International students will be surprised that a reasonable amount of workshops, performances, and courses are available in English. That said, if you got some time to spare, there is no excuse not to get active and involved!
Lucienne Boehmer, a PR officer for the SGEC notes that it was established 13 years ago. However, only from this year, they have started purposefully marketing towards the international students. Lucienne points out that most of the courses, seminars, and lectures that SGEC offers are in English, making them appealing to international students. “Internationals are very eager to participate in events both on campus and around town. It is not that easy to find all the things you can do in another country, and meet other students at the same time.” For example taking a beginners guitar course might be a good way to do other things than study.
Ratko Zjacka, a Croatian guitar teacher at SGEC, says that international students all have different backgrounds in life as well as in music, making it exciting to work with them. Interestingly enough, students take a music course as a sort of therapy to cool down from their studies. Others also have always wanted to play an instrument, and finally decided to take it up. Ratko says that finding time for courses is not really an issue. “If you like something very much but are busy with university and other stuff, you can always find time for your hobby”.
Henrike Hören is a three year long member of the choir, a cultural society, and surely finds enough time to do what she enjoys – singing. A student of psychology, she also gets to experience and intermingle with people who study different things, and who come from different places. “We do not sing any Dutch songs! We prefer Bulgarian or Greek, for example, so that for every person it is the same to learn it. Joining the choir is a great way to get in touch with the Dutch, and needless to say, singing unites people, no matter where you are from”.
Studying alone will probably get boring, so roll up your sleeves, pick a course or two from the endless choices, and prepare to be ‘culturized’. MD