The international branch of student club KSV, KSV International, has emerged from its infancy. After starting from scratch eighteen months ago, they now have a well-structured board, about one hundred members and well-attended activities such as parties and excursions.
Board member and PhD student Shital Dixit from India, who has been involved in the organisation from the start, describes the excursions as a good opportunity to get to know other students. ‘Not everybody always wants to party. We often have to arrange for a bigger coach because we have more than fifty people signing up for a trip.’ One of the reasons for setting up KSV International was that it would act as a bridge between Dutch and international students. This has been a success in terms of the board, as it consists of students from all over the world including the Netherlands. Board members are also entitled to a small subsidy from the university for the time they are active on the board (FOS). But beyond this Dixit acknowledges that integration remains difficult. ‘The problem for both Dutch and international students is to take a first step. There’s an unspoken fear.’ Nevertheless Dixit sees another positive effect of KSV International: ‘I think that when we started, ISOW also gained in importance, especially in the eyes of the university. As there were more clubs the international students became more visible.’ The initial conflicts with ISOW have disappeared. ‘We know confer when planning our activities.’ / YdH