How to get the best ESN introduction ever!

During this coming week Groningen will be overrun by new and returning international students, all refreshed and ready to start their studies with a bang. However, it is easy to miss out on the famous ESN Introduction Week.

1. Do queue

200330172-002At the University’s Welcoming Day on 27 August, ESN will have a room where you can sign up for the introduction week and for life membership. The queues are enormous, but don’t let them put you off. It’s well worth the wait, as the ESN activities during Intro Week are exclusively for those who have signed up. Think of it this way – the longer the queues, the crazier the parties. More people mean more potential friends and a better chance of hooking up…

2. Don’t splash out

thumb-zakgeld-geldAs many of you won’t yet have acquired bank accounts, there will be a strong temptation to finish the day with an empty wallet. However, if you’re planning to do the same the following day, your lack of cash will stop you in your tracks, so plan ahead. Bring bottles of water to the sports day, organise pre-drinks with your group before hitting the clubs and get tequila suicides for free! A full wallet is better than an empty one. You’ll soon realise that in the Netherlands.

3. Do buy a bike

bikeGroningen’s cycling culture may seem weird to many new arrivals and, quite frankly, it is. However, it is also brilliant. Learn to love your bike. Feel its cold steel and crooked embrace. It is the one thing you cannot do without here, so when the opportunity arises during your City Tour to buy one cheaply, grasp it with both hands. It’ll make travelling to activities for the rest of the week easier and more fun, and getting to classes a breeze.

4.Don’t dyd (Drink Yourself Dead)

InversionBad head = stay in bed. Have a drink, or two, or three. Heck, have four! But have more and more, and you’ll be on the floor. Don’t drink yourself out of the game – save that until the final night. Pace yourself.

5. Do everything

dont-do-everythingThis may be a cliché, but give everything a go! The Dutch language course is hilarious and useful, the cultural day is fun and informative, and the Dutch cycling course is something my elbows wish I had attended last year! Everything is worth doing, particularly if you’ve paid €30 for it. *insert Edith Piaf here*

6. Don’t be shy

Party-TimeOnce you are allocated a group, don’t feel duty-bound to interact only with them for the duration of the week. Talk to members of other teams on sports day. Organise pre-drinks with a few other groups before going out. Obviously, stay with your group when you need to, but don’t be afraid to interact with other groups. Get around.

7. Do try kapsalons

terrible-kebab-meat-boxA completely foreign experience. Invented by a hairdresser – hence its name – in Rotterdam, this truly is a Dutch ‘delicacy’, not. For less than a tenner, you can buy a box (yes, a box) of the most delightfully unhealthy kebab meat since feasting began. My advice: limit yourself to eating them for this week only. If you finish them, take a picture because I will be impressed – or disgusted…

For more information about the ESN Introduction Week, check out the ESN website.