Coming to the Netherlands from abroad to study, here is not easy. This is what the students made clear last Friday during the Meet & Greet of Cultural Mix.
The Cultural Mix Meet & Greet was on Friday 29th of April. Students from different countries came together to talk about their experiences when they first came to the Netherlands. The group now includes students from Curaçao, Aruba, Suriname, and Congo. According to Roxy Carolina, chairwoman of Cultural Mix, the purpose of this group is to seek support and share experiences from people who are in the same situation as you. Imagine you are from Aruba and you come to the Netherlands to study. You speak the language, but it is not always fluent. Your family lives thousands of kilometers away, and you live here alone and try to make your way through the hectic of the Netherlands.
"Everyone is always in a rush here, and everyone is always right on time."
Cultural Mix is created by Yvonne Duivenvoorden. She noticed that international students sometimes have trouble with Dutch culture. She thought it would be a good idea to bring these students together. It can be lonely, being thousands of kilometers away from home. And in this way, the students have a little community here. Together they organize meetings and fun activities to get to know each other better in a fun way. The Meet & Greet was organized to introduce more students to Cultural Mix.
The Meet & Greet started at half-past two, and people came trickling in. While enjoying some delicious snacks, everyone tried to get to know each other. Then everyone introduced themselves to the group in a fun way to get to know each other even better. This created a safe environment. Then there started a conversation where everyone shared their experience of their first years in the Netherlands.
"Coming to the Netherlands was a real culture shock. I still cannot get used to the weather."
Also, stories that were less fun, were shared. For example, it turns out that international students are still left out because they cannot speak or write the Dutch language flawlessly yet. Here too, the students find support from each other, and they gave each other tips on what you should do when this happens to you.
The afternoon ended with the game ‘cross the line’. If you agreed with the mentioned statement, you crossed the line. Because of this, the afternoon ended with a lot of fun, and everyone walked out the door with a big smile.
Thanks to this Meet & Greet, Cultural Mix has gained several members. Do you also come from abroad, and are you looking for students who have experienced the same as you? Send an email to:
At the moment, they only have Dutch-speaking students, but they certainly want to expand to students who speak other languages in the future.