Mix & Mingle, Winter Jingle

International get-together in Fort St Pieter

26-11-2009

Music is booming from the speakers, people are going round with refreshments and the guests are being welcomed by the organisers. “Could you write your name and country on the badge please?” It’s the second international get-together, baptised the Mix & Mingle Winter Jingle, organised and financed by Maastricht University and held at Fort St Pieter. The goal is to give international students a chance to meet each other. “The first party in September was a real success”, says Gail Howard, a project assistant at the Marketing and Communications department. “There were about 200 students and they didn’t want to leave at the end of the evening. Tonight there are about 300 students.”

At the entrance, newcomers are asked whether they want a red or a green band around their wrist. “That way they can find out what people are doing at Christmas.” Red means you’re staying in Maastricht, green means you’re going home. It’s a good idea, thinks law student Anna Gajda from Poland. “I’ll go home, like most European students, but if you live too far away, this is a nice way to get something organised.” It’s the second time she has attended an international get-together. “It works really well; I’m actually here with some people I met last time.” European Law School student Ehsan Shirzadi (Iran), who is enjoying the Chinese buffet, thinks it’s easier to make friends with other international students than with the Dutch. “They don’t know anyone here either, whereas Dutch students already have a broad social network.” He says parties like this are necessary: “Otherwise people tend to stick with their own nationality. And also, this is something different to your average pub crawl. It speaks to a wide audience.” Later on, he intends to do justice to the name of the party and mingle. “I’m going to speak to some people I don’t know yet. Maybe I’ll make some new friends.” A group of male Latvian students have similar plans but are a bit more precise about the kind of people they want to meet. “We’re here for the girls.”

 

Cleo Freriks

Mix & Mingle, Winter Jingle
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Loraine Bodewes Fotografie

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