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Most integrated student in Maastricht

Most integrated student in Maastricht

Photographer:Fotograaf: Loraine Bodewes Fotografie

She has no car, only a bike with a flat tire. She is known by her fellow students as the most integrated German student in Maastricht – perhaps even the Netherlands. Eva Romswinkel, a 23-year-old master’s student of International Economic Studies, laughs. “I’m not a hundred per cent sure if that’s true, but I’m definitely integrated”, says the new (and first German) president of Saurus, the student rowing association, in fluent Dutch. Only the accent is slightly German. During the last academic year she was president of Ragweek, before that she joined the Lagakari (sailing) and Fyrfad (volleyball) clubs, and she is still a member of the Saurus women’s debating society Linque.

This sounds like the curriculum vitae of a hyperactive Dutch student. “I liked the Inkom very much. Studying was and is still a challenge, but I wanted more. I loved the student associations from the start. They looked different, exciting, people seemed to really have fun. Why not join them, I thought?”

What makes you different compared to your compatriots? “I love being in another country, getting to know the culture, the people, the language. I love to do strange and exciting things. Most German students are here just for their studies. It’s easy to live here without knowing the language because everybody speaks English and German. But you could learn some words at least. I think that’s a matter of politeness. Almost every German complains about the Turkish people in Germany who don’t speak our language.”

Now that you’re president, will more Germans join Saurus? “I hope so. We already had about four members, including me, and this Inkom we recruited eight new ones. Everybody said: ‘Our president is German’. That worked well.”

Will a new wind be blowing within the association? “I want to change the hazing practices. We are a rowing association. We don’t need hazing. We need strong athletes who will learn how to row and who speak at least some words of Dutch. I want an Intro Weekend where people get to know each other, but you don’t have to do all those crazy things.”

Favourite restaurant? She’s thinking. “I only go with my parents, because they pay. Oh, I once ate at Sofa, at the Onze Lieve Vrouweplein. That was really good. It was during the Maastricht Business Days. I didn’t have to pay either.”

Favourite Dutch television programme? “I have to admit that I’m not really integrated. When I have the time, I watch – after speaking only Dutch and English during the day – German television. I love Verbotene Liebe. It’s a soap opera.”

What do you detest in the Netherlands? “The bread. It’s awful, it tastes like nothing and you can squeeze it.”

 

Riki Janssen

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