Category: ISR

Humans of ISR – Hardik Gala

– Hardik Gala, Corporate events officer, Indian - 

“I’m from India and I’ve lived there my whole life before coming here. RSM was one of the top ranked universities and that is one of the main reasons I came. My course also has over 60 nationalities and that was the international exposure that I looked for. This really speaks to me as I like having different perspectives and by interacting with people from different cultures you get a new understanding of things. The university played a big role when it comes to international exposure, but when it comes to quality relations, ISR helped a lot. I got to know people at a more personal level, and have stronger bonds with them. They are the people I can now trust and share memories with. I think that if you want to find people that you can confide in and have crazy times with, ISR is a really good place for that, and people should definitely join it.

In addition to the big family feel in ISR, I joined because I wanted to do something that included a corporate aspect. I also didn’t want to just focus on Erasmus University, I wanted to expand my horizons and luckily, ISR focuses on other universities as well. When it comes to working I get to learn a lot as being in corporate events I get to deal with companies, and have the opportunity to organize a career event and conduct multiple workshops.

After you graduate you would probably work or have your own business. Either way you’re going to have to deal with people. Social exposure therefore is important along with academics. We have social events almost every alternate week to cover that aspect. However, you can’t just party all the time, you need skills which you can learn from workshops. For example we recently conducted a networking workshop and the participants who attended learnt how to be effective at networking or career events, as well as make better impressions and gain a head start compared to others. Currently were organising ISR career days on the 18th and 19th of April as well as a couple of workshops so look out for that!

With both of these aspects covered, ISR can set you up both socially and career-wise. That’s why I joined ISR and that’s why you should too!”

Day Trip to Brussels

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After the exam period, I felt like I needed a change of scenery, a break before starting the next block of classes, and that’s how I found myself in Brussels a couple weeks ago! The Belgian capital is just a hop away from Rotterdam, making it a perfect destination for a day trip. I paid €25, hoped on a train, and in slightly more than one hour I reached my destination .

If you happen to be planning a day trip to Brussels, here are some tips on how to spend your day!

Places to visit in Brussels

The Belgian capital is a fairly compact city, you can get to see the main touristic sites fairly quickly and should have enough time to stuff yourself with waffles, chocolate, and beer! Brussels has a fantastic metro system, but if you are just visiting for a day, you definitely won’t need it as the city is very easy to see on foot

The Grande Place

First, head to the Grande Place, it’s the centre of Brussels and a place to start your day off. The square is home to the City Hall and gothic-styled King’s house (as well as many chocolate shops, yum!). By day or by night, the buildings covered in gold gilt are absolutely beautiful and you can see why tourists flock to explore and take pictures. Grab a beer and just enjoy the scenery.

Manneken Pis

Often voted as one of the most disappointing tourist attractions in the world, The Manneken Pis  is a 61cm high statue of…a little boy pissing. “Is that it?” is a sentence you’ll often hear from the multitude of tourist around there. Still, the many waffle shops in the neighboring streets make it worth it to go see the iconic statue.

Cathedral of St. Michael

The beautiful gothic Cathedral is the national church of Belgium and it is here that royal weddings and funerals take place. Though dating from the 12th century, the church was only granted cathedral status in 1962.You can visit inside for free.

Royal Palace of Brussels

Even though it is named “palace”, this gorgeous building is not actually used as a royal residence. In fact, the royal family of Belgian lives in the Royal Palace of Laeken on the outskirts of Brussels. Still, it’s worth going inside before heading to the beautiful Brussels Park for a stroll next door.

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Galeries Royales Saint-Hubert

This is a shopping arcade in the centre of Brussels, not too far from the Grande Place. Split into two major sections, each more than 100m in length, it is the home to a multitude of small shops selling everything – chocolate, designer clothing, jewellery, and many more. If not for shopping, just go there for the scenery, it’s gorgeous!

Food and Drinks

After a whole day of walking, you deserve to enjoy the local food and drinks without restriction (or almost?). Forget the calories and indulge yourself for a day!

