"Let's Update Each Other about Activities in and around Apeldoorn"
"I don't know what to do or where to go in Apeldoorn."
This is one of the complaints that I’ve heard from my friends. We just don’t know what to do in Apeldoorn, when we have some spare time or when we are bored and need to do something to perk us up.
Travelling to Amsterdam, Rotterdam, or Germany is sometimes out of the question as it takes too much time, effort and money. Most shops and entertainment centres here are closed by 8 or 9 pm. There seems to be nothing much to do in Apeldoorn - or so we thought.
For international students who speak little or no Dutch, it can be difficult to find information about the activities that are happening in and around the town. Though the I AM EXPAT website is really useful and full of information in English, when you want to know more about a place or event, you are often re-directed to websites that are only in Dutch with no alternative language or with French or German translations. It is really frustrating to use the “translator” tab at the top of the browser to translate the whole webpage, as most of the times the links do not work from the translated page or the whole page just freezes. Copying and pasting and toggling between the page and the Google Translate webpage is a challenging, time-consuming and irritating process.
Being away from family and friends and out of our comfort zones is already hard enough for most of us, but to sit inside our rooms, alone and poring over books and articles can make us feel nostalgic and melancholy. And if left unchecked, such forlorn feelings could lead to serious side effects or mental issues. Some of us resort to unhealthy activities because we don’t have any "fun" things to do or any interesting places to go to, besides the parks. Snacking on junk food, over-napping, excessive browsing of social media, watching too many videos or playing too many computer games are all injurious to our health and well-being.
Physical and Mental Health
Besides being away from family and friends, studying itself is a serious and stressful business. It’s just like being in a diet program where you have to adhere to a strict plan in order to reach your goal. So just like dieting, ‘cheat’ days for studying are acceptable and even encouraged, provided they don’t take up too much of your time, don’t make you too exhausted and don’t burn a hole in your pocket. The rationale behind this is simply to take a break to de-stress and relax your mind and brain which have been working hard studying and attending classes. Taking a break is really essential if we want to maintain healthy minds and bodies. Our eyes, muscles, neck and brain all need rest from time to time. Taking short breaks in between is the key to a good study strategy.
It is also important to ensure that you don’t indulge in unhealthy cheat activities that cause memory and concentration impairment like drinking or sleep deprivation due to playing too many computer games. Choose activities that will make you return to your studies fully refreshed and re-energised and not make you go straight to bed.
Sharing is Caring
It is really a good idea if we, the Wittenborg family, could pool our resources and share information about what's happening - not just activities organised by Wittenborg, but also activities happening in and around Apeldoorn. Whether we are Dutch, foreign, students or staff - let’s update each other on any exciting things to do in Apeldoorn, besides shopping.
Maybe there’s a flea market or a garage sale that somebody is interested in, or a sports event like a marathon, a cooking demonstration, an arts course or exhibition, or a mega outdoor funfair. It is beneficial to strengthen this network so that we can keep each other in the loop of the activities happening around us.
To get the ball rolling, I will start and suggest you check out the website "Uit in Apeldoorn" - which simply means "Out in Apeldoorn".
What’s so good about this website is that:
1. You have a choice of 3 languages - English, Dutch and German (although some of the activities are still described in Dutch with no translation)
2. You can check out the calendar of events on any particular day and time
3. You can navigate through the website for any particular activities that you’re interested in
Go and explore the website. It’s very user friendly and very comprehensive indeed. Find that particular activity that you’ve been dying to do all this time!
Suggestions for outings can be shared on Wittenborg's Students & Staff Facebook page, or on its other social media pages. Are you a member yet?
MBA student Hanna Abdelwahab, writes a weekly "Student Column" for Wittenborg University News, contemplating the ups and downs of student life and the questions international students in particular grapple with. Hanna is from Egypt, but also lived in Singapore. She is doing an MBA in Education Management and also has a postgraduate diploma in education.
by Hanna Abdelwahab
©Wittenborg University Press