Chances are that you’ve either just moved to Groningen and are exploring the city, or that you’re planning on studying here. We at GroningenLife! would love to help you during this adventure. As an exchange student in the Netherlands you’ve probably already encountered several situations in which you have felt lost in translation. On top of that there is a whole other jargon that is merely used by students. To help you out, we’ve selected a number of Dutch student words that we think are fun to know and may help you during your time in Groningen. Make sure to shortcut this article on your phone, so whenever you feel completely rough-and-tumble you can look it up in a sec!
Ad Fundum: Ad Fundum is Latin for ‘to the bottom’. Among students this is better known as ‘to the bottom of the glass’. Whenever you hear ‘Ad fundum’ you’re expected to pour down your alcoholic drink at once.
Adten: The verb for ‘Ad Fundum’. Generally used as an imperative.
Afleggen: In times of exams and stress it happens way too often that the University Library is crowded and that you won’t be able to find a spot. Very annoying. A frequent solution among students is to keep a spot occupied by leaving your books on the desk, without actually taking place already. This tactic is not always very much appreciated by other students, but it definitely works.
Blokken: Studying as if it is a matter of life or death.
Borrelen: Enjoying a drink (or two, or three… or ten) in a relaxed environment. Slow drinks are deadly: beware.
BSA: Bindend Studie Advies or, in English Binding Study Advice. For most students the first year of college is dominated by parties and drinking. To make sure that students put a little effort in their study, the BSA was called to life. You’re supposed to earn a certain amount of points (generally 45 ECTS) to be allowed into the second year of college. This is every student’s worst nightmare.
Bul: The Diploma you get when you’ve successfully finished your bachelor or master.
Cantus: A get together where a (large) group of students, seated at long tables, test their singing skills in combination with their alcohol tolerance. Rules apply and a fitting punishment will be imposed on those who break them.
Commissie: Within a students’ guild business is organised by students, for students. There are several ‘commissies’ which all have their own responsibilities within the union.
Corps: Short for ‘studentencorps’. Generally this word is used for the most traditional and oldest students’ association in town. Mostly, a corps holds a strong hierachy among their members, depending on seniority.
Dispuut: This is a vertical institute within a students’ union, meaning that the members of this institute are from different years of the student association, in contrast to ‘jaarclubs’ where the members are all from the same year. Disputen distinguish themselves from other groups through their outspoken identity. Joining a Dispuut often goes along with a hazing and inauguration.
De Drie: Literally translated as ‘the Three’. This is short for ‘De Drie Gezusters’, which is one of the biggest and most familiar nightspots in Groningen. It’s also home to the most beer taps in Europe.
De Negende: Literally translated as ‘The Ninth’ (yes, we do like numbers here in Groningen). This is short for ‘De Negende Cirkel’. This pub in the centre of Groningen is known for their infamous Sundaynights, when they keep partying until the sun comes up.
Drankspel: Drinking games. Fun activities where lots of shots are poured down in a matter of minutes, in case you’re losing. There are many different sorts of drinking games. Playing when you’re expected to get up early the next morning is not recommended.
ECTS: The points you earn when you pass your course. It is short for European Credit Transfer System. Receiving ECTS after weeks of hard work and exams often goes along with a certain feeling of euphoria and a strong urge to go out and celebrate!
Faculteit: Or in English, Faculty. The RUG and the Hanze offer an enormous amount of bachelor studies. To keep things clear all these courses are being subdivided over several departments, which are called faculties. The RUG offers 45 bachelor courses and the Hanze offers even more than 70 bachelor courses! There will definitely be something you’ll enjoy.
Feut: Designation for an aspirant member of a student association or dispuut (see above). Generally ‘feuten’ are being hazed.
GK: This is short for ‘gemeenschappelijk kamer’ or in English the ‘common room’. Here you can find communal stuf, such as the television, possibly a Nintendo and definitely enough beer to get through the night together with your roommates.
Hertje: Among students, the most beautiful and intelligent women can be found. These women are (generally by men) indicated as ‘hertjes’ (which literally translates to ‘deer’, which may sound a little odd).
Jaarclub: A ‘jaarclub’ is formed within a students’ association and consists of a group of people that are, at some associations, of the same sex and originate from the same year in the union. With your jaarclub you come together on a fixed day every week and together you have a drink, chill out and if you feel like it, you go out. The people in your club are likely to become your best friends, for the rest of your lives.
KEI-week: When you’ve only just arrived in Groningen it is important to make sure you feel at home as soon as possible. The KEI-week helps you along during this journey. It is the biggest introduction week for students in Europe. All the pubs and student associations welcome you so you can have a look around. On top of that it is a great way to make some new friends. Thanks to all festivities and activities this will be an unforgettable week. Don’t miss out!
Kroegtijger: The ‘kroegtijger’ will stay in the pub for the longest and has an impressing alcohol tolerance. You can find them at the bar, from midnight until the early morning.
Lullepot: An amusing story that is made up right as told. Impressing hand gestures and the pulling of comical faces make these stories highly amusing for the crowd: a true form of art.
Lustrum: A quinquennial celebration of a students’ association or organisation. A lustrum isn’t something that just blows over; everything will be set up to make this an unforgettable party. Last year the RUG and student rowing association Gyas celebrated their lustrum.
De Muur: Anyone who tends to stay out for too long and has had a little too many drinks will be familiar with the feeling of insatiable hunger at the end of the night. ‘De Muur’ is a wall in the city centre where you’ll find the possibility to pull out a midnight snack for €1 or €2.
Ontgroening: This is a period during which fresh members of a students’ association are hazed. It is a true testing and is definitely not known for its pleasantness, however: it is also an opportunity to meet people and make true friends. The hazing is mostly part of joining a traditional student association.
Propedeuse: These are the first 60 ECTS you’ll need to earn during your bachelor course. When you haven’t been able to complete your propedeuse in the first two years of your study you’ll need to quit.
Regelen: When you meet a nice girl or guy in the club or wherever, you might want to hook up with them. Doing so, is known as ‘regelen’ among students.
Semester: The academic year is divided over two semesters, which both consist of half the academic year.
SOG: Studie Ontwijkend Gedrag i.e. Study Evading Behaviour. This generally occurs throughout exam periods and is featured by a cup of coffee, your mobile phone, deep thoughts, or pretty much anything that has nothing to do with studying.
UB: The University library. This is the place where all students gather in times of exams. Together they commit to studying until late at night. However, it isn’t only about studying of course. Seeing and being seen is definitely as important (if not more important).
Studentenvereniging: A students’ union or association. There are students’ unions in all forms and sizes. You can join unions that focus on sports, culture or religion, but of course there are also unions that are merely there for the fun of it. Joining a union is an incredibly easy way to meet new people and make friends for life.
Studievereniging: An association that consists only of people that do the same study. Sociability and serious facets are combined here.
Thuisthuis: When you’ve just moved out of your parental house, you might have the luxury to have your own place but also a room at your parents’ place! To keep these two ‘homes’ apart from each other, your parental house is indicated as ‘thuisthuis’ (literatlly ‘homehome’). Of course, being an exchange student, you might not be able to visit ‘thuisthuis’ very often...
Zernike: Not all courses are given in the city centre. The Hanze University of Applied Sciences and some annexes of the Rijksuniversiteit are located outside the city centre. This part of Groningen is called Zernike. You can reach it by bike within approximately 15 minutes.
By Anouk Theunissen