Studying at the Forum
‘This place is perfect’
Sarah Fingerhut (26) stares out the Forum’s large windows, which offer a great view of the city. After a while, the master student in clinical psychology turns back to her laptop and takes another sip of her coffee. She’s been coming to the Forum instead of the UB for a while now.
‘There are so many people in the UB. It’s especially busy during exam periods. I just can’t concentrate’, says Sarah. The Forum, though, has a special silent wing. Large doors emblazoned with the word ‘SILENT’ separate the room from the rest of the building. ‘I used to go Coffee Company or the old Forum. But this silent room is super chill.’
The new Forum Groningen opened its doors on November 29. It boasts a library, a movie theatre, and study spots galore. UG students looking to flee the UB flocked to the forum, including psychology student Armin Haji Ali Mohammadi (20) and Nicolas Armbruster (21).
‘I really like the silent wing. It’s easier to focus without all these people walking around’, says Armin. ‘I don’t want to study all alone, but the UB is so crowded. This place is perfect.’ Nicolas also enjoys the Forum. ‘The atmosphere at the UB was kind of stressful, to be honest. It’s nice and quiet here.’
Corina Chicote (24) comes to the Forum for an entirely different reason. ‘To me, the UB is too quiet. For exams and stuff I usually stay home to study. But I come here to do assignments’, the human resources management master student says. ‘I enjoy being here, together with my friends. I like socialising in a great environment. I don’t need the quiet. I never go the UB anymore.’
Fellow student Steffi Ostrowski (27) also comes for the social aspect. ‘You can eat and drink while you study. And it’s nice to take breaks with your friends.’
The great view is another important reason to study at the Forum. ‘At the UB, you’re just staring at a wall all day. It’s kind of depressing’, says Corina. ‘The view is great when the blinds are open. I spend a lot of time here’, says Steffi.
The Forum does have its drawbacks, says Sarah. ‘The escalators are pretty loud.’ Nicolas agrees. ‘On the weekends, the escalators are really busy. Visitors talk to each other on their way to the roof.’ Steffi has found a solution. ‘I have noise-reducing headphones. It blocks out the noisy kids and allows me to study everywhere.’
Does this mean they’ll never go back to the UB? Armin thinks the study location doesn’t really matter. ‘Whether or not you’re able to study is more about your mood, or the effort you make. Eating the same thing every day will eventually get old. So I don’t think I’d want to come here every day to study. But it’s definitely a cut above studying at home or the UB.’
Would you like to study at the Forum, too? Read the house rules (Dutch only)