History

Study association Esperia was founded on April 12, 2013 because there was no study association for students of the program European Languages and Cultures. The history of Esperia did not start that day; it goes further back. On this page you will find some information on the establishment of ETC and Esperia.

In September 2012, the new program European Languages and Cultures was started at the University of Groningen. This was not only a starting point, but this month also marks an end for different language programs. Programs like Romance Languages and Cultures, Slavic Languages and Cultures, Scandinavian Languages and Cultures, Finno-Ugric Languages and Cultures and German Language and Culture were all bundled into the new program. Of course, there were still senior students of the former programs – and there were the separate study associations.

The new first year students, however, seemed to be rather divided: some students liked the new program, which was rather Eurocentric, and other students preferred the ‘classic’ program. First year students were still able to join the separate study associations but they were not really enthusiastic. The result was that the separate study associations experienced a decline in members.

Joren van Schie, Vincent Huiting and Mike Burgers, three boardmembers of the former study association of Romance Languages and Cultures, wanted to start a new study association which would be suitable for the new program. With the help of Jessie Heemskerk, a student member of the faculty board, they figured out how to establish a new study association, and also, how to disestablish Paco Dupont, the former study association of Romance Languages and Cultures.

After they found out about all that, they searched for enthusiastic ELC-students who would want to become active in the new association. Eventually, a foundation committee consisting of eleven members was founded in order to make the soon to be new association “Esperia” a success. Official articles were written, an own style and logo were designed, a website was set up, and much more was done. The name “Esperia” was chosen, after the Greek word “ ‘Eσπερία “ (Hesperia), meaning “Western Land”, a historical term for Europe. It also bears resemblance with the word “esperar” which can be translated as “hope for the future” in many Romance languages. A weekend trip to the Belgian Ardennes saw the foundation committee living up to its name: the foundation for Esperia had been created, everything that needed to be done was done, and the five members of what was going to be the very first board of Esperia were fully prepared for their task in the coming year.

The signings of the new associations articles on April 12th 2013 made Esperia official. The foundation committee was dissolved, and the first board assumed their tasks. A comprehensive one, that is. In the end of August that year the first introduction camp was organised, which became a great success, and made Esperia a complete and true study association for all ELC-students. With gracious gratitude we thank all the founding members of Esperia, and we are looking forward to our future, in which we have good faith!