Waffles: One cannot come to Brussels without at least one waffle. You can choose to add a multitude of ingredients like fruits, Nutella, caramel and so on, or simply eat it nature.

Mussel & Fries: a classic Belgian dish that you will find everywhere around the city. Don’t miss it, but try to avoid eating in touristic streets as the price can be excessively high!

Chocolate: Belgium is known for it’s Chocolatiers and you just cannot leave Brussels without sampling some of its chocolate and buying some to bring back home! Pierre Marcolini & Godiva are the best in terms of quality in my opinion.

Beers: Belgium is a paradise for beer lovers, and you simply cannot leave Brussels without sampling a few (many?) decent beers. For that, head to the Delirium near the Grande Place – it offers more than 3000 sorts of beers and you’re sure to find one to your tastes!



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Humans of ISR – Tudor Stefan Cristea

“We are all different and we should celebrate that.”

– Tudor Stefan Cristea, 22, Romanian, Vice-President of ISR –

“During my first two years in the Netherlands, I was still adapting, getting to know the place and the people. It is only since last year (my third year here) that I really felt at home. Now, I feel better here than in Romania, my home country – I have more friends and memories here, and  Rotterdam is a city I personally chose. I have to admit I didn’t have many struggles as an international student in the Netherlands, it is a very internationally-friendly country and even though there was a culture clash, it didn’t bother me that much.

The culture clash taught me a lot. I come from a homogeneous country. Here, in the Netherlands, it is very international and I meet a lot of people with different values, who have different perspectives on the same subject. You can see this in every aspect of life – different ways of speaking, thinking, and so on. I think that it is also the purpose of ISR – appeal to that common aspect, no matter the language or the place where they come from. We are all different and we should celebrate that.

An advice I have for international students is to get out and explore the city. At the beginning when you arrive and until you go out more, you feel like the city is huge and you might have the feeling that you are isolated. As you get to know the city, it gets familiar and it feels better. Of course you should do that with friends, and don’t hesitate to ask for help if needed!”

Humans of ISR – Tunmise ‘Tim’ Odediron

“There’s no way you are going to perform well in your studies, if your personal life isn’t in order.”

– Tunmise Odediron, 31, Half Nigerian, Half Malaysian, President of ISR

I was born in Nigeria but I’ve grown up in India, Rwanda, China, the US, the Netherlands, and I also did an internship in Belgium for 3 months. I have to admit I didn’t have many of the struggles that I saw my peers having when it came to being an international student as I went to boarding school when I was 10 to 12 years old, so I learnt how to be independent at a very young age. I didn’t have to deal with all these issue of missing home and adapting to new places, and I was also able to figure out practical stuff in my life much easier.

However, some of my friends that I started university with back in 2008, are still studying right now and I really believe that’s because they had a bad start in their studies. There’s no way you are going to perform well in your studies, if your personal life isn’t in order. For example, one of my friends lived in Rijswijk, but studied in TU Delft and in the first months, he would do all his groceries in Delft because he didn’t know where to go in Rijswijk. Things like this and information that a lot of Dutch students take for granted, is something ISR really tries to help internationals with, which is one of the reasons why I joined. I see ISR as a way to help international students but also as a way to meet new people and be part of a family.

A lot of times, internationals think the problem with integration is because of Dutch people, but I think the problem comes from both sides. Internationals have to make their own steps to meet Dutch people half way. One big advice I give to every international, is to take Dutch courses because learning the language really helps with meeting people and becoming part of the society. I actually joined a student association in 2012 and we had some Dutch board members, and only after that point, I really felt like there was a curtain lifted on my student life. All of a sudden, I was finding out about more parties and more events to go to and I was meeting a lot more Dutch people. I think me joining that association was a turning point and I’m still good friends with those guys even still today! I think internationals should realize the importance of joining an association like ISR or the one I joined.

Dutch food you should try!

