Oct 12th, 2017, 10:40 AM

Siblings of AUP

By Anabel Bachour
Image Credit: Unsplash/Jenn Evelyn-Ann
"AUP Family" takes a whole new familiar meaning.

Hans, Tatiana, and Rozan are students who joined AUP to get a chance to stay around their siblings Thor, Nina, and Jomana in order to live the Parisian experience with them. I got the chance to sit with them and talk about how this experience has been going so far, what it feels to be living around family rather than alone, and if they are they enjoying the presence of their little siblings or if it feels like a job to them.

1. Thor & Hans Hartwick

Image Credit: Thor Hartwick

You must be familiar with AUP's sweethearts and very fit brothers, Thor and Hans. Thor is 21 years old (pictured left) and Hans is 18 years old (pictured right) who joined AUP this term mainly to be around his brother. According to Thor, "The only reason Hans applied to AUP is one hundred percent because I was here." It is fair to say that anyone who joins AUP knows that you have to spend your first year with Comforts of Home, yet in Thor & Hans's case this was a bit of a problem. Thor is a sophomore which means he is free of COH; however, Hans is stuck with them. Yet, this did not get in the boys's way to stay together. "I took Comforts of Home for another year so I could live with him. Since he is a freshman, they wouldn't let him be exempt and we wanted to live together. Plus, our mom lives in Beijing now and she said that if we wanted to live in Paris, we would have to stay together." said Thor. 

"A lot of people call him mini-Thor, or Thor 2.0" - Thor

According to Hans, it was not that hard for him to make friends when he got to AUP, "When I got here I was like, 'Hi my name is Hans,' and everyone was like yeah, Thor is your brother right?  I would answer with 'yeah, that's my big brother over there.' It's kinda cool to be known as Thor's little brother. It's like I'm a legacy. However, whenever we go out and order something he has to order the same. He always copies me." Even though the argument about who copies who took forever to end, their beautiful bromance is indeed special. It's too bad Hans and Thor won't stay at AUP together. Hans told me he wants to study medicine but it's not a field offered by AUP; therefore he won't be staying here for four years, whereas Thor is planning on graduating in three years.

2. Nina & Tatiana Rines

Image Credit: Nina-Michelle Rines

Nina Rines is a 21 year old student who has been at AUP for four years now (pictured right) and Tatiana is her 19 year old sister (pictured left) who came to AUP last year. "I applied to AUP because Nina told me about her experiences in Paris and encouraged me to explore myself outside of the US. I actually wasn't planning on attending when I got in, but ended up coming here because of other circumstances. Nina was a very strong influence in my consideration and application to AUP," Tatiana said. Even though, they were both eligible to stay out of AUP housing and live together, they were not able to find an apartment for a reasonable price with two bedrooms. Tatiana said, "We really wanted to live together, but unfortunately it ended up being cheaper to live separately."

"Our mutual friends are always surprised that we're sisters" -Tatiana 

Although the girls live in the same country and go to the same school, they still find it hard to spend time with each other considering their different schedules. "Last year I used to hang out at Nina's apartment a lot, so we would eat together and usually Skype our family together. But this year we live pretty far apart from each other and our schedules are very different at school, so I see Nina maybe once or twice a week, either at AUP or a friend hangout. Like, sometimes people ask how Nina's doing and I respond 'I don't know, I haven't seen her in a few days.' We keep planning 'sister reunions' but we haven't really followed through yet because its hard to find a time when we're both available," Despite Nina's and Tatiana's different looks, Tatiana was still acknowledged as Nina's little sister, "I actually hated being introduced as Nina's younger sister when I first came here because I really wanted to try and be my own person and make a name for myself, but now I don't mind because in a way it gives me access to Nina's life and her friends because they are more welcoming and eager to include me since there is a familiarity. I found it easier to meet people and connect with them when I started being introduced as Nina's sister." Nina will be graduating this May, whereas Tatiana still has until May 2020 to graduate. However, she is not sure she will be staying in Paris as she feels that Paris is more of a city for Nina and not herself. 

3. Jomana & Rozan Saber

Image Credit: Jomana Saber 

These Egyptian sisters are reunited this term at AUP. You may have mistaken them for twins, where in fact there's a three years age difference between them. Rozan came to AUP to join her sister and get a chance to experience Paris like she did. She said she wanted to be around her sister, plus, Paris was the only place she was familiar with. However, Jomana was not super excited about the idea of her baby sister always being around her. "Although I was very excited about the idea that I won't be living alone anymore, I was really worried too. It felt as if I was a 20-year-old who has a newborn baby, like I need to take care of her all the time. I honestly didn't want her to come, mainly because of the cultural differences, we have different personalities and I know it will be hard for her to make it on her own here. Of course, I am happy she's staying with me and that we are together, but I think it would be better for her to go back to Egypt. I know I've experienced bad stuff here and I don't want her to go through it like me."

"I feel like we're attached to each other with a chain, and that means I worry about her all the time" - Jomana

If you know Jomana, then you've definitely had an awkward conversation with her sister thinking it was her. I know I did. "People would come up to me and talk to me as if I was Jomana. On the one hand I find it annoying when people mistook me for her because I don't see it at all, I don't think we look alike. On the other hand, I love it when professors know we are sisters, it's really great because I get treated better since they already know my sister," Rozan said. Even though Jomana was not as upset as Rozan when it comes to getting confused for her sister, she nonetheless was not a fan of the idea. She says, "It doesn't bother me when people confuse us, but I got bored of hearing the phrase 'Oh my god, I just saw your sister and she looks exactly like you' over and over again." So far, neither Jomana or Rozan know what the future holds for them. Jomana will be graduating this May and doesn't know if she will be staying in Paris to stay with her sister or not.