This week, Medium had a chat with Noemi Roos, a first-year Communication Science student. Growing up “all over the place”, Noemi is a Swiss-Thai 18-year-old who enjoys a wide variety of interests, ranging from golfing to gene editing. In this conversation, Medium discusses going international, Amsterdam, and Communication Science.
An unexpected choice
Originally intending to study Business Administration in Switzerland, Noemi decided to study abroad. “You know what? I want to go international, I don’t want to be in my home country, where it’s so restrictive… I want to go out there,” she explains, further adding that Amsterdam was her optimal choice as it’s the “perfect big small city”. While she chose the University of Amsterdam due to its sterling reputation, she initially didn’t expect to study Communication Science.
With studying business out of the question, she finally decided on this course. With zero expectations, she admits that the last three months have been fairly easy for her. Despite the demanding nature of the course, she admits that “there’s no use in complaining”, and that she has overall no problems academically. She also added that Communication Science was a well-structured program, with its strategic location in Amsterdam being a definite plus point in conducting research.
“You don’t get to see this kind of interaction between people in a lot of cities,” she explains. The blend of languages and cultures often result in interesting interactions; due to the international nature of Amsterdam, it’s incredibly easy for communication students like us to come up with dynamic discussions and topics to talk about, especially between peers.
Did she end up liking Communication Science, despite its “burden” of statistics? “I do,” she admits. “I felt neutral about it for the first month or so, but then we started getting into the theories and I saw why people would choose this subject. It was on the crossroads of multiple disciplines and could be applied to many situations in everyday life.” When asked what she intends to do post-graduation, she immediately replies with her plans to follow her parents’ footsteps in real estate; it seems that despite the change in majors, she’s still intent on her future career path.
A city of possibilities
After a few minutes of silence, our talk turned to the city itself. “Amsterdam is a city that I felt at home with,” Noemi says. She motions to the view before us, “I love it when I just see people, like strangers, walking around…” Its status as a (small) big city also gave way to new avenues of networking: the student-oriented clubs in university makes it easy and convenient for students like Noemi to find more ways to connect with fellow international students. “Or maybe interviewees for my research projects,” she joked.
We asked her what she had liked and disliked about Amsterdam. “I dislike the current housing situation,” she grimaces. “It’s very competitive and it’s often difficult to search for reliable accommodation when you’re not given the tools you’re needed.” However, she remarks that she liked the accessible transportation and how it was easy to navigate through the region. Aside from that, she found that the international community in Amsterdam has been welcoming so far. “I really enjoy the personal freedom a person has here,” she adds. “You could do whatever you wanted, and people often really differ when it comes to things like hobbies.”
When asked if she intends to live in the city after her graduation, she shrugs and indicates that while she wouldn’t live here, she’d “definitely come back a few times”. Amsterdam has become a memorable city for not just her, but for all of us.