The university has reopened and students have returned to the city. This includes the Zernike campus, where UKrant encountered students sunbathing near the ponds while others walked around happily: ‘It’s like everything’s coming back to life.’
After spending more than a year at home, Glenn Huijser is glad that on-site classes are back. ‘I don’t care that it’s so busy’, says the astronomy student, sitting on one of the pond quays with countless other students. ‘I think almost everyone here is vaccinated.’
‘You have to move on at some point’, says international business student Jan-Henri van den Berg. ‘If everyone is smart about the relaxed restrictions, I don’t foresee any problems. The only thing I don’t understand is the mandatory face masks in the hallways. We’re a lot closer together in the classrooms. But other than that, it’s not an issue’, he adds.
Further down the pond is Wilco de Haan, pre-master student of marketing. ‘I’m really enjoying seeing my fellow students. It’s also really great to be able to ask questions again in class’, he says. It’s not all roses and sunshine according to Wilco, though: ‘I worked at the public health service this past year, in the contact tracing department. Because of my work there I had a front row seat to what happened last fall, and I’m worried that the infection rate will rise again this season.’
Liya Aksir says the corona restrictions in her home country of Greece are particularly strict. ‘You had to log every single visit elsewhere in an app.’ How different it is in the Netherlands. The international business student is glad to be rid of it: ‘I don’t want the university to shut down, because I came here to discover student life and make new friends. Otherwise, I would’ve stayed in Greece.’