Euroculture Spotlight #9: Wester Wagenaar
21 Feb 2017
The ninth edition of the Euroculture spotlight introduces Wester Wagenaar (Euroculture student and founder of the Euroculture alumni organization Arete).
Thanks, Wester, for taking the time to answer our questions!
What is your affiliation with Euroculture?
I am currently enrolled in the Euroculture programme and am situated in Japan for my research semester. I also recently founded Arete, the alumni organization of the Euroculture programme, which is the main reason we are talking today.
Can you tell us something about Arete?
Arete is old Greek for ‘excellence’, which is what we strive for of course. We organize alumni events and offer a platform for alumni to interact. So if you are affiliated with Euroculture, don’t hesitate to check us out. You can find out more information about Arete here. In case you want to organize events or wish to represent Arete in your area, you are always welcome to send an e-mail.
What can we expect of Arete in the near future?
We are currently working hard on a questionnaire to distribute among Euroculture graduates, which will result in a database useable for all Euroculture alumni. This will make it easier to tell where graduates are currently situated and for them to meet up. Of course we will also try to expand our area of operations and organize more events in the future.
Where have you studied during Euroculture?
I spent my first semester in Uppsala and did my second one in Göttingen. I have just wrapped up my semester in Osaka and will then return to beautiful Sweden, this time for the sunny spring semester!
Would you like to share something special about your Euroculture experience?
How about nearly everything? Both semesters in Europe were simply intense, beautiful experiences, but because I just finished my Osaka semester, that is all I can think of at the moment. I will forever remember those plentiful midnight karaoke sessions, those first rays of light drilling through our tired eyelids while riding the first trains after nights in downtown Osaka, and that magnificent farewell party which truly was the icing on the cake. Oh, and of course it goes without saying the IP in Olomouc is a week of which the memories I hold very dear.
What do you like most about Euroculture?
It is a bit of a giveaway, but the only contestant for this is definitely the mobility. Living in three new places in two years is an experience I could not have had without Euroculture. Nothing trumps moving to a yet unvisited city, getting to know the location, making a diverse group of friends and building up a totally new life. The fact you share all of this with international classmates, who bring their own backgrounds and experiences into the mix, makes it even more fun.
What did you do before Euroculture?
I hold a bachelor degree in Japan Studies from Leiden University, which also provided me with the opportunity to study in Nagasaki for a year. Afterwards I dived straight into Euroculture.
What are your plans for the future?
I am not so much for concrete future plans when it concerns my own life, but I do hope to continue the Euroculture life the coming years, which means living in different places around the world. Bring on the adventure!