Hosting internationals

HOST-IFES is a Christian student organization in Groningen whose goal is providing hospitality for internationals.

In short

The good: Cosy parties to meet new people

The bad: Some evening parties are alcohol-free

The size: There are no official members, but attendance of events is usually around 30 people

The people: New exchange students to Groningen and the Netherlands

The name HOST is both an acronym for ‘Hospitality for Overseas Students’, as well as a summary of the goal of the internationally-oriented student organisation. The group aims to be available for all international students who are new to the city and hopefully provide them with a place that feels like home.

It is a Christian group, but it is open to everybody: friendship, hospitality and fellowship are the group’s main values. The typical HOST guests are short-stay exchange students seeking a nice environment to do activities or simply study in the company of others. HOST also has regular student members, most of whom are Dutch and enjoy meeting people of other nationalities.

Open to everyone

Every Friday evening, HOST gets together for events such as cultural dinners which include a full menu of cuisine from a certain country and a presentation about that place. Other activities include movie nights, barbecues and cultural lectures.

Most of the events are open to everyone, so there are no membership fees and the cost of the entrance for one of the dinners is typically around two euros. HOST also organizes excursions around the city.

Since they are a Christian organisation, the group has an open bible study group for discussions about religious topics as well. They offer language programmes too, matching students up based on whether they want to learn Dutch, English or other new languages.