Editors 2009

Mara Simperler

mara-simperlerWhen Mara is not sitting on rooftop terraces in Istanbul while writing stories, she is probably busy studying in Vienna. Her Bachelor´s degree in Journalism and Media Management at FHW Wien will be finished in 2010. After that, she is going to complete her Diploma in International Development at University of Vienna.

Because Vienna is comparatively small, Mara likes to travel to countries with different cultures and bigger cities. When she is on a reporting trip she is always looking to speak to everyday people. This sometimes means discovering the private person in an official source as well as walking up to locals and sharing information with them. In the future, Mara hopes being able to combine her two main aims: traveling and writing about it.

Mzwakhe Ngwenya

mzwakhe-ngwenyaHe is known as the Mz in Holland, simply because people find it difficult to pronounce his name. That’s cool with him. Back in his native country, South Africa, Mzwakhe is a passionate soccer writer. The twenty-something year old journalist does not want to own a publishing company one day, but wants to be an entrepreneur in the construction industry. This is because he does not see himself as an editor of a newspaper. He thinks this will be a huge task for him as he’s not really a people’s person. Not that he does not socialise. Oh! ok, he likes company of like-minded people. The ambitious, go-getters, dreamers, visionaries and passionate revolutionaries who can change this world for the better if not best. That’s Mzwakhe Ngwenya for you.

Sandra Esperschidt

This isandra-esperschidts Sandra. She grew up in the south of Germany, where she spent most of her life in a town near Stuttgart. When she was 19 Sandra moved out and began to study communication science in Munich.Now she is 22 and ready for her final semester in Munich. Sandra started writing as an intern at a newspaper and still works as a freelancer alongside her studies.She is not sure yet if she wants to follow the journalistic track.But participating in the ECEJ programme definitely influenced the direction of her life in the future.

Catherine Zydyk

catherine-zydykCatherine is currently studying for her Bachelor of Journalism degree at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada. Her passion for travel started when she left her hometown of Port Alberni, British Columbia to study across the country in Canada’s capital city. At Carleton, she had the chance to gain experience as a journalist by writing for the school newspaper, The Charlatan.

Catherine wrote stories for the arts, sports and news sections and took pictures for the paper on a regular basis. She had the opportunity to be The Charlatan’s photo editor for a week and was also the top contributor in 2006/07.

Catherine decided to take part in the European Culture and European Journalism program because she hopes to become a foreign correspondent one day. She feels that her experience abroad has improved her journalism skills and helped to prepare her for a career in the international field.

Brittany Hinds

Brittany Hinds is a 20-year old Canadian student with a passion for traveling. She studies journalism and French at Carleton University in Ottawa and plans to go to law school after completing her undergrad in 2011.
brittany-hindsAn athletic individual, Brittany enjoys playing hockey, soccer and cross-country running. She also does kickboxing, so you probably shouldn’t tell her if you don’t like her articles. She prefers plain vanilla soft-serve over any of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream flavors and doesn’t have a favourite band.
Although she grew up in Ottawa, Brittany was born in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. She and her family are proud to have come from the prairies of Canada and visit their extended family there as often as they can.
But while these frequent trips across the country were great, they hardly satisfied her thirst for adventure. She came to study journalism in the Netherlands with high expectations and was not disappointed.
During her time here she was able to travel across Europe – doing everything from skiing in the French Alps to biking along the coast of Denmark. She discovered new places, new cultures and new friends, all while furthering a potential career as a foreign correspondent.

Heather Sutherland

heather1Heather is a journalism student at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada. Growing up Heather was always writing and has loved to write for as long as she can remember. This love brought her to journalism. After taking part in an academic exchange in France when she was 16, Heather couldn’t wait for the opportunity to study abroad again. This time, she has been able to combine her joy of discovering new cultures and writing at the Hogeschool Utrecht in Holland. This program has given her real-life experience in an international setting, which has been both challenging and rewarding. Heather hopes to incorporate travel in her work and see more of the world as she aspires to work in the magazine industry.

