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We're internationals, not outsiders.


On the 20th century: As the team of "Internationals not Outsiders" we were originally planning to include two stories of 20th-century students. We recognized the importance of tracing student history all up until modernity, as well as the importance of representing the big social groups that did not have access to education in the centuries prior. Unfortunately, due to privacy constraints, finding their stories took us much longer than expected, and with exhibition time nearing we made a hard decision not to include them. As a tribute, however, we've created the page "the 20th." Here you can find all we're able to disclose on this marvelous group as well as our journey to finding them.


The concept of the exhibition "We're internationals, not outsiders" started from a feeling. A feeling of not belonging in the city which would come over us, the team, as international students, from time to time. We often asked ourselves: "How long were we, internationals even present here in Groningen?"


The answers we found blew our minds! Since the founding of the university. Since 1614! How come then were we feeling "on the outskirts"? From a historical perspective, we had a right to belong no less than our Dutch counterparts. The more we talked to our friends about this, however, the more we realised how little people know about the long history of internationals in this city. With our keen interest in history, we set out to work...


We wanted to show both international students and Dutch students how long did the history of internationals stretch in this city. Taking into account the current discourse on the discrimination international students face, we wanted to show: we have a right to belong in this city on grounds as valid as the ones of the locals. We are internationals, but we are no outsiders in Groningen.

From vague distant 1600s up until the close 1900s, we have thus brought stories of students from all over. We gave those students a chance to reenter the university walls among their contemporary peers to present living proof: we belong, and we have belonged. Our history at the RUG is continuous.


The research we have done though is far from being extensive: more than that, here on this page you can continue the search yourself!


Studium Generale : debate on the right of international students to "belong" in Groningen

We are very proud to note that "Internationals not Outsiders" was inspiring for the education hub Studium Generale as well as the Psychology faculty's "Mindwise" magazine.

In fact, on the 22nd of May there is going to be a debate in the Academy building on the role of international students in Groningen – can we consider ourselves "stadjers" (belonging to the city) or not? The debate will involve teachers and students active in official processes of internationalisation, urban planning, decolonisation, and more. In fact, one of our organisers will be present as a part of the panel!

The most interesting part: after the debate between the panel there will be an open part, where everyone in the audience can join the discussion!


find us.

Check out the locations where you can meet the students in real life!

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