Whether you have a relationship as a student at Woudestein depends on several things. One factor is where you live and particularly whether you are in lodgings or not. 70 percent of Economics students live at home, according to Lisanne and Friso from the Economic Faculty Association Rotterdam (EFR). Around 40 percent of these have a relationship with someone outside Erasmus University Rotterdam. “Economics students who live in lodgings tend to be single,” Lisanne claims.

Lovers at home

Bob and Jeroen, first year Econometrics students, sketch a similar picture: “Around a third of the students in our year have a relationship, usually one from before they came to university, with someone outside EUR.”

Matthijs, who is doing a master in Accountancy, has noticed the same trend. In the master phase, most of his fellow students have a relationship, but rarely with someone from the university. Often these relationships started during secondary school, and these relationships last longer when the couple come from the same region. This is probably because a long distance relationship is difficult to combine with a busy student life, says Matthijs. “If you live at home, you are less likely to join a student association and you won’t meet someone you like from EUR,” according to Matthijs. “What’s more, you don’t have so many classes with fellow students, so it’s even more difficult to get to know someone on your programme.”

Boundless love

Among international students, there is a surprisingly similar picture. According to Nikiforos and Maria, both Accountancy master students, most international students already have a relationship with someone before they move to Rotterdam. Flo, who comes from Germany and who has chosen the master in Global Business and Sustainability, agrees. “Most internationals already have a relationship or they aren’t looking for one, perhaps because they’ll often only be in Rotterdam for a short time.”

Not much love in economics

Economics students Olivier, Coen and Daan illustrate the importance of choice of study for whether you find a partner or not. Most of their fellow students don’t have a relationship because they aren’t looking, but also because economics is a very large-scale subject. “You only see 80 percent of your fellow students during exams,” says Olivier. “Every week you have 4.5 hours’ lessons together, often in a lecture hall with six hundred other students. So it’s virtually impossible to get to know someone well.” For some forms of education, Economics students are in groups of 25, where the male-female ratio is seldom fifty-fifty. Women are nearly always in the vast minority. “In short, Economics students are often nott looking for a relationship or at least not here,” says Daan.

Big studies versus small

“At Woudestein, there are two types of programmes: the big programmes where students rarely encounter each other and the small programmes with frequent classes and a close group of fellow students. It’s easier to enter into a relationship in a smaller group. In Economics and Law, half of the students have had a fling with a fellow student,” explains Maarten, who is studying Economics and Law, a relatively small programme which tends to have more ambitious students than average. Much of the teaching is given in groups which stay together for long enough to make new contacts. It’s not just education programmes, but also the active student association In Duplo offer opportunities to get to know other students and perhaps come across an interesting colleague.

“In Economics, however, you have few classes and quite a lot of education in big groups, which are often also mixed,” Maarten feels. That’s why relationships work better in Business Administration, he says. “Students in that programme are taught in small permanent groups which stay together for a long time,” agrees a friend who wants to remain anonymous. That explains why Business Administration students tend to have a relationship more often than Economics students. Another thing he notices is that much more than 10 percent of his fellow students are gay.

Medical couples

It’s difficult to estimate the percentage of single students in the medical faculty. Anonymous sources report that Medical students have a relationship more often than Economics or Business Administration students, for example. Because with this faculty being so far from Woudestein, there isn’t much contact with other programmes. The many classes and long hours in the medical library also encourage relationships within the faculty. Tessa, third year medical student, and Jeffrey, first year Clinical technology, met at a beach volleyball tournament organised by the Medical Faculty Association.

Couples whose partners are studying similar subjects have certain advantages. “In that respect, we have the same interests, so we’re interested in each other’s stories about the programme,” says Tessa. “We don’t need to hold back or explain medical terms, and that sort of thing.” However, they are careful about such conversations, says Jeffrey: “Friends sometimes like to talk about something else.”