Wetenschap - 30 augustus 2001

MSc students get action-packed start to their stay in Wageningen

MSc students get action-packed start to their stay in Wageningen

The new MSc students at the sports hall De Bongerd on Saturday 25 August. Students could sample a number of the sports offered by the university including badminton, basketball and table tennis, and a biking lesson was also held.

This was part of the arrival and introduction programme for newcomers to get to know Wageningen and their way around the university. On Sunday a tour was organised round Wageningen, pointing out shops and places of interest to the newcomers. From Tuesday onwards students followed a three-day intercultural communication workshop. Jeanine Hermans of the Central Student Administration - what used to be called the Dean's office - led the workshop on cultural differences and ways of dealing with these.

Too long but useful

Most students enjoyed the workshop, though some students found that three days was too long. "But the second day on the education system was useful," said Priscila Claro from Brazil. Another new student from Colombia, Adriana Triana, agreed that the cultural differences between her home country and Holland seemed to be big. Giselle Lacerot from Uruguay confirmed this: "I have been here for two years already, as I came here with my husband. But at first I couldn't even go into a supermarket as things work so differently here."

What strikes Mohammed Conteh from Sierra Leone most are everyday things such as how to get a taxi here. In Sierra Leone you just raise your hand and a cab stops. Here, as he found out, one has to telephone and wait for the taxi to arrive. Conteh was happy to meet a Dutch roommate in his corridor who invited him for dinner and explained some basic things to him about everyday life in Holland. He is still a bit worried about the elevator in his flat though. "Suppose it stops halfway, what do you do?" In Sierra Leone, he tells, buildings higher than two storeys are rare and elevators are something new to get used to.

Joris Tielens

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