Due to a major renovation, the Ede-Wageningen train station will be closed from 7 to 31 August. The NS will deploy buses between Driebergen-Zeist and Ede-Wageningen. To prevent new international students from getting lost, teams of WUR students at Driebergen-Zeist station will help their new fellow students to find their way.
‘For the arrival of new international students, it is quite something that the station will be closed for a while’, says Jeanny van der Hoven of the Student Service Centre. ‘From Schiphol Airport, there is a direct train to Driebergen-Zeist. There, students can take the NS bus to the Ede-Wageningen station. Once they arrive there, they have to transfer to the bus to Wageningen. We assume that international students – often with heavy suitcases – could use some support with this, so we are deploying teams of WUR students to lend a hand and ensure a smooth transfer at Driebergen-Zeist.’
The teams will wear recognizable t-shirts and carry signs, Van der Hoven says. They will not be there for the entire time that the Ede-Wageningen station is closed. ‘We have asked new students when they expect to arrive. Most of them will arrive between 12 and 19 August, so on those days student teams will be present to show the way. If it turns out that many new students arrive on other dates, we will adjust our planning. And if help is also needed at Ede-Wageningen, we might deploy students there as well.’
So far, about fifteen students have signed up to help. ‘If that is not sufficient, we might recruit even more students’, says Van der Hoven.
The Student Service Centre has had extensive contact with the NS (Dutch Railways), and has also asked whether buses could drive directly from Utrecht Central to the campus. That turned out to be impossible.
WUR does not deploy students at Schiphol Airport, although this has been tried in the past. Van der Hoven: ‘There are so many travelers at the airport that it is hardly feasible to identify and accommodate new WUR students. At Driebergen-Zeist it ís feasible.’
Not for the first time
It is not for the first time that WUR engages students to show new students the way to Wageningen. In 2018, students welcomed new fellow students at Utrecht Central Station due to major works at train stations Veenendaal and Driebergen-Zeist.