Introduction activities August 2018

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam is looking forward to welcoming all new international students in August 2018.

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 is working hard to put together an engaging and informative programme especially for you. The introduction week will take place from 17 to 28 August, 2018. Please mark these days in your agenda.

The Arrival and Introduction Days will be organized by VU International Office and are free of charge.

Arrival Days: 17, 20 and 21 August 2018

The Arrival Days will take place on Monday 20 and Tuesday 21 August. During these days you can arrange all practical matters regarding your registration at VU Amsterdam, register with the municipality, open a bank account and much more! Friday 17 August is for room key pick-up only.

Did you book accommodation with DUWO?
If you rented a room at DUWO through VU Amsterdam, note that there are two days on which you can collect your room keys: Friday August 17th or Monday August 20th.
Please note that from the 21st of August, you can pick up your key at the DUWO office during office hours.

Did you book accommodation with another provider through VU Amsterdam?
If you rented a room at Bijlmer Towers the key pick up date is Friday August 17th.  In case you arrive after August 17th you need to arrange your key pick date and time with Alvast.
If you rented a room at Hotel Jansen/The Student Hotel West you need to arrange your own key pick date and time.

Arrival Days step by step

  • STEP 1) Collect your keys if you arranged your accommodation via VU Amsterdam.
  • STEP 2) 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.
  • STEP 3) Arrange all practical matters regarding your registration at VU Amsterdam, meet the incoming exchange team, collect your student card and Proof of Enrollment, get to know VU study associations and much more.

Depending on the Arrival Day of your choice, you can follow the steps listed below.

Please follow this scheme:

Friday 17 August
Monday 20 August
Tuesday 21 August
1) If you arranged accommodation via VU Amsterdam, you can collect your room key.
1) If you arranged your accommodation via the VU International Office, you can collect your room key from 9am-5 pm 2) Register with the Municipality at BelleVUe, VU Amsterdam main building 9:00 am-4:30 pm

2) Register with the Municipality at BelleVUe, VU Amsterdam main building 9:00 am-4:30 pm 3) You can visit the campus to arrange all practical matters regarding your registration at BelleVUeVU Amsterdam main building 9 am- 4:30 pm
3) You can visit the campus to arrange all practical matters regarding your registration at BelleVUe, VU Amsterdam main building 9:00 am- 4:30 pm

Wednesday 22 August 2018

Word Of Welcome
Aula, first floor, VU Amsterdam main building
Time: walk-in 10.30, event will start at 10.55

• 10:30 - 10:55 Doors open
• 10:55 - 11:00 Introduction by the Chairman of the day
• 11:00 - 11:10 Welcome by Vinod Subramaniam rector VU Amsterdam
• 11:10 - 11:25 Herbert Bos, Professor of Computer Science, VU Amsterdam
• 11:25 - 11:40 Geerte Udo, Guest speaker, Marketing Director of I Amsterdam
• 11:40 - 11:50 ESN President
• 11:50 - 12:00 Closing speech by the Chairman of the day

Amsterdam Scavenger Hunt
What better way than to explore the amazing city of Amsterdam through a scavenger hunt. We will end the hunt at Il Caffè Uilenstede for drinks, and of course there will be prizes for the winners. Once you have registered, we will send you an e-mail with details about the departure time and location.

: the Scavenger Hunt will take place in the city center, but you will receive instructions at the Aula (first floor), VU Amsterdam main building
Time: 12.00 (after the Word of Welcome)
How to get to the location: For this event you will need to use public transport. Please buy an OV-chipkaart (public transport card) beforehand. You can buy this card at Schiphol Airport or at any (metro)station. You can also buy a day-ticket for the usage of public transport.

Thursday 23 August 2018

How to Make it at VU

Location: IN-0B60, Initium building (Law Building, VU Amsterdam)

Students who decide to leave their home country to study abroad encounter numerous cultural differences, which could potentially lead to experiencing a culture shock. An abrupt change in cultural codes and a perhaps a different set of norms and values is expected by most. What many international students do not expect, however, is that the educational style too can be quite different at the host institution. In fact, students at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam have frequently reported that they had more difficulties during the first few months of their stay abroad due to the (unexpected) education shock than due to the (expected) culture shock.

The How to make it at the VU program is designed to:

  • help you develop intercultural competencies to connect with people from different backgrounds and to perform effectively in a highly diverse environment.
  • explain the educational style in the Netherlands and its main characteristics. Many students do not realize that courses can be taught in different educational styles and that the style you were used to in your own country probably differs from the methods used at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. You might make the mistake of entering a study programme in the Netherlands with a set of values and expectations developed in your own country, culture and previous education.
  • 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 (funny) facts about Dutch culture. Don’t be surprised if at the end of your stay you can’t get the word ‘gezellig’out of your vocabulary or if ‘stroopwafels’ become your new favorite treat!


