As 1997 draws to a close we look back at the events which coloured the year here in Wageningen
Far away from home and Christmas is coming. While most Dutch students leave Wageningen to spend Christmas with their families, international MSc and PhD students have to think of something else to do
Many international students use the time to travel through Europe, according to Jeanine Hermans of the Dean's Office. Some people just get together in Wageningen, or are invited to celebrate Christmas with their contact families here, but unfortunately a number still end up alone in their rooms.
The colder it is the more lonely people feel, is Hermans' experience. Many people think that the cold weather is unhealthy and that it will make them sick if they go outside. So if you're already feeling miserable and missing your family, all you want to do is stay inside where it's warm.
Although Christmas is not a festival which is celebrated by everybody it is a time of festivity. Hermans: You can also call it season's greetings, or celebrate the coming new year. The Islamic festival of Ramadan also starts early next year. Whatever the reason it's a good time to have a party.
Special committee for international students
Professor Bert Speelman, Vice Rector and Director of Education wants a special committee for international students which would advise the University Board on matters concerning international students. He wants three members of the International Students Panel (ISP) together with the Vice Rector, a representative from the Student Council and the Dean for international students to meet regularly for discussions
ISP has already made a pledge to ensure that there is official representation for international students. The latter wanted a seat on the Dutch student representative council, but practical problems necessitated a different solution. The council meets in Dutch and elections are usually held in May, which is before international students arrive. ISP requested that a seat be reserved for international students on the council, but the University Board refused, afraid that other minority groups will then also demand representation
ISP is now satisfied with the proposal, and ISP president Charles Etze is also pleased with his relation with the Rector, Professor Cees Karssen. We can always walk into his office, and he is very interested in our problems. ISP wanted official representation to ensure continuity and that the voice of the international students is heard in the future