Entering the Kiwi restaurant on Tuesday night was like embarking on a cruise trip to Italy. Accents from Tuscany, Milan, Bologna, Rome and Naples filled the air while almost forty chatty Italian students got to know each other, exchanging life stories and, of course, some of Mamma’s secret recipes. The Italian reunion at Kiwi was the first event of the Maastricht University Italian Students Community, organised by European Studies student Anita Negri to “make Italian students feel more at home, while bringing Italy to Maastricht and integrating into the Dutch way of life”.
Surprisingly, Italian was not the only language to be heard during the evening: about five participants lived or were born in Germany to Italian parents, and spoke perfect German too. “Germany’s a nice country but they don’t know what summer is!” was a common remark. The group consisted mainly of bachelor’s students of European Studies and International Business, with a couple of master’s representatives and a student from the Academy of Fine Arts and Design.
Negri is planning more events as well, such as a trip to the Dutch cheese capital Gouda, a visit to a stroopwafel factory and of course home-made Italian dinners in Maastricht. “I want it to be a two-way exchange”, she says. “Connecting people with one another is really important.”