Euroculture Spotlight #2: Jesse van Amelsvoort › Euroculture

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Euroculture Spotlight #2: Jesse van Amelsvoort

02 Feb 2017

The second edition of the Euroculture spotlight, which seeks to highlight interesting aspects of the programme and the people affiliated with it, features Jesse van Amelsvoort (Euroculture student and editor-in-chief of The Euroculturer). Thanks, Jesse, for taking the time to answer our questions.

What is your affiliation with Euroculture? I am a second-semester Euroculture student.

What is your current occupation? Next to being a student, I’m editor-in-chief of The Euroculturer. We’ve had a bit of a slow start, but we’ll publish some nice articles in the coming weeks to keep you connected with the programme over the summer. I also sit in the Euroculture Board here in Groningen and during both my semesters I have organized “Euroculture Film Series”, in which students show films from ‘their’ countries. The movies that are picked do not only shed some light on the world’s cultures, but also on what interests your friends!

Outside of Euroculture, I’m involved with the Nexus Institute, which organizes lectures and conferences with some of the world’s most brilliant minds, as an ambassador of their youth network. It means I spread the word and try to convince people to go to events. You can ask my Groningen friends how annoying that is! And, lastly, I write book review for the Dutch website every now and then.

Where have you studied during Euroculture? I started in Göttingen last semester, and have been in Groningen since February. I also intend to stay here for the research track.

Would you like to share something special about your Euroculture experience? We’ve had some great moments during the film series I mentioned above. I remember especially watching Ida, just after it won the Oscar for best foreign film. My friend who showed it, himself Polish, was very affected by the movie and I think that whole viewing got this extra dimension because of it. Other than that, I have good hopes for the IP in Olomouc in a couple of weeks, rumours aplenty for previous years…

What did you like the most about Euroculture? I’ve grown very fond of moments of intercultural confusion in the classroom, when discussions go awry because of all kinds of assumptions that are not made explicit. An intercultural experience is inevitably part of such an international master’s programme as Euroculture, but we don’t only study it, we also enact and live it. I think what I mean to say is that this is the comical side to what is crucial to this programme, be it “interculturality” or whatever term you prefer: the variety of backgrounds and viewpoints, myriad experiences and knowledges, that all come together in one course. That’s very enriching, not only on an academic level, but also on a personal level. Especially on a personal level.

What did you do before Euroculture? I got my BA from University College Utrecht and an MA in Comparative Literature from UCL.

What are your plans for the future? After Euroculture, I hope to write a PhD in Utrecht in a not too distant future. That’s my only plan, really, all other things are dreams.

Where is the best place you have traveled to and why? It’s perhaps a bit silly to say for a Euroculture student, but the travelling gene didn’t manifest itself in me until not so long ago – and I still prefer to travel in my reading and writing. But I love the Dutch islands, especially Ameland; to come there, either stay in a hotel or on a camping, and walk around, through the dunes or on the beach. It doesn’t even have to be nice weather (although sleeping in a tent in the cold isn’t the nicest thing to do), it’s always great there.

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