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 organize activities throughout the semester to encourage our students to explore Dutch culture and connect with new friends. All activities are free for Semester in Amsterdam students.

  • LGTBQ+ ARTIS Royal Zoo and drinks at Café 't Mandje (one of the oldest gay bars in Amsterdam): Friday, 18 October at 12:45 - Learn more about homosexuality in the animal kingdom and have a drink at one of the loveliest and quirkiest bars in Amsterdam!
  • Tuschinski Cinema and the Anne Frank House: Monday, 13 November at 9:00 - Visit what is known as the most beautiful cinema in the Netherlands and learn about the history of Tuschinski, an eccentric Polish-Jewish businessman with a passion for film.  Afterwards, we will have a quick lunch and continue on to the Anne Frank House.  *If you wish to join this day, please make sure you can join for both activities. 
  • Anne Frank House: Friday, 15 November at 9:00 - Visit the Anne Frank House and join a special talk about the history of the Frank family.
  • Farewell Light Festival Boat Tour: Friday, 20 December at 18:00-20:00 - Every year, the Amsterdam Light Festival returns to Amsterdam with amazing light installations all over the city.  Join our farewell event and get the best view of the light festival - from the beautiful canals of Amsterdam!

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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