If you’re reeling from the AID, here’s something to help you find your feet. A list of key words...
Ad fundum: Knocking back your beer in one go. Don’t do it too often.
Assessment: Larensteinese for exam.
Barack: A house at the Droevendaal Idealis complex in Wageningen. Before the new building in the nineties they were wooden prefabs.
Beco: (Friesian) Beerenburg (A Friesian spirit) with cola.
Bevrijdingsdag: In both Wageningen and Leeuwarden an all-day free party with bands, DJs and thousands of visitors. In Wageningen it starts at 00.00 hours with the lighting of the freedom torch.
Bierlijst: Beer list - for keeping track of what you’ve taken from the fridge. Note it down and pay your flatmates back.
Bommen: (bombing) Movement to music, a warm-up in sports gear.
Boer: Farmer – the fate of everyone who studies at WU or VHL. Even if you’ve never clapped eyes on a tractor, to everyone else you are suddenly a farmer. Just ignore it and go your own way.
Bongerd, de: Usually known as USB, and for years the best sports centre in the Netherlands. Buy a sport card and you’ll meet all sorts of people – not just students.
Brug, de: (The bridge) – the passage with computers by VHL reception on the fifth floor of the Forum (Wageningen campus). As in ‘I’ll see you in a bit on the bridge’.
Chipknip: Get one on your bank card ASAP and find out how to load it: you can’t get a coffee without it at WU and VHL. Set yourself a limit so as not to end up in the red. Digital money goes faster than cash.
College: A university lecture.
Condoms: Ten cents apiece from the WU student doctor, twenty cents at the Bargain counter of the WSO student union (for WSO members; membership costs only 11.50 euros a year). Those Wageningers have all the luck.
Credits: Points for courses. One credit stands for 28 study hours in the European Credit Transfer System that regulates the transfer and accumulation of course results. It’s based on the ‘average student’.
Dijkhuizen, Aalt: The big (chair)man at Wageningen UR. Managers you are more likely to meet as a student are rector magnificus Martin Kropff (WU) and Ellen Marks (VHL).
Dies: Anniversary. Celebrated by student societies and the university. Dressing up parties for professors, who get to wear their academic gowns.
Donderdag: Thursday! Going out night for students. Takes some practice to still be able to meet your classmates on Friday morning. Or get good at self study.
Dorp: Village – for anyone who comes from a big city, Leeuwarden, Velp or Wageningen take some getting used to. In Leeuwarden you always meet someone you know in the pub and in Wageningen you only have to walk once down the High Street with your new love and everyone will know about it.
Eikels: Dickheads, or members of Quercus student society in Velp. For untranslatable reasons to do with the society’s motto…
Gaîten: goats in local dialect - members of Arboricultura student society in Velp. The society was set up in 1908 by three students of the former National Horticulture school in Boskoop. They got the name because horticulture students stripped branches from the bushes for their studies.
Groene Ster: Green star – summer meeting place in Leeuwarden, a beach, woods and canteen fifteen minutes bike ride from the centre. Also known as the ‘brown star’ because gays hang out there in the evening.
Harde knip: The now strict divide between BSc and MSc. From this year you have to get your BSc before you can take any MSc courses. A controversial rule because one missed course can delay you by half a year. Minister of Education Plasterk has promised to make exceptions for things like pregnancy or illness, and for subsidiary courses.
Hotellos: Students at the Hotel school in Leeuwarden. Can be recognized by their shirts, belts and tight trousers.
I&I: Short for Dutch for Inventory and design. Theme in Forest and Nature management (BNB) Said to be the toughest module at VHL Velp.
Koninginnedag: On 30 th April Leeuwarden turns orange. It starts the night before with Koninginnenach. Tents with bands and DJs. A trial run for Bevrijdingsdag.
Larenstein: Name that goes back to when the college wasn't yet part of the WUR family. Officially now Van Hall Larenstein Velp and Wageningen. If you hear ‘That’s Larenstein too’ (and old slogan of VHL Velp), something else has gone wrong at the Velp school.
