- 21 October 2017
People from many different countries live, study and work in Eindhoven. Every week, E52 has a talk with an international about what brought them here and what life is like in Eindhoven.
Name: Iskandar Makhmudov
Country of origin: Uzbekistan
Work: Program analyst at ASML
“Good morning and welcome”, Iskandar greets us with a smile at the main entrance of ASML. He takes us to ASML Plaza, the new and state of the art company restaurant, where we find a nice place to sit. “When I tell where I’m from, people usually ask, where is it? Well, Uzbekistan is in Central Asia and it is a post-Soviet country that became independent in 1991.” Iskandar told us already in an email a little bit about his journey for his study, so we really want to know more: “I did my Bachelor in quality engineering in Uzbekistan and I got an opportunity to study abroad. I wanted also to learn about other cultures and it is good to get out of a comfort zone and explore the world.”
“I moved to South Korea to study solar energy. Our country has a huge potential for solar energy due to its geographical location. Along with my studies I also worked on solar tracking system development at the renewal energy laboratory. In a nutshell, this advanced system was designed for utilization of solar light for indoor daylighting and saving the electricity. In the beginning of my stay in South Korea, many things like the language, food and nature were new for me. What I observed is that usually people tend to look for fellow countrymen for socializing and helping each other abroad. In my case there weren’t any other Uzbek students at the university, but that helped me to connect to people of different cultures and my social life became much more interesting.”
"Eindhoven attracts a lot of international expats as one of the smartest hubs in the region"
Before relocating to South Korea Iskandar intended to go back to Uzbekistan after his study. “But it turned out to be the start of a big journey. I moved to Sweden, to complete my second Masters program. One of my dreams was to explore Asian and European continents, experience different cultures, learn new languages and accumulate knowledge through various educational systems. Eventually, my academic curiosity brought me to the Netherlands and I decided to settle down in Eindhoven. By living in the Netherlands I learned many new and good things about this country: from various cheese brands, tulips and biking till the polder model, famous Dutch directness and quick weather changes. In general, people are very open, friendly and helpful. I happily live here with my family.”
“I am a proud dad of two daughters. The oldest one goes to the peuterspeelzaal, the preschool before children start with kindergarten, where she enjoys playing with other kids. And my wife and I are learning Dutch from her as well, with songs, short phrases and everything. What we found quite interesting and unique here were multiple pedagogical philosophies like Montessori, Jenaplan, Daltonplan and Steiner schools.I had more spare time before having a family and used to play tennis at the students sports centre and travel around neighbour countries. These days I usually spend my free time with my family. During the weekends and holidays periods we enjoy to visit museums, parks and do various outdoor activities. Recently we went to a kids’ concert at the Muziekgebouw. We also love to be in the farm Genneperhoeve, our daughter has a lot of fun there, learning about the animals. Or we go to Splinter, a playground and animal farm.
“Last several years I lived in small, midsize and metropolitan cities and observed that capital cities, of course, have more diverse cultural activities. Nowadays Eindhoven attracts a lot of international expats as one of the smartest hubs in the region, it should have its positive impact to the cultural life of the city as well.“
Read all the internationals stories here.
Photography: Diewke van den Heuvel