Student Internationalization Platform

| Michaela Nesvarova

How often do you interact with Dutch students? Why don’t more internationals become members of student associations? Do you feel left out because you don’t speak Dutch? Those were some of the questions asked at today’s lunch discussion, organized by the Student Internationalization Platform and aimed at international students.

‘The Student Internationalization Platform is a new platform initiated by the Student Union (SU). Its goal is to tackle university wide problems regarding internationalization and the platform includes an international representative for each sector, i.e. study, world, arts, sport and business,’ explained Jasper ten Napel from the SU board.

‘It seems to be harder for internationals to join various associations at the UT. That is why we decided to host these sessions – we want to see what we can do to make it easier and involve more international students in associations,’ continued Ten Napel. Today’s event was the first in a series of internationalization discussions, all organized during lunch breaks this week.

Are Dutch students sometimes ‘mean’?

‘Do you actively interact with Dutch students?’ That was one of the first questions posed during the debate this afternoon. To that, many participants replied that they found it difficult to engage in conversation with Dutch students, because they always speak Dutch. Some even called the behavior of Dutch students ‘mean’, because they wouldn’t even communicate in English during the introduction week, which made the internationals in their midst feel very left out.

Kick-In was mentioned several times throughout the discussion. According to some of the attendees, Kick-In is the time when students make most of their friends and often they are not in touch with any Dutch people during Kick-In. ‘On the other hand, we continuously meet new internationals and therefore don’t have the need to meet Dutch students just for the sake of meeting Dutch students,’ said one of the debate participants.

Motivation and information

The main purpose of this week’s lunch discussions is to find out how more international students could become involved in UT associations. So why aren’t they members already? Based on information gathered today, it comes down to a lack of motivation and information. ‘I could join, but I don’t see the need to. I have enough to do already,’ stated several of the international students, who also said that they were missing a united platform with an overview of all associations and their activities.

If you would like to share your experience and ideas regarding internationalization and involvement of internationals at the UT, you can still join one of this week’s lunch discussions in Bastille. You can sign up here.