Someone once said: “when in Rome, do as the Romans do”. Given the obvious circumstances and the title of the current piece, we won’t dive into an ardent discussion about habits and customs of the Italians, however we will use the credo as a guideline to explore and fill in the gap of what everyone knows, but no one dares to tell.
It is definitely common sense that internationals and expats don’t solely come to live in the Low Lands for work and study affairs. Their thrust for the unexpected and the inexplicable urges them to strive for new experiences and digest the best and the worst of what Dutch life and culture have to offer. So, I couldn’t help, but wonder: do we – internationals – know how to party the Dutch way, or is there a lot more to bring to the table?
Therefore, to reveal the truths of what was never spoken about, please follow my comprehensive list of party possibilities for international students in the Netherlands and fill me in with whatsoever wasn’t mentioned, lived or done.
#1. The dorm party
Beer pong tables, red cups, people in animal overalls and other numerous party favors that contribute to the raving experience – dormitories represent the classic itself for a good student party. Due to the highly international scene, the Low Lands are THE European country to shelter its plentiful number of foreign folks into its ravishing student establishments. Furthermore, organization itself of such party is fairly easy: just pop a Facebook event couple of weeks prior, ensure an unlimited beer supply and observe how the entire international flock in your city will crawl down your doorstep for a night full of eventful occurrences.
#2. The mid-week couch bash
Deadlines are around the corner and you’re stuck at home? Fortunately, there is nothing to worry about if you have a). awesome housemates and geographically convenient pals, b). a couch and c). booze. The mid-week couch bash is the perfect way to blow off some steam and get your party mood on for the upcoming weekend. Anyways, who needs going out when you have the perfect glass of chardonnay and Say Yes to The Dress on TV on a seemingly quiet Wednesday evening?
#3. The commute
A wise man once said in his blog that the Netherlands is so flat that if someone in Friesland waves at someone in Belgium, he will be noticed. Besides pointing out the country’s flatness, one can interpret the witty observation as a way to refer to the small distances within the country in question.
Indeed, the ostensibly small distances between metropolitan areas and the fairly convenient transportation represent the perfect prelude for an intercity adventure. Just jump on the next train to your designated party location, rave throughout the night with your best mates and be ready for the inevitable and tedious wait for the morning train to pass by and bring you back to your den.
#4. The festival rage
The Dutch are notorious for their continuous and merely unending celebration of everything: from flowers and exquisite wine, to music and sexual orientation, and from conspicuously expensive to absolutely free to attend to.
So if you are a man of ceaseless celebration of life, the Netherlands undoubtedly is THE place to be. Every year tourists, expats and international students flock around these festive establishments to enjoy a feast, abundant of booze, food, music and love.
For further info, here’s a link of the most important festivals to attend to when in Dutchland.
5. The spring-summer park chill
Every once in a 100 years, when the sunlight touches the cold ground, the grass turns green and the birds start to sing a song of Earth awakening, all inhabitants of Dutchland crawl out of their dens and hit the road to the nearest park.
The spring-summer park chill presents an outstanding opportunity to enjoy a day of sunbathing while taking slow sips of Grolsch or Heineken, engaging in sportive activities and having a barbeque with your closest lads and gals.
But beware! Empty spots on sunny day in the park are limited and work on the first-come first-served principle.
#6. The student night rave
Sometimes during the week your honorable student card will turn into the holy embodiment of a golden ticket for the Willy Wonka & the chocolate factory. Wave it around in particular nightlife spots in your city and you will immediately receive the highly valued in student societies perks of a free entrance or half-priced drinks.
Nevertheless, if you happen to be a newbie in Dutchland, follow the collective wisdom of the numerous flocks of international students, hitting downtown to quench their thirst for booze adventure and you’ll eventually end up at the right place on a Tuesday/ Thursday night.
#7. The school event
There are some occasions in life when it’s definitely better to quit being the one who has other friends and join for once your colleagues from uni to engage in conversations, other than your grades from the previous finals and your mutual hatred for particular teachers.
Indeed, student associations have a lot to bring to the table: from custom parties and beer cantus evenings to international food fairs and barbeques. Anyways, you definitely won’t lose your time and you’ll make couple of new acquaintances to greet you down the hallways on your way to the next lecture.
#8. The birthday wing-ding
Congrats! A birthday invitation is a definite validation that you’ve actually managed to befriend someone, who wants you in their life for extended functions, other than workout/study/killing time buddy.
At the end of the day – we – the international students have come to Dutchland alone and forsaken and we DO need someone to lean on in times of both joy and sorrow. Therefore, the birthday wing-ding is the perfect occasion to manifest your friendship by actually attending the event in question, bearing gifts and keeping the party going.
To put a definitive closure of my extended list for party possibilities for international students in the Netherlands, I would like to urge you to fill in my possible gaps of party experience so my fellow- international flock and I can indulge into new adventures and eventful occurrences when studying in Dutchland. And for you- current and prospective newbies- I hope you dive into all of my 8 international student party endeavors, and hopefully find out and experience more.