Social Programme

Make the city your classroom

Our social programme is exclusively for Semester in Amsterdam students. It features an extensive introduction programme when you arrive as well as a full schedule of activities during the semester. Each activity is designed to go deeper than just the tourist experience. Whether we're visiting the Anne Frank house, paying our respects to the king and queen at the Royal Palace, enjoying a boat tour of Europe's largest harbor, or soaking in the city skyline on Amsterdam's Open Tower Day, our social programme will show you the ins and outs of Dutch culture. 

And since there's a lot more to see in the Netherlands than just Amsterdam, we make sure our social programme includes visits to sights and attractions outside the capital for a more inclusive experience. Except for overnight trips, all costs are included in the tuition fees.

Students are required to arrive on our official arrival day. The fall arrival day is usually two weeks before the start of courses. The spring arrival day takes place the week before courses start. During the arrival and introduction period, students can handle all practical matters, meet friends, and enjoy social activities such as:

  • Introductory overnight trip to another city in the Netherlands
  • Welcome meet & greet
  • Day trips to Rotterdam, The Hague, and/or other Dutch cities
  • Trip to Efteling, the Netherlands' largest theme park
  • VU Amsterdam campus tour
  • Dutch crash course
  • International dinner party
  • Bike sale and workshop
  • Sports events
  • Pub quizzes
  • Many additional events and parties offered by ESN (the Erasmus Student Network)

    After the arrival and introduction period we continue to organize activities throughout the semester to help you explore Dutch culture and stay connected with friends. All costs are included in the tuition fees. Examples:

    • Anne Frank house
    • International peace palace
    • Keukenhof tulip gardens
    • Heineken brewery
    • Royal palace
    • City tours of Utrecht, Haarlem, Leiden, Maastricht, Delft, and other Dutch cities
    • Zuiderzee open air museum
    • Amsterdam's first LGBTQ-friendly café
    • Artis zoo
    • Harbor walk 
    • Tuschinski theater
    • Farewell picnic

    Once per semester we also offer an overnight for an additional all-inclusive cost.

    For the spring 2018 semester, we are going to Krakow, Poland! The trip will take place from the 13th until the 15th of April, and we will visit the concentration camps Auschwitz and Birkenau. Please see your arrival information for additional details.

    Past trips include:

    • Weekend trip to the christmas
    • Weekend trip to Antwerp, Belgium
    There is no better way to instantly meet local students than by joining our buddy programme. You will be matched with a VU Amsterdam student who can introduce you to the Dutch way of life and make you feel at home. The buddy programme organizes a schedule of events including karaoke nights and international dinners. Some buddy groups also organize their own activities or pair up with other buddy groups. You will be invited to sign up for a buddy about one month before your arrival. Please contact with questions.

    Students are also encouraged to join ESN, the Erasmus Student Network, which organizes social events and weekend trips for international students.