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: Amanda Sleze
Country of origin: Latvia
Work: PR and marketing manager at 4funkyflavours
Amanda invited us to her home for the interview. We are welcomed to a nice corner apartment with lots of windows and a nice view, with Strijp S in the distance. “This used to be an apartment building for seniors, but a while ago the owner also allowed younger people as tenants. It is comfortable here.” Amanda lives with her boyfriend Tom, but he was not Amanda’s main reason to come to Eindhoven. “We met a few months before I moved to Eindhoven. I was finished with my study in Maastricht and wanted to move to a city with better job opportunities. Eindhoven is an alive city full of technology, art and design and very open to internationals. The fact Tom was here, made it extra fun to move.”
So prior to Eindhoven, Maastricht was Amanda’s hometown. How did she end up there? “In the last half year of high school in Latvia, I decided I wanted to explore Europe. I looked for voluntary projects and found one in Genk, Belgium at a youth centre. There I helped with activities with the kids for a year. After that year I didn’t want to go back to Latvia and applied for a study in Maastricht. The city is very quiet and when you study there, you live in a small bubble. Everything you do, you do with your fellow students. When I was finished with my study, I realized that I didn’t have a very large network there and it was hard to find a good and suitable job. Lots of my fellow students also left the city.”
“There are so many creative and resourceful people in Eindhoven”Amanda Sleze, PR and marketing manager at 4funkyflavours
“If I think of stuff that is typical Dutch to me, the biking culture is the first thing that comes to mind. Bikes are in Latvia more of a hobby thing, like a sport. It is almost never used for transportation. Here everybody commutes to work on their bikes. Rain or sunshine. I’m still not used to it. Eindhoven itself is different than the rest of rest of the Netherlands. There are so many creative and resourceful people here. And lots of them are willing to help you further. When I was here at first I was focusing on finding a job and my own business in handmade toys. Tom introduced me to more people. I started working for the Dutch Design Foundation, and my network exploded. After that, I worked for the STRP Biennale and applied at 4funkyflavours. I got what I wanted before moving here: the job and the network.”
In her spare time, Amanda still is involved in all kinds of projects. “I’m one of the team members of TEDxEindhoven. Last year I did the production, now I’m the community manager. I always look for other projects, to do next to work. Sitting still is nice, but when I do I start thinking about what I can do or what we can do with our home. We also like to go to the cinema a lot. And brewery Van Moll is a place I really like. When I first came to Eindhoven, I spent some time in this pub and sitting there, felt like I was in Riga. On top of that we also have a community garden of 100 square meters. We share it with friends. Because both our families are into gardening, we thought we knew as well. The first year was a lot of discovering. This year we are a little wiser and we choose certain things to grow to have more success.”
Read all the internationals stories here.
Photography: Diewke van den Heuvel