Stuck in the Netherlands due to the pandemic
BSS: No one should be alone on Christmas
A lot of international students and staff are stuck in the Netherlands this Christmas due to the pandemic. The Faculty of Behavioural and Social Sciences (BSS) thinks no one should be alone on Christmas, so they’ve organised the campaign
‘Bie Mekerst’, which roughly translates to ‘Together on Christmas’. BSS students and staff can sign up to find people to take a walk with or have dinner with. ‘It’s really sad that internationals won’t be able to spend Christmas with their families this year. Especially after this difficult online year’, says Mirjam Buigel-De Witte with the faculty board.
That’s why they decided on this campaign where people could meet in real life. ‘Everything is compliant with the RIVM guidelines, of course.’
People can get together in pairs and pick a walking route in or around Groningen. They can also get together for dinner. In groups of three, with one person hosting, they’ll spend an evening cooking and enjoying the food. ‘We want the internationals to know that we’re thinking of them, especially now.’
‘Bie Mekerst’ was inspired by ‘Bie Mekoar’ (Groningen dialect for ‘together’), an initiative that unites the different study programmes at BSS through the organisation of activities. ‘Bie Mekerst’ will be successful ‘when all the international students and staff feel like it’s Christmas’, says Buigel-De Witte.
Anyone at BSS, including Dutch students and staff, can sign up. Registration is open until December 7. You can say whether you want to meet up with students or with staff, and whether you want to host or just be a visitor.
The groups will be announced on December 14, allowing people to meet up between December 14 and January 3.