Roos, Daan, and Maimoena at the Grote Markt Photo by Reyer Boxem

Studying in your hometown

‘I’m seeing a whole new side of the city’

Roos, Daan, and Maimoena at the Grote Markt Photo by Reyer Boxem
Most students want to study somewhere as far away from their parents as possible. But what if you’re nuts about Groningen and don’t want to leave at all? ‘I love that I can bike across the city in five minutes.’
20 April om 9:16 uur.
Laatst gewijzigd op 20 April 2022
om 9:24 uur.
April 20 at 9:16 AM.
Last modified on April 20, 2022
at 9:24 AM.

Door Zoë Mostajir

20 April om 9:16 uur.
Laatst gewijzigd op 20 April 2022
om 9:24 uur.

By Zoë Mostajir

April 20 at 9:16 AM.
Last modified on April 20, 2022
at 9:24 AM.

Zoë Mostajir

Photo by Reyer Boxem

Maimoena Hulshof (20)

Middle Eastern studies

Maimoena Hulshof didn’t always want to stay in Groningen. In fact, she initially planned to move to Leiden. ‘I wasn’t sure what programme I wanted to do, and I’d been to Leiden during open days before. I liked the city and the associations they had. I already knew I wanted to join a rowing club.’

But then she took a gap year. She travelled and started having doubts. She was particularly interested in Middle Eastern studies, a programme in Groningen. Friends who’d stayed in the city to go to university told her they were seeing a whole new side of the city.

‘That’s something I’m seeing now, too’, she says. ‘The Groningen I know now is not the same Groningen I grew up in. The student world has shown me a completely different side of the city.’  University students mainly go out during the week, while in secondary school, she’d only go out on the weekends. She also spends more time in the city centre rather than the surrounding neighbourhoods.


She loves Groningen because it’s so small, she says. She often runs into the same people, and everyone knows almost everyone. ‘I think that’s why new students quickly feel at home here.’ 

You can easily visit your parents if you want to

Besides, she never has to bike very far. ‘You can pretty much get across the city centre in five minutes. You don’t have to take a train or bike for half an hour to get somewhere.’

That also makes it easier to visit her parents for dinner or a cup of coffee. But never for too long. ‘I don’t have to stay the whole weekend, which is quite nice. We both have our lives in the same city and can easily visit if we want to.’

Old friends

Perhaps the best thing about staying in town is that she didn’t have to make any new friends. Many of the friends she already had were staying in Groningen, too. ‘I really enjoy that. I see them regularly and my relationship with them is different than the one I have with people I met as a student.’ 

Nevertheless, she thinks she’ll be leaving the city after she graduates. ‘Although it’ll always be my home base.’ But because of her studies, she thinks she’ll have no choice but to leave. ‘You either go out west or to the actual Middle East’, she says, summing up her options. Staying here isn’t one of them. ‘Unless I started teaching, but I’m not sure I want that.’

Photo by Reyer Boxem

Daan Kahmann (20)

artificial intelligence

It was always clear to Daan that he would study in Groningen. He’s not actually from town, but from Roden, Drenthe, approximately an hour by bicycle. He had a lot to discover about the city. ‘I always went partying in Groningen and had a great time’, he says. ‘The atmosphere was brilliant, and I knew it could only get better if I knew more people.’

Going out is different now that he lives here. He had limited options as an underage secondary-school student. ‘I wasn’t allowed in any of the fun places. But now I am.’ 

These days, Daan feels completely at home in Stad, as the inhabitants call it. ‘That’s obviously because I live here now, and in the centre, too’, he says. ‘But it’s also because Groningen was just made for students. I used to think that when I was in town back when I was still in school: that everyone was older and in university. And now I’m a part of that.’


He doesn’t see his parents back in Roden very often, he says. He goes back for an evening now and again. ‘It’s all pretty chill, but that does mean I’m over there less’, he says. There’s another issue, too, which makes it more complicated: ‘My parents are divorced, so when I visit one of them, I have to go see the other one, too.’

As a minor I wasn’t allowed in any of the fun places, but now I am

He doesn’t have many friends left in Groningen. Most of them left the city. ‘There were eleven guys in our group. Four, including myself, stayed in Groningen.’ The others moved to Utrecht, Eindhoven, Nijmegen, Delft, ‘and one guy even went to Antwerp’. He regularly visits them to get ‘a taste of the town’ and see his friends.


But the friends who moved away also know how to find their way back to Groningen. ‘Everyone comes back home sometimes, which is nice. I’ll always show up when they’re here.’

He does eventually plan on leaving, though. Probably for his master. ‘I’m also really curious about other cities’, he says. Like Utrecht, for example, where a good friend of his lives. Daan say the atmosphere in that city is ‘really nice’. He laughs: ‘Or maybe I’ll even go abroad.’

Photo by Reyer Boxem

Roos Boekaar (20)

international relations & international organization

Roos Boekaar is a Stadjer born and raised. She says she mainly stayed in Groningen because the programme she wanted to do was being taught at the university here. She also thinks Groningen is a great student town with excellent party options. ‘If I wasn’t from here, I still would’ve come here to study.’

But she also wanted to really join Albertus. ‘I figured that if I stayed, my life would still be really different than before rather than stay the same.’ She was looking forward to meeting new people and making new friends. But things didn’t really go according to plan. 

If I wasn’t from here, I still would’ve come here to study

‘Unfortunately, I didn’t make the cut’, she says. No Albertus Magnus for her. But she still decided to stay. She plays hockey, works in a pub, and is on the yearbook committee for her study association Clio.

Bike over

She doesn’t see her parents ‘all that much’, she says. ‘I try to go over for dinner once a week.’ It doesn’t always work out, but she’s okay with that. ‘I didn’t stay here for my parents. What is nice, though, is that I can just quickly bike over when I’ve forgotten something or I need something.’ 

Most of her friends also stayed in Groningen to go to university. One friend left for Utrecht, but didn’t like the programme she was doing, ‘so now she’s going to uni here’. Some of her friends did manage to join Albertus, although ‘not nearly all of them’.


Roos would like to stay in town a little longer, she says, but not the rest of her life. When she’s leaving also depends on that study association she’s so eager to join. ‘I’m going to try to get into Albertus one more time. If I succeed, I’ll do my master here and leave afterwards. If I don’t, I think I’ll go elsewhere for my master.’