Social Programme

Make the city your classroom

Our social programme is exclusively for Semester in Amsterdam students and features an extensive arrival and introduction programme as well as a full schedule of cultural activities. Each activity is designed to take you behind the scenes and go deeper than just the tourist experience. Whether we're touring 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 programme fees.

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

  • Free airport pick-up
  • Room check-in
  • Municipality registration
  • Welcome meet & greet
  • Day trips to Rotterdam, The Hague, and/or other Dutch cities
  • Trip to Efteling, the Netherlands' largest amusement park
  • VU Amsterdam campus tour
  • Dutch crash course
  • International dinner party
  • Bike sale and workshop
  • Sports event
  • Pub quizzes

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 programme fees. Examples:

  • Anne Frank House and Tuschinski Theater
  • International Peace Palace
  • Keukenhof tulip gardens
  • Heineken brewery
  • Royal Palace
  • City tours of Utrecht, Haarlem, and Leiden, and other Dutch cities
  • Zuiderzee open air museum
  • Amsterdam's first LGBTQ-friendly café
  • Artis zoo
  • Harbor walk 
  • Lloyd Hotel and Cultural Embassy
  • Farewell picnic

Once per semester we also offer an overnight for an additional all-inclusive cost. Past trips include:

There is no better way to instantly meet local students than by joining our buddy program. You will be matched with a VU Amsterdam student who can introduce you to the Dutch way of life and act as a peer resource. The buddy program also has its own schedule of social events including karaoke nights and international dinners.

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