Groningen the perfect student home

2 February 2023

I have not been living in Groningen for around 4 months now. For the entire first semester (September – December 2022), I did my Erasmus exchange abroad to the UK, followed by a well-spent Christmas holiday with my family and friends back thuisthuis in Indonesia. While it was fun spending time traveling and exploring new places, living in a completely different setting, and meeting new friends, I cannot help but feel excited about the thought of going back to Groningen once again to finish my bachelor’s.

Looking back, I am still proud of the younger me for choosing Groningen as a place to pursue my study. Along with all its ups and downs surviving in the city through the changes of seasons, of people, and of course of personal and world situations, I personally still think that Groningen is the perfect student home for me!

The cycling

As one of the Dutch cities, Groningen is no exception when it comes to the cycling lifestyle. I spent the first two years of my study cycling everywhere to campus and the city center, and it has unlocked a new level of personal convenience. Most of my friends are only 5 to 10 minutes cycle away, so it is easy to meet them and hang out spontaneously! Though it may suck to sometimes cycle under the cold and rainy weather, I must admit that it does encourage me to have an active lifestyle, even on the days I am not the most motivated.

The nightlife

Groningen is also known for the uniqueness of its nightlife: the bars have no closing hours. A lot of fun memories I had in Groningen were also created in these clubs – where the party did not end until we decided to leave. The options in Poelestraat are endless, you can choose from restaurants for casual or formal dinners, party cafes, music venues, to bars and nightclubs. Again, the convenience of being able to come and go by bicycle also adds another point, and the strategic location being in the city center makes it easily accessible for the majority of students living in the area.

The student city

I must say, there is a different level of comfort in knowing that you live in a student hotspot. With around 60.000 students in the city, we make up about 25% of Groningen’s citizens. As you walk around the city center to shop or go to nightclubs and restaurants to end the day, you will encounter a lot of students. As an international, this gives me a sense of home as it is easy to spot people who are students just like me, making studying abroad a lot less lonely. The city is catered to students, from various student discounts in shops and restaurants to students’ activitiesassociations, and a lot more! It gives me a strong sense of community, and there is always a place for everyone to fit in.

Art and nature

Groningen is a city that is rich in culture and history. Home with various museums spread across the city, I feel like there is so much to see, and all within close reach of the city center. Groningen is also the home to music and art festivals hosted by various art organizations, such as Vera, De Oosterpoort or SPOT, OOST, Paradigm, and the Forum. The iconic University of Groningen’s Academy Building, for example, was built in 1604. Living in a city with iconic monuments like Martini Tower, Martini Church, the city hall, and the train station building is for sure something that not all cities have and I am glad I have Groningen to go back to.

All in all, I am super excited to start the new semester in February back in the wonderful city. I can’t wait to cycle and go back to campus, stroll around the city center, do pub crawling with my friends, and immerse myself in the city once again. I hope to see you in the city soon!