Practical information

Who, what, where and why?

Who, what, where and why?

The 2018 VU Introduction Days are for all first-year Bachelor’s students who are due to begin their studies at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam in September. The Introduction Days are designed to familiarize you with studying, the university, the city of Amsterdam and, most importantly of all, to help you get to know your fellow students. By participating you will already know a lot of people before you attend your first lecture.

Studying at university is a very different proposition to secondary school or a university of applied sciences (hbo): you can expect fewer classes and more independent study. It is a new stage in your life and a lot is expected of you. In organizing the VU Introduction Days, our aim is to prepare you for what student life involves and to answer many of your questions.

During the Introduction Days, the new students are divided into mentor groups of 15 students from their own Bachelor’s programme; this enables you to get to know your future classmates straight away and to create your own network from day one.

The Arrival Days will take place in the BelleVUe building on campus. Please find the directions on the map. The hostesses in the hall of the Main Building will be happy to help you on your way should you have any trouble finding the location.

For all the students who will pick up their keys on Monday the 20th of August at Il Caffé in Uilenstede, please note that in order to arrange practical matters you will need to go to VU Amsterdam main building. You can find the directions on how to get from Uilenstede to VU Amsterdam Campus here.

After picking up your keys and registering with the municipality, we suggest that you leave your luggage in your room.
If your accommodation is not located in Uilenstede but at one of the following accomodations, Duwo will arrange transportation for you departing at Il Caffé from 9:00 until 17:00:

  • Spinoza-campus
  • Krelis Louwensstraat
  • Eerste Ringdijkstraat
  • Pierre Lallementstraat
  • Carolina MacGillavrylaan

You need to arrange the transportation yourself if your accommodation is at:Spinoza-campus

  • Ravel Residence
  • AmstelHome
  • The Student Hotel
  • Hotel Jansen      

You can find the directions from Uilenstede to the mentioned locations here (bottom of the page).

In case you are too tired to arrange the practical matters at VU Amsterdam main building on Monday the 20th, you can also visit our representatives on Tuesday the 21st of August.
Please Check the Arrival Days Step by Step.

To participate in the VU Introduction Days, you need to register in advance. Once you have registered, you will receive proof of registration. Print this out and bring it with you on Wednesday, 23 August, when you can hand it in to your mentor in exchange for your action pack. This is a folder that contains vouchers for excursions and tickets to shows, the swimming pool party, Melkweg & Paradiso and many more events and venues. Make sure you look after your vouchers and tickets: without them you will not be allowed in.

I have bought proof of registration, but I won’t be able to participate after all. Can I get my money back?
Of course we understand that you might not be able to participate even though you have registered. In that case we will refund you by crediting your bank account with the price of your ticket. Please note: the refund may not be made until after the VU Introduction Days. Unfortunately we are unable to refund the administrative charges, since they have already been paid to the bank. Please fill in this refund form.

I will be studying at VU Amsterdam but my registration at the university is not yet complete. Can I still participate in the 2017 VU Introduction Days?
You certainly can! If you are sure that you will be studying at VU Amsterdam, it would be a shame to miss the Introduction Days. However, in this case, you must have a valid ID with you.

Opting in and out
The programme for the Introduction Days has something for everyone but you are not obliged to participate in everything. You are free to opt out of certain parts of the programme if they don’t appeal to you or make you feel uncomfortable. Feel free to discuss this with one of your mentors so that they can guide you through the week.

Religion and the Introduction Days
VU Amsterdam has always been a university where students from different cultures feel at home. At this university we respect all religions, and our Introduction Days are no exception; feel free to talk to your mentor if you feel this is not the case.

Participating in the VU Introduction Days costs €62. Some faculties organize additional activities which may raise the price of your ticket. A number of student associations organize a weekend programme to give you a chance to get to know other first-year students on your programme and of course to promote the association itself. If you want to participate in this weekend programme, you can purchase your ticket along with your proof of registration for the VU Introduction Days. The student association weekends are the responsibility of the student associations themselves and have nothing to do with the project manager of the 2018 VU Introduction Days.

What do I get for my money?
The registration fee of €62 includes tours, information sessions, lectures and mini-lectures, a comedy night, the parties and guidance during the week. On some days meals are also included. Some faculties organize additional activities which may raise the price of your ticket.

Extra expenses
In addition to the cost of participation, you will also need money for food and drink. Please bear this in mind.

The Campus-wide wireless network is available throughout the whole VU campus with high bandwidth, including hotspots with extra high bandwidth. You can access this wireless network with your own laptop or cellphone free of charge.
In case you want to install Wi-Fi on your laptop or cellphone you must be within the vicinity of the IT service desk in the VU main building.
Instructions on how to install Wi-Fi can be found on VUnet. Please make sure to read the instructions carefully. In case you encounter difficulties, feel free to visit our IT Servicedesk (ground floor, main building).

During the Arrival Days you can arrange all practical matters regarding your registration at VU Amsterdam, meet your International Student Advisor, register with the municipality, pick up your student card and much more! Below you will find information concerning the locations where you can collect the key to your room.

Did you book a furnished room at 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 17 August and Monday 20 August. You can collect your keys at Il Caffè, Uilenstede.  
Please note that after the 21 August, you can pick up your key at the DUWO office during office hours.

Did you book a room atIC The Fizz Spartaan/Campus Diemen Zuid/The Student Hotel West/Student Experience/Spinoza Campus through VU Amsterdam? 
If you rented a room at IC The Fizz Spartaan the key pick up date is Friday 17 August. You can collect your keys at the location itself. In case you arrive after 17 August, you will need to arrange your key pick-up date and time with IC yourself. 
If you rented a room at Campus Diemen Zuid/The Student Hotel West/Student Experience/Spinoza Campus you need to arrange your own key pick-up date and time with the housing corporation. Please note that when you have a room at Spinoza Campus, you can collect your keys at the DUWO office. 