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I’ve always loved travelling; it’s an escape from my everyday life, and there is sightseeing, meeting new people and pub-crawls. But the best part of it all is definitively the food! Discovering flavours and dishes you’ve never tried before is always exciting, and it tells you so much about a country’s culture. I have been in the Netherlands for almost one month now, and spent most of my free-time hunting down local food. Here’s what I’ve tried so far and my impressions of Dutch food:

Goudse Kaas

Cheese is a big business in the Netherlands, and the most ubiquitous of all the Dutch cheeses is Gouda. You can find it everywhere – from the farmers’ markets, to local grocery stores – and its flavour and texture can vary greatly depending on the aging process. So far, the Old Amsterdam brand is my favourite – as tasty as Swiss cheese (yes, I am from Switzerland)!


This is one of my favourites. Two thin waffles stuck together with a generous layer of hot caramel, they are just so good. You’ll find these sweet treats almost everywhere, but the huge ones street market vendors sell are to die for.

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Nieuwe Haring

I have to admit, I really wasn’t looking forward to trying raw herring, and my Dutch friends had a hard time convincing me to give it a try. It was during my trip to Amsterdam that I finally braced myself and ordered some “broodje haring”, which is basically raw herring served in a small sandwich with pickles and onions. To be honest, I didn’t manage to take more than a couple bites, but well…it was worth giving it a try.


These are little fluffy cloudy pancakes served in restaurants, pancake houses, and street markets all over the Netherlands. They are traditionally served with unsalted butter and powdered sugar, but you’ll also find many other toppings. Simply delicious.


Dutch people seem to love drop – the Dutch version of liquorice. In fact the country boasts the highest per-capita consumption of the sweet in the whole world. When I first tried drops, I was surprise as they are much saltier than normal liquorice. Not a favourite of mine, but I’ve never been good with liquorice to begin with.

That was the five Dutch foods I got to try since I arrived in Rotterdam. I hope you’ll enjoy them as much as I did! What should I eat next? Leave me some suggestions in the comments!



Heya, it’s An and I’ll be one of the new bloggers for the next year! I hope you enjoyed this blog and will stick around for more to come. Cheers!


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5 Reasons To Join ISR

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Checking my usually neglected mailbox, on top of a bunch of spam mail, sat a flyer stating that ISR was recruiting new members! Within two seconds of reading the flyer, I was urged into applying and knew without a doubt that I wanted to be part of the ISR community.

5 months later, my journey with ISR is about to begin, so here I am to hopefully spark an urge in you that might make you want to join ISR as a manager in a committee, a family member or simply come to one of our events!

Here are 5 reasons to join ISR:

#1 | The great family vibe

As soon as I entered the room in which an ISR get together was taking place, I felt like I belonged! The old members were so welcoming of the new members, I already felt like I was a part of the family even though it was my first time meeting everyone. If you ever feel a family shaped hole missing from your heart, ISR will definitely be the one to fill it!

#2| Social drinks + ISR events

Apart from meeting new friendly faces at social drinks with the help of beers or wine to sooth your nerves after a long day; ISR also has academic events such as I-BET where employers and international students get to network, as well as leisure activities including beer pong tournaments and more! With ISR you get the best of both worlds: work and play.

#3| Meeting people from all over Rotterdam

Unlike other student organizations, ISR enables you to meet people from various places in Rotterdam instead of just people from your university. This is so great as the possibility of meeting unique likeminded international and non-international students is endless.

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#4| Free student guide, membership deals & goodies

ISR strives to welcome and accommodate all international students in a multitude of ways! With our student guide, you will never feel lost or foreign in Rotterdam as we prepare you for all that you could encounter. With an ISR membership there are student deals and discounts with Housing Anywhere, the Study Store and more. ISR also provides you with internship and job opportunities. If that doesn’t sound great, I don’t know what does!

#5| The ISR committee experience

Lastly, for those looking for extracurricular activities or would like to be a part of the daily running’s of an international student association; why not join an ISR committee!? Apart from an amazing experience including all four of the previously mentioned points, ISR also allows you to practice your skills and interests and experience a professional working experience all whilst having fun and gaining lifelong friends and colleagues! The ISR website has all the information you need if that interests you 😉

Here were 5 out of many reasons to join ISR! Are you a member of ISR? What were the 5 key reasons you joined? Let us know down below!


