Wetenschap - 1 januari 1970

Tips for trips: the insider’s guide to your stay in the Netherlands

Tips for trips: the insider’s guide to your stay in the Netherlands


‘Be strong, be tough, be sporty’

The hard work has begun, the summer is almost over and time for relaxation
is slipping away so fast you wonder if it was all just a dream: the warm
summer on the beach and the sweet knowledge that the pages in your agenda
are untainted by important meetings, exams and deadlines. As autumn gets
ready to take over, grey clouds appear over Wageningen, ready to smother
every outburst of joy. Out of your window on the 16th floor you look down
on this strange land with its promises of endless rain and the question
forces itself into your weary brain: what on earth are you doing in this
place?

The question has entered the minds of most international students at some
point of their stay in Holland and on the saddest days of winter even Dutch
folk wonder why they haven't migrated to Spain years ago. Maybe this is why
the Dutch invented 'gezelligheid' ('cosiness'). It's a typical Dutch word
for the secure and warm feeling you get from being together with friends or
family. It doesn't necessarily imply any activity apart from sitting or
standing together, and every now and then exclaiming how very 'gezellig' it
is. The best place for 'gezelligheid' is in front of the fireplace when
outside the wind is howling and snow is piling up at your doorstep. Too bad
the SSHW supplied you with everything but a fireplace and too bad the snow
usually turns to brown mud that leaves your doorstep slippery and your feet
cold and wet.

But there's no need to worry; every social happening can be made
'gezellig'. During wintertime in Wageningen it may very well be one of
life's necessities. As Meta van Heusden from Belgium puts it: “When the
weather is bad, get together with your friends, and go and do things like
renting a movie. A pleasant atmosphere on your student corridor is very
important or you'll have to make sure that you're active outside your
building. Go to ISOW parties, go to KSV international or find other places
where you can meet nice people.

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