Committees and Boards
Social talents make this world go round. What would Lady Gaga be without a good manager? Or where would Donald Trump be if he didn't have experience as a treasurer of an organization in college? And the Dutch government would not have been able to ensure that Dutch citizens are the second happiest in the world in spite of the economic crisis without leadership and communicational talents. The same thing holds true on a micro scale for student life in Groningen. How could student organizations stay in business without skilful people to recruit new members, promote their activities, or staff the many committees?
The sheer proliferation of organizations in Groningen means that a lot of students are needed to manage all of them. And a lot of them are open to including international students in their ranks. You can become an introduction guide for ESN Groningen, or apply for one of their committees. You can join your study organization, and as such combine all the fun of social activities with inside control over your study path. You can also join the curriculum committee of your study if you really want a say in matters and discuss things with staff. All that experience enriches your social life and your resume. By organizing parties, managing funds, or entertaining all science students with a prom, you gain valuable work experience that can prepare you for later functions. No matter what your talent is, there will be a function in which you can explore and enhance it: treasurer, public relations, website builder, almanac committee, excursion organizer, the list is endless.
If you can't get enough of the thrills and challenges of organizational life, the next logical step is to apply for a board year. This is often a fulltime function, which means that you might have to put your study on hold for a year or take significantly less courses. But, on the bright side, the development of your talent and the administrative grant you will receive to compensate you for your work makes it more than worth it. You can also decide to run for a seat on the University Council or the Hanze's Student Participation Council by joining one of the political student parties that represent student interests on both a university and faculty level. If you don't want your first debate to be against a university staff member and you would like to improve your debating skills, you can join Groninger Debating Society Kalliope. They debate in English, so it is the perfect chance to hone your argumentative skills and make friends at the Monday night drinks at Charlie Chaplin's bar.
Be sure to contact your study organization, student organization, or another student-related body (such as cultural centre USVA, sport organization ACLO or international student organization ESN) if you are interested in joining, and they can give you more information on how to proceed. Whatever your talent, there's a committee out there that would be happy to have you!