Hey, it’s Anaelle and I’ll be one of the new bloggers for the next year! Hope you enjoyed this post and you stick around for more to come! 🙂


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42 Things I Wish I Knew in My First Year at University

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University is just as stressful as trying to bike in the Netherlands in the rain while looking out for bikes, trams, metro, trains, people, and just about everything else (living and dead). Am I the only one who stresses about that?

Looking back, there are always things you wish someone else would have told you.Today, I would like to bring your attention to a few (who’s counting?) things my friends and I wish we knew when we were freshman in Rotterdam.

1. Everyone will be your best friend during freshman week.

2. Bring medication.
You will need it for the first few months.

3. It takes time to adjust.
Moving to a new country on a “clean slate” with no friends paints a dark picture. Just know that things get better with time (and a few drinks).

4. It is easy to fall behind in the first few months.
With all the dancing, drinking, and hungover mornings, it’s quite easy to lapse and be slapped in the face with midterms around the corner.

5. Hydrate.
Water tends to be forgotten amongst all those beer, wine, and vodka bottles.

6. Friends will come and go.
It is totally normally to jump between different friend circles until you find the right one. No hard feelings.

7. Go to the first lecture for each subject.
This will give you a clearer picture of the upcoming 3-4 months and help you decide whether it is worth it to come to class or not.

8. Even if classes are not mandatory, push yourself to attend as many (of the useful ones, at least) as you can.
You would be so surprised how easy it is to skip out on lectures according to your “priorities”.

9. For further emphasis, PRIORITIZE.

10. Do not buy books (before the first class).
Trust me, you will regret buying them in the first place and wish you used that money on something else. I can bet you on that! Also, summaries exist (e.g. SlimStuderen and Reken Maar Verslagen).

11. Call your parents.
Definition of parent: one that begets or brings forth offspring. You’re welcome.

12. It is okay to drift away from your high school friends.
You might as well filter out the ones who gave up on your friendship just because of distance apart, let’s be practical.

13. No, you don’t HAVE to go to every party.
There will always be more nights to go out but not enough nights to chill, study, and have “me time”.

14. Ask questions.
Whether it’s in a class of 500 students or a meeting with a professor, ask questions. More than 60% (yes, I just made up that percentage) of the time, there will be others who were also wondering about that concept.

15. Befriend at least 1 person who actually reads the course manual.
In other words, befriend a German. You’ll thank me later.

16. Get involved, but don’t overdo it.
You and I both know it is good for your CV. Also, it’s better to be fully invested in something than stretching yourself out over several activities or organizations, only to give 20% to each.

17. Experiment with your study habits.
Try a study group, study buddy, different location, using music, using incentives, and making notes. Who knows, you may have a new winning study habit.

18. Keep notifications on at all times (except summer, of course) for your class Facebook group.
I know it’s annoying to get a lot of notifications. However, you might miss out on a question someone has asked or important announcements.

19. Do not leave your references for last minute.
Most times your university has a reference guide they require you to follow. Unfortunately, the online generators just don’t cut it. [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]

20. Do not underestimate that word count.
I guarantee you will spend more time trying to cut down words than the time you will spend waiting in line at any freshman party.

21. Randomly assigned group projects may be the cause of a few grey hairs.

22. Your first year DOES count.
Make sure you know the passing guidelines as well as you know your own name.

23. Avoid becoming heavily dependent on campus and takeout meals.
Yes, exam time is stressful and you may not “have time”. Eating out is not only bad for your health most times, but your wallet is also crying.

24. Go to the market.
You would be surprised how much you can get for €1.

25. Invest in a personal ov-chipkaart.
This helps you save money by subscribing to NS travelling plans. Google has all the answers.

26. Make sure everyone walks with their ID when buying alcohol.

27. Make time to waste time.
You’re going to procrastinate anyways, so why not include it in your schedule to be on top of things?

28. Invest in a Netflix plan with your friends.
Some days just call for binge-watching. Actually, I take that back, because we don’t need occasions to binge-watch anything.

29. Take advantage of supermarket specials and student deals.
It is these little joys in life that make student life bearable.

