Alexandra Rusu (19) from IaÁi, Romania, has been studying Economics in Utrecht since the summer of 2008.
Which Romanian historic event would you like to have been part of?
The fall of Communism in 1989: after having been brainwashed for fifty years, the Romanian people were finally free. In the streets, everyone was celebrating their new-found freedom. Just not my parents: they were too preoccupied with me, as I had decided to be born that December.
Which is your favourite place in Romania?
Thereís a really cool festival in the village of Vama Veche, along the coast of Romania, each summer. It lasts a couple of days and the atmosphere much reminds of Woodstock. People camp out at the craziest places or sleep on the beach. They build campfires, play the guitar and sing along, and students discuss politics and economics. Super! The last few years, however, it has become really too popular which takes away some of the fun. It didnít stop me from going again this summer though.
Why did you come to Utrecht and do you like the University?
I really wanted to study abroad. For a long time, I was undecided between England and Utrecht, but I finally opted for Utrecht as the multidisciplinary approach of the programme really appealed to me. I knew I didnít just want to study economics or mathematics only, and the Utrecht programme offered a combination of both. Iím really happy so far: the lectures are challenging, and if you work hard can get good grades. The lecturers thoroughly explain the subjects and know how to captivate us, making it not very hard to get up early for their lectures.
What do you like or dislike about Utrecht?
From the moment I arrived in Utrecht, I fell in love with the city. I love its plants and trees. In Romania we do not have much of that; during Communism many blocks of houses were built without any green space. What I do miss, however, are tall buildings. The lack of them takes away from the cityís elegance somewhat, I think. To me Utrecht is a lovely small town, where I never feel unsafe when I cycle home alone in the middle of the night.
Which do you think is an odd Dutch habit?
When I cycle in Utrecht during the day, I always feel like I have entered a bicycle race. You all seem to be in such a hurry! If I decide to keep to my own pace, I can sense the hatred of everyone passing me by. Odd!