The student association quiz is available once again this year for incoming students to figure out which fraternity would be a good fit for them.
According to the Groninger Internet Courant, the verenigingswijzer (association quiz) was developed by the University of Groningen, the Hanze University of Applied Sciences and the municipality of Groningen to provide an objective impression of the 13 social associations in the city.
Incoming students have to answer 18 questions about a range of aspects of fraternity life, from their opinions about hazing and maintaining tradition – which would be of particular importance when considering joining Vindicat – to drinking and Christian values – Christian students are likely to be advised to join a religious-affiliated association like the Navigators. Based on their responses, the advisor recommends which association they should consider joining. The tool has been available online since 2014.
Not available in English
Given that 99.5 percent of student association members are Dutch, it may not be all that surprising that the quiz is only available in Dutch. Last year, the youth-oriented radio programme NOS op 3 reported that fewer than one percent of Dutch student association members are internationals. Part of the reason for that is timing: many international students only arrive once their dedicated housing is available in the days before classes start, which means that they are not in town during the student association recruitment period in August.
A survey by the Landelijke Kamer van Verenigingen (the National Chamber of Associations) last year found that more than 80 percent of international students at Dutch universities were unaware that they could even join a social fraternity. Many university faculties have their own study associations, which typically have more international members than the social clubs.
Around 5,000 new students are expected to begin their studies in Groningen this autumn, and the KEI week orientation festivities will kick off next week. Internationals have their own orientation week organised by the Erasmus Student Network after their welcome ceremony.