Guestwriter James Cantwell about the intro-week

Why did you become a Mentor for this Erasmus Week?

I think I miss my Erasmus life

“It can be intimidating when you come to a new country to study. Even though I’m usually not shy or nervous around new people – I was worried. This ESN introduction took my worry, my nervousness, and replaced it with cool new friends, awesome parties and an egg and spoon race!”

Supporting the integration of Erasmus students in Utrecht, the ESN Intro week has been awesome. Evening activities Monday to Thursday have been consistently cool and fun, all to help settle students into socializing while studying in Utrecht.

Keeping it varied throughout the week with a nice mix of chill activities, interesting party games and  group challenges everyone can enjoy, ESN Utrecht has overachieved massively with the success of their Intro Week. President and keen karaoke singer Aniek Luyt caught up with me on the night of the International Meal to reflect on the week. Without hesitation, when asked what her highlight of the week was, she spoke of the night of the Beer Cantus. “I loved seeing everyone so united, laughing together, singing karaoke songs!” That’s ESN for you. Surrounded by new people, having the time of your Erasmus life singing Barbie Girl in club Poema!

Not alone in the process, the ESN committee was supported by an amazing network of ESN Mentors who have volunteered throughout the week to support the erasmus students. From Monday to Thursday they’ve been fantastic. Always friendly and considerate, appreciating the new student situation. With a group of mentors spread across 16 groups of different Erasmus students, the support and care that all have shown is amazing. For me, Suzanne, Des and Luuk were fantastic. I’m a simple person, so if you cook me good food just after meeting me for the first time – you’re already a friend for life. But to have made great friends with 15 group members who are all different types of people is super special. Love for all of you mentors out there.

post james 2

The highlight for me?

post james

Other than getting a picture with the ESN President… I think the Crazy 88 group challenge on the first night was the best. Though the Poema night out, the pub quiz and the international evening with the games were awesome, the group challenges were a great combination between fun, exploring Utrecht and competition between the groups. Though my group didn’t win, despite my teammate Zack jumping in the canal (which earned a brave 100 points), it was really fun achieving the challenges with my new Erasmus-friends.

Sometimes when I meet new friends for the first time, I’m wary not to get too emotionally invested in them because they may not stick around for as long as I’d like. With this group of friends it’s different. Maybe because it’s ESN, maybe because I’m living in a new place. But I know that for the time I’m on Erasmus – there will always be these people to hang out with.

To group 16.


group james

By James Cantwell

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