• KAT-Blad

Resources for Students

Updated: Nov 17

Written by Zoe Jensen


Resources and General Information for Students:


Whether you’ve been in Amsterdam for years or only just started your journey in the Netherlands, it’s always good to know what’s out there to aid you in your studies and while you are living in the country. Here is a small list of some resources available to you that you may find useful and are good to have handy should the need for them arise. In addition, there’s also some general information pertaining to the Netherlands and living in the Netherlands to help you settle into your new life. This blog draws from my personal experiences, having lived in the Netherlands for over three years now, and from resources I’ve come across and recommend as a student ambassador, but it sadly does not include everything so please be mindful that it’s a nonexhaustive list. From contacts to be mindful of, to helpful links and apps here is a small collection of resources and information students commonly ask about:


*Note: this is primarily created with current students in mind so it focuses a bit less on general information about the university itself and is more geared towards adjusting to life in Amsterdam and getting settled, BUT there’s still a lot of great information for prospective students. If you are a prospective student who would like to learn more about the university and hear from current students please check out the university’s International Student Ambassadors! Speaking of Student Ambassadors, Emilia’s blog “Living in Amsterdam A to Z” is also a great resource.


This is a large collection of information so here is a table of contents so you can easily jump to what you need or are interested in:

  1. Activities in Amsterdam and Around the Netherlands

  2. Bikes and Bike Safety

  3. Dutch Culture

  4. Dutch Language

  5. Education and your Studies at UvA

  6. English in The Netherlands

  7. Finances and Living Costs

  8. Financial Aid

  9. Healthcare

  10. Housing

  11. Internationalization and Amsterdam as an International City

  12. Mental Health

  13. Printing at the University

  14. Public Transportation

  15. Residency and Visas

  16. Sports and Gyms

  17. Social Safety and Emergency Contacts

  18. Study Help and Studying with a Disability

  19. Study Spaces

  20. Student Associations and Organizations

  21. Weather

  22. Work and Internships as a Student

  23. Miscellaneous


1. Activities in Amsterdam and Around the Netherlands

*I will hopefully update and expand this section soon!


Amsterdam has a LOT going on at all times. It would literally be impossible to describe everything here– but if there is something you are interested in, whether it be clubbing or birdwatching, head over to google and see what’s out there! With that said, here are a few common activities and suggestions.


Amsterdam is known for its museums. Honestly consider getting a Museumkaart! It’s only 64,90 euros for a year-long pass. I know that sounds like a lot but when one ticket to the Rijksmuseum is 20 euros, the card pays for itself very quickly. It’s valid at over 100 museums across the Netherlands which means you’ll have excuses to explore more of the country.


Some popular museums in Amsterdam are:


Some personal recommendations:


The Netherlands is a very small country which means that most of the rest of the country is only a short train ride away from Amsterdam! Do consider taking some day trips and exploring what’s outside of Amsterdam.


The main movie theater company is Pathé. If you like theater you should check out the Dutch National Ballet and Opera, De La Mar, Carré, the Queen’s English Theater Company, and the Internationaal Theater Amsterdam.


Popular clubs and concert venues include Paradiso, Melkweg, Panama, Radion, and Club Nyx.


If you like comedy you should check out Boom Chicago.


For more miscellaneous events check out IAmsterdam (the homepage for the site) which also has a page for festivals and major annual events.


2. Bikes and Bike Safety:

Where to get a bike (or fiets):

  • Buying

  • Lots of places to get second-hand bikes around the city and there are plenty of bike stores!

  • You can get cheap second-hand bikes from the Student Union ASVA. They organize a few bike sales a year. You can stay updated here.

  • Swapfiets is another option. It’s a bike rental service so you can make sure you always have a functioning bike.

  • You can also rent bikes using OV-Fiets, all you need is a personalized OV card to do so. (More about OV cards in the Public transport section).


