EUR. What exactly? A new life.

Moving to The Netherlands was an extremely big step, but I only realised it after arriving here. Let me explain why, while giving some advice as well.

First, Dutch. 

Even though almost everyone here speaks English, I can’t stand the feeling of living in a country where I don’t know the language. I may be speaking some other five languages, but none of them is related to Dutch. So, believe it or not, Duolingo became very handy when doing groceries in my first days, as I was ‘lucky’ enough to meet only Dutch-speaking people when asking for help. After some two weeks of living in Rotterdam, my day was not complete if I was not saying at least once ‘dankjewel’ and ‘tot ziens’. If you are looking forward to learning dutch, Gemeente Rotterdam may help you with some free courses! If not, school of dutch life taught me some precious words and expressions that will help you make a good impression and survive the first year: Twee biertjes; Lekker; Fiets; Gezellig; Prima; Alsjeblieft.

Next, the weather.

Everyone warned me that the weather in The Netherlands would be my least favorite thing. And I never doubted it, as I come from a sunny and warm country, with all four seasons. But experiencing this weather is a whole new story. First, never trust the forecast. In my first two months of living in Rotterdam I was always having with me: an umbrella and sunglasses, which were very useful for the autumn days. Second, cycling on a windy day may be fun. You never know if the wind will blow you off course straight into someone else or if it will just move the bike for you. Such weather made me appreciate, much more, every second with no rain. In fact, my friends know that something is wrong with me when I don’t say “what a beautiful day” in the morning if there’s no rain.

Cycling.

I knew that I started my Dutch adventure the right way when I got my first fine just a week after moving here. The reason? Not parking in the right place (even if everyone else did the same). Cycling in Rotterdam is one of the best things an international student could experience, especially if you had no bike lanes back home, like me. But following rules is much more important than anything. So, if you want to continue your journey in The Netherlands, you must put some effort into parking right, not looking at your phone while biking, having your lights on and (please) indicate when you are turning left or right (but please).

Food and services.

Maybe waitressing is not a strong point in the Dutch restaurants. Maybe bartenders don’t know how to pour beer. Maybe here the customer is not always right. But aren’t stroopwafels, poffertjes, bitterballen, kroketten and kapsalon making up for it? If you are an international student and you are still struggling with enjoying dutch food, I strongly recommend you to visit the open market in Rotterdam. Every Tuesday and Saturday you can taste dutch cheese, fresh vegetables, fruit and sweets exactly next to Markthal! 

Last but not least, EUR and ESSB.

My first help on moving here was from Erasmus University Rotterdam. It all started with Eurekaweek. There I met my future colleagues and friends while discovering the city and the Dutch culture. Studying at Erasmus School of Social and Behavioural Sciences also means that you are surrounded by many international students. So, don’t hesitate to exchange a few words with someone new in Polak building while having a break. Also, don’t forget to check your Outlook email! You can receive a lot of information about upcoming events and lectures that you can attend. It will help you broaden your knowledge and maybe make new friends. Erasmus University is very friendly towards international students so take advantage of every day spent here and have fun while studying your beloved course.

 

Special Study Spaces for Social Sciences Students - Kirana Hoogenbosch, 13th of November 2019

 

We are well into the new academic year and this means that most of you will have settled on study spaces on campus or in Rotterdam: do you have a favourite already? Maybe you've already done so much studying that you've grown bored with your standard study spot, or, maybe you've even found your own secret spot! To give you some inspiration for new, refreshing study spaces, I have found 5 spots in Rotterdam where you can study away whilst enjoying a coffee or something to eat. But behold: They are not standard studying spots; they all have their own unique twist. 

Heilige boontjes
First off, we have 'Heilige Boontjes'. This grand café is located in a former police station in the centre of Rotterdam. On Eendrachtsplein. They serve their own delicious 'Heilige Boontjes' coffee. They have recently upgraded from a simple café to a Grand café. They already had a great lunch menu: now you'll be able to have cocktail or order a burger too! The thing about Heilige Boontjes is that they started as a small charity, helping youngsters in Rotterdam building a future, producing coffee and running a coffee business. First, they focused on helping former prisoners re-integrate into society, but since they've grown so much, now they are able to help more young people with finding a job, overcoming their problems or fears or looking for a place to live. 

StationsHuiskamer Rotterdam Central Station
The 'Huiskamer' (Living room) is located in Rotterdam Central Station. A lot of passengers walk right past this place, probably because they're in a hurry, but look up and you'll notice the cosy-looking café filled with student focusing on whatever's on their laptop screen. They have big tables with comfortable chairs and sockets: perfect for studying! Besides studying, this is also a great place to spend your time waiting for your transfer. The place looks super cosy: decorated with lights, plants and on display are old train sets and art pieces. If you have more time: there's also a small library in the corner that's part of the actual library of Rotterdam. 

'Man met bril' Coffeebar
You can find real Rotterdam coffee at 'Man met Bril' (Guy with glasses). The founder of Man met bril coffee, Paul Sharo, buys his beans directly from a farmer in El Salvador. He makes sure his coffee is sold exclusively in Rotterdam. He already had his own coffee branding and warehouse, but now he also has his own coffee bar at vijverhofstraat, which is fairly close to Rotterdam Central Station. For great coffee and a study-proof space, try this one!

Coppi
Within a short walk from 'Man met bril', you will find Coppi: a combination between a bike workshop and a café/lunchroom. Need your bike fixed? Bring it here and wait for it to be fixed whilst studying away and enjoying a coffee. The place is light and calm, so focus is almost guaranteed.

Evermore
In Coolhaven we have Evermore. This small family business cares about their coffee. They started out making their own tea and branding their own coffee; later they moved to Coolhaven, to begin their own branding, coffee and tea warehouse, café and store. They make sure to have personal contact with the farmers they're buying from, and that they get a fair price for their coffee. Their café is decorated like a living room where you'll feel at home. Besides that, they are always trying to make their business more sustainable. It's a calm café, usually not too crowded and with a great front window view. This combination makes for a great study place.

So far the study spaces for this article; I hope I inspired you guys to switch up your study place once in a while!