The fact that Antwerp is a student city on Mondays became clear once again on the first day of the new academic year. Two student festivals gave the successful kick-off in Antwerp and Wilrijk. And on Thursday there will be another party, during Study on the Sint-Annastrand on the Left Bank.
Ten thousand students flocked to Sint-Jansplein in Antwerp on Monday afternoon. Unifac, the umbrella student association of the UAntwerp City Campus, hosts the Students on Stage festival. All 21 clubs were present with a stall to make themselves with the students, but it was mainly the DJs who enticed the young people to the festival.
They have been looking forward to it for a very long time. For a year and a half the students were starving, want TDs, and parties of all kinds could not take place. The discharge was enormous, despite the rain that attempted to ruin things. But that was not counting the students themselves. “We’ve waited so long for this, that little bit of rain won’t stop us,” said Dutch students Noor Stroeken (18), Roos Palman (23) and Noor Kamerbeek (22).
Ten thousand of them were on Sint-Jansplein, not counting the party animals from the opening festival at the Bist in Wilrijk. ASK-Stuwer, the umbrella club of the Drie Eiken, Middelheim and Groenenborger campuses, put its weight behind it, where a summer bar was also opened from 7 pm.
And student platform STAN also has something in store for the students. On Thursday September 30, the party will continue on Linkeroever during Studay. Just like Monday’s events, students must also be able to show a Covid Safe Ticket for this.
“We have been looking forward to this for weeks”
The Dutch students Noor Stroeken (18), Roos Palman (23) and Noor Kamerbeek (22) started their education at the University of Antwerp last year, in full corona crisis. “We’ve been living here for a year, but haven’t been able to discover anything about student life,” the three of them say. “We also expect from our fellow students. Fortunately we found each other, but it was still difficult to find our way as an international student. So no, that little bit of rain isn’t going to stop us from partying and enjoying ourselves. Or maybe we’ll just quickly go to our room to put on dry clothes,” they laugh.
“We just keep on partying”, says students Nils and Bernt De Droog (20), Kiani Dingenen (21), Evelyn Pols (21) and Alexe Meeusen (20) from Schoten. We meet them at the bar, dressed in ponchos they bought there. “So a small point of criticism, they can do that next time,” says Kiani. “But we don’t lose sleep over that, we have to catch up with all the parties that couldn’t go on last year.”
“After last year, we are left with a very thirsty feeling,” says Kiani. “We are going to solve that today. And not to class tomorrow.” “Yes, yes!”, Alexe caused it to be too red. Tomorrow will be who pulls the longest straw.
Anton Wouters (22) from Sint-Katelijne-Waver, student at KU Leuven, and Laura Roggemans (20) from Walem, student at Kdg are also present. “It’s my fifth year of student, so I know student life all too well before corona. So I also know what I missed last year. But it does a lot of strength to be here. And no matter how long ago, you get used to it very quickly. It’s back the way it was.”
“I’m glad everything is back to normal,” Laura says. “Keep without distance and wear mouth masks. Everyone had to show a Covid Safe Ticket when entering, which is reassuring, especially because then you don’t have to work on anything.”