Nine more days to go before the start of the introductory week. The organizing committee is busy with the final preparations. 'Fortunately, there are no major hitches.'
Last year, 180 MSc students had to do without the guidance of a senior during the introductory week. These 'orphans' had to find their own way around in Wageningen, with some being adopted by other groups along the way.
In fact, it was still uncertain in the past few months if there would be enough mentors, says Sander. 'There are usually enough guides from student societies for BSc students. But it's more problematic for MSc students. MSc groups are more difficult because there are big differences in ages and nationalities. Communicating with them also poses problems often. It's great that we now have sixty mentors for them.'
The AID committee expects 1600 AID participants, a little more than last year. Meanwhile, 1300 new students have signed up, of which 420 are MSc students. Besides the normal introductory programme, these MSc students can choose a less intensive version with the emphasis on information provision. 'Some MSc students are somewhat older and they don't need to experience certain aspects of student life', says Sander. According to this Environmental Sciences student, a third of the MSc students have opted for the light introductory version.
In the meantime, the AID committee has its hands full with the final preparations. It has still to set up a bad weather programme in case the skies decide to pour, and to give the volunteers a final round of instruction. Compared with last year's programme, there will be a few changes in this year's. Sander: 'Fortunately, there are no major hitches. The film location has been changed to the premises of the Administration building because it has more space than the market square. Besides, there will be more breaks. The sports day will be shorter. Instead of breakfast, there will be a brunch to allow the first years to sleep a bit longer. At the information market, we will create a cosy corner for students to relax.'
The introductory week will take place from 19 to 24 August. It will end with performances by De Jeugd van Tegenwoordig and other groups in the festival tent on the last evening.