30. Walk.
Trust me when I say that you learn a lot more about a city on foot than you will when you bike, metro, or tram.

31. Sleeping > Partying after you pull an all-nighter.
Depends how you argue it, though.

32. Group pressure is a thing.
You better toughen up.

33. Always drink or go out with a friend, never alone.
Two is always better than one. Two mojitos.

34. There is always someone smarter and dumber than you in the room.
I’m a realist, what can I say?

35. Figure out how to use a basic washing machine.
Don’t let those clothes pile up, because do you know how hard it is to function in the Netherlands without socks?

36. It is okay to wear sweatpants to class.
But it depends, really.

37. Bring a bottle of alcohol (OR TWO) to your last exam.
It’s 5 o’ clock somewhere, right?

38. It is possible to get absolutely trashed by only drinking wine.
I promise I have two friends who can vouch for this.

39. It is perfectly acceptable to reach a new low of living off of €1 instant noodles.
I recommend Indo Mie.

40. Get to know people first before asking them to be your next housemate.
Even if you can’t possibly find out everything about the person, do not rush this. See how they react in different scenarios and think whether you can really stand to be around them for longer than 12 hours!

41. You have the power to study for finals, watch a YouTube video, cry, and eat at the same time.
Do not undersell yourself, come on.

42. Most of all, you are all in the same boat.
You are not the only one panicking and winging life.



Yashita here! This will be my last post for ISR and I hope you will be able to relate to some of these experiences. Thank you for stopping by this blog over the past year and good luck first years!

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Tis the Season to Study: Tips to Power Through Finals

[vc_row][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]Ah, it’s that time of the year again. You can taste the sweet sensation of summer vacation, but still have a few weeks of suffering through exams and deadlines before you’re free. We at ISR are also all students, so we understand the struggle, and have decided to collect a few study tips and share them with you to make this period more bearable!

Tip #1: Visit the New Library

Polak was a temporary study building to be used while the original Erasmus University Library was under construction. All of the work has now been completed, and the new library is better than ever. Goodbye, study space shortage! One half of the library is dedicated to silent studying, and the other half non-silent. Please be aware of where you’re sitting and respectful to other students.

Tip #2: Teach Others About the Subject

If you can teach someone a concept, it is a clear sign that you yourself have a thorough understanding of the subject. This demonstrates a complete grasp of the underlying concepts and the reasons why things are the way they are.

Tip #3: Use Food as an Incentive

Imagine this: it’s the day before your exam, you’ve got another half textbook to get through, and you’re as good as falling out of your seat from exhaustion. Try motivating yourself with a rewarding snack (like a gummy bear, a chip, etc.) at the end of a chapter, or after every ten pages or so. You’ll have something to look forward to, and the snacking will keep you awake. Win-win situation!

Tip #4: Chew Gum While Studying

Studies have shown that chewing gum while studying or taking an exam improve focus and results because the chewing movement keeps your brain active. It has also been shown that, if you study while chewing gum of a particular flavor, and if you chew that same flavor during the exam of that subject, then you will likely perform better. For example, you study math with peppermint-flavored gum, and take the mathematics exam while chewing peppermint-flavored gum. Give it a try!

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Tip #5: Watch Videos for More Explanation

Sometimes, a lecture is just too early, and you decide to skip. It happens. The best way to catch up with any complex calculation processes or concepts is to watch videos explaining them. There are abundant websites offering educational videos, such as Youtube and KhanAcademy, that are nearly as good as a lecture. So if you find yourself not really understanding how to get from one step to another, look up a video!

Tip #5: Music Keeps You Going

Some people prefer music while studying, others prefer silence. Others prefer background noise, like the noise from an airplane cabin or rain falling (my personal favorite). Some even study best when they’re listening to the Top 40 pop music playlist. Although studies have shown that listening to classical music helps the brain absorb information better, it is entirely up to you. Eventually, you may get sick of your playlist, and might be looking for another source of study music. Here are some of the best playlists we’ve heard about (all YouTube, so accessible to everyone) :


Instrumental Deep House/Chill Step

White/Background Noise

We sincerely hope these tips will help you improve your studying techniques and maybe result in some higher grades. ISR wishes you the best of luck in the rest of your studies this year, and if you’re almost done, a wonderful summer vacation!


