International and Dutch students still in separate worlds
The number of international students in Wageningen is growing. But the
international and Dutch student communities are still largely separate
spheres. This needs to change, starting with a better introduction week for
international students when they arrive here in Wageningen, say Marsha
Grant and Emmy Hagenaars.
Jamaican Marsha Grant is a member of the International Student Panel (ISP)
and a member of the board of the Wageningen-based development organisation
OtherWise. OtherWise is the first organisation in Wageningen to fully
integrate international and Dutch students, uniting them around development
issues and seminars on these.
OtherWise also joined the Global Village Day, organised last Saturday by
the ISP. Emmy Hagenaars, one of the Dutch coordinators of OtherWise, hopes
that the integration of international and Dutch students will make some
progress when all new students follow the same combined introduction
programme for the first time after the summer vacation in August. One of
the scheduled activities is an integration game organised by OtherWise
together with ISP and the Committee for the Introduction Days (CAID).
International and Dutch students will take part in strategy games designed
to help them to get to know each other.
In the past international students arrived two weeks later than the Dutch
freshmen, and were given a separate introduction programme. Marsha Grant:
“No effort was made to make it any fun. The Dutch programme is full of
parties, a street festival and a movie, but the international students only
get a lengthy three-day class on intercultural communication. Later on
people complain that international students are not involved enough in
Wageningen issues, but they never really get introduced to life here.