We celebrate Valentine’s day by talking to some of IBS's international couples and friends about their experiences.
Continent to continent, crossing borders and bringing people together, no matter where you are, most probably you celebrate Valentine’s day. It may not be deeply embedded in your culture you still celebrate it. Can we say that love is ultimately the only thing that brings us all together? In IBS, our students look at their cultural differences as something to celebrate and even adapt to, and to prove this, we talked with some of our most international duos to show you that at the end of the day, we all speak the same language, the language of love and caring.
William from Ecuador and Emma from Hungary, are the most known couple at IBS. They have been together since 2015, they met when they both were doing an English course in England.
According to William, they were classmates for almost two months but did not talk until 2 weeks before departing, when a common friend invited them to a football match.
After almost 4 years together, IBS has given the opportunity for Emma and William to pursue their career goals, together. “Once I came to visit her and I saw the IBS brochure at her house and I was 100% confident I would make it to IBS. This happened a year later, in September 2016”
William also says that there is nothing better than finding the right person to be and grow up with, while following the same big ambitions. And for the future? They’ll do things, in the same way, they found IBS, guided by the mutual desire of always doing better.
We also talked with Ayda Kharavan from Iran and Melih Tekin from Turkey about their relationship and how they are culturally different to each other, although they are from neighboring countries.
Ayda explains that they met in December 2017, a few months after she started classes at IBS and they connected through a common friend’s dinner. After talking for a while they realized that they had bought tickets to travel to Brussels the day after they first met (and some people don’t believe in destiny).
She also says that because she speaks Turkish, they communicate very easily, she can also practice a language that is different from her mother tongue. However, because Melih does not speak Farsi, she enjoys when he struggles to talk to her family. Maybe more than she should.
And now, to pay tribute to the common friends that have helped these couples come together because the phrase “without you this wouldn’t be possible”, we also asked our most international students what it’s like to share experiences with other international people.
Camila Zavala from Ecuador and Mukenge Rubasha from Norway and Congolese descend were not as lucky as Ayda and Melih, but it actually took them 2 months to start talking to each other and since then they have become really close friends.
She explains that although they come from different continents and backgrounds they are “oddly similar”, she continues “we listen to the same music, we like the same TV shows, have the same humor and love getting on each other nerves”, however having different personalities is what make their friendship stand out from the rest.
Continuing the trend of “friends from different hemispheres” we have to mention Fidan Mirzayeva from Azerbaijan and Fabiola Del Nogal from Venezuela. Fabiola explains that they met during the first week of University on their first year and they “clicked” immediately but it wasn’t until midterm was approaching that they decided to study together and started to bond.
Their friendship is the best representation of being culturally diverse and open-minded. As Fidan explains “The best part of our relationship is that we focus on similarities rather than differences” as it should be. “We involve each other in our cultures and cuisines, i.e. she taught me how to make Arepas and I bring her Pakhlava from my country”.
Furthermore, they have found similarities on more deep topics such as cultural values, predispositions, beliefs which has helped to bring them closer together. Fabiola also explains that her mom considers Fidan as another Venezuelan, who just, didn’t learn Spanish yet!
All in all, Valentine’s day could just be an excuse for some to show their love to others when they have not done it before but how could anyone ever oppose to that. Let it be your partner, friend, or family member. Celebrating unity is something that should never be underestimated and very much appreciated.
by Fabiola Del Nogal, BSc student