The residents of Groningen have an average age of 36.4, making them the youngest of all city populations in The Netherlands. Every fifth person is a student, and over half of the population is younger than 35. Young people means raw talent, therefore the city is suited like no other to explore and develop yours. Naturally the two universities in Groningen offer the challenge of improving your talent in a specific field of research, but since there are so many young people there’s a platform for any kind of talent you can think of, you name it, it’s there.
One of the facilities aligned to the University of Groningen where you can develop your talent is the Usva, the Cultural Student Centre. It has two theatres, a gallery and organizes about 50 different courses in dancing, theatre, making music, singing, digital photography, drawing and painting, yoga, story telling, writing. The list seems endless, choosing is therefore perhaps difficult. No worries, to inspire the artist within yourself you can visit one of the many films or performances hosted by the Usva. Maybe you are the new Natalie Portman or ehh..Lady Gaga..who knows?
The CAST, Cultural Activities for Students, is an organisation completely run by students which organises activities specifically for students of Hanze UAS. If you have an interest in music, movies or cabaret (A Dutch variety of stand-up comedy), then you van visit their activities, they are often free for students. If you don’t want to be a mere spectator, then there’s good news for you: it is also possible to organize these yourself!
Become a columnist writing about your experience far away from home, or publish the latest scoop in university news, or maybe you just have a special interest in journalism? Then try out for becoming a journalist, columnist, or editor of the University Newspaper. This paper may be in Dutch, but there is an international section and a few times each year the entire paper is published in English.
There are more student associations in Groningen than there are sand grains on the beach. If this is not a common expression then it should be. Almost every major department at the University of Groningen has its own student association. Their goal is to broaden the students’ horizon within their field of study by providing extracurricular activities. But there are many more associations; of special interest for foreigners are the International Student Associations in Groningen. The range of the activities provided by the combined associations is enormous, you can, for example, develop your debating skills, play in a theatre performance, compete in a singing competition or improve your literary criticism by discussing a new exciting book.
Your talent, your choice
Until now we’ve been presenting a glimpse of the facilities in Groningen where you can develop your talent. But don’t forget that the city itself is a platform where this is possible. Your skill can be discovered in anything you’d like. Take for example one of our local heroes: Harde Baas. He started as a techno-DJ in Groningen playing in the local clubs in his spare time, because of the vibrant nightlife scene it was possible to create a fan base. Playing at parties organized by students and student associations helped him to become a household name in Groningen. Now, the rest of the country is starting to follow.