Ultimate (not so official) guide for international students in Groningen
Hello hello on your Exchange journey – the magical time you will be talking about years after you have left this lovely town. To give you a good start, here the experienced-one will share with you a few pieces of wisdom that life in Groningen has taught us.
The things we didn‘t know ourselves during the Introduction Week.
1. TRAVELING. Time away from your city, friends, family and out of the comfort zone is dangerous. So dangerous that you will quickly grow as a person in ways that will make you prouder, braver and more independent. It will open the drawer of a curiosity that forces you to spend all your savings and future salary (that you‘re not earning yet) on traveling. But „the traveling“will disappear from your vocabulary, you will call it „visiting a friend“.
2. KOKOMO. What happens in Kokomo stays in Kokomo. (You‘ll know more if you don‘t miss the next ESN theme party there!)
3. KINGSDAY. Now, to your disappointment I have to tell you Dutchies aren‘t big about the national holidays. While mates back in your home country will be enjoying the spring or fall holidays, you will be trying to figure out how to prepare for exams and still attend at least some of the classes. However, the famous Kings day a.k.a. the Kings‘ Bday definitely IS an exception. In late April streets and stores turn orange. The more orange stuff you wear, the better. And do not forget to bring a little (orange) flag to guide your group, otherwise everyone will spend the night stuck on their phone, trying to text to the poor lost ones.
-Where aRe yueuu?
– on the spot as last tiimE
– ☹ i dont see youu
-in front OF the stagee
-Maaan last night was crazy…
4. SMALL CITY. Groningen really is a small city. Therefore if you come to this wonderland from Hong Kong, LA or Beijing as an exchange student, actually being able to see the stars on a night sky might result strange to you. So, If you see your friend from the Big Apple all fascinated taking pictures of the stars up here, do not give him a weird stare.
5. BIKE. Your bike is the best alcohol tester. A few beers will make you brave enough to ride without hands. More beers: less fun the next morning. There have been dentist’s visits and being bruised like a peach. So tell me how did you bike home (or IF you biked home?) and I’ll tell you how much you drank last night.
6. UB. During exams University Library will feel like your new home. It truly will. You‘ll be having breakfast, lunch and dinner there and also get to see all your friends on one spot, in the UB cafeteria. You might find it hard to acknowledge that the coffee breaks are the only social activity you‘ll have in days. You will also learn that, to get your favorite spot or computer, you need to stand in a line at 8.30 am at the entrance and compete with the faster runners for that great spot in the UB. And finally, no matter how motivated you are, the 10 min coffee break will never be only 10 min. (P.S: all the effort will pay off by finishing exams a day earlier than your buddy).
Enjoy every second of your exchange, because it is – I dare to say – the time of your life. Cheers!