At Café De Beurs on the Kruiskade, people are already spilling out onto the sidewalk at midnight. On the first ESN Tuesday of the academic year, the bass blasts out across the outdoor terrace. People are bumming cigarettes off each other left, right and centre while the first attempts at picking someone up are being made. Someone is lighting up a joint. ESN Rotterdam’s weekly open party is mainly attended by international students, so you can hear French, Portuguese and Russian all over the place.

‘Everyone wants to dance’

Katrin, a first-year master’s student from Germany, speaks highly of the nightlife crowd: “People here are much nicer than where I studied. Everyone wants to dance with you.” Even the Russian student Ana, who is in a Eurekaweek group with Katrin, is enthusiastic: “Compared to Russia, going out in Rotterdam is way better. There are more international students, people are nicer and more outgoing – it’s just more fun.”

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Katrin and Anna like the crowd at Café De Beurs. Image credit: Hilde Speet

Both students are happy with Café De Beurs. “The music is fantastic, if it wasn’t so crowded, I would give this bar a ten!”, Ana sums up. At the last minute, she tries to hit on the reporter: “By the way, you’re really attractive.”


It soon becomes clear that the new students are not just looking for new friends. A first-year student from Chile tries to impress two French students with his finest French. All he can manage is ‘Oui, très bien’, so he switches to English and very subtly asks one of them: “Do you have a boyfriend?” After hearing a ‘yes’, he replies less subtly: “Not anymore after tonight…”

Image credit: Hilde Speet

At one o’clock, the Après Skihut on the Stadhuisplein is bustling as usual, but not with first-year students. Maybe the new students haven’t found their way to this party hub yet, or maybe there are enough fun parties going on that they can do without the Skihut.

Hoping for more

On the Skihut outdoor terrace, four first-years are recovering for a minute. The internationals are in shock. “We had to pay for the toilet!”, says Dominik from Germany. “It was really traumatic”, adds Tommaso from Italy, “and I didn’t even go to the toilet. I was just waiting for Dominik and I still had to pay!”

Yet the students are still planning to go to the Erasmus Night Out party at Villa Thalia this week and are also keen to drop by MUNCH. They are hoping for good music and nice people. One of the young men sits with his arm around one of the women the entire time. Probably hoping for something else too.

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Dominik and Tommaso with their friends at the Skihut. Image credit: Hilde Speet

Bon appetit

On the outdoor terrace of De Vrienden Live in de Oude Haven, things have already heated up. Several couples stand around outside kissing.  In all the excitement, one particularly passionate couple saw the young woman hoisted into the air as they kiss. Inside, the place is packed, the DJs are throwing a great party and the bar staff are brandishing flaming ice fountains. Everyone is dancing and singing, but suddenly the music stops. “Those two over there really have their tongues down each other’s throats”, the DJ yells. “Bon appetit!”

Anna has snagged a guide. Image credit: Hilde Speet

Anna stands in front of café De Vrienden. This first-year student has snagged a Eurekaweek guide, but luckily someone from another group. “So, that’s allowed then”, says the guide in question. “My guide kissed someone from your group too, right?”, Anna asks. “Yeah, two in fact, so they’re more like exchange students!”, the guide jokes.