Introduction activities August 2020

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam is looking forward to welcoming all new international students in August 2020.

During your first days, the International Office will arrange several activities in order to help you become acquainted with the city of Amsterdam and the university campus, to get to know your fellow students and, of course, to have fun! Our introduction team worked hard to put together an engaging and informative programme especially for you. The Arrival Days and Introduction Week will take place from Monday 17 August until Tuesday 25 August 2020. You do not want to miss out, so please mark these days in your agenda!

The Introduction Programme is offered by the VU International Office and it is free of charge for new international students.

Integration into Dutch culture

Successful integration into Dutch culture and making our international students feel at home and connected are key values of VU Amsterdam.  In this regard, the introduction programme is specially designed to get you off to a good start. Therefore, we strongly recommend that you participate in the entire programme.

Moving to Amsterdam to continue your academic career at a university abroad is both an exhilarating and perhaps slightly scary experience. After all, you will be alone in an unfamiliar place. We know it can be difficult to know where to go, what to do, how to organize, and what to prioritize. The introduction programme offered by VU Amsterdam plays a role in offering you a soft landing and preparing you for your new life in Amsterdam.

In order to ensure that you can get in touch with your Dutch peers more easily and get used to Dutch culture, we have several elements planned during the Introduction Week which will stimulate integration:

Mentors. We have roughly 30 Dutch students on board who have studied abroad themselves. They will assist you during the Arrival Days and Introduction Programme. This is an easy and accessible way to already get in contact with Dutch peers.

Study associations. Study associations are an important part of Dutch academic culture. Therefore we invited several associations to be present at the Arrival Days. By becoming a member of a study association, you will immediately have access to a vast network of Dutch students. Through these associations you can participate in events which will enable you to make friends quickly and which will ultimately make you feel at home in Amsterdam and the Netherlands.

Sports and Culture Associations. Participating in something you love to do is one of the easiest ways to connect with other people. We have therefore invited several associations to participate in the Sports and Culture Day.

How to Make it at VU. This event will include intercultural classes and classes on Dutch culture as well as a Dutch crash course. This programme is designed to:

  • help you develop intercultural competences to connect with people from different backgrounds and to perform effectively in highly diverse  environments;
  • explain the educational style in the Netherlands and its main characteristics. Many students do not realize that courses can be taught in different styles and that the style you are used to at home may differ from the methods used at VU Amsterdam;
  • provide an overview of the activities organized by the International Office to help you plan your future career development;
  • equip you with basic Dutch phrases and facts about Dutch culture. Do not be surprised if at the end of your stay you cannot get the word "gezellig" out of your vocabulary or if "stroopwafels" become your favorite treat!

Friday 14 & Monday 17 August 2020, from 9.00-16.00h: Key pick-up

Once you have arrived in Amsterdam, the first thing you want to do is pick up the keys to your new home. If you arranged accommodation through VU International Office and you have a room reserved at the housing corporation DUWO, you can collect your keys on Friday 14 August and Monday 17 August at Il Caffè, Uilenstede campus, Amstelveen.

Monday 17 & Tuesday 18 August 2020, 09.00-16.30h: Arrival Days

During the Arrival Days you can arrange all practical matters regarding your registration at VU Amsterdam, meet the incoming exchange team, register with the municipality, pick up your student card, and much more. Depending on the day you arrive in Amsterdam, you can choose which day works best with your schedule.

What can you expect during the Arrival Days?
Starting from 17 August, the International Office will host the Arrival Days to welcome you to VU Amsterdam. To give you an idea of which matters to take care of and in which order, we have included an explanation and overview below.

  • Register with the municipality in order to receive a personal public service number (BSN). You will need the BSN to open a bank account, to take out health care, and to apply for benefits or allowance in the Netherlands. Please note that you can only register with the municipality if you arranged accommodation via VU Amsterdam or if you already have an address in Amsterdam, Amstelveen or elsewhere.
  • Arrange all practical matters regarding your registration at VU Amsterdam, meet the incoming exchange team, pick-up your student card, get to know ESN VU Amsterdam, and much more.

Depending on the Arrival Day of your choice, you can follow the programme as listed below. As you can see, the programme for both days is exactly the same.
 

Monday 17 AugustTuesday 18 August
Register with the Municipality at BelleVUe, VU Amsterdam main building
9:00AM - 4:30PM
Register with the Municipality at BelleVUe, VU Amsterdam main building
9:00AM - 4:30PM
Visit the campus to arrange all practical matters regarding your registration at BelleVUe, VU Amsterdam main building
9:00AM - 4:30PM
Visit the campus to arrange all practical matters regarding your registration at BelleVUe, VU Amsterdam main building
9:00AM - 4:30PM

Wednesday 19 until Tuesday 25 August 2020: Introduction Programme

The Introduction team is working hard on creating a diverse and interesting introduction programme. We hope to be able to provide a preliminary overview of activities by early May.