TOP

Meet TOP. This organisation is not just any organisation. They make sure that you, as a beginning student, get to know your fellow students, student life and the city of Tilburg in the best possible way. The perfect kick-off for the time of your life! There is more to the organisation of such a big event than you might think. We talked to the TOP organisation to find out what they are doing. You will also hear why you should participate in TOP Week in the first place!

WHO ARE YOU AND WHAT DO YOU DO AT TOP?

"I am Nienke, 22 years old and I study communication and information sciences. That also fits in well with my position at TOP. I am Vice Chairman and PR Manager. That means I support the chairman, I take care of the internal recruitment and I am responsible for all socials.

WHAT IS TOP IN THE BASICS?

"TOP stands for Tilburg Orientation Program. That means the introduction week for all new students who come to study in Tilburg. It is meant for HBO and university students."

"Every year we organize two weeks. We have the Winter Week and the big TOP Week. Especially exchange students and students who start studying in February participate in TOP Winter Week. Then in the summer, the big week takes place for everyone who starts their studies in September!"

IN TOP WEEK YOU WILL GET TO KNOW YOUR FELLOW STUDENT, THE STUDENT LIFE AND THE CITY OF TILBURG!

WHAT DOES THE WEEK LOOK LIKE?

"Of course there is a lot to do during TOP Week. The bottom line is that as a new student you get to know your fellow student, the student life and the city of Tilburg. Those are the things we really focus on. How do you get to know that? Through all our activities! Think of a festival and opening party, but also sports classes and an information market where you can get to know all the associations. That way, we try to give attention to every aspect of Tilburg."

WHAT ARE THE HIGHLIGHTS IN SUCH A WEEK?

"Everything! No, but the biggest thing every year is the cantus. The legendary TOP Cantus! The biggest in the Netherlands. This year we are going to do it slightly differently. We have found a new location. Such a cantus is very overwhelming. As a student you have never experienced it before. It is very student-like and therefore fun to experience for the first time."

"Furthermore, a day where you get to meet the associations is a highlight for other people. It all comes down to what your interests are. We respond to that. Do you want to party? Then we have really cool parties for that. Are you more into culture? Then we'll make sure you can do fun things there too."

HOW WAS YOUR OWN TOP WEEK?

"I ran TOP Week in 2018. That one was still going on 'normally' fortunately at that time. We had two years with corona behind us. I still say that that week was one of the most fun weeks of my student life. And, the cantus remains my number one. I've been to a few other cantuses, but you can't beat this one as far as I'm concerned."

WHY WOULD YOU RECOMMEND STUDENTS TO PARTICIPATE IN TOP WEEK?

"It mainly comes back to the three things: your fellow student, the student life and getting to know the city of Tilburg. You hear that students are still best friends with the TOP group. If you want to become more active in student life, it is very nice to join. You will get to know student, study and sports associations in a formal and informal way. Furthermore, you just have a lot of fun during that week. If you are new in Tilburg, it is also very nice to get to know the city together with your mentors and the rest of the group."

WE ARE CAUTIOUS WITH OUR EXPECTATIONS. FORTUNATELY, EVENTS CAN CONTINUE STANDING AND PARTYING AGAIN. IN ANY CASE, IT IS GOING TO BE SUPER. WE ARE ESPECIALLY LOOKING FORWARD TO IT!

HOW ARE YOU EXPERIENCING YOUR YEAR SO FAR?

"It has been really fun so far. We always officially start our board year in October, but we are always asked in May and then you attend TOP Week yourself, of course. That is the final rehearsal for us.

"We also do a lot of social things together. Dinners, excursions, a board holiday. We have a lot of fun and I really like that."

"TOP Week itself will be the highlight. That will still be real 'work', but it will be great. The closing of TOP Winter Week, for example, was already very cool. This year, we had to switch gears a lot. We had to be sharp and change the programme due to changing measures. But then you stand there proud and with a satisfied feeling. Furthermore, our administrative holiday was great fun. The cobo was fun and the rest is yet to come. There are still plenty of fun things to come."

HOW IS THE ORGANISATION PUT TOGETHER?

"We have a seven-member board. In addition, we have 13 committee members every year. They are equal to the board. They help us with the preparations for TOP Week. It is such a big week that you need more hands.

"Furthermore, we also have the TOP Crew during the week. They come to help us behind the bar, for example. During TOP Week, there are also people in pink. They are former organisers of TOP. You can join them as a thank you for all their efforts. Of course, there is still some helping to be done here and there."

HOW DOES THIS TOP WEEK RESONATE WITH YOU?

"Of course, we saw during the Winter Week that we had to switch programmes. So we are a little cautious with our expectations. It is very cool to see that the events can go on as usual. Just standing and partying. It is exciting in that sense, because we are missing two years of knowledge. We are helped and supported by former organisers who have a lot of knowledge. Above all, we are looking forward to it!

THERE IS A GOOD CHANCE THAT THE EVENT WILL BE SOLD OUT THIS YEAR. SO BE SURE TO SECURE A PLACE FOR YOURSELF!

DO YOU HAVE PLANS FOR THE FUTURE?

"Actually, not so much. Of course, we change boards every year and we want each board to be able to make its own choices. We only commit ourselves for one year. The locations and so forth are often chosen because you know there is enough room. We let each board make other choices."

"At some point, of course, we want to grow, but then we need a larger event location in Tilburg. We are already at the maximum capacity of the Koepelhal. The university will continue to grow anyway. So it would be cool if we can double in 5 years or so."

HOW CAN YOU GET INVOLVED IN YOUR ORGANISATION?

"We are currently looking for the TOP Crew. As TOP Crew you will be backstage all week during TOP Week, helping to steer the organisation. It is really fun to do this. It will be a big group, so you will make a lot of new friends. You are welcome all week and only have to work a few shifts. We are still looking for people. So please sign up!

HOW DOES IT WORK WITH THE REGISTRATIONS?

"The programme is now online! Registration will open on the 7th of June. You can register from then until two weeks before TOP Week. The tip, however, is to register really early. That way you can assure yourself of a place. There's a good chance it will sell out this year."

Want to know more about TOP? How to register? Then take a look at their site!