I-BET 2017

Dear students,

On the 17th to 18th of May, ISR hosted its third edition of ISR Boosts Exceptional Talent (I-BET)! Our team have worked exceptionally hard to put together this wonderful event together for participants! Numerous companies attended IBET and interacted with participants with workshops, information sessions, case competitions, company stands and networking  opportunities! Special thanks goes to all participants, companies taking part as well as our Academic Events team!

Here’s a message from Academic Events:

“The third edition of I-BET turned out to be a success. We managed to connect more than 60 students with the international companies, help them develop their skills and enable them to find their career opportunity. We would like to thank all the participants, volunteers and companies who contributed to the happening of this event. See you next year!”

On Wednesday, Fortune 500 company Eastman participated in the company stands, ready to recruit interested and exceptional talent. This day also boasted Housing Anywhere, Flexpat, Student for Students, World Startup Factory and Alpha Solutions who gave informative and helpful presentations to many eager participants. This was followed by a networking drinks that allowed them to communicate with representatives of these companies that will help them gain that notch to their applications.

The next day saw Eastman, World Startup Factory and BimBimBikes in the stands the C-building hallways! We saw a lot of wonderful connections there being made! In the afternoon, the Dutch Immigration and Naturalization service came to give helpful and highly important guides and information for any international talents looking to start a career in the Netherlands. Tech giant Dell also came to give an interesting workshop that would prove valuable for any participant looking to delve into the technology industry. VenturesOne and BimBimBikes held presentations that would build one’s entrepreneurial spirit. This was followed with another networking drinks with the day’s participating companies and students at Venture Cafe, creating a memorable end to a value-creating and wonderfully fun event!

So there it is everyone! We thank you all for attending! Thank you to Eastman, Housing Anywhere, Flexpat, Students for Students, World Startup Factory, Alpha Solutions, BimBimBikes, IND, Dell and VenturesOne for your participation! A shoutout goes to the Academics Event team and all members of ISR for your tireless work to create this event!

If you wanna reminisce the awesomeness of IBET, head on to our gallery and see if you’re featured there! Cheers to the next one and we hope to see you all again in our social drinks!


ISR – your international family


[vc_row][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]I-BET (ISR Boosts Exceptional Talent) is an academic event aiming to connect employers to international students of Rotterdam. International students often face hardships when looking for a job in a foreign country: needing to apply for a Visa, unable to speak the language, and needing to adjust to the new culture.

ISR aims to eliminate these hardships and show certain companies in The Netherlands that international students are valuable and innovative and can be an important addition to a company. The goal is to help you, an international student, find an internship at large and successful companies, and begin the progression of your international career. This will give you the opportunity to think about continuing life in The Netherlands and transition into life after your studies.

I-BET 2017 is partnered with the following companies: Eastman, BimBimBikes, VenturesOne, Housing Anywhere, World Startup Factory, Alpha Solutions, Dell, and IND (Immigration and Naturalization Service) providing lectures and workshops at various locations at Erasmus University Rotterdam. Students participating in I-BET will have the chance to speak with representatives from these companies during I-BET events and during social networking drinks afterward.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]Speaking with internationals who have been able to find a job in The Netherlands can help you learn a lot about how you can best tackle career building in a foreign country. To see the full schedule, visit:

ISR’s Academic Events Committee has been very busy these last few months to put this event together. “Our goal is to connect international students with companies that look for motivated and driven internationals, whom we believe can contribute to the unique development of a company.” – ISR’s Academic Events Committee, organizers of I-BET. Does organizing an event like this interest you? You can apply for an Academic Events Committee position at

Last year, I-BET partnered over 80 international students with internships, and this year ISR is aiming for even more. This is a unique opportunity to jumpstart your career in The Netherlands and present yourself as a driven and talented international student. Don’t miss your chance!

To get your tickets, visit:[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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