Being an international student in times of corona

The coronavirus crisis that we are in right now brings along a lot of new struggles for international students. You came here to get to know the Netherlands. The Dutch culture, the food, the beautiful cities, the typical Dutch student life and maybe even the Dutch language are all things you want to experience and learn about while studying abroad. The corona crisis makes this difficult. Travelling is restricted, the student life is not how it usually is, and wherever you go, you cannot experience the Dutch culture as usual. 

However, you are here to have a good time, to develop yourself and to make new friends. So, what can you still do in these corona times to make your time in Utrecht as great as possible? 

Bake pepernoten with your roommates
In December, Sinterklaas is in the Netherlands to bring gifts to the children and spread joy and ‘pepernoten’. This Dutch tradition is also very popular amongst students. Bake some pepernoten with your roommates, write poems for one another and exchange gifts. 

Walk along the canals with your new study friends
Especially now taking breaks is important. Being inside all day hinders your productivity and is not good for your health. Therefore, it is good to step away from your desk some time, grab a coffee to go at the coffee shop around the corner and take a walk, for example along the canals. Enjoy the Christmas lights, and, as the Dutch say, “get a fresh nose”. 

How can ESN Utrecht help?
As always, everyone within the Erasmus Student Network tries to give you a home away from home. This year especially, ESN tries to encourage intercultural contact between all internationally oriented students in Utrecht. Through online activities they still try to connect, inform and entertain every international student. And of course, whenever it is possible again to organise safe physical events to pursue their goals of intercultural understanding and introducing the Dutch culture, they will not hesitate to step in and set up the safe, engaging and fun events that they would like to offer you all. 

Make sure to keep an eye on their Facebook page, website or Instagram to stay up-to-date on all the relevant info and upcoming events.