Your bike will probably be stolen at least one point in your time in the Netherlands. It’s unfortunate but it happens. Here are some ways you can keep yourself protected and minimize losses in case this does occur:


  • Buy two locks! Many Dutch people use two locks to keep their bikes secured: one is a traditional chain bike lock (often a quite heavy-duty one) and the other is one that connects to one of the wheels (see image, source).

  • Make sure you connect your bike to a bike stand or other secure post. This helps make your bike less mobile and means no one can just carry it away without some effort. (But do make sure you aren’t parking your bike anywhere you shouldn’t be!) Connecting your bike to something is also good in other circumstances, especially when parking by a canal! I have seen cars knock bikes into the canals as they try to park and drive off with no remorse!

  • While you shouldn’t cheap out on your lock, you go a bit cheap on the bike itself. Higher-end bikes are more attractive to thieves and mean you’ll lose a lot of money if yours get stolen. Instead, try to buy secondhand. At the same time, beware if a deal seems too good to be true, it might mean the bike has been stolen.


Bike Safety

  • You need a working front and back light on your bike at all times. If you are caught in the dark without them you can be fined!

  • Stick to the bike lanes when possible! Most of the city has orange-red lanes along the road for cyclists. Whether in a bike lane or on the road itself with cars, be sure to observe all traffic rules.

  • Use your hands to indicate where you are going! When people can know what you plan to do they can plan accordingly which keeps you safer.

  • Be alert! In the center of Amsterdam especially, there’s a lot going on. Stay aware and make sure if you have headphones in you can still hear what is going on around you. This also means no phones! As of 2019, you can be fined for using a phone while cycling.

  • For a fun and informative bike safety video check out this one made by the city of Amsterdam (it’s a must-see!)


While getting through town on a bike is the most common and stereotypical thing, it’s not for everyone and it’s not always ideal (for example in some weather). If you’re not much of a cyclist or want more options, check out the section on public transportation.



3. Dutch Culture:

Obviously, you can’t generalize an entire population, but there are some stereotypical things international students comment on. The Dutch are known for being direct so don’t take some bluntness personally! Dutch people are also very timely so make sure if you have an appointment you show up on time. Alongside this they like to be efficient, so often you may just have a 10-15 minute appointment somewhere (such as at GPs).


Of course, you’ll want to try the food! The most classic Dutch sweet is the Stroopwafel, a biscuit filled with honey or syrup. There are many places throughout Amsterdam that make fancy ones fresh daily, but you’ll find that with your morning cup of coffee your basic Albert Heijn ones do just fine too. Besides this, you’ll come across the term Borrel quickly and also quickly find it has no solid English translation. It’s basically a drink with friends, but also commonly includes snacks such as bitterballen (a meat-based snack), krokets (tbh like bitterballen but longer), kaassouffles (deep-fried cheese snacks), Kaasstengels (cheesy breadsticks). The Dutch love their cheese, and they’re good at making it so next time you go grocery shopping look for some Gouda or Edam. A common Dutch lunch, especially on the go, is a sandwich with just some slices of cheese. For breakfast you can try Hagelslag; chocolate or sugar sprinkles you put on some bread with butter. Most traditional Dutch food is hearty and warm such as Stamppot (mashed potatoes often with a vegetable mixed in and sausage on the side), and Erwtensoep (pea soup). For those fond of fish, the Dutch are known for their raw herring or Kibbeling (battered deep-fried fish). Febo is known for their wall of food you can grab and go from– perfect for introverts and honestly the best food ever if you’re a bit tipsy. Another classic is grabbing fries from one of the many fry stands you’ll encounter– with mayonnaise on top of course! In the winter you’ll find many stands selling Oliebollen which are doughy balls of delight in the cold Dutch winter. If you’re looking for a sweet treat throughout the year you can find poffertjes, which are small pancakes topped with powdered sugar.



