The International Student: Stadjer or Not?
International students aren’t new to the city. International students have been part of Groningen for more than 400 years. Since its founding in 1614, the University of Groningen has thrived thanks to the influence of international professors and students. These visitors brought financial resources, cultural diversity, and new knowledge that enriched both the academic community and the city of Groningen. In the past few decades, however, something has changed: the number of international students has more than tripled since 2005, and this has raised new concerns, such as related to housing and the quality of education. How did the international students suddenly become a problem? And how has this affected the way they experience the university and the city?
International students are often viewed as those who come to Groningen just for the purpose of studying and are expected to leave when their studies end. What happens in between their coming and going? Are international students mere transients in the city, or do they get to belong in Groningen? Do they get to call it ‘home’?
In this debate, we will explore the relationship between international students and the city of Groningen from multiple perspectives. We will talk about housing issues, university-related dilemmas, linguistic and cultural matters, and, more broadly, about definitions of citizenship and possibilities of belonging.
Jeanette den Toonder
Milena dos Santos Bendixen
Mindwise Debate is a series of public debates organised by Studium Generale Groningen, Institute for Science Education and Communication and Mindwise Groningen. The debates have the aim of creating a university-wide platform for risky and engaging dialogue on topics ranging from the role of standardization in education systems to the nature of consciousness. The event consists of a formal debate between two teams composed of both students and staff members from UG followed by an open discussion between everyone in the audience and the debaters.
Exhibition | Internationals Not Outsiders
The history of international students in Groningen is vast and just as old as the University of Groningen! But how much do we know about it? Explore the stories of international students from the founding of the RUG until now, from the 15th of May to the 2nd of June in the Harmony, Duisinberg, Theology buildings, as well as the University Library. You can also check them out on the website
©UG, photo: Egbert de Boer