Groningen is a vibrant student city, where students from the University of Groningen and Hanze University of Applied Sciences make up approximately 25% of the population. Because of the large amount of students, Groningen truly is a city that never sleeps. Whether you are a crazy party animal, or you enjoy culture and art, Groningen has it all.
Studying American Studies in Groningen
The RUG’s Faculty of Arts is located right in the city center, neighboring the University Library, tons of little cafes and restaurants, and the main shopping area. The Academy building is the university’s oldest building, characterized by the magnificent architecture. In front of this building, you can find the University Library, where many students spend most of their days studying, socializing, and sleeping. The Harmony Complex is home to the American Studies department, and therefore also a second home to American Studies students.
Besides the weekly seminars and lectures, the American Studies department as well as study association EPU organizes numerous events throughout the year that will contribute to your academic career.
Culture, Arts and Recreation
Groningen has a broad selection of cultural activities, varying from festivals to museums and theater companies.
The “Groninger Museum” is not only known for its particular architecture, but mostly for the diversity of the exhibitions. Students from the University of Groningen get a discount on the entrance fee.
The University of Groningen also has its own museum in the academic heart of the city, with a collection consisting of many components, such as nature, culture and science. The admission for RUG students is free.
USVA is the Cultural Student Center of the University of Groningen. Not only do they organize weekly events, such as theater shows, but they also support and encourage students in developing themselves and inspiring them with art and culture. RUG students can enroll in various courses which will stimulate their creativity.
Furthermore, Groningen is the host of multiple festivals, such as the Dutch VE Day on the 5th of May and the “Noorderzon” festival.
The University of Groningen has published a complete list of the cultural events in Groningen here.
The ACLO is the overarching student sports organization in Groningen. They offer 40 different kinds of sports, varying from soccer and tennis to wakeboarding and mixed martial arts. The 49 different sports associations in Groningen provide students with a welcome distraction from their studies, for they do not only focus on competitions, but also on the social aspects of sports.
Many inhabitants of Groningen will praise the city for its vibrant nightlife, with an always pleasant atmosphere and countless clubs, pubs and bars. Thursday is known as the students’ night out, but due to the great amount of students in Groningen, most clubs and bars are open every night, and crawling with students! Whether you like a quiet place to enjoy some beers with your closest friends, or like dancing to the newest tracks in a club packed with strangers, Groningen is the place to be.
International Students in Groningen
As a foreign exchange student, it can be scary to come to a new city in a new country. Luckily many organizations make it their goal to let you feel welcome in the city of Groningen! A great resource for European exchange students is the Erasmus Student Network (ESN), that besides providing practical information and aid, also organize various activities to let you meet new people, and become accustomed to Groningen.
For all international students it is important to make yourself familiar with the International Office of the Faculty of Arts. They can help you with the practical side of studying, such as how to enroll in your classes.
And of course EPU will also help you wherever we can to guarantee that you feel comfortable and happy in your new hometown for the remainder of your exchange period!
Sidenote: Apparently, according to Wikipedia, this is how you pronounce Groningen: [ˈɣroːnɪŋə(n)]