By Martina Losi
If you feel that the international environment of Groningen is sometimes closed-off, if you want to overcome the brief moment when students of other cultures slightly nod at you before disappearing, the Language and Culture Symposium is the place for you.
On the 7 November, students, staff members and outsiders will have a full immersion in language and culture, attending the event organised by the Language and Culture Policy of the University of Groningen.
Attendants will be spoilt for choice among interactive workshops and lectures held by international speakers and trainers, including the Head of Diversity and Inclusion at Google, Chuck Stephens and the correspondent and former tennis player Bettine Vriesekoop.
“Participants will learn how to better cooperate with each others in an international environment” says Mrs. Harrianne ter Meer, member of the Symposium Organizing Committee.
“We aim to create more awareness and exchange of knowledge,” she continues. “Sometimes we see the formation of groups based on nationality.”
Siriroj Karijarapornpreecha, an international student from Thailand, thinks in the same way. “The board should encourage both Dutch and international students to have more activities together,” he says.
Not only students struggle to fit in the international dimension of the university. “Some lecturers have troubles explaining some things in English,” Merlyn Acilin, a student of an international programme, tells The Spoke. “Teachers should speak English with everyone and not just with international students and only in lectures,” she continues.
More than half of the places have already been booked, but there is still time until 3rd November to register for the workshops. A participation fee of 10€ is required for students, but lunch and coffee are included, as it is widely known that when the belly is filled the brain works easily.