Exactly a year ago when blogger Kaavya Raveendran stepped foot in Wageningen as a newbie, she was welcomed right into a family of her own, her AID family.
© Sven Menschel
Moving to a new country into the hands of a new culture, I was more excited than scared. We, as international students, have many anxious thoughts. ‘How is it going be?’, ‘What kind of people will I meet?’ and most importantly, ‘Will I fit in?’. I had those thoughts too, but one year down the line, all I see is how beautifully I evolved as a person and adapted to the Dutch culture and lifestyle.
Let me start from the beginning, each of us are very different, all with varying levels of homesickness during our initial days at Wageningen. One of the many things we do apart from settling in our rooms and bikes, is eagerly waiting for AID to start. And believe me or not, it is totally worth the wait. The Annual Introduction Days is the best possible way to explore Wageningen, the university and the people who you are going to spend the next two years with. I still remember the adrenaline rush I had before meeting my family for the first time.
AID is one of a kind, it seems like a never-ending party. From early morning activities to late night parties there were so many things I did every day during the week that I was dead tired when I went to bed at night. But again, next morning I woke up and made it on time just because the fun was not worth missing. My family and I danced like no one’s watching to the live DJ at the university on the very first night of AID. It was beautiful to see how we all instantaneously bonded as a family with such a diverse culture. We also did competitive crazy tasks on the streets like giving out free hugs, doing yoga stunt or eating a raw chili, which for me as an Indian wasn’t a hard task. And lastly the best memory I made was when our family was asked to duck-dance to an entire song at the Beer Cantus as a punishment, while all the other families laughed and cheered for us. Singing, water guns, beer and fun, Beer Cantus was simply priceless.
AID is all about exploring, making friends, having fun and getting comfortable in Wageningen. To this day, I think it is the best of Wageningen I have seen. Once those five magical days are over and the tents are all rolled up, it is almost like you cannot identify the Wageningen you saw anymore. AID families however continue meeting even after the AID is over. From lunch break, potluck dinners and picnics at Rhine, some AID families also go on trips together. It really gives you a great welcome, puts behind all apprehensions and never makes you feel alone for the rest of the time of your study. With more students coming in this year I can only imagine how much more massive AID 2018 is going to be. So, pull up your socks for the perfect kickstart of your life at WUR. AID will make you fall in love with Wageningen for all the right reasons.