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  • Writer's pictureHumans of International Studies

FANTINE and PELLE (Alumni) 1/2


Pelle and Fantine are both former IS students, who chose to explore Eastern Europe together while uni remained online in 2020. In the following two posts, they will tell us about their incentives to travel there and share some of their travel anecdotes.

“In March 2020 when everything moved online, we started to look for a place in the Hague where we could live together (we were in our 2nd year of IS back then), but it turned out to be very hard to find something suitable. Then one day, during dinner, Fantine’s mom asked us: “If everything will be online anyway, why not travel and go to a country where you can practice your Russian?” and the second she said it, we both thought: “Let’s go!”.

Pelle: “I’ve always been fascinated by languages, flags, and maps. I had this big atlas and I always felt intrigued by the countries in Eastern Europe and Central Asia because even though they are so close by, I never really learned much about these countries. And everything foreign is particularly interesting to me, it’s this weird fascination for the unknown.

So, each opportunity I get I am taking to explore more of these countries.”

Fantine: “Since I was a child, I’ve been fascinated by dramatic events. So, when I discovered the history of Russia, it just fit this fascination. Also, to me, Russian is one of the most beautiful languages. So, I went to Leiden to study International Studies and that’s where I met Pelle. Pelle told me that he was interested in Moldova and Tajikistan and all those countries, and I was like: “Oh, yeah, these countries are really interesting, there is so much to do there but so few people actually know anything about these countries!”.”

So, we shared the goal of exploring post-Soviet countries and we thought: if everything is online, why not go and travel to these countries? Also travelling alone is not as fun as travelling together because it is always nice to share experiences with someone else and reflect on them. Thus, it was the ultimate opportunity for both of us.”

(Fantine, 21, France & Pelle, 22, the Netherlands - alumni) (1/2)

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