Interview with David van der Ziel - Communications intern

20 April 2023

Our team has recently been joined by intern David van der Ziel. Time for an introduction.

Would you tell me about yourself professionally ?
I am in my 4th year of a European Studies degree at Hogeschool Zuyd (Zuyd University of Applied Sciences) in Maastricht, and I am currently doing my thesis-internship at the Expat Centre. From February to July I will be researching the way the European Union (EU) operates and how this relates to communication within (governmental) organisations. My degree also  includes advanced French and I’ve enjoyed my semester abroad in Dublin, Ireland.

What is your role within Expat Centre Maastricht Region?
Within the Expat Centre, I support my colleague Esperanza (Communication Officer) in her tasks, and together we are setting up a Buddy Project pilot in Maastricht. The Buddy Project aims to aid expats and internationals in exploring Maastricht. Every Thursday I work as a Hospitality Coach at the Expat Centre desk in the municipal offices. I also help colleagues with the events we organise and other tasks.

What are your goals at ECMR? What do you hope to achieve?
My goal is to achieve results from the Buddy Project pilot, which can improve and extend the services that the Expat Centre provides. My secondary goal is to learn from working at the municipality, so that it can act as a stepping-stone for my career.

What is your biggest challenge?
Designing and especially initiating the Buddy Project pilot, and ensuring there are enough participants and data to work with to keep the project going for the foreseeable future.

What do you love most about the Maastricht Region? 
The Maastricht Region is part of the Netherlands, yet it does not feel like it most of the time. The culture, nature, dialects and accents, cuisine and monuments provide a unique experience of the Maastricht Region. The fact that there are hills here and you can walk in any direction and you will find beautiful nature is exciting and I feel humbled to live in such an amazing area.

Do you have some tips for new and prospective residents of the Maastricht Region?
Get connected to groups/organisations as soon as possible, because there are many things you can discover and experience in Maastricht, yet most that are really worth it, you might not hear about that easily. The VVV and municipal websites often give a lot of information on what to do in the Maastricht Region, yet it is in the locals, where you will find truly special connections and experiences.

Buddy Project Maastricht
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