Record number of international students arrive at TiU

The Academia building has been transformed into a festive welcome center for new international students. This week, 1300 foreign students arrive at Tilburg University. A record number for the institution.

The new international students are greeted by volunteers of the international student association I*ESN. Tulips, wooden clogs and stroopwafels can be found throughout the building. Only the bowls filled with licorice candy seem to be untouched – a little too Dutch, perhaps.

Following a set route around the building, the new arrivals pass a number of rooms and stands. After reporting to the front desk, the students can drop off their luggage, pick up the keys to their new room, open a Dutch bank account and buy a sports membership. And, essential when living in Holland, they also receive an Albert Heijn bonus card.

“Everything is arranged perfectly”, says Sanam from Indonesia. “And I’ve already met a lot of new people.” She is drinking coffee with Faricka from Saint Martin and Ainhoa from Spain. They met last Tuesday.

Sanam, Faricka and Ainhoa came to the Academia building today to buy bicycles. On the rear side of the building, there are large rows of bicycles to be sold. Oddly, many of the bikes are brightly colored children’s bikes. “For international students who aren’t as tall as the average Dutchie, an adult-size bike is not very convenient”, explains Renate Krabbendam, I*ESN’s vice president. “The children’s sizes are actually quite popular.”

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