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Just the TU of us
17 december 2009 - Early in 2008 Marco sprang an unpleasant surprise on his girl-friend Gabriela. From his native country of Mexico he moved to Eindhoven for a five-year Master study. Today Gabriela finds this fantastic, for she too can now be spotted on campus.
Photos: Bart van Overbeeke

Gabriela (23, a Master student of Operation Management and Logistics) and Marco (24, a Master student of Embedded Systems) are both from the city of Toluca, located an hour away from Mexico City. Although they attended the same high school, things between them only started getting fiery four years ago at university. Marco’s international plans came like a bolt from the blue for Gabriela. Marco: “I first wanted to be sure that I could really go to TU/e, before telling anyone else.” During a family dinner the time had come. “I was in shock, just like the rest of the family”, Gabriela explains. “Marco was already working and we were looking ahead together. To be honest, I was slightly disappointed”, she says. Still, she made the most of it and started itching to make an international career move as well.

In August 2008 Marco arrived in Eindhoven. He was followed by Gabriela precisely one year later. Her reaction: “Wonderful! It is like a dream come true. I like my Master study and enjoy living here with Marco.” Life in a Dutch city does take some getting used to. The car as the main means of transportation has now been succeeded by the bike. For Gabriela learning to cycle literally meant trial and error; in the palm of her hand she carries the traces of a serious fall. “We are not used to doing everything on a bike. It leads to dangerous situations!” Fortunately she can now laugh it off and manages to cycle better all the time.

Marco and Gabriela do like heated discussions. With a wink, for they are mostly having a great deal of fun. They have come up with a funny way of solving dilemmas, for instance when the washing needs to be done: “We fight over it by playing a game of chess. The loser has to do the chore”, they say, laughing. Their future is a regular item for discussion. On this they are fairly unanimous, though. For the time being their lives will be dominated by their careers. Marco would like to do a Master study in a totally different field, while Gabriela is dreaming about a PhD project. “We really enjoy fantasizing about later together.”