Master student in Public Administration Ruud (27) is the proud guide of group 282 and has nineteen students under his care. He just lost half of his group. It is Sports Day and at the entrance of Antibarbari football club he is trying to make a group photo. It’s raining and some students want to leave. Still they like to walk with Ruud for the photo. ‘For Ruud you will,’ says a student who a moment earlier said grumpily that she couldn’t stand the heavy rain.
You study in Leiden, yet you are a guide in Rotterdam?
I just started a master’s degree in Public Administration in Leiden, but I did my bachelor’s at the EUR and in Rotterdam I have all my friends. This city also has my heart, I don’t have much to do with Leiden.
Why did you become a guide?
“I’m a guide for the third time and I was also a board member of the Eurekaweek. I just really enjoy seeing students loosen up and come out of their shells during the week. It’s a way for me to give something back. I myself have met a lot of nice people during Eurekaweek. It also remains a challenge to guide. This year is the first time I have an international group. That brings you into contact with other cultures. Christian Chinese, students from Indonesia and at the end of the week they get on well with the Dutch. That makes me very happy. Now the members of my group are all setting up WhatsApp groups and have already set dates for parties after Eurekaweek.”
What is the secret of a good guide?
“Beforehand we discuss the day together, and you’re allowed to skip hours during the day. International students have to arrange a lot of things, such as registration with the municipality. They need time for that. I also allow everyone to join my group. We’ve already adopted several people from other groups who found it more sociable with us. It is also important that you push people a little sometimes, carefully. Yesterday, for example, a girl did go sailing after I had to persuade her to do so. She had a great time.”
What is your nightmare scenario for this week and how do you prepare for it?
“If a student is too drunk to get home. Then I ride home with them. Or in the worst case scenario, I let him or her sleep in my place. That happened to me once with a girl whose parents were pretty strict and who would have been called to account if she had come home so drunk. At that point you have to take responsibility, I think.”