It’s the beginning of March, and time for students across the globe, but especially in the US, to take a Spring Break. You probably know the stereotypical image of booze, booze and booze, but Studium Generale and Erasmus Cultuur are providing an alternative.

First of all, a little taste of the US version of the Spring Break. Every year, thousands of American students go party on holiday destinations, mostly on the beach. Popular destinations are for instance Cancun and Miami Beach.

‘Binge drinking like idiots’

Saul del Compare, a 21-year-old Mexican IBCoM student, has celebrated Spring Break three times so far. He went to Cancun twice, and just returned from Key West for this year’s break. He makes a distinction between the European and American way of partying: “In US, there are fraternity guys everywhere, chanting the names of their university and binge drinking like idiots. I’ve never seen people act this way in Europe.” For him, the stereotypical image of thousands of students getting drunk and partying every day does correspond with the reality. 

Girls gone wild

Even though Spring Break is very popular in the US, it isn’t for all students. Avinash Saraon, a 21-year old exchange student from India, has lived in Florida for the past six years. “Guys love it, because the girls there just go crazy, and they take advantage of that. I only know one girlfriend who went, but it’s much more popular among guys.” She explains she hasn’t gone to any of these parties herself because it’s just too extreme for her. Comparing the US to the Netherlands, and more generally, to Europe, Avinash thinks that American students at Spring Break are a lot more extreme: “It’s a part of American college culture, that shows how great it is go get drunk and lose control.”

A week of culture, and some beers

In contrast to the American way of taking a break, Studium Generale and Erasmus Cultuur are organizing a cultural Spring Break, starting on Monday 16th of April. Geert Maarse, from Studium Generale, explains they offer a cultural alternative to getting wasted for a week, that allows students to do something fun between and after classes. Studium Generale provides a wide variety of activities in one week, including an open-air cinema, a pubquiz and a lecture by the reigning Prince of Liechtenstein.

Even though the Studium Generale programme is slightly more educative than partying throughout your Spring Break, this doesn’t mean alcohol is completely excluded. Maarse: “Of course we’ll also have some beers throughout the week.” Not all activities are in English, so check the online programme to find something that might interest you. IS