The Welcome drew together quite a crowd eager to listen to speeches by the rector magnificus, Rotterdam vice mayor, the director of the facility services, the president of the ESN-Rotterdam, and a stand-up comedy act to top it all off.
The event hadn’t even started yet, but Desiderius was already thirsty! Taking all those pictures with international students had gotten him working harder than when conducting scientific research.
Some easy listening piano music entertained the guests, while the people were finding their seats and anxiously awaiting the ceremony. Fashionably late, Susanne Janssen opened the official Welcome: “I hope this will mark the beginning of a fruitful and pleasant stay.”
While some were paying attention to the speeches, others couldn’t believe that they are already in Holland, and were reviewing the pictures of windmills.
The rector magnificus, Prof. dr. H.G. Schmidt, began his speech by explaining why the professors have to wear those weird robes. He insisted that underneath the black gowns, everyone must wear black underwear, and hoped his colleagues had followed the rules.
Mrs. K. Louwens, the vice mayor of Rotterdam, who couldn’t be present at the ceremony, sent a promotional video about the city. Combining everything best that the city has to offer, it sure was impressive and very esthetical, yet it got a few giggles for the drama.
Afterwards, there was a reception organized by the ESN, filled with typical foods and drinks. Students and staff gathered to try pancakes, herring, or mashed potatos, accompanied by lots of beer.
Lastly, the guests could try Oranje bitter liquor, but not everyone took the risk. Some girls politely refused,while one guy blamed his stomach problems. Not meant for everyone, but only for the strongest, the Dutch style of partying was carried on for a few hours.
By Martina Danelaite