Major: The main subject of your studies.
Markt: In Wageningen where you go for cheap fruit and veg from all corners of the globe. Wednesdays till 13.00 and Saturdays from 9.00 to 17.00. One stall sells everything off at the end of the day and you can come away with bags full of stuff. Not the custom in Velp or Leeuwarden.
Minor: Free choice of courses taken alongside your major. Has to fit together or have a common theme.
Rijn/ Rhine: What the Groene Ster is for Leeuwarden, the Rhine is for Wageningen. Not advisable to swim due to currents, but paddling is fine. Take food and drink and a warm sweater, and time will fly. The inlet in the uiterwaarden (water meadows) is great for skating in icy weather.
Scheve toren: The Friesian leaning tower of Pisa, the Oldenhoeve. A Leeuwarden church tower that was never finished. It isn’t on maps or signposts, but if you have to be at the scheve toren, this is where to go.
Semester: Half an academic year.
SLBer (VHL): Short for study career adviser (in Dutch).
SOA: STD – you’ll have one in no time if you go in for unsafe sex. See condoms. The Dutch initials also stand for study avoidance activity. See soggen.
Soggen: Study avoidance behaviour. Endless procrastination of learning or writing an essay. Symptoms include endless coffee drinking, internetting and hanging around in the pub. In the worst cases delays graduation and causes financial difficulty and stress.
Sportpas: Sport card – In Leeuwarden the way to stay looking trim and also to stay mentally fit. Info at Leeuwardenstudiestad.nl. A good way to meet people too. The basic pass costs 70 euros a year, with unlimited fitness for 130 euros.
Studentenvereniging: Student society – where you can make lifelong friends and meet the love of your life. Good for lots of new experiences, fun and hangovers. But it’s a misunderstanding to think that you don’t belong if you’re not a member of one.
Studieadviseur (WU): Study adviser who answers students’ questions and can help if you think you want to switch courses.
Studievereniging: Study association, a useful subsidiary of a student society. Only for students of the course concerned. Sometimes a handy way to get cheaper books.
Thuisthuis: ‘home-home’ – now your student room is your home, your family home is your ‘home-home’.
Uitbrakken: Verb for the efforts to get rid of that pukey morning-after state that follows a hard night’s boozing. Involves drinking coffee, resolving to drink less and wondering how you got that bruise on your back. Was it those stairs? But who were you with then?
VHL: Short for Van Hall Larenstein. Combi of Larenstein (was in Velp and Deventer; the Deventer bit is now in Wageningen) and Van Hall (Leeuwarden). Green higher education institutions now integrated into the WUR. Supposed to make it easier to move from vocational to academic higher ed.
Vitamins: If you don’t want to be a fat graduate, take care of yourself and get your 200 grams of veg and 2 pieces of fruit a day. Better than vitamin pills. In Velp you can sometimes get them free from the grapevine at the bike shed.
Wajo: A Wageningen local yokel.
Weekend: On Friday evenings the local Leeuwarders reclaim the town. Most of the students go home-home for the weekend. In Wageningen it’s a lot livelier. Velp is always quiet.
WU: Wageningen University. A course title beginning with B is a BSc course, one beginning with M is an MSc course. When you graduate you become an alumnus.
WUR: More than the @ of your email address. Short for Wageningen University and Research centre. Consists of Wageningen University (WU), a bunch of research institutes (DLO, used to be Agricultural Research Service of Ministry of Agriculture); and Van Hall Larenstein (VHL). For Life Sciences: everything to do with nature, nutrition and people. Scattered throughout the Netherlands, including Ijmuiden, Leeuwarden, Lelystand, Velp and Wageningen.
WUR card: Your passport in Wageningen. Identity card, library ticket, printing and photocopying card, access card and sport card (if you’ve paid for that).
Zaaier, de: Statue of sower outside the head office in Wageningen. Dates from the time when the University for Life Sciences was still an agricultural college sowing the seeds of knowledge among its students. Also the name of a good Wageningen pub.