Social Programme

Make the city your classroom

Our social programme is exclusively for Semester in Amsterdam students.

It features an extensive introduction programme (together with other international students) as well as a full schedule of activities during the semester (Semester in Amsterdam students only). Each activity is designed to offer more than simply a 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 in's and out's of Dutch culture from a first-hand perspective.

Since there is a lot more to see in the Netherlands than just Amsterdam, our social programme includes day trips to other cities as well! With the exception of the weekend trip away, all excursions are included in the programme fee and free of charge.

After the arrival and introduction period we continue to organise activities throughout the semester to encourage our students to explore Dutch culture, and connect with their new friends. All costs are included in the tuition fees.

This fall we will be visiting and exploring: 

  • Zuiderzee museum Saturday 14 September - experience what life looked like back in a day at this outdoors museum
  • GLTB ARTIS Royal Zoo and drinks at Café 't Mandje (one of the oldest gay bars in Amsterdam) - Friday 18 October at 12:45h - learn more about LGBTQ behaviour in the animal kingdom, and have a drink at one of the loveliest and quirkiest bars in Amsterdam
  • Tuschinski Cinema Monday 13 November at 9:00h - originally theater, nowadays cinema, and one of the most beautiful examples of Art Nouveau and Art Deco buildings in the world
  • Anne Frank House Monday 13 and Thursday 15 November at 9:00h - a unique museum with a story and history, it's a must-see 
  • Light Boat Tour Friday 20 December at 18:00-20:00h - join a tour of gorgeous light installations throughout the city and canals

Each semester we also offer an overnight trip. This fall we will be going to visit the Christmas markets in Germany and Luxembourg from 5th to 8th of December. Both countries are famous for their cosy and inviting atmosphere of the Christmas markets, where everyone enjoys a cup of traditional Glühwein.

The price is €275; it includes accommodation, transportation, breakfasts, and one dinner.


    There is no better way to instantly meet local students than by joining the Dutch 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 organises a schedule of events including karaoke nights and international dinners. Some buddy groups also organise their own activities or pair up with other buddy groups. You will be invited to sign up for a buddy about one month before you arrival.

    Please contact buddy.soz@vu.nl with any questions you may have.

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

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