13:00 – 13:15      Walk-in 
13:15 – 13:30      Word of welcome and short introduction, Neira Becar
13:30– 14:30       Presentation on intercultural communication, by Nita Korsten, consultant Crust Young

Studying abroad will surely provide a student with great opportunities. Besides academic knowledge it will teach the student much more,  as getting out of one’s comfort zone can certainly equip an individual for future challenges.  In today’s world it’s extremely important to be able to connect with people from different backgrounds, and to perform in a highly diverse environment.  In this presentation we will cover the intercultural competencies that you can develop to communicate effectively and to benefit from cultural diversity.
Nita Korsten is a Dutch Intercultural Business Professional who co-founded Crust Young, a management consultancy that is active in both the Netherlands and the U.S., and that specializes in facilitating intercultural collaboration. Nita shows clients how to make sense of their cross-cultural realities and how to use diversity to their advantage. With over 25 years of experience as a trainer, consultant and managing director in an international company, she brings her knowledge and passion to each project!  Nita has considerable and hands-on experience of living and working abroad and has traveled extensively through various parts of the world.

14:30 – 15:15      Presentation International Office, by Neira Becar, International Officer

The content of the  presentation will mainly focus on the struggles that students initially experience when they leave their home country to study abroad. Terms that come to mind are the following: w-curve, culture shock and what one can do to battle the feelings caused by culture shock. In addition, information will be provided about the Dutch academic educational system.

15:15 – 15:30      Career Services, Irena Paap-Bunic
Announcement by the International Office, to focus on career related activities organized by the International Office.

15:30 – 15:45      Short break

15:45– 16:45       Crash course Dutch, provided by Koentakt

Interactive course provided by Koentact, in which students will learn how to introduce themselves and other basic phrases and useful words. The workshop will be given in an up-beat, interactive manner, with an emphasis on getting to know each other in an informal way. The workshop will be done by the founder of Koentact, Koen Gijzel, who has invited comedian Jasper Smit to further enhance the program.

Movie night

Location: KC07 (ground floor), VU Amsterdam main building

Time: walk-in 19:30, the movie starts at 19:45, don’t be late!

What’s better than finishing a fun but long and intensive day with a movie night?
The name of the movie is still a surprise but we can already reveal that the main theme of the movie is students studying abroad and having the time of their lives.
Perfectly suits our viewers, doesn’t it?

Friday 24 August 2018

Campus tour
Join us for the Campus tour and get to know the VU campus! During the tour you will be introduced to all hotspots of the main VU building such as the library, the security office, the university restaurant, study areas and learn of hidden gems such as the rooftop terrace. You will also receive a short overview of other faculty buildings, visit the botanical gardens and learn about VU Amsterdam's history.

After registation, you will receive the time and the location of the event.

Monday 27 August 2018

Sports Day
This day is organized to give you an idea of what the VU Sports Center has to offer. You will get the chance to participate in several classes and make use of the Sports Center’s facilities. In addition, you can play teamsports such us soccer, basketball and volleyball. A variety of classes such as zumba, yoga, pole dancing, kick-boxing will be also offered. The fitness area of the sport centre will be freely accessible throughout the day.

Sport Center, Uilenstede 100, 1183 Amstelveen
Time: 13.00 – 17.00.

Please check the schedule below:
13:00 - 17:00: Fitness.
13:30 – 14:30: Yoga (studio 1)/ Pole Dancing (studio 2)/ Zumba (studio 3)/ Kickboxing (second floor).
14:30 – 15:30: Yoga (studio 1)/ Pole Dance (studio 2)/ Zumba (studio 3)/ Kickboxing (second floor).
15:30 – 16:30: Pole Dance (studio 2)/ Kickboxing (second floor).
Basketball, Volleyball, Soccer and Table Tennis will be offered from 13:00 until 17:00.

Tuesday 28 August 2018

Introduction Week Closing Party
At Atelier an industrial and funky atmosphere will be waiting for you, a variety of delicious food will be served and a DJ will make sure you will dance away the evening. The Introduction Week Closing Party is a way to celebrate the end of your first week here, to get to know your fellow students, enjoy street food and dance! The entrance is free and all new international students will receive 2 coins from the International Office. With 2 coins you can buy food such as an hamburger or a wrap or you can sip a couple of drinks! Of course, you can also buy extra coins.

When: 5 pm-1 am
Where: Atelier (Valschermkade 16, 1059 CD Amsterdam)
Direction to Atelier from Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.