Wednesday, July 24, 2013

From Bulgaria to the Netherlands


Bozhan is building up his life in his new geographical basis. With enthusiasm and optimism. 

Name:  Bozhan Chipev
Age:     25
From:   Sofia, Bulgaria
To:       Amsterdam, the Netherlands
For:      Master in New Media

1. Why Amsterdam?

“I came to do my Master’s degree in Amsterdam, because it’s the best education in terms of value-for-money. It is cheaper than the UK, and better than in the Scandinavian countries, at least in the field of New Media.”

Balcony view

2. Your academic interest.

“My academic background is quite diverse – I completed a dual BA degree at the American University in Bulgaria (AUBG) with Journalism and Mass Communications as one major and Political Science and International Relations as the second. After graduating I ended up spending a year as a junior reporter in a large print and web media outlet in Bulgaria, which sparked my interest in technology and new media.

3. The hardest thing to get used to in the new city.

“Nothing has really been hard, as people in Amsterdam are very accustomed to foreigners and communicating in English with them. Perhaps the toughest part is dealing with the government administration, and especially the tax authorities, who are forbidden by law to communicate in a language other than Dutch.”

4. People of the city in 3 words.

“Tolerant. Direct. Biking.”

5. What you miss the most from your country.

“Life is easier close to home. There are all kinds of safety nets – friends, family, less bureaucracy. Maybe what I miss the most is the sense of belonging, the feeling that I’m at home, and not in a foreign country. Because as open and tolerant as Amsterdammers are, they can often make you feel as an outsider, even if it’s not on purpose.”

6. Your new habit.

“Oh, there are so many of those. Biking is the main one, but also having only bread and cheese for lunch, or always carrying an emergency jacket in case of unexpected torrential rain.”

7. What do you find the most impressive thing about the Dutch culture.

“The fact that they are literraly conquering land from the ocean and creating new space from themselves out of nothing. The Dutch singlehandedly invalidated one of the many emblematic Mark Twain quotes: "Buy land, they're not making it anymore".”

8. Your career plan.

“I’m currently working in Marketing for a German startup company based off of the RockStart accelerator in Amsterdam. The plan is to continue getting experience in the field. Ideally, I would like to travel and work/live in different places around the world, but if I “only” get to stay in Amsterdam, I will be a happy man.”

9. Your thoughts about going back home.

“Although I realise that Bulgaria needs all the Western-educated young people it can get in order to improve the socio-economic situation in the country, I would rather continue my life and work abroad.”

10. Your furthest dream.

“My most far-fetched dream is to start an online business that can be headquartered anywhere (or nowhere), allowing me to both make a good living and not rooting me to one particular city or country.”

11. What you will keep forever after Amsterdam.

“The skill to ride a bike in heavy rain and wind while holding an open umbrella. If I ever learn it, that is.”

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