Living in the Netherlands means you’re going to come in contact with some Dutch holidays. Starting with the first one to come up in the academic year, we have Sinterklaas! (Yes, Halloween is becoming more common but it doesn’t count.) This is the Netherlands’ festive winter holiday– similar to Christmas in many ways, but Christmas itself is also becoming more common in the country to celebrate on its own. Sinterklaas (based on Saint Nicholas) brings gifts to children each year with his (very problematic) companions, the Pieten. Everything is made complete with tons of ceremony! The Sinterklaasjournaal keeps you up to date on the journey to the Netherlands from Spain. Their landing in the Netherlands, usually in mid-November, is celebrated with parades across the country. And finally, on the evening of December 5th Sinterklaasavond is celebrated with gifts and fun poems. During this time you can expect to see lots of chocolate letters, pepernoten, and marzipan goodies in stores.


On April 27th, the entire country is covered in orange (the national color) to celebrate the king’s birthday on King’s day. Parades and concerts fill the streets and many city centers become large block parties. Boats fill the canals and ensure that every square inch of space is covered in Dutch flags and people in bright orange outfits. You’ll also find several stalls around cities with people (often children) selling goodies and second-hand items. It’s one big party! But it can get a little crazy so be sure to celebrate responsibly.


May 4th and 5th are also significant for the Netherlands. The former allows the country to take time to remember those lost during and since the second world war with a moment of silence and a ceremony on the Dam square. The latter remembers the liberation of the Netherlands at the end of the second world war and is a national holiday.


4. Dutch Language:

While English is very prevalent in the Netherlands (we’ll get to that more in a bit) it’s still nice to try to learn Dutch. However, a common complaint amongst students is that if a Dutch person hears the slightest accent or struggle, they will switch to English– so how much you’ll be able to use your Dutch knowledge might vary but at least you’re trying!


Some places you can learn Dutch are:

  • Through the INTT (which is housed in PC Hoofthuis). If you do Dutch as a language X in your first year of the BA Linguistics, you will take courses by them. They have a variety of short-term and long-term programs and offer evening classes, so it’s easy to work around your schedule. They offer discounts to UvA students and alumni.

  • You can also look at UvA Talen which has a variety of courses in a variety of languages (including Dutch, but also many more!).

  • Other Dutch language schools include, but are not limited to, Koentact, taalhuis, and taalboost. But also look around and see what’s out there!


If you are just starting out or receive a letter that’s just a bit more Dutch than you can handle, get the google translate app (not just the browser version). The app is pretty solid for Dutch and allows you to scan text live or from photos to translate. If you happen to need help understanding Dutch or translating something, don’t be afraid to reach out to your peers! Dutch students are not as intimidating as they may seem.


5. Education and your Studies at UvA:

Here are all of the bachelor's and master's programs at the university. You can find information regarding applications and requirements on the program pages. If you have questions you can contact the Central Student Service Desk. If you have questions about the program you are currently enrolled in you can contact the Education Desk.


Here is the UvA Informational page and course catalog for the main linguistics programs:


In the third year of the BA(Sign Language) Linguistics program, you have elective space you can use to complete a minor. Here is general information about minors as well as a list of the ones available at the university. Application procedures and deadlines for minors depend on the faculty and program. You can also just use this space for electives. More information about electives and other options, such as studying abroad, can be found here. To organize your study plan, check out these pages: The structure of your curriculum and your academic plan and Planning your courses. If you are in one of the one-year master's programs and wish to switch to the RMA, you can find information about that here.


You can find your personal courses and timetable on the rooster. Course registration information can be found here.


Information about study materials can be found here.


If you need to contact or make a request (exemptions, approvals, etc.) to the Examinations Board you can find more information here. General information about exams and resits can be found here. You typically will have one resit opportunity for each exam.


More general information regarding your studies can be found here including:


All UvA locations can be found here, more specific information about the different campuses here. Here is a list of some of the facilities and amenities offered by the university. More information about study spaces in particular can be found later on in this blog.


Here is the 2022-2023 UvA academic calendar.

