At the beginning of each semester, the University hosts a free Welcoming Ceremony for all new international students. This ceremony features speeches and workshops, and provides information about what it is like to study in Groningen. You will receive an invite through your faculty. The ceremony typically takes place at the very end of August and beginning of September, and at the start of February.
The Erasmus Student Network is a Europe-wide student association that hosts events and provides support for international students. The Groningen chapter hosts an Introduction week, which is a lot less formal than the Welcoming Ceremony, and provides a chance for you to meet lots of new students who are in the same situation as you. ESNGroningen organises tours and meetings, dinners and most importantly, parties! This is a great chance to make friends quickly and to get into the swing of being a student in Groningen, and is always well recommended. You can find more information at the ESN Groningen website.
There is also an additional welcome programme for all new students, domestic and international, known as the KEI week. In 2011 this took place from 15-19 August, right around the time you would be moving into your accommodation. You are allocated a group made up of around 10-15 first year students and a few senior students, who give you a tour around Groningen and a chance to find out as many tips from experience as you can, as well as being introduced to a number of student organisations, fraternities, and events. This is another great chance to make some new friends who are in a similar situation to you.
There are also a number of activities and events hosted by the faculties and some degree programmes themselves, giving you a chance to meet the people you will be studying and attending classes with, as well as the staff who run the faculty and course, before the classes even begin. You will receive a lot of helpful information that is relevant to your own studies and situation. You will definitely receive more information about these events closer to the start of your studies.
The University of Groningen has a fantastic tool to help provide you with as much relevant information to you as a potential student. By following the steps on the simple and intuitive website, you will create your own ‘magazine’ that fits to your course and situation.
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