Hobbies and interests bring people together, even in a place as anonymous as a university. One way to do so is by joining a student society. You can be part of a team and gain important experience for your personal development.
But let’s be honest, it doesn’t always have to be the debate club, the drama class, the school choir or the chess club, has it? Everybody has some weird and unusual passions, and what could be better than to pursue them with a likeminded crazy crowd at your side? Here is a list of 15 unusual student associations you might want to give a try:
1. Los Arreplegats de la Zona Universitària (BarcelonaTech and University of Barcelona)
Since 1995, Los Arreplegats de la Zona Universitària have been building ever-growing castells, a Catalan tradition that encourages values such as teamwork, effort and integration. They have since become a reference point in the casteller world. The Arreplegats want to aid in the university community coming together, catering to beginners and advanced in participating in this tradition.
2. Associació Gats Campus (Autonomous University of Barcelona)
This student association is dedicated to the supervision and the overseeing of health and nutrition of the cat colonies on the UAB campus, as well as taking care of any aspect that concerns cats. Perfect for your inner cat lady (you know who you are).
The members are striving towards the ideal situation of finding refuge for the cats and putting them up for adoption. The association works in collaboration with the Veterinary Hospital and Environmental Office at UAB.
3. Humans vs Zombies (Autonomous University of Barcelona)
“Humans vs Zombies” is a game of tag played at schools, camps, neighbourhoods, libraries, and conventions around the world. Originating in the USA, this student association aims to organise these real-time simulation games in and around Barcelona.
Human players act as vigilantes and must defend themselves with socks and dart blasters to avoid being tagged by a growing zombie horde. Probably better than sitting down and watching The Walking Dead.
4. X-Circus (L’École Polytechnique, Paris-Saclay University)
The X-Circus club organises circus lessons, takes part in events like Point Gamma, and does a show every year. The Gamma Point is a big student event organised by the École Polytechnique. It attracts more than 5.000 students each year!
5. Dionysos (EDHEC Business School)
Founded in 1974, Dionysos is one of the oldest associations of this French school. Its mission is to enable EDHEC students to discover the world of wine and the heritage associated with it. Dionysos organises tastings with oenologists and winemakers and hosts cocktail dinners. The members of the association also write a book that traces all the events of the year and take part in prestigious wine competitions, both nationally and internationally.
6. Club de Rol y Tiempo Libre (Polytechnic University of Madrid)
This student organisation based at the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid organises role games, sometimes lasting several days, as well as war games. It serves as a meeting point for fans of these activities. The members also represent their engineering department at external events involving role games.
7. Stitch ‘n’ Bitch (Leeds University)
The name says it all: members of this student association get together to stitch and maybe bitch a bit while doing so. Stitch ‘n’ Bitch is a name that has been used to refer to social knitting groups since at least World War II. The group specialises in knitting and crochet, but members also do cross stitch, dressmaking, tailoring, and card making.
8. Hummus Society (University of London School of Economics)
The mission of this group of people is to bring hummus to the lives of others. The members attend hummus tasting events with over 40 types of hummus, a tour through middle-eastern cuisine, hummus cooking classes, as well as picnics and evening outings. Members also get to enjoy henna painting and shisha.
9. Viking Society (University of Plymouth)
The aim of this association is to bring its members closer to the history and the culture of the Vikings. Not only can they craft their own Viking clothing and equipment, there is also the chance of battle in the open field. The members also host numerous feasts and banquets throughout the year, camps out in the moors, and enjoy movie nights and pub crawls.
10. Twenty Minutes Society (Newcastle University)
There is no excitement in life without being spontaneous sometimes. This is exactly what this association aims to do. Its members receive a text every few weeks, informing them of an event they will have to join within the next 20 minutes. Part of the membership is also an annual mystery holiday, where participants don’t find out where they’re going until they arrive at the airport. In the past, those destinations have been Barcelona, Amsterdam or Cologne.
11. Assassins’ Guild (Sheffield University)
This association sounds more dangerous than it is. The purpose is to play non-lethal games of mock-assassination. The members are designated a target which they then have to hunt down whilst being targeted themselves. The last player left alive is the winner. Players will be invited to several of those games over the year, each time wearing a different guise. But not everything is about assassinations though; the association also values social outings.
12. CBS Beer (Copenhagen Business School)
This association sells you the hard truth: in order to be working at Goldman Sachs, McKinsey or Maersk one day, you need to have some excellent beer-mingling capabilities. The members not only get to enjoy all kinds of international beers, they can also learn about brewing or get the chance to release their competitiveness at prestigious Beer Pong Tournaments.
13. D&D is for Nerds (University of Oslo)
Even though the name suggests otherwise, not only nerds are invited to join for a round of Dungeons & Dragons board games and role plays. The association welcomes any student or non-student in town. The aim is to facilitate meet and greets for people interested in this classic of fantasy games. Gatherings are organised roughly every week.
14. Aniara: Science Fiction and Fantasy Society (University of Oslo)
Also based at the University of Oslo, this association wants to support and create interest in Science Fiction and Fantasy. The name of the society, Aniara, is based on a poem of science fiction written by Swedish Nobel laureate Harry Martinson in 1956. The meetings are held amongst others at the Science Fiction and Fantasy collections at the Science Library.
15. Harry Potter Society (University College Dublin)
This association expresses its appreciation for J.K. Rowling’s creation of Harry Potter and The Wizarding World. The members accept all kinds of witches and wizards amongst their ranks. Regular activities include discussions of characters, coffee mornings, Quidditch, film screenings or visiting the Warner Bros. Studio Tour in London.
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Which one of these students associations would you want to join? Do you know any other weird/cool ones? Let us know in the comments. And remember: if you need student accommodation in Europe, you’ll find the perfect student home on Uniplaces.