The year is divided into two semesters with 3 blocks each, 2 blocks of 8 weeks, and 1 block of 4 weeks. In the 8-week blocks, the humanities have a lecture-free week in the first week of the block. There will be no lecturers but you may be required to do some level of preparatory work for the course. You get 2 weeks off in the winter after block 2, and a week off in block 5. The Second semester also has a number of other public holidays. Each year you aim to get 60 ECTS. 1 ECTS is equivalent to 28 hours of work (either in class or self-study). As a first-year student, you are required to get at least 48 credits as part of the BSA (binding study advice). If you fear this will not be the case, reach out to the study advisor. Additional pages regarding the BSA include: Academic student counseling on the BSA, Personal circumstances and BSA, and Failed to pass your BSA: what happens now?


Grading is done on a scale of 1 to 10: 5.5 is a passing score, 7.5 is a job well done, 8 is excellent, and anything above is rare.


The UvA is a changing university and expects a high level of responsibility and the ability to study independently. If you need advice on how to improve your study skills please check out the sections on study spaces, Study Help, and Studying with a Disability.


If there are issues with the program or you have suggestions for improvements please reach out to the program committee of your program. They are the link between students and staff and exist to ensure students are being put at the forefront of program decisions. If you are unsure who the program committee member is for your year, please reach out to one of your teachers.


One other note about studying linguistics at UvA– though growing, we are still a small program that creates a very tight-knit community and means you have more opportunities to get to know your professors and for them to get to know you. They want to help you succeed so if you are struggling in a course don’t be scared to ask them for help. Try to do so before you become lost and overwhelmed as deadlines approach, or before you skip assignments. They are very helpful and welcoming so just remember to communicate with them!


For information regarding the linguistic study association VOS, and linguistics student magazine KAT Blad see the Student Associations and Organizations section below.


6. English in The Netherlands:

The Netherlands has one of the highest levels and percentages of English proficiency in the World, which can be seen in their regular high rankings by EF.


It is true that most Dutch people know English, especially in Amsterdam. As a result, it’s truthfully quite easy to get by without any knowledge of Dutch. This is nice if you are here short term, for example on an exchange or a one-year program, but if you are here for a while it is definitely recommended to learn Dutch! (see above) This not only enhances your experience and ability to explore Dutch culture but also is nice to try to speak to Dutch people in Dutch as you get groceries and such. Of course, you will likely occasionally encounter situations where not knowing Dutch will cause problems and make it difficult for you to communicate.


There are a lot of English language events in Amsterdam so not knowing Dutch doesn’t mean you can’t find nice shows to go to! Many movies are shown in their original languages, with Dutch subtitles, in theaters so you can watch your favorite Hollywood blockbusters with no problem. You can find English-language theater shows and musicals from places like the Queen’s English Theatre Company. In addition, Boom Chicago has lots of comedy shows in English.


You can also find English-language religious services here.


7. Finances and Living Costs:

Information about tuition fees and how to pay can be found here and here. Other money matters can be found here.


Amsterdam isn’t cheap to live in truthfully. Most students budget 400-500 euros per month (excluding rent!). This obviously depends on your lifestyle and there are certainly ways to keep your monthly costs low, such as by not getting takeout or using a bike as your primary means of transportation. More about housing prices will be discussed in the housing section.


Be aware that some places in the Netherlands don’t accept Visa or Mastercard, only Maestro. Many places are also card-only. You can often find a little sign on the door or window that indicates the payment preferences of the place.


8. Financial Aid:

Some general information about student financing can be found here.


Scholarships from the university are rare and difficult to get, sadly. They are often faculty based. More information can be found here for bachelor's students and master's students. However, do look at other options either in the Netherlands or in your home country and see if they will apply to you as a foreign student/student studying abroad!


Other grants and loans are available and you can find information here. Once again see if opportunities for grants and loans from your home country are applicable to your situation. For example, to my fellow American students, if you are eligible for the FAFSA you should still be able to get it while studying here. I’ve done it for my entire studies with no problem.


So if you can’t find financial aid opportunities or loans in the Netherlands don’t give up!


