When you’ve made the decision to study in Groningen, you might want to know where you can meet all the other students that are just as you facing Groningen for the first time. Of course you will meet lots of new people during the KEI-week, the ESN introduction week or at any general night out in the city. However another good way to meet new students is to join one of the several student associations in Groningen.
It is quit common for Dutch students to join a student association at the time they start studying at a new university in a new city. Student associations are specifically for students and run by students. The main purpose is simple: to meet other students and have an awesome time during their years of study! Being a large student city, Groningen also has many student associations, each of them with their own character. In fact, the oldest and biggest student association of the Netherlands, Vindicat atque Polit, is housed in Groningen on a top location at the Grote Markt. Most student associations all have their own building located in or around the city centre of Groningen. Each student association organises set evenings each week, where you can meet other members to have a drink, chat or dance. Next to that, many activities, such as music, sports or cabaret evenings, are being organised by the members themselves. A student association is completely run by students, which means students are part of the board and committees, taking care of the bar and/or restaurant and are responsible for the cash-flow of the association. One of the most important reasons to join a student association is easy: to make friends.
When you decide to join a student association, you will get the time to make a group of friends. In some associations it is common that you will form a year club together with students of the same age, while other associations give you the possibility to join existing groups where you can mix with seniors. All associations however have one aspect in common: you will make friends that last for life! Most student associations in Groningen are open for international students, but you need to keep in mind that the language spoken is usually Dutch. However when you come to Groningen to study for a longer time, this can be your chance to practice the language, meet Dutch friends and have an awesome time studying in the Netherlands!
For the international student that would like to socialize with other international students, ESN is a great way to meet up with other new international students in Groningen. ESN organises an introduction at the beginning of each new school year, which is the ideal opportunity to get to know the city and the organisation a bit better!
Students coming to Groningen do not only leave their hometown behind, but sometimes also their religious community. To fill this gap there are religious student associations in Groningen of all sorts. Some merely have a religious background, like the Catholic association Albertus Magnus. Some, like The Navigators Student Association Groningen are open to Christians of all denominations and there is a specific Reformed association (GSV). These associations and others also vary in their religious experience, making it possible to find one which suits you.
More information about the different student associations in Groningen can be found at the right border of the website.