Exchange students turn to fraternity for fast American friends

By Nick Macia

Two Indiana University of Pennsylvania international exchange students knew they were interested in joining a fraternity before they had even arrived in the United States.

Maarten Kampfraath (political science) and Mika Klaassens (humanities and social sciences) came from Holland and Zandvoort, respectively, which are both in the Netherlands. Both students are part of an international exchange program and are currently finishing up their first and only year of school at IUP as members of Phi Kappa Tau.

They both said they had seen fraternities portrayed in American movies, and that was enough to spark their interests. 

“I was mainly interested in joining a fraternity because it was an easy way to meet people in the short time we had here in the U.S.,” Kampfraath said. 

They both joined the Epsilon Rho chapter of Phi Kappa Tau during the fall semester.  

Since becoming members of Phi Kappa Tau, they have held multiple positions within the organization. Both Kampfraath and Klaasens were recruitment chairmen for the fraternity during this semester, helping the fraternity grow larger. 

Kampfraath also held the position of philanthropy chairman. He orchestrated two soccer tournaments to raise money for the SeriousFun Network, Phi Kappa Tau’s philanthropy organization. Its goal is to create accessible camps for children with illnesses around the world.

 “The best thing that I gained from being in the fraternity was a diverse American friend group and connections in another country,” Klaassens said.