As a student in the Netherlands, you may be eligible for a housing allowance. Information about this allowance is also available on this page. The rules for getting this are quite strict. If you think your rent is too high to fit the requirements, look at the exact breakdown of your rent, especially if you are in student accommodation. While you may pay 600 euros a month, some of this may actually be service costs making the rental price itself lower and thus eligible- but it's all very situational so you’ll have to see if it fits your situation. The information regarding this allowance can be difficult to find in English at times so this might be another case to ask a Dutch peer nicely to help out.


Once again, working alongside your studies will be discussed further down.


9. Healthcare:

As an international student, you are required to have proper health insurance while you study in the Netherlands. You can find more information here.


It’s important that you sign up for a huisarts, or GP (general practitioner) BEFORE you need to make use of one! Signing up for GPs is done based on postcode so you’ll need to look around at what’s available near you. At times the GPs around you will be full or not accepting new patients for a period of time. There is also the possibility to sign up at the huisarts associated with the UvA (more info here in). It is open to all UvA students regardless of postcode and they have a location right next to Rokin. They also have lots of experience with AON insurance which international students commonly have.


More information about healthcare and emergency numbers can be found here. Information about dental care can be found here. Information about student psychologists can be found here and more information about mental health specifically will be included in a section below. General information about health and well-being can be found here.


10. Housing:

Finding housing is difficult, sadly there’s no way around it. The best tip is to start looking early! Houses go quickly so you’re unlikely to get a place you are eyeing 5 months in advance but it makes you more aware of the market, what you like, and what's out there so when you are ready to move you can jump on a place.


Here is the university information on housing, including need-to-know info and the costs of rent for university accommodation. More housing matters can be found here. If you move into a private apartment that is not student accommodation you can expect prices to be higher. Also, refer to the financial aid section of this blog for information about the housing allowance.


Housing through the university is extremely limited and not guaranteed. If you are offered a room, it’s important to read the emails carefully and sign up for the room as soon as you can. University housing is only for the first year, start looking for new accommodation as soon as the second semester starts.


Here is information about finding housing on your own.


Places to look for housing (these range in prices and include both student accommodation and other private rentals):


Be aware! Some platforms such as room.nl give priority to those who have had an account longer so make an account ASAP! Also when using Facebook groups to look for rooms be careful of scams.


Also, consider living outside of Amsterdam. It’s not ideal but you might be able to find more options for better prices. Two popular cities are Haarlem and Almere. Haarlem is only 20 minutes from Amsterdam by train and Almere is 30-40 minutes away. Check out the public transportation section of this blog for more information about some train discounts and subscriptions.


11. Internationalization and Amsterdam as an International City:

Due to the international nature of Amsterdam, there are an incredible amount of diverse communities, not just within the student population, but also in the city in general. As a result, no matter where you are from you can find a connection to home. From import stores to cultural events to expat groups there’s something for everyone! You can read more about these things in my blog for the international student ambassadors about some cures for homesickness while studying in the Netherlands (you may have to scroll down to see it). When in doubt, just google to see what’s out there! Also, don’t be afraid to reach out to your peers if you happen to share a similar background, chances are they are looking for friends too!


In addition, cultural events can be found here. International groups can be found here. You can also find English-language religious services here.


You can learn more about UvA’s policies and systems for internationalization here.


12. Mental Health:

The GP associated with the UvA does have some resources on mental health such as this site with student anecdotes and this one with physical and mental health tips. They also have a page dedicated to burnout. Here is a page with general information about health and well-being.


If you need someone to talk to, just to vent/get your mind off things/etc., there’s a student initiative at the UVA called All Ears that exists as a more casual talk space. It’s organized and run by UvA psychology students.


When it comes to therapy, you can contact your GP who can put you in contact with one. If you prefer, there are also a number of independent practices throughout Amsterdam, however, some of these don’t take all or any insurance. Many of these independent therapists may have a background more similar to yours (i.e. from your same home country, offers services in your native language) or specialize in immigrants/expats which some may find appealing. Have a look at your insurance policy to see what is or isn’t covered. If you have insurance such as AON where you pay initially and then are reimbursed by your insurance company, check with them to see if independent practices are included in this– it’s better to double-check than get stuck with an unexpected bill. Unfortunately, at times waiting lists can be a bit long. The university does also have student psychologists that offer a number of services and group sessions.


