People from many different countries live, study and work in Eindhoven. Every week, E52 has a talk with an international about what brought them here and what life is like in Eindhoven.

Name: Alena Mitianina
Country of Origin: Russia
Work: volunteer at Bounce Space

On a cold and foggy morning, we meet Alena in the café in the Blob. While we are peeling off our layers of clothing, while complaining it is so cold, Elena smiles. “Where I’m from it’s a lot colder, so for me this is peanuts. I’m from Yekaterinburg, it’s on the border of Europe and Asia, above Kazakhstan.” When we mention to Alena we work at Strijp, she tells us she recently had a tour there, visiting different companies and also workspace Seats2Meet. “I loved it there, I met so many inspiring people. I certainly will return to work there again.”

Alena arrived in Eindhoven in the summer of 2017. “My husband Alex arrived here first, he is a  masters student at the Eindhoven Technical University. He was already here for a year, while I finished my study at the university in Russia. He will finish his master this summer and we would like to stay here. But that depends on work. If we both find a job here, we would be very happy to stay.” While Alena is talking to us, we can tell she is an outgoing person. She is full of energy and talks enthusiastically about her life in Eindhoven. “I try to visit lots of interesting events. To meet new people, learn new things and just to enjoy myself.”

“I am impressed by the local cultural events like Dutch Design Week”Alena Mitianina, Volunteer at Bounce Space

In a half year, Alena found herself some interesting project to get involved in. “I’m a member of the international student organisation AEGEE and there I’m on the committee that organizes the Summer University. A group of 25 students and young professionals from all over Europe come to Eindhoven for a  full program of visiting museums, social activities, sports and workshops. I also like to go to the Hub. Every Thursday the community of Music with Strangers meets up at the Hub and I like to listen to their music. I am also impressed by the local cultural events. I worked as a volunteer at one of them, Dutch Design Week. It was an amazing experience for me.”

Next, to her volunteering in marketing projects at Bounce Space, Alena is also busy with finding a job. She studied marketing, PR and event management in Russia. “I would love to work in this field here in the Netherlands. There are a lot of international companies here and I want to work at one of them. However, It is quite difficult to find a job for me here because I don’t have a work permit yet. It would be great if a company hires me and they would help out with an application for a work permit. I noticed companies also value a local education more, so maybe I will start a marketing study or I will start my own business. I keep visiting different events, so I can expand my network. The difficulties don’t get me down. I’m not constantly thinking about how everything should be in the future. I’m here now. Everything I do at this moment will help me in the future.”

Read all the internationals stories here.
Photography: Diewke van den Heuvel