How to survive in your new career as a Wageningen student. These tips will get you off to a flying start on campus and in student life.
Doing a degree can get costly. From tuition fees, course materials and a laptop through to rent, entertainment and shopping. These tips will help you get the most fun for your euros!
Knaek is free for first-year students and you can save a lot of money. For example, you get the second main course free if you want a cheap meal out at H41 in Heerenstraat. There are also discount offers for clothes stores, wine and drink outlets, bike shops, hairdressers, cafes, restaurants and paintball events. www.knaek.nl
Food shopping: the market
There is a market in the town centre on Wednesday morning and all day Saturday. You can find cheap, high-quality fruit and veg. You can also find good cheese, nuts, fish, olives and of course such Dutch classics as herring and battered fish. Pro tip: the later you go, the better the deals you can get!
You can see top arthouse films at the Movie W cinema. They screen both classics and unusual, striking, edgy or comedy films from all over the globe. Movie W is run by volunteers. You can often find the programme on campus noticeboards, or else go to www.moview.nl. Standard tickets cost 8.50 euros but you get a two-euro discount and pay 6.50 if you show your student card. The ‘ordinary’ cinema in Heerenstraat also gives a student discount. If you show your student card, you pay 8 euros for a ticket instead of 10 euros. www.heerenstraattheater.nl
Free bike repairs
Bike broken but no money for a bike shop visit? You can get your bike fixed for free in the Forum bike cellar. The Wageningen Student Bike Workshop is open on Tuesdays from 18:00 to 20:00. Not only do you get free repairs, you can also learn how to mend punctures, loose spokes and other bike problems yourself.
Books and plants at Thuis
If you need books, plants or a new outfit, you could go along on a Saturday to Thuis, Wageningen’s community centre. On Saturdays you will find second-hand books for sale for 50 eurocents, and you can adopt or swap plants. They also often hold clothes bartering events. Keep an eye on their calendar at www.thuiswageningen.nl.
You will find sofas, chairs, tables, books, clothes, TVs, easels, mugs, cutlery, weird statues, toys and lots more at the Emmaus second-hand store. Their assortment can be found in their two shops: Vijzelstraat 1 for clothes, shoes, accessories, books and more; Herenstraat 9 for furniture, lighting, appliances, small items and toys. Emmaus is open eight hours a week: Wednesdays from 10:00 to 14:00 and Saturdays from 12:00 to 16:00. Emmaus also has an annual market, which will be on 21 September this year. www.emmauswageningen.nl
Green fingers and swan drama
You will undoubtedly already have noticed that the campus is very green. As you might expect from a university that preaches sustainability, the greenery is the result of an ecologically aware approach. Popular spots are the Lumen central courtyard and the pond near the Forum, with the swans that come every year to breed (although this year was a drama with all eight cygnets gone, probably devoured by pikes). The Field, behind Rikilt, is another pleasant spot. It is a garden maintained by and for students and staff. It was created four years ago using a design by former student Fiona Morris.
Rooms: never give up
Searching for somewhere to live can drive some first-years crazy because demand far exceeds supply. ‘In the first week, you should ask absolutely everyone whether they know of a room to rent,’ suggests Biology student Rosanne Dodde. ‘I had come a long way so I had to find accommodation. I spent my first days in Wageningen in a primitive B&B where I had to wash in a tub. I really wanted to live in Droevendaal so I knocked on every door there. That gave me a sublet for two weeks. A whole lot better than the B&B!’ Tip: a lot of student houses post messages on the Wageningen Student Plaza Facebook page during AID week so keep an eye on that.
Studying in the library
The library is a popular place to study, especially in the week before the exams. It’s quiet and has good workstations where you can concentrate. But make sure you get there on time (which means waiting at the door by 8:00) because the seats get taken in no time.
There is a GP practice especially for students on campus, although you do of course have to register to be able to use it. This Wageningen Student Medical Center also has handy evening open hours and a lot of online services (e-consultations, requests for digital repeat prescriptions). You don’t have to leave campus for vaccinations for exotic internships or holidays either as Vaccinatiecentrum Wageningen is based in Campus Plaza. If all you have is a hangover, you can buy paracetamol in the Campus Plaza supermarket.
Where's that party?
Uni often involves hard work, cramming and putting in the hours in the library. But the occasional party is also part of the package. You can have a great time seven days a week in Wageningen.
Monday is members’ night at the student societies. The rest of the town is pretty quiet.
The Bunker, the Dijkgraaf flats pub, often has parties on Tuesdays. Cheap booze. The Doctor cafe’s pub quiz is a popular Tuesday event. Starts at 20:00. Be on time.
Wednesday is party time in Woeste Hoeve, the Hoevestein flats pub.
The traditional student party day, with an open party at one of the main societies (Unitas, Ceres, SSR-W and KSV Franciscus) every Thursday. You can also often have a good time at Nji-Sri on Thursdays.
The International Club often organizes parties on Fridays and Saturdays with (obvs) an international theme, from salsa evenings and Brazilian parties to tech house and St Patrick’s Day celebrations.
See International Club (Friday). There are some good cafes in Wageningen for you to get to know, such as: De Vlaamsche Reus (ask for the beer bible), De Zaaier (popular student pub) and Loburg (often has live music!)
And finally, students themselves know best what works, so the best parties are often the ones put on in student houses.
A beer at a student society bar often costs only 1.20 euros, which is a lot less than ordinary cafes. The pubs in the blocks of flats, such as Woeste Hoeve in Hoevestein, Annie’s Kroeg in Asserpark and the Hunker Bunker in Dijkgraaf, are also budget-friendly.