If you are having suicidal thoughts please get in touch with a therapist or psychologist immediately. You can also reach out to the suicide prevention website and hotline (113 or 0800-0113).


If mental health problems are affecting your studies, reach out to your tutor or study advisor. More information can be found in the section for study help.


13. Printing at the University

Good info to have. Here is where you can find information about printing, copying, and scanning at UvA.


14. Public Transportation:

The public transportation (or openbaar vervoer, OV) system in Amsterdam and the Netherlands, in general, is very well connected!


You have two sorts of OV cards, which you use to check in and out of the public transport systems. There are anonymous cards that you can purchase at kiosks for train tickets. These can be used by anyone but you have to reload the card at public transport ticket kiosks. The other is a personalized OV card which is specific to you and you can tie to your bank account. If you wish to get a public transport subscription you will need a personalized OV card. Both anonymous and personalized OV cards can be used across public transport services and providers which makes them more flexible than a GVB-only ticket, for example.


Within Amsterdam, you have trams, metros, buses, and trains. Most of the trams and metros, and some buses, in Amsterdam, are run by GVB. General info about public transport in Amsterdam can be found here. You can find their routes on the GVB site as well. If you will only travel within Amsterdam you can look into discounts on GVB services such as hour/day tickets, tourist tickets (useful for visiting friends/family), and season passes.


Trains in the Netherlands are run by NS. If you don’t live in Amsterdam and have to commute to uni you can look into train subscriptions through NS Flex. One discount, in particular, you might want to look into if you live outside of Amsterdam is traject vrij where you get unlimited travel on a fixed route for a monthly price. NS does have a page where you can put in your travel habits and compare discounts across the different NS flex options.


In order to plan your trips, look up times for trains and other public transport, or get an idea of how much a trip will cost, get the app 9292. It will be your #1 traveling compassion within the Netherlands.


15. Residency and Visas:

This will of course vary depending on your background and circumstances so here are just a few good pages to have on hand:


16. Sports and Gyms:

If you are sporty, there are several gyms around Amsterdam, many with discounted plans for students. UvA also has a gym and sports center called USC. More information and the full range of options can be found here.


If you want to join a sports association you can find some here.


17. Social Safety and Emergency Contacts:

Here are a number of links with information about social safety and emergencies:


18. Study Help and Studying with a Disability:

If you want some general help building study skills you can find resources here. Also, don’t be afraid to reach out to peers or upperclassmen if you would like some help in a course! You can learn more about creating a studying plan that works for you here (also info on retaining information, assimilating information, motivation, and focusing). The university offers some courses and workshops to help you gain study skills as well. More information can be found here. There are both English and Dutch options. For academic writing, resources can be found here. UvA also has a Writing Center that provides help and tutoring. And finally, some general writing tips can be found here.


Like an onion, there are many layers of people you can go to for help with different study struggles.


If you are struggling in a course, talk to your teacher! They are not as scary as you may think and communicate your concerns with them early on means you can panic less when the exam comes around. Within the linguistics department, in particular, I’ve found that teachers are open to providing extra explanations during class breaks, over email, or even during office hours. Just reach out! You can also talk with your peers and put together a study group if you feel that will help you.


If your concerns go beyond a particular class, you can talk to your tutor. You should be assigned one in your first year. They can help with general study advice and direct you to other resources if necessary. Your tutor is there to support you and ensure that you are where you should/want to be in your studies. Both your tutor and study advisor can also offer broader guidance on what to do after your studies and advice if you are doubting your study choice.


If you are studying with a disability, injury, or something has occurred that may greatly affect your studies you should contact your study advisor. The study advisor for linguistics is Doetsje de Groot. She is also your point of contact if you need special accommodations for your studies. Some examples of accommodations can be found here, more information about the duration of these accommodations can be found here, and the procedure can be found here (but do get in touch with the study advisor first!). If you expect study delays due to academic challenges or exceptional circumstances you should also contact the study advisor.


