A new international student organization has recently sprung up – International Students Rotterdam. Seemingly overnight, ISR has over 700 friends on Facebook and is already organizing their first grand party. EM spoke with the man behind the wheel – Nicholas Cointepas to find out more.

What is ISR? “ISR is an initiative by me and a couple of others to start an international student organization.

Why was it created? “We need something for international students because there is not enough going on. The things and parties that exist turn boring halfway through the year. We wanted to make sure that internationals have things to do throughout the year and have a variety of people to hang out with. We want them to really feel part of the community, instead of just being one person with a handful of friends.”

What are your goals? “We seek to create some sort of community, because we noticed a huge gap between IBCoM, IBA, and IBEB people, as well as between first, second, and third year students. We are here with thousands of other internationals, so why not create a community and show Erasmus that we are here, we are all together and that we actually exist.”

What events do you organize? “We have the social drink and party every week. Also, we have trips around the Netherlands, because we want to make sure that their experience here in Erasmus is not just going to college but also living in Holland.”

Any long-term plans? “We would like to expand, become a fixed international organization in Rotterdam, and get an actual clubhouse. Also, we want to establish ourselves as a bridge between businesses, the university, and international students.”

How do you feel about your competition, for example ESN? “We don’t like having competition. There are only 3000 internationals, and it’s not necessary to start competing with each other for them. There is no way one single organization can cope with 3000 members alone. We would rather collaborate with other organizations than organize parties on the same days to struggle for people.”

Why should students join ISR? “Because there is strength in numbers. If many people join, it’s going to be so much fun; we can organize so much more cool things. We are all in this together, so we might as well enjoy the years spent here”.  MD