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: Lucia Parlanti
Country of origin: Italy
Work: Product manager LED at Signify

On one of the first wintery days, we meet Lucia at eatery Onder de Leidingstraat on Strijp S. Outside it’s chilly but inside warm and cosy. Christmas music is playing in the background and we get settled with a nice and hot ginger tea. Lucia chose the location, it is close to her apartment: “I really wanted to live on Strijp S,” she tells, “When the new apartment buildings were being developed, we signed up for one of the spaces as soon as we could. We were really happy when we got the news we got one of the apartments!” Lucia lives together with her boyfriend, whom she met at work. “We used to be direct colleagues, but now we work at different departments. He is originally from China and next year we are getting married.”

“I came to Eindhoven in 2015 for an internship at Philips. I studied Business Administration in Italy. I kind of regret not starting to learn Dutch right away when I arrived. I didn’t know then I would stay in the Netherlands and now I need to make time in my busy schedule to learn the language. At work and at home I speak English and I noticed now it’s even difficult to switch back to Italian when I talk to my family about work. I decided I wanted to stay in the Netherlands after my internship because of the nice opportunities I had here. The fact I met my boyfriend and made friends in the time I was here, also played a role of course.” Lucia sees some changes in Eindhoven in the last three years: “A lot of new places are opening in the city, the city is making an effort to make everything  look nicer and there are a lot more internationals people here.”

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Next to her job at Signify, Lucia is starting up her own company called Tea Stories: “I have a passion for tea and in the future, I would love to open my own tea bar. I think Eindhoven is ready for a good tea bar. During Dutch Design Week I collaborated with my teas with chef Naresh Ramdjas at the Campina factory. It was a wonderful opportunity to see and hear the reactions of the guests to my teas. I work with loose leaf tea and I would like to show the diversity of tea with tea latte, bubble tea and matcha for instance. No artificial stuff, just real products. You can do so many things with it. To me, tea is connected to creativity. In Eindhoven work really good ceramic designers, and I love to combine those designs with my tea. I collaborated with Nienke Helder and with Lotte Douwes and their ceramics. It would be great to find a nice place on Strijp S or in the city centre to open my own place, but that is going to take a while. There aren’t a lot of nice spaces available.”

“When I’m not working or busy with Tea Stories, I like to relax at home or try to do yoga. Close to my home is the studio of Yogiway. I love that the class is in English, so I can follow everything very well. The teacher is really good, she makes my body work and I can see the results of my efforts. She also is very patient and helps me to progress with difficult exercises like the headstand.” We finish the conversation with Lucia with the question what she would have like to have known before she came to Eindhoven. “I didn’t know this region has so many opportunities in digital design. And I think I could have taken more time for networking at the beginning of my stay here. My advice: Explore the place where you are going beforehand, so you will get more out of your stay.”

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