International and Political Associations
In Groningen there are more possibilities to enjoy student life than you can imagine. Apart from the professional help of the International Offices and the skilful organisation of ESN-Groningen, there are much more helpful associations to be found.
Several of them provide help for specific groups of students. The Chinese Students Associations Groningen has guidebooks explaining in Chinese how to get around in Groningen, take the bus, what all traffic signs mean, which laws to obey in public, in short: everything a student arriving fresh from China needs.
The Indonesian Students Directory provides contact between Indonesian students in Groningen and all over the world. They offer a forum for sharing essays online and to place articles for all members to read. This way all members profit from each other’s experience. The Groningen Indian Student Association does this all for Indian students and organises extra activities like Indian Dance nights.
The Association for Latin American Students Groningen shows how useful such an organisation can be. Furniture is being resold, salsa dance nights are promoted and members arrange meetings to explore Groningen’s nightlife.
Or maybe you are more interested in developing a specific skill or interest? The following associations are open for everyone coming here.
The Groninger Debating Society Kalliope is the place to be for everyone who is not afraid of a good discussion. They offer English evenings for international students, this helps some of them to practice their English and others to practice their debating skills, or both! SIB, the student association for international relations, organises congresses, readings, excursions and other activities with special attention for international relations. In the same style, but with a more specific approach is the association TEIMUN, The European International Model United Nations. They could introduce you to the inner workings of this truly global institution.
This is just the tip of the iceberg, come to Groningen and join the association which fits your needs!
Many students are active in Groningen student politics: the city council, the University Council, the University Participation Council, various political youth organizations: you will meet students everywhere.
There is a good chance that you will bump into a student at the coffee machine in Groningen's town hall on the Grote Markt. In a city where about one in five inhabitants is a student, this is not surprising, because who better to represent the interests of students than students themselves? The various youth organizations of national political parties can also be found in Groningen. The JOVD, the youth organization of the VVD, the Young Socialists in the PvdA and Dwars, Green Left youth are a few examples.
When you are a member of one of these organizations you can visit lectures and congresses, but cozy get-togethers are also part of it! In addition, each youth organization has its own board and various committees in which you can also develop in more practical areas. Such an organization can of course be a great stepping stone to the national youth organization, or even to national politics! Students do not only get involved in municipal and national politics, students are also represented in the participation councils of the University of Groningen and Hanze University Groningen. Half of these councils consist of a number of student parties that together form a coalition, the other half is filled by staff members of the university or college.
During the elections, it becomes clear how many seats each student party has obtained. All student parties naturally want as many seats as possible, because that means that many students from that party are allowed to participate in the university council, making it much easier to actually implement the party's plans. Examples of student parties are Lijst Calimero and Student Organization Groningen (SOG) for the RUG and Lijst Sterk and Hanze Student Interests Association (HSV) for the Hanze.
During the election period every year in May, the student parties try to collect as many votes as possible from students with the craziest stunts and most striking election campaigns. Everywhere you go as a student, you stumble over the flyers, pens, balloons, free newspapers, bottles of water, ice creams, cups of coffee and cotton candy.The individual faculties of the university have their own participation councils that advise on the education, research and budget of the faculty. These councils also consist of half students who are elected after elections.