What actually is Kingsday?


Festival season is finally approaching and get ready, because the Netherlands can surprise you with an abundance of lively experiences:  Every Dutch festival is a reason to celebrate, eat Dutch food and party, so grab your calendars to mark the best of the Netherlands’ upcoming festivals!

2nd of June: The Crave Festival

The Crave Festival in The Hague is an electronic music dance event among the several huge festive multidisciplinary art events — more than 200 — in several venues all over the city. A few names for the 2018 lineup are Alienata, Aurora Halal, DJ Stingray, among others. Check it out at www.thehaguefestivals.com

16th of June: Flag Day (Vlaggetjesdag), Scheveningen

The harbour, crowded with fishing boats and lined with restaurants that serve up fresh seafood, is where the Dutch herring fleet is launched with a colourful Vlaggetjesdag (Flag Day) Netherlands festival, held annually on the first or second Saturday in June. Fishermen’s wives dress up in their traditional costume. The fleet then returns with the new season’s herring catch, amid much fanfare. For more: www.vlaggetjesdag.com

15-17 of June: Pinkpop, Landgraaf

This huge pop and rock Dutch music festival, held in the city of Landgraaf in Limburg, has been running since 1970, making it one of the oldest in the world. Its name comes from the Dutch pinksteren meaning Pentecost, which is when it’s traditionally held. It’s a three-day festival with all-star lineups from the worlds of rock, pop, dance, electro, hop, indie, punk, folk, alternative and more. Pearl Jam, Foo Fighters and Bruno Mars are a couple of the headliners for the next festival, on 15-17 June 2018.  

13-15 of July: North Sea Jazz Festival, Rotterdam

This jazz Dutch festival began in 1976 and has run annually since then. The performances in the three-day event are held in an indoor sports arena and a concert venue, Rotterdam Ahoy. Although the audiences are big the festival still seems to retain an intimate atmosphere. The 2018 programme opens on 13 July and continues until 15 July.  

July: Rotterdam Summer Carnival (Zomercarnaval)

Now more than two decades old, this carnival welcomes more than one million visitors to Rotterdam for the Dutch answer to Rio. Latin music and the vibrant energy of Brazil are played by more than 25 bands marching noisily through the city streets. At night, revellers can enjoy live music performances played on two stages in the city centre. In 2018, the carnival starts on 27 July, the Battle of the Drums is on 29 July, and the street parade is on 29 July.  


Burnout, But Don’t Burn Up


After spending years and years being educated and constantly filling out standardized tests, the idea that these quantitative attributes carry on to impact us for the rest of our lives evidently looms over our heads. Or not. Either way, as each term dawns upon us, it can get a little more difficult to remember why you choose this life in the first place. I’ve gone through burnouts time and time again, and while I haven’t yet mastered the art of preventing them, I have some tricks that help me get out it.

Realize when you’re going through a burnout versus when you’re just having ‘one of those [lazy] days’.

While burnout may differ for everyone, I know when I’m going through one when I’m exceptionally demotivated, can’t concentrate on anything, and feel like no more information will diffuse into my mind. It feels more physically challenging than just having to go to a lecture when you’re really not feeling it. Learning to realize whether its a burnout or a lazy day helps you know when you really stop overworking. Realize, accept, and then try to get out it.

Take a break.

Rotterdam, and the university, have a lot of calm spaces to recollect yourselves. You could take a scenic stroll alone or with friends, take a nap back a home, or just chill. There are great spots that I personally recommend for some serene downtime, either around Kralingse Bos for free, or in the Trompenburg Gardens for around 3 euros. Beyond partying and studying, it is very important to take time for yourself to have some ‘downtime’ where you’re in a situation where you feel most calm. This really helps in, well for lack of a better term, rebooting yourself, so that your burnout doesn’t get the best of you. The sense of calm rather than a mental obstacle you can’t get over reduces the length and even strength of the burnout.

Eat something good.

This doesn’t just mean something healthy. Taking care of yourself physically will help you take care of yourself mentally; and vice versa. However, it is important to sometimes eat for your soul rather than just your beach body. Why? Feeling happy, even momentarily, can boost your motivation to do other things. If you’re really keen on staying ‘healthy’ rather than having something really greasy, there’s always really delicious fruits (personally, I miss the guavas and mangos from back home in Thailand) that you could try to get your hands on.

Do some work, but take frequent breaks.

Being someone with immense bad luck, I have never had a burnout that was kind enough to come before a break of some kind – no, I would always have more deadlines and more tests upcoming. As much as it sucks, doing a little bit of work or study maybe in 15 minute increments with similar breaks helps. Forcing yourself to concentrate might end up being counterproductive in some cases, so when your mind wanders off, instead of feeling like you need to punish yourself and force your interest onto your assignment or reviewing, take the break your mind craves.

And even more so, try not to leave things for last minute beforehand so that you have paced yourself out and aren’t stressed the night before the exam because you haven’t studied enough. If you’re honest with yourself and try to understand yourself and adapt instead of fighting it, you’ll never let a burnout burn you up.


Humans of IBCoM – France Preechawitayakul

HOI - France

France is a BA-2 student now and came to Rotterdam in 2016, just to study media and communication here. “I was born and raised in Bangkok, Thailand and I always went to international school there.” She studied a year of communications back home, but decided that it was not international enough for her. So after eliminating universities in The States and the UK (due to their high tuition fees), France chose Erasmus University to further her studies. After asking her why then she opted for the Netherlands, she said: “I wanted to find a country where people spoke English, so I wouldn’t have to adapt that much and it would make university life and being away from home way easier.”

France was an IBCoM ambassador during the last year, which involved visiting high schools, information markets (college fairs) as well as representing IBCoM at the EUR Open Day to inform students about studying communication and media. There is also the ‘Student for a Day’ programme where high schoolers sign up to walk around on campus and go along to a lecture. “I feel like its a very fun and empowering job, as you are helping students who are in the position you once were.”

She explained that as an international student it was really exciting to be an ambassador. “I got to travel around and see the real Netherlands in the small towns and rural parts. Here I got to know about the true Dutch culture, because of the locals and it was also very interesting to see what students in high school are passionate about nowadays.”

In this second year of IBCoM, France also decided to start a YouTube channel and a blog mainly to document her life and speak about topics that interested her. She had wanted to do it since high school, but she felt it was a little too scary. After seeing her friends here at university following their interests and passions more and more, she also decided to go for it!

“I’ve become really passionate about health and fitness, which is really hard to maintain within the student lifestyle. So I enjoy providing tips and recipes on a healthier, but also cheap lifestyle to other uni students and also to show what I typically do in my day to be healthy.”

Now that the last term of the year has started France has also started her internship after a long battle of finding the right position. This hardship was generally due to the fact that most internships were offered to students who spoke Dutch and so even getting considered was difficult.

However, her housemate Simi Özmen (also BA-2 IBCoM) had recently started as a social media intern at Run The Trap events, which interested France and so she asked if there was another position available. “The company organizes events and concerts playing electronic dance music around the Netherlands, a style of music that I’ve always really loved since I was young, so it was was perfect from me.” There was a spot available doing PR and promotion, which she applied to and managed to get. “It was the best decision I’ve ever made.”

Thanks to France for telling her story and check out the Run The Trap party on May 5th here in Rotterdam!