The ultimate chance to get to know people who are in the same situation abroad. That very well may be the best way to describe the ESN Introduction Week. Aside from all the brilliant parties, the diverse program to get acquainted with Groningen and all the Dutch people you will definitely get in contact with. It might sound a bit like a cliché, but what to do when you’re new in Groningen and how to make the most of your time here in the city of the north? Well, these questions will be answered during this amazing week. Oh, and we almost forgot: we wouldn’t be GroningenLife! if we didn’t report about as many things as possible that all of you experienced during these couple of days. So the upcoming days you can read all about the ESN Introweek!
It was Friday evening – an evening that was all about getting to know each other. We were having a typical Dutch meal at the home of the group leaders Donnie and Menno: ‘hutspot’, in English probably best described as hotschpotch, a mix of mashed potatoes, carrots and onions. A meal that was surprisingly well received by the diverse group.
In no time the conversation winded up being all about the Dutch policy about drugs. Striking: in the Netherlands you can get your drugs tested, just to make sure the stuff’s okay. Especially Americans fall from their chairs during such stories. But when we explain that the policy actually works, quite the same happens. It’s all just not so interesting when it’s not strictly forbidden.
The diversity in cultures and (life)stories is huge. This is particularly evident when our Egyptian groupmember told us that he witnessed the political deterioration in his country which actually turned into a kind of civil war, a situation of complete chaos. It is part of the reason he chose to study abroad. Reality is striking in such a moment and the openness of every single groupmember’s lifestories immediately creates a bond. Yeah, life in the Netherlands is not that bad and we’re simply lucky.
But after an evening of good conversations, there’s always the need to celebrate. And hell yeah, the pubcrawl was the perfect outlet for that. Here in the Netherlands there’s a saying we’d like to introduce: “gelukkig hebben we de foto’s nog”.
By Benjamin de Bruijn & Rients Verschoor