MECHELEN, CITY OF CULTURES – Manouk studies furniture design: ‘Mechelen feels like a big village, everyone knows each other’

Manouk Vorselaars is a Dutch furniture design student who’s studying for her fourth year in Mechelen. Since she speaks the same language as her fellow Belgian students, she often forgets she’s an international student. Despite her struggles with some typical Belgian words such as vuistje (fistbump), Mechelen feels like her second home.

Manouk wasn’t the only Dutch student in her bachelor interior design, which she’s graduated in. She estimated that about half of the students were Dutch. This is due to the fact that there is no similar education in the Netherlands. Now she’s following a bachelor after bachelor in making furniture, which she was selected for as the only Dutch student this year. She figured out during her interior design internship that she enjoys working with her hands instead of sitting behind her laptop all day.

An old chair redesigned as groupwork by Manouk and her teammates © Lotte van den Hout

She talks with us about how she ended up in Mechelen, the (dis)advantages and how the city became her second home. Here you can watch the story of Manouk:

Reportage camera and sound: Thais Caffiaux, Kethy He and Lotte van den Hout
Text: Lotte van den Hout
Photo: © Lotte van den Hout