Science - March 4, 2004

Student club ratings: KSV Sint Franciscus Xaverius

What can the Wageningen student associations offer international students? Wb put the question to the five big student clubs and some of the study associations. Part three: KSV Sint Franciscus Xaverius, Stadsbrink 373.

Type of club: Sint Franciscus was originally the society for Catholic farmers’ sons who came to Wageningen to study agriculture. Nowadays the Catholic part is confined to a mass held twice a year and the traditional greeting at the start of meetings. The motto of the club is ‘trust in trust’. KSV president Johanna Bouma elaborates: “We trust each other. You can happily leave your purse on the bar and no one will take it.” KSV has disputen, year groups, fifteen student houses where only members live, and all sorts of committees. “Everyone can put their ideas forward. If you want to build a ski jump in the bar that’s OK, and we did that recently.” The association has had an international part since the end of last year, KSV International.

Openness: Setting up KSV International has made the association accessible to international students. Friday evening is the regular activity evening. Bouma: “We wanted to include international students in the association and offer them a pleasant place to meet, but at the same time we wanted to retain our own character. In this way I think international students get to know more about Dutch student life than they do at an international association. And we also have more contact with them.” You can only join KSV Sint Franciscus if you are a university or college student and do so at the beginning of the academic year after completing the association’s introduction. The club also holds regular parties that are open to all students.

International members: Sint Franciscus has no international members. KSV International has sixty members: all Wageningen University students can join whenever they want, for a minimum of two study periods.

Language: At Sint Franciscus everything takes place in Dutch. English is the language used at KSV International.

Does Sint Franciscus have anything to offer non-Dutch students? To get something out of KSV Sint Franciscus you have to be able to at least speak Dutch. And then there’s the question of whether international students are likely to feel at home in the Dutch student culture there. KSV International on the other hand not only organises parties, but also excursions to get to know Holland, and international students can also benefit from the long history and experience of the student association.

Yvonne de Hilster

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