Arranging your own accommodation and not through VU Amsterdam? 
If you did not arrange your accommodation via VU Amsterdam you can arrive on Monday 20 August and arrange all practical matters on the 20 or 21 August.

The programme for the 2018 VU Introduction Days will take you to all kinds of interesting places scattered throughout the city. Cycling is the ideal way to get from one location to another (make sure you have good locks on your bike). If you don’t have your own bike, you can always hire one (e.a. Swapfiets). There are bike rental places at various points throughout the city, including Central Station. To hire a bike you are required to provide ID and to leave a deposit. During the day you can reach every part of the city by tram, bus and metro. After midnight, there is a more restricted night bus service. For exact departure times check out the GVB Amsterdam website or

To travel by public transport in Amsterdam, you need a public transport chip card (OV-chipkaart) but since your student travel concessions will not be valid before 1 September you must make sure you have enough credit on your card.

If you are coming to the city by train, remember that you can bring your own bike! Please note that only folding bikes are allowed in the train during rush hour.

A place to sleep
Almost all of the activities during the VU Introduction Days take place during the day but of course Amsterdam has plenty of options for a night out once the day’s activities are over. If you are planning on making the most of every day without having to worry about catching the last train home, we recommend that you arrange a place to sleep. Of course, it would be ideal if you are already renting a room in the city, but if not, perhaps a friend or relative can put you up for the night.

If you are unable to arrange somewhere to sleep in advance, it might be a good idea to bring a sleeping bag and a toothbrush just in case. Perhaps someone from your mentor group will be able to help you out. Student associations also offer places to bunk down for the night: ask them about availability.

If you are not able to make your own arrangements, you might be able to use one of the limited places to sleep on offer at Campus Uilenstede. You can make reservations from 13.30 on Wednesday at the Vraagbaak on the square at the heart of VU Amsterdam’s campus.

Of course, the VU Introduction Days are also for students who have a disability. Many of the locations are wheelchair accessible. If you want more information or if you require special transport, give Eric-Jan Hartstra a call on (020) 598 5076 from 7 August. If you have any further questions about studying with a disability or a chronic illness, please call Student Services on (020) 598 5020. They are located at Room 0A-11 in the Main Building. If you have any further questions about studying with a disability or a chronic illness, you can find more information here.
  • Your smartphone, so you have access to all the information on this website during the Introduction Days.
  • Enough money and your bank card;
  • A bike with good locks and lights;
  • A sleeping bag and toothbrush;
  • Sportswear and sports shoes;
  • Swimwear (for the swimming pool party);
  • A public transport chip card with sufficient credit;
  • A pen and notebook;
  • Enthusiasm and a sense of humour!

The 2018 VU Introduction Days are for all first-year Bachelor’s students who are due to begin their studies at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. To participate, you need proof of registration, which can be purchased online from this website. Registration is not transferable. If you have any queries, please send an email to
If your faculty organizes a mandatory faculty introduction day, this will be free of charge.

To gain admission to all other activities, you must be in possession of a valid ticket. You will receive tickets and vouchers for the various individual events on Wednesday once you have submitted your printout with proof of registration to your mentor. Participation in the VU Introduction Days is at your own risk.

At all locations where the VU Introduction Days take place, you may be asked to show a valid ID (i.e. passport, Dutch identity card or driving licence).

Participant’s wristband
Participant’s wristbands do not grant you admission to any of the activities.

Alcohol consumption
The organizers of the VU Introduction Days comply fully with Dutch law. That means it is forbidden to drink alcohol in public under the age of 18. The clubs with whom we work also abide by these rules. Everyone who is 18 or older will be given a wristband to show that they are above legal drinking age. You will only be allowed to purchase alcoholic drinks at the venues of the VU Introduction Days if you are wearing a wristband. If you are not wearing a wristband and are found in possession of alcohol you may be removed from the campus and prevented from further participation in the VU Introduction Days without any entitlement to a refund. If you are 18 or over and you purchase alcohol for someone who is under 18, you will have to hand in your wristband and you may be banned from further participation in the VU Introduction Days.

If the organizers of the VU Introduction Days are fined for underage alcohol consumption by participants, the costs will be recovered from the individuals involved.

At a number of locations where the VU Introduction Days are held, participants are not allowed to bring their own alcoholic drinks or spirits onto the premises. If these rules are violated, the drinks will be confiscated.
And remember, water is refreshing too!

We are determined to keep the VU Introduction Days drug free. Using drugs, dealing drugs or having drugs in your possession is strictly forbidden. If you contravene these rules, you will be removed from the site and you will take no further part in the VU Introduction Days. Some of the clubs we work with report any drugs-related incident to the police.

Some clubs only allow you to have medicine on your person if you have a doctor’s note. Do not put yourself in a difficult situation and make sure you have a doctor’s note with you if you are on medication.

Weapons are not allowed at any of the locations where the VU Introduction Days are held. Make sure you leave your pen knife at home if you go to a party. If you don’t you are asking for trouble.

Instructions given by the board, crew or staff during the VU Introduction Days should be followed at all times. During VU Introduction Day events hosted at other locations, the rules of the venue apply. These rules are not open to discussion. If a dispute should arise, the project manager’s decision is final.

Distributing flyers at VU Introduction Day locations is not allowed without prior permission. Any cleaning charges will be passed on to the individuals in question.