Marvel at a different world just a few steps from home. Two cultures, but also two markets that meet on the border. Different manners, different prices, different rules and customs, and other road signs. In short, the border as something unique, as an opportunity to get to know two worlds. That is the way we could all experience the border. As a so-called ‘borderlander’ I do that; I see and use the opportunities on both sides of the border every day. A borderlander is someone who can find his or her way on both sides of the national border. Someone who sees the differences between two countries as an opportunity, not as a threat.
You don’t usually become a borderlander by yourself. This requires immersion in the Euregion. You need to get to know both sides of the border, the gems of companies and cultures that are there to find. And that is exactly what this project contributes to, raising awareness among your professionals of the opportunities in the border region. Once you are a borderlander, you have a significant advantage on the labor market. You will have international knowledge, skills and contacts that other young people do not have and you can easily apply for a job across the border. If you grow up inland and study there, you will miss that Euregional connection.
By the way, an Euregion is a European region along one of the European internal borders, such as the border between the Netherlands and Germany. The aim of the Euregion is to promote cross-border cooperation, between schools, sports associations, companies and so on. It is sometimes said that Euregions are Europe in miniature. In a border region, you will experience the advantages of open European internal borders; not only as a consumer, but also as a student or employer.
In times of far-reaching globalisation, such a cross-border view is of great importance. And yes, it is true when you say that we travel all over the world. However, we usually return to where we come from, where our family lives, where our roots are. From that point of view, isn’t it strange that we hardly know our neighbours who live a few kilometers away? And I’m not just talking about grocery shopping and buying cheap fuel. Consuming is only a small part of the whole context. With a Euregional profile, you have the opportunity to look for a job or even live in both countries. Perhaps your competences fit better on one side of the border, while your housing preferences fit better on the other side of the border. Go and find out!
Whether you want to become a remedial educationalist, marketer or physiotherapist, knowing your neighbour is important. In any case, you will have contact with people, customers and clients. This project will help you get to know both worlds through excursions, workshops, seminars and company visits. Whether you are a student or young professional, everyone can participate. The contact between you and those other target groups is exactly what contributes to getting to know the Euregion.
Dr. Vincent Pijnenburg, Fontys Hogeschool
Foto: Wouter Roosenboom