Student - August 31, 2006

Wet welcome

The freshmen at Van Hall Larenstein, the University of Professional Education that relocated to Wageningen this year, ended up at the Argo rowing club for a ‘water-games afternoon’ on Thursday of the AID.

There are all sorts of inflatable chairs, tyres and water wheels floating in the water, waiting for the fun to start, but few students seem to want to get wet. Most are staring from the banks of the river at the few who have braved the water. ‘It’s far too cold to go in,’ says Christina, from Germany. ‘We already got dirty and wet this morning at the Dutch games. We got egg and yogurt all over us.’ Christina is one of the many German students who have come to Wageningen for the course Equine, Leisure and Sports. Lessons are in English, but her friend Justine has already decided that she’s going to learn Dutch. ‘The problem is that the courses are already full. There won’t be space until December.’

After a while a few people stir into action. Their attention is sparked by the soap slide which is now ready for use. A blonde guy races down the slide and ends up in the water. ‘I want to get others in the water, but my example doesn’t seem to have inspired them,’ he comments as he climbs out of the water. Jonathan is a Dutch student who grew up in Brazil. He’s enjoying his first week in the Netherlands. ‘We’ve been out a lot, at parties and cafes until late each night. We go to bed about five and get up again at nine o’clock – we’re having a great time.’ Nevertheless, most of the onlookers remain firmly seated on the ground and fully dressed. In the end the Dutch students decide it’s time to take matters into their own hands. If they won’t go down the slide themselves, there’s only one thing for it: for one student at least it was a wet introduction to Wageningen. / Koen Moons