Nieuws - 15 september 2011

Stamppot with the buddy family

So there you are at Wageningen bus station. Your first day as an Erasmus student, with six months of partying ahead. And how are you going to find your way around?

Tucking in to a real Dutch dinner.
At the beginning of September, 200 of these fresh-faced exchange students arrived at IxESN for a first encounter with culinary Holland: vegetable soup with breadsticks, two types of mashed potato dish, hutspot and stamppot with kale and sausage. And a custard dessert called vlaflip. This was the first ‘international kitchen' of the year. According to Soline de Jong, who coordinates activities at IxESN, the menu met with a mixed reception: ‘Some people took a second helping of stamppot, but others thought the food lacked salt and herbs.'
But there was more to the evening than the food. The students were able to meet their buddy families for the first time. This system, thought up by IxESN, links groups of three exchange students with three older students, and together they form a ‘family'. The evening was a success, says Soline enthusiastically. ‘The groups had met up beforehand to get to know each other and came here to eat stamppot. The odd lost soul was quickly adopted by another family.'
The ‘families' go to various parties and activities together, and the mentors are available to answer practical questions. After half a year, most of the exchange students return home and the groups disperse.