A warm welcome from the Board!

Twenty-five Saudi Arabian students were welcomed to Groningen today. President of the Board of the University Sibrand Poppema even had his picture taken with the entire group.

The students – twenty men and five women – will finish their medical degree here in the coming seven years. First impressions are good. Shatha Almahwzi (18) is excited. ‘I really like the place.’ Mohammed Alsabti (19) agrees: ‘It’s gorgeous.’

Though it’s a lot colder than in Saudi Arabia, he doesn’t mind. ‘At home the temperature goes up to 50 degrees Celsius in the summer. That’s too hot, you feel almost as if you’re being boiled.’

Sibrand Poppema (in the middle) with the new students.

Sibrand Poppema (in the middle) with the new students.

Shatha thinks her Dutch fellow students are nice, but Mohammed is not sure yet. ‘I heard some good things and some bad things. I can’t tell you right now because I have not yet been in contact with any of them.’ He smiles: ‘I can give you my Dutch phone number though and in a few weeks’ time I can tell you more.’

First though, there’s time to settle in. Shatha can’t wait to start. ‘We were told we’ll have very good teachers, a high quality programme and a lot of studying to do on your own. I’m curious to see how it all works out.’