Welcome to our new series of interviews with students and staff, both here in Amsterdam and around the world. Let's find out how they are doing during these challenging times: our student blogger Mrudula came up with some questions for Marija, an international student advisor. Enjoy the reading!
Tell us something about yourself and your role at the VU
Hi everyone, I’m Marija, an international student advisor. I’m part of the team that is helping you, the international students, with the application and admission process, scholarships and any other questions you might have regarding studying here in Amsterdam.
Where are you living currently and has your living situation changed?
I am in Amsterdam, I came back here from my vacation in my home country (Serbia) one day before all the flights were cancelled. I started living with my partner shortly before the pandemic and now we are home the whole day, which is challenging sometimes but we are getting along pretty well.
How is it like to work from home? Is it more stressful? How has your productivity been affected?
At the beginning it was very strange but I am getting used to it. This is a busy period for us as the application deadlines are here and we are trying to reply to all the questions students have. I find stressful dealing with the uncertainty of this situation. It is unrealistic to expect from yourself to be as productive as during “normal times” because of all the distractions around you: slower systems, crashing internet, that weird neighbor's cat that’s staring at you...
What are some of the things you’ve reflected about life during your time in quarantine?
How much I like hugs and how much I miss them now!
Where would you like to go for vacation after normalcy returns?
I day-dream about vacation somewhere warm and sunny, with a beautiful sea side… so I hope to go on some Greek or Croatian island, enjoy the beach, drink good wine and be grateful that “this” is behind us.