‘No-one parties like the Dutch’

New students are getting to know Wageningen during the Annual Introduction Days. One of them is Parth Shah (24). He is in the Netherlands for the first time and he is loving it. Home is thousands of kilometers away – in Surat, India – but he feels very welcome here. ‘Before coming I heard there…
Lotje Hogerzeil

© Lotje Hogerzeil

The master’s student has little time to tell his entire story: he needs to finish his tea and brunch before the warming up for today’s sports activities start. Parth looks ready, dressed in a sporty outfit; but if you look closer, there are some traces of last night’s foam party in his slightly tired face. ‘No one parties like the Dutch. That’s for sure. In India, we don’t party until four in the morning. But I’m ready for today.’

Direct, yet helpful

And it’s not only the party spirit that he enjoys. ‘I love how direct Dutch people are. They tell you exactly what they think. In India, people are afraid to tell the truth; we are afraid to offend others.’ Does that mean the Dutch are a little rude? On the contrary, he says. ‘I have had such a warm welcome. My mentors have shown me around the entire town already. So helpful!’

Okay, there might be one point of improvement. The food here is so plain!


lain foodBesides the people, he’s also excited about Wageningen as his new home town away from home. He is all settled in his self-contained room at Bornsesteeg, and loves the surroundings. ‘The climate here is amazing. Everything is green and actually stays green. I am used to droughts and temperatures up to 50° C, this is such a relief.’ Swallowing the last bite of his cheese sandwich he admits: ‘Okay, there might be one point of improvement. The food here is so plain! Not a lot of taste. At home we eat a lot of spices. I’m glad I brought my own chilies and turmeric.’

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