Nieuws - 28 maart 2013

'Give as well as take'

International students want to give something back to their host country by doing voluntary work for the local community in Wageningen.

Painting, sanding, carpentry... about 12 international students were busy on 16 March helping with the preparations for Wageningen's 750th anniversary. This was the kick-off for a new programme intended by international students as a positive gesture towards the community which hosts them.
'The aim of the programme is to show that students who are on an exchange don't just party and drink beer all the time, but want to contribute something to society as well,' says Irene Jonkman, secretary of the international student society IxESN, which launched the plan. 'Give as well as take.'
This SocialErasmus Programme comes under a larger international network: the Erasmus Student Network. The objective is to organize 500 activities per year.
SocialErasmus is already booming internationally, says Dorien Dolman, ex-board member of IxESN and member of the committee of the international SocialErasmus team. 'And it is super that Wageningen is participating as well.'
The voluntary work for the anniversary activities was a try-out for the Wageningen programme. 'And it went down well,' says Irene. 'We got off to a gentle start with 12 students at the first activity, but the response was positive. It is a nice opportunity for international students to really meet the locals.'.