If you need support due to special circumstances you can also contact a student counselor.


Information about other accommodations such as wheelchair accessibility at the various campuses can be found here.


There are also pages dedicated on the UvA website with advice for particular situations such as studying with AD(H)D, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Dyslexia, or Pregnancy/Parenthood, and here you can find a general overview.


For information about mental health and burnout please see the mental health section of this blog.


19. Study Spaces:


All UvA locations and their opening times can be found here, and general information here. Information pertaining to the university library can be found here and their study spaces (at all library locations, including opening hours) can be found here. General information about the library can be found here and here. And finally, here is a link to the UvA Spacefinder. There are also online study spaces available.


Here are some other facilities at the university as well.


Some general studying advice can be found here.


20. Student Associations and Organizations:

I cannot stress enough how important these are to student life! Amsterdam is a big city and UvA is a huge university with thousands and thousands of students. It’s easy to feel lost and disconnected in such an environment. Student organizations help create communities, connect students, and make such a big city/university less daunting.


For (Sign Language) Linguistics our study association is VOS (Instagram: @voslingusitics, email: vos.uva@gmail.com). They put together social and academic events to connect students and get them more involved in the field of linguistics. It’s a great way to get to know those in your year but also to get to know older students and learn from them. KAT Blad is the student magazine for linguistics (as you probably know considering you are on the site right now). We provide a platform from which students can share their passion for language and linguistics and can start discussions with their peers about topics that interest them. We are always looking for new blogs and articles for our magazine so please reach out anytime (Instagram: @katblad, email: katblad.uva@gmail.com) and consider submitting pieces!


Study associations for other programs can be found here. Other student associations (those not tied to a particular study) can be found here. Sports associations can be found here. ASVA is a student union that creates and supports initiatives on behalf of students in Amsterdam and offers a number of services such as housing advice and legal aid. More leisure and student activities/groups can be found here.


Yes, I’m biased because I am very involved with both KAT Blad and VOS but I’m only super involved because of the impact they have had on me in my first year. For those who struggle to come out of their shell, study associations are the main way students from your program get together and mingle and are a great way to make friends. They also give you a lot of excuses to leave your tiny student room and explore Amsterdam and the Netherlands which provide great opportunities for international students.


21. Weather:

It will rain and there will be wind. Occasionally, the Netherlands also gets snow. And in the summer there will be days that make you feel you are melting. In summary, the weather is lovely year-round!


On a serious note, be prepared for the rain and wind, especially if you are going to be cycling in it. There’s a helpful website and app called Buienradar that tracks rain and can give you a detailed timeline of when/where it’ll rain. This is particularly helpful if you are deciding whether to wait it out or just brave it.


22. Work and Internships as a Student:

Working is possible! But if you are from outside of the EU it is heavily restricted. Information can be found here and includes all the necessary things to consider for both work and internships. More information for non-EU students can be found here.


A few things to note: While it is possible to work, finding a job can be tough. Even in the center of Amsterdam, many employers prefer that you have a certain level of Dutch. In addition, you will likely need a work permit if you are outside of the EU which can take up to 2 months to get. This waiting period, limited hours non-EU students can work, and the fact that the employer has to apply for this on your behalf means that in many cases foreign students are less appealing to hire, unfortunately. Still, working is possible and I’m not saying all this to scare you but it’s important that you are realistic.


My personal experience involves the rules and regulations for non-EU students so if you are from the EU sadly I don’t know what applies to you but check out the link above and look online to see what you do/don’t need. Asking your peers about their experiences isn’t a bad idea either!


The university does have a Job Board for current students and Alumni and a Career Center to help prepare you for applications, interviews, and more.


After graduation, you can apply for a “search year” visa, during which you can stay in the Netherlands for a year to look for a job.


23. Miscellaneous:

  • As a note, when in doubt about anything UvA or study-related do reach out to the Central Student Service Desk! They are a great resource.

  • Athenaeum offers student discounts on textbooks! But check with your study association to see if they have a separate book deal that can offer you more savings.

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