Garazi Ibarra

garazi-ibarraGarazi Ibarra is a 21-year-old Basque. She is studying Communication in the University of The Basque Country (EHU/UPV). She has been doing European Culture and European Journalism program in Utrecht (The Netherlands) to improve her English. After her studies she wants to study something more related with Communication.

Kelly Greig

kellyKelly Greig is currently studying journalism at Concordia University in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. She was born in Ormstown, Quebec and decided to pursue journalism at the age of 17 when she wrote a weekly column for the Huntingdon Gleaner.
Since then, she has studied Communications at Vanier College before starting her university level studies in 2007.
She is the recipient of the 2007 Lorne and Ann Tierney Award for Sports Journalism and the 2008 Dr and Mrs Cianflone Award in memory of Ryan Francis.
A passion for travel and history led Kelly to participate in the European Culture and European Journalism program at the Hogeschool Utrecht in Utrecht, Netherlands in February 2009.
Kelly is actively involved in student news at The Concordian and hopes to one day be a foreign correspondant based in Europe or cover her favorite sports team: the Montreal Canadiens.

Valerie Dekker

valerie-dekkerValerie Dekker is a 21-year-old student at the School voor Journalistiek. She is born in Holland but is Internationally orientated. She has lived in Paris, the United States and Belgium and now lives in a dorm in Utrecht. She will be finishing the study journalism in 2010 and plans on working in television. It is her dream to create new programs for channels as well at is her dream to direct children in theater. She has a wide vision and many plans for life. Her themes in life are ‘Dream big’ and ‘It takes that much more’.

Denise Law

deniselawDenise Law, 21, studies journalism at Ryerson University in Toronto, Canada. Currently an exchange student at Hogeschool Utrecht, Law makes her second home in a small attic with the steepest stairs she has ever climbed (she’s used to it by now).

Now that Law has discovered the wonders of this beautiful country, she really doesn’t look forward to going back to Toronto. What will she miss the most? Probably long walks along the canals (not beaches), the fresh-made stroopwaffles at the Saturday market and yes, her bike. No, Law doesn’t plan on bringing it back with her to Toronto. But she will most likely host a good-bye ceremony in celebration of the bike and train culture that makes Holland one of the greatest places to live.

And don’t be surprised if you catch a glimpse of her digging through piles of agendas at stationery stores. She absolutely loves the Dutch for their organization skills and punctuality.

Though Law doesn’t like thinking too much about the future (that’s a lie, she thinks about it all of the time), she hopes to work for a few years as a foreign business reporter. And yes, business reporting can be a dashing vocation. Well, at least in her eyes it is.

Valerie Sara Cardinal


Valerie Sara Cardinal is a second year journalism student at Concordia University in Montreal. Her first love is travelling; she was bitten by the travelling bug early, when she moved to Oman at the age of five. She has also lived in the United States and Switzerland. She loves writing not only journalistic articles but also songs, poems and other creative writing pieces. In addition to writing, she enjoys playing guitar, singing and acting. Valerie one day hopes to write about culture and music all over the world. Her dream is to write for Rolling Stone Magazine. In the meantime, she keeps busy by doing yoga and reading lots of books.

Aitziber Iturria Garmendia

Aitziber Iturria Garmendia from the Basque Country (North of Spain). She is studying journalism in Bilbao but Aitziber is always out from the city because the 23-year-old loves to travel. Her aim for the future is create Basque newspaper for young people.

Manmeet Singh

100_9665From a young age the kitchen has always been the place where he feels happy. Manmeet recently developed a new passion which is not only bound in cooking but chatting on wine to discuss more about various cuisines & combinations. Believe him; it takes guts to accept different cuisines with which sometimes you’re not agreed. It takes more than just passion for food in being a foodie.

He’s attracted to “Lifestyle Journalism” because he wants to explore style, food, travel and culture. It’s not all about just writing but to keep himself updated with new trends and background as well

Manmeet is from India and this program gave him the new edge to explore and practicing the things in reality and independently. Europe is so vast and still needed to be explored and it’s his passion to discover it in future too.