[Meet the fraternity] Belgian Association

Party trips to Leuven, Belgian traditions and dealing with cultural differences. Vice-president Sam Hofman (21) and ‘Schachtentemmer’ Jan Swinnen (21) give us a peek into the Belgium student association of Delft: Moeder Delftsche.

The members of Moeder Delftsche regularly meet for a drink at beer café Locus Publicus. (Photo: Chris Reichard)

  • Name: Moeder Delftsche
  • Associated country: Belgium
  • Established in: 2011
  • Number of members: 68

First things first, how did ‘Moeder Delftsche’ get its name?

Sam: “This is a typical Belgian thing from way back when. The names of most student associations there begin with mother – moeder in Dutch – followed by the city they originate from.”

Why was the association established?

Jan: “The founders – a group of five friends – wanted to unite Belgian students in Delft. The Netherlands is not far away from home, but it is still another country with a different culture.”  

How is the Dutch culture different from the Belgian one?

Sam: “The Dutch are much more direct. I learned to say what I think here.”

Jan: “We always use u (the formal form of ‘you’ in Dutch) and the first thing professors here tell us is that it is okay to address them informally.


Who can become a member?

Sam: “We mainly focus on Flemish students, as our language of communication is Dutch, but Walloons – or anyone with a connection to Belgium – is welcome to join.”

What do you offer students?

Sam: “We focus on three areas: career prospects, social life and academics. We hold study sessions, offer mentorship and organise company open days. And of course, there is the social aspect of gathering for a beer.”

Jan, you are the ‘Schachtentemmer’ of the association, enlighten us on the meaning of this title?  

Jan: ‘Schachten’ refers to the students who are in their first year of membership. It is my responsibility to look after them and teach them the rules of the association.”

What typical Belgian events do you hold?

Sam: “We have a ‘cantus’, which is very ceremonial. We converse in Latin, sing old traditional songs and drink beer together. At the beginning of the evening, people sing quietly, but by the end, everyone is singing on top of the tables.”

Student associations are known to party. Do you organise any?

Jan: “Twice a year we go by bus to a Belgian student city, like Leuven, for a night out.”

Sam: “And we hold parties on the Corbulo boat. Free entrance, cheap beer and good music. The next one is May 16th.”

  • In this series we meet TU Delft’s student fraternities. These fraternities are called gezelligheidsverenigingen in Dutch, which translates as ‘social clubs’, but in fact they’re far more than that. If you’d like to suggest a fraternity for us to cover, please email us at

Elise Mooijman / Freelance redacteur

Editor Redactie

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