What is a study association?
In general, it is quite common for Dutch students to join associations when they start studying in order to meet new people and to have a good time during their studies. Groningen offers a broad variety of associations: Study associations, students associations, but also sports associations or cultural associations. For incoming students it can be quite confusing to gain an overview of the association system in the beginning. We will therefore provide you with some information about the different types of associations that can be found in the city and, most important, where VIP stands amongst them.
Study associations (like VIP!)
VIP is a study association, which means that only students from a specific study program can join the association. For VIP, this means that only students who are studying Psychology can become a member of VIP. The connection to the study program is something that makes study associations unique. VIP defines itself not only through its vibrant social life and through the great atmosphere amongst its members, but also through organizing study- and career-related activities, such as lectures, workshops, in-house days or conferences. In addition to those activities, study associations also provide you with some additional support for your studies, such as tutoring or discount on your study books. One important thing to know about VIP is that there are no mandatory activities within the association, and that most of our activities are open to all students.
In contrast to study associations, student associations are not restricted to students from a specific study. Student associations usually focus on the social aspect of student life, meaning that students primarily join them in order to meet new people and to have a fun time during their student life. The perception of student associations in Groningen is mainly shaped by the image that the largest associations in the city have, most of which are already quite old and therefore hold their own traditions. There are several large student associations in Groningen, which each have established their own image. These associations have created some kind of a subculture within their association, which distinguishes their members from other students. This means that most of their activities are exclusively open to their members and some of them also have sub-associations within the association, such as for example sports clubs, which are linked to the association. In order to become a member of the largest student associations, it is usually required to join a mandatory introduction period (hazing).
Sports associations, cultural associations, etc
Sports associations and cultural associations are similar to student associations in a way that they are open to students from all different study programs. All students who are interested in a certain sports/ cultural activity can join them and they are comparable to sports clubs which can be found in other countries.