PhD life: becoming a better world citizen

One of the major perks of being a PhD student is, to me, the group of colleagues I got along with the job. First of all, they are all smart and interested in the world around them. We can have lengthy discussions about just about anything and have a similar sense of humor. In addition, they come from all over the world. Apart from Dutch colleagues, I have colleagues from Greece, China, France, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Brazil, Austria and the UK. Together, this makes for an interesting group of people and interesting experiences.

  • While having lunch I often hear a ‘local’s’ view on world news
  • When talking with my Chinese office mates we regularly find new differences in work and daily life ethics between China and the Netherlands.
  • When chatting in the lab I realize time and again that some things considered normal here are not normal to others – animal day, for example, sent my French student into fits of laughter.
  • During our last office outing we had Chinese dumplings, which we made ourselves, the Chinese way.

Interacting with people with different nationalities makes me feel a bit like being abroad. It opens up my mind to other perspectives and teaches me both about other countries and about myself and my country. My colleagues make my work even more fun than it already is and they ensure that I will not only become a better researcher during my PhD, but that I will also become a more open-minded and knowledgeable world citizen.

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