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Alternative study spots in Groningen

With as many students as Groningen currently inhabits, there’s a high chance that you’ve had to suffer a long line to find a seat at the library – an apocalypse of extreme proportions. Additionally, the UB will open its doors to both RUG and Hanze students alike, increasing the already packed crowds. People will be relocated, and studies will grind to a halt. Sirens blare in the distance. Exams are approaching.

Don’t worry – your friendly blogger companion is here to provide valuable study alternatives apart from the UB and the Openbare Bibliotheek, so studying for exams can continue to be the only problem you need to worry about.


Zernike campus:

While an already well-known place for Hanze students, many of you might not know that this campus houses a multitude of corners, rooms and public buildings – most of which keep their doors open from 8am to 8pm during workdays. The Zernike Library, Bernoulliborg Study Room and the Alexander Sportcentrum are publicly available for any student and have been known to always have a few open spots during the day. Regardless of the density, the student traffic always changes as groups move on to class and back, so getting a seat shouldn’t take more than a few minutes.

However, if you’re planning to do a full exam prep marathon, almost every major building in the Zernike campus has rooms for reservation by prior notice. It might not be the most accessible location from the centre, but Zernike never disappoints when it comes to free seats. A cafeteria is always close by as well.


Harmony building:

The Harmony building resides right next to the rest of the major public libraries in the centre but is often portrayed as the smallest of the bunch. While seemingly tucked in, the Harmony building hides a fairly large study spot on the ground floor. It’s quite busy during exams but opens up extra rooms once the main area is full. During workdays, The Harmony building is open from 9am to 9pm.


Central medical library:

The Central Medical library is hard to miss and resides fairly close to everything else just across the encircling canal of the old town. The library is on the fourth floor, but there’s a certain need for a bit of decency as it’s still a hospital after all. Nevertheless, it has very flexible public times, staying open from 8.30am to 9.30pm from Monday to Thursday and keeping open during Fridays up until 6pm. While the daytime can get quite busy, it might be a better option when the centre libraries are packed during exam prep sessions. 


Gadourek Building:

Nestled right in the crevice of the Noorderplantsoen, The Gadourek Building is another student hot-spot that just misses the mark of being one of the centre giants. Unfortunately, this one is open only during weekdays, so it may happen to get more crowded than others, but the times (apart from Friday 8am-5.30pm) are a lengthy 8am to 9.30pm.



Don’t forget that public libraries can get a bit hectic when you’re cooped up with a thousand other stressed-out students. If you’re like me and can’t stand the busy atmosphere but can’t work alone at home either, finding a nice cosy cafe is often the better of any other alternative. If you’d like to know my top recommendations, check out one of the previous ESN blogs that tell you just that! If not, La Place – a café/bistro right next to the public library – has been a recent favourite of mine.


While I finish writing this blog, my notes stand vacantly nudging me to learn 2 months’ worth of material in 2 days. Let’s collectively average out those exams!


Witten by Jānis Lazda – PR & Graphics committee