Colourful stands lined the C-Hall for the official opening event of Erasmus Language Sharing or ELS. The student run initiative offers six language programs at present; Dutch, Spanish, German, Italian, French and Arabic.

Enthusiastic student-teachers, or coaches as they’re known at ELS, greeted curious visitors from behind their stands. Vitam had prepared tasting platters typical of nations linked to the languages to reflect the culture-sharing aims of ELS programs. German coach Judith Stein (24), draws inspiration from culture to teach the language. “For example, I’ll use German words to speak about my birthday or Christmas in Germany during our classes,” she said.

The multi-cultural fair was more about ‘raising awareness’ than anything else, Florine explained. It seemed to do exactly that; curious students drawn by the performing musicians wandered over to browse the stands, chat with coaches and sample the food on offer.

Enticed by the ‘chill’ music, Desislava Breycheva (20) said “I’d like to learn Portuguese, but they haven’t got it yet,” as she filled in her raffle entry for a free language course. “But they said they will next year!” she added. ELS ‘hopes to add Portuguese and Chinese’ to the list in the coming year, co-founder Florine Groenen (21) explained.

“I didn’t know about [ELS] at all,” said Karim El Mouttaki (19) as he waited to speak with coaches at the busy Arabic booth. “The LTC aren’t offering Arabic this semester, so I’m really interested in this program. I want to discover my heritage,” he added.HK