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"ISN will have to show that they are capable"

MAASTRICHT. The International Students Club that will be housed in the Timmerfabriek halfway through 2019, has been given a name: Kaleido. In addition the setup has been changed. The International Student Network (ISN), the intended primary operator of the club, is no longer the biggest player.

the beginning, the idea was that Maastricht University would not run the club, but the International Student Network (ISN, the Maastricht department of ESN). The latter was given the task of catering not just for recruiting exchange students but for all international students. Doubts soon emerged: would they be able to do this? ISN is a rather small association with a changeable board and without any business experience. There was also a conflict with the Muziekgieterij, which pointing out the lack of knowledge and capabilities. Programming did not go well, promotion did not get off the ground. Maastricht University then decided to set up a temporary project group run by Thomas Schäfer, former student and initiator of the online portal MyMaastricht.

“It is still the idea that ISN will run the club. That is the primary option. In the next few months, ISN will have to show that they are capable. They will have to develop into a real student association for foreigners,” replies Maurice Evers, head of the UM’s Student & Staff housing, programme leader of ‘Student en Stad’, and involved in the plans for the club from the very beginning.

Now there is a name – Kaleido – and all Maastricht student organisations (with a programme for an international target group) may sign up for an event, party or discussion evening. Schäfer: “It should be a cultural and intellectual environment for all students, with the emphasis on ‘international’.” Scheduled events include the first hard-core party by the Love Foundation at this location: Lekker Lovin’ 1. This will take place on Tuesday, 6 December. For the moment, Kaleido can ‘rent’ the space in the Muziekgieterij every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. When the pop podium moves to the other side of the building and expands at the corner of the Boschstraat, Kaleido will be opened. “Most likely by mid 2019,” says Schäfer. “The renovation of the Muziekgieterij has suffered delays.”

After years of discussions about a ‘meeting place for international students’, an agreement was reached between Maastricht University and the city council in February 2015. The choice fell upon the Timmerfabriek in the Sphinxkwartier, ‘a cultural hotspot’ that includes the Muziekgieterij, Bureau Europa, Filmtheater Lumière, Pathé and, from next year, The Student Hotel.

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