From this summer on, an international membership will be available to international students who want to have a taste of student association life with W.S.V. Ceres.
Ceres members during the information market of the 2015 Annual Introduction Days. © Sven Menschel
With this special membership, W.S.V. Ceres wants to offer international students an accessible way to get acquainted with the typical Dutch student culture, says Janneke Sloet van Oldruitenborgh, president of W.S.V. Ceres. ‘This culture is unique, with its own customs and habits. When you come to Wageningen as an international student, it is a very nice addition to the experience. It adds that extra bit of enjoyment to your student time here.’
Time and space
International students already have the possibility to become full-fledged members of Ceres, but that doesn’t happen very often yet, tells Sloet van Oldruitenborgh. She thinks this is mainly because membership is focused on creating long-lasting bonds. ‘International students often only stay in Wageningen for a short time, sometimes even for just a few months, so membership is not an obvious choice. Besides, the introduction period of the association and the time after that – creating the year clubs – are a very intensive time, for which the international students sometimes lack the time and space.’
That’s why the international membership is a kind of light membership. At 7.50 euros for a year, international students gain access to special activities and parties at the society pub. The activities are meant to encourage contact between international and Dutch students and include such activities as date-dinners, during which international students are paired up with Dutch Ceres members. During these evenings, the main language is English.
The international membership will not only be fun for the international students, expects Sloet van Oldruitenborgh. Current Ceres members might profit from the exotic accrual. ‘This offers members a superb chance to broaden their horizons and learn about different cultures. Or to learn to dance salsa.’
If the international membership turns out to be a success, Sloet van Oldruitenborgh does not exclude the possibility of the membership becoming more expansive. ‘It fits within the internationalisation of the university. As a student association, we should move with that flow.’