3rd and 4th Day – International Students

3rd DAY

To our big surprise this morning, we got splitted for our cleaning shift. Olivia went with Nath and Alice went with Matthijs. It was a fast shift, only two hours, mainly 15mn service in both team. We improved. Nath was assuming that Olivia had previous experience in this job. On the good base that Alice already had, Matthijs was able to teach her some advanced techniques.

A pink teddy bear. A cactus. A PS4 joystick in the bed. A velvet blanket. A little dragon figurine. An icone of Maria. A perfume.

This time, change of strategy, we opened our office the whole afternoon from 14.00 also for us to simply work here, organize and map our thoughts. We created four stations besides the already existing one, our office:

The survival method to make a home

Our story 

 The question we have in mind

 The map


This appeared to be a big success. Students were visiting the stations adding their opinions.

They also filled in the questionnaire we made on “how is it to be an international student in Groningen”. It feels like a good way to go: sharing our research in a transparent and honest way. Also because we were ourselves once international students.

4th DAY

Our 4th day was our last cleaning shift for now. We cleaned for the first time the kitchens of the international students. Some remained impersonal practical kitchens while some had a touch of personal care.

A little word on the board. A pillow on the chair. Some special kitchen towels. Traces of time spent collectively. A cooking schedule.

Working three days as cleaners gave us the chance to encounter the international students from more a personal perspective. Furthermore, we got to know the building very well. Long corridors, kitchens, service rooms. It would be easy to get lost but not for us anymore.

Arriving back in the afternoon to our station, we discover that during the night the international students interacted with our stations. As one might guess, the always present phallus symbol found its place to the wall in different forms. We had to integrate in our research. We re-organize everything and expanded our stations.

New categories/questions are:

6 myths about international students

When we were international students

Magic and derive of magic, something that you always take with you if you have, cosy, history, seductive, travel, ?


This day brought us again more visibility and interactions.

After a week of observing and collecting, we are ready to take action!