Photographer:Fotograaf: Loraine Bodewes Fotografie
“I’d really appreciate it if you could mention our women’s rugby team Margrieten in the article. I get one tequila for every time the word rugby is written down.” Anna Veit (21), a first-year student of European Studies, laughs really hard. She has been a rugby player since she was sixteen. “It can be pretty aggressive and you mustn’t be afraid of physical contact. But I’ve never broken anything, I’ve never hurt myself. It’s not only for men. It’s also a girls’ sport. And we’re pretty female. Just hear us talking about boys and cosmetics.”
What’s your favourite pub in Maastricht?
“The Shamrock. We meet there with our rugby team and watch rugby games. We do a lot of things together. I was lucky they started a girl’s team last summer. Rugby is one big family. Wherever I am in the world, I’ll always search for a rugby team because then I’ll meet family.”
Do you feel integrated?
“I don’t feel integrated in Dutch society. I don’t read Dagblad De Limburger and I only know some locals. I do speak the language though. My parents live in Trier. Our dialect is quite similar to Dutch, but I speak it too slowly to do the interview in your mother tongue. And I definitely feel integrated in student life. I have my sports, and I cook once in a while together with my neighbour. I love the fact that you can decide for yourself – except for the classes – when to study. I have enough time left for my friends.”
How many hours do you study per week?
“Who’s reading this?”
“Then I have to be careful.” Laughing: “I think two – no, three hours a day.”
Have you passed all your exams so far?
“Yes.” Then, thinking: “About being integrated. It’s not just about facts, it’s more a feeling. I feel at home here in Maastricht. The city is big enough to meet new people and get active, but also cosy and small enough to feel at home.”
What do you think is typically Dutch?
“The people are more relaxed. For example: I have to pay my rent in cash. In Germany my landlord would knock on my door on the second or third of the month. In Maastricht I sometimes go to my landlord halfway through the month. And it’s no problem, he even serves me a cup of coffee.”
Anything else that stands out?
“It’s a bit stupid that the boys are on average three years younger.”
Do you have a job?
“I’m looking for a job. If anybody has one, they can contact me. I’m learning Dutch but I can’t talk on the phone in Dutch. I could work in a pub, behind the bar.”
Do you know the name of your dean?
“Oh … No idea. Am I the only one who doesn’t know this?” Not at all. Relieved: “Is it Rein de Wilde? Sorry, I’ve never heard of him.”
And the president of UM?