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

Name: Nuria Barriga
Country of origin: Mexico
Study: Bachelor Psychology and Technology at TU/e

Today starts the Dutch Design Week. Nuria participates in the event in a multidisciplinary team from the TU/e and Studio JKL with their installation the Garden of Resonance. “It is an installation that aims to capture the phenomenon of vibrations in nature. Visitors are welcome to experience the installation on the eighth floor of the Veem building at Strijp S. The artist Jan Koen Lomans and our team worked together to get the best result using an iterative design processes. We did research on what makes people feel the most relaxed in a place regarding sound and lighting. In parallel we conducted research on how to produce certain sounds to be able to choose the ideal materials and shapes for the installation. This installation is a starting point. With feedback from the visitors, we can take the Garden of Resonance to the next level. The aim is to take the installation to a museum eventually.”

“I’m currently completing my second bachelor. After I finished my first bachelor in Mexico I worked at an office furniture company, but I didn’t feel happy there. I always wanted to study abroad, but it took a little while before I decided to start with my new bachelor. First I lived with my sister in Barcelona for six months. She lives there for nine years. My father’s side of the family is Spanish, so it was nice to get to know Spain better. We had such a good time and really enjoyed it. My boyfriend moved from Mexico to Eindhoven around that time. I decided to join him here. Because I have two nationalities, it is easy for me to travel through Europe and to study here. I noticed that the times were changing towards technology and I saw I would have more opportunities with a study at the TU/e. I see the value of taking the long path with two bachelor studies. It gives me a broader perspective. With my background in product design and my current bachelor, I combine engineering and design and integrate both worlds.”

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“I couldn’t enroll right away at the university, I needed to wait a bit before the new semester started. That gave me also some time to get to know Eindhoven better. After living in Barcelona, it was quite a change. I had to make new friends. The introduction week at the university helped a lot to expand my circle of friends. Now that we have lived here for a couple of years we are completely settled. We are not planning on leaving Eindhoven anytime soon. It is good to see how the university and the city flourish. In Eindhoven, everything is well planned, safe and there are nice bars and restaurants all over the city centre. I like the activities for expats and events like the FeelGood Market or the beer festivals. Overall, living in Eindhoven has been a positive experience for me. I would like to have more Dutch friends. Maybe it is different with master’s students, but bachelor students tend to go to their family and friends in their hometown for the weekend. So when I have time to do fun things with them, they are away.”

“In my spare time, I really like going out with friends. Some of them have moved to other cities, so sometimes I go there for the weekend or they come to visit me. My boyfriend and I also love cooking dinners for friends. We are Mexicans of course,” Nuria smiles. “I do miss some ingredients to cook with here. For instance: I can buy chilies here, but not the ones I like or need. It’s the same with tortillas. So when I’m in Mexico, I fill up my suitcase with all kinds of ingredients that I can’t find here. Not just for myself, also for Mexican friends in a desire of some Mexican food. They send me a wish list.  When my family or friends visit me, they also bring all kinds of things for me. Other than this, everything goes very well here.”

Photography: Diewke van den Heuvel
Read more stories of internationals here.