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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: Andressa Cobucci
Country of origin: Brazil
Work: Architect

Usually, we find the people for this series in our network or they contact us to let us know they want to share their story to E52. This time Instagram did the trick. The official Instagram account of Eindhoven (@eindhovencity) reposted a picture of Andressa. The picture showed the city centre with the caption ‘My new home’. Photographer Diewke spotted the post and contacted Andressa immediately. Andressa: “It was awesome they showed my picture. The city made me feel welcome right away.” She smiles and apologises for not speaking English as well as she wants. We assure her it is no problem at all. We talk for a while, sometimes a bit lost in translation, but we understand each other.

Andressa arrived in Eindhoven only three weeks ago. She joined her boyfriend a couple of months after he started his PhD at the Technical University of Eindhoven. “I had to finish work in Brazil, but I’m here finally. Five years ago I went on holiday to the Netherlands during my student exchange program in Torino, Italy. Since then I wanted to live in the Netherlands. It is so nice and easy. It’s a country where nearly everything works perfectly, just like other places in Europe, but people aren’t exaggeratedly perfect. They know to enjoy life too, and I think this is a good balance. A very happy coincidence my boyfriend got an offer to come to Eindhoven!”

It’s amazing to walk around the city and discover all the small charming bars and coffee places! The energy of the events and all the urban art in the streets are incredible too.”Andressa Cobucci, Architect

“In Brazil, I lived in Curitiba, a city with almost two million inhabitants and known for its different than usual public transport system and its great urban planning. I love all the Curitiba art, culture and green areas, but when it comes to security, Eindhoven is much more easy-going. I mean, I feel very safe here and I can be more relaxed when walking in the city. There is just one thing that got me disappointed: it seems to be common here to throw empty plastic cups on the ground during events or festivals. The next day it is all clean, but it is not necessary. I still want to learn much more about the history of the city. For instance, I don’t understand the street names Kleine Berg and Grote Berg (berg means mountain in Dutch, red.), so where are the mountains?” Well, we can explain: apparently, this part of the city was built on some sand hills. “I also love to cycle. We visited the Van Gogh cycle path. It is kind of magical to look at. I also love all the cycle paths outside the city. This way we can visit other places by bicycle.”

We drink coffee at ZwartWit and talk a bit more about getting to know Eindhoven and the Netherlands. “It’s amazing to walk around the city and discover all the small charming bars and coffee places! The energy of the events and all the urban art in the streets are incredible too. The mix of old and new architecture is really good. The building where I live is a former Philips office building, turned into apartments. It is so clever to give new use to forgotten spaces in the cities! I really like to look at the ceiling and the walls of my home to see the honesty of the materials and the marks of history all over it. And within a year there will be a park here in front of our house, so that’s nice.”

At the moment Andressa is exploring her options on working as an architect in the Netherlands. “I had my own business in Brazil. I studied Architecture and have a Masters degree in Urbanism. But with my business, I focused on interior architecture for restaurants, bars and residential homes. I like everything in architecture. It is the perfect mix of technique and art. I like to create and I am open to new projects. That’s why I would love to get in contact with Dutch architectural firms to find out if there are any differences in the work process compared to Brazil. Oh and one last thing: I love the fact Eindhoven is so design-minded. I didn’t know that upfront. I can’t wait for my first Dutch Design Week!”

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