A nice part of the experience of being a student is of course going out, and thankfully Amsterdam has a lot of places that cater perfectly to this need!
The Leidseplein is the staple of the nightlife in Amsterdam. On this square, a lot of bars and clubs are located, for example, the Chicago Social Club, the Cooldown Cafe, Kopstootbar, and the Jimmy Woo.
The Rembrandtplein is another hotspot for Amsterdam’s nightlife. Close to Rembrandtplein you can find the VSPA’s favourite bar, ‘de Heeren van Aemstel’, where we organize all of our borrels.
Close to the central station and the dam, you also have two clubs called Bitterzoet, and Disco Dolly. Disco Dolly is mostly mainstream music, while Bitterzoet plays r&b and hip hop.
Food & Drinks
Every area has loads of nice and good restaurants. That is why the different restaurants are described depending on the area you are in. Making a reservation is recommended.
Restaurants in Amsterdam West:
Amsterdam West has many diverse restaurants and bars. Click here for a list of 48 amazing restaurants in Amsterdam West.
Restaurants in Amsterdam East:
Amsterdam East is also a very diverse area with lots of nice restaurants and bars. Here is a list of 35 diverse restaurants in Amsterdam East.
Restaurants in De Pijp:
De Pijp is a very popular area amongst tourists as well. It is way more touristy than Amsterdam West or East for example. However, it has many nice restaurants. You can find a list of 23 restaurants here.
Restaurants Amsterdam North:
To go to Amsterdam North, you have to take the ferry. There are a few ferries to different areas of Amsterdam North, so make sure you take the right one to go to the restaurant. You can find a few here.
Restaurants Amsterdam Centre:
Finding nice restaurants in the city centre is quite hard, since this is the most touristic area of Amsterdam and therefore very focused on tourism. However, there are very nice restaurants here as well, you just have to look a bit harder. To make it easy for you, here is a list of restaurants in Amsterdam City Centre.
Amsterdam is a very diverse city, and therefore has a diverse range of kitchens. Every kitchen links to a website with a list of restaurants with that kitchen.
The average price for a beer is around €3,-. A soda would be around the same price, and a glass of wine would be around €4,50. In the more touristy areas, you will probably pay more for a drink. Think of Rembrandtplein and Leidseplein.
- Terraces in Amsterdam West. Amsterdam has loads of terraces to have a drink. Amsterdam West is less touristic and perfect for spending your afternoon on a terrace in the sun.
- Drinks in Amsterdam. This website explains the different bars in Amsterdam, per district as explained under Living in Amsterdam
Vegan? Click here for a list of vegan restaurants in Amsterdam.
Albert Heijn – This is by far the most expensive but also the most convenient supermarket in the city since there are over 60 stores in Amsterdam alone with a large number spread throughout the city center. Their blanket coverage means you will never be far away from one of their stores. The largest branches can be found at the rear of Dam Square’s Royal Palace as well as Jodenbreestraat 21. You will find a fairly broad range of products in these larger stores but expect a massively reduced selection in the smaller outlets and the tiny ‘To Go’ stores. Alcohol is also available in the larger stores but again the selection is fairly limited to basic beers and wines. Most stores close at 22.00 daily however one branch in Central Station is open until 00.00 which is always good to know for life’s little emergencies.
Aldi & Lidl are recognized economy stores in the Netherlands. Selling a broad range of international products at cheaper prices than the likes of Albert Heijn, they remain very popular with Amsterdam locals.
Jumbo & Vomar – With regards to pricing, they are somewhere in between Albert Heijn and Aldi/Lidl. If you need to hunt out stores local to your apartment check out the following websites and click on the ‘Winkels’ or ‘Filiaal-zoeker’ buttons which mean ‘shops’ and ‘branch finder’, respectively, in Dutch. Simply type in the name ‘Amsterdam’ and hit the search button. Move the maps around to locate the nearest store.
Gall & Gall – If you are looking for alcohol other than basic beer or wine then head to this: the city’s major chain-store off-license. These outlets are often located next door to Albert Heijn stores or in shopping centers.
The Kalverstraat is the biggest shopping street in the center of Amsterdam. Here you can find all the most popular (mainstream) stores. If you cross the Dam you can also find more stores at the Nieuwendijk. When you walk in the direction of Leidseplein, there are some more stores in the Heiligeweg and in the Leidsestraat as well.
If you’re more interested in small boutiques, vintage stores, and less known clothing the 9 Streets (9 Straatjes) and Haarlemmerdijk are great places to shop.
And lastly, when you’re into high-end fashion and money isn’t an issue, the P.C. Hooftstraat is your perfect shopping street!
City Transport (OV)
Within Amsterdam it is easy to travel quickly by bike, but also by public transport. The tram, bus, and metro are good means of transport to travel throughout the city. The infrastructure in Amsterdam is so good that the trams, buses and metros follow each other in quick succession.
To pay for public transport it is important to buy a public transport chip card. With this card, you can check-in when you arrive at the means of transport and check out when you disembark. No more cash is accepted in Amsterdam.
There is also a company called ISIC. As an international student you can buy a one-time ticket for €15,- to travel with public transport through the Netherlands. In addition, you can use many different services at ISIC for €2,50,- per month. Then you can use the following services:
- 15% discount during off-peak hours on the national railway (NS)
- A digital ISIC card, with the best discounts in the Netherlands and the rest of the world. ISIC offers a huge amount of extra services such as day trips, travel, cheap transport, discounts on restaurants and much more.
- Customized application process for international students
- Automatic top-up option (no more topping on or balance)
- Travel data, customer service, etc in ISIC mobility app
- Public transport bike (OV-fiets) and storage
Regular public transport chip card
Only Dutch students can get free public transport. International students can buy a public transport chip card. The card is valid for 5 years.
With this link you can fill in your details and request a personal chip card (OV-chipkaart).
- Then you have to upload a personal photo which can be seen on your personal chip card.
- Then you can indicate the function to automatically upload the OV-chipkaart. This means that when the amount of money is lower than a certain value, the OV-chipkaart will be charged with money from your bank account. This action takes place automatically when this threshold is reached.
- Then you check everything and fill in your payment details.
- You can only pay with iDeal and PayPal.
- Within a few working days, you will receive the OV-chipkaart at home.
There is also a possibility to travel with an anonymous OV-chipkaart. When people don’t travel much with OV or don’t want to share their personal information, you can choose to travel anonymously. You can share the card with the whole family (but not at the same time). For example, you travel to Amsterdam by train with the anonymous card and your son uses the same card one day later to go to football by bus.
- The card is available at railway stations, tobacco shops, and service desks.
- If you load a balance on it, the card can be used immediately.
- The card is valid for five years from the date of production.
- A disadvantage of the card is that you can use prices that are not related to age. So a child will cost the same price as an adult.
Night buses also run between 01.00 and 05.00 hours in the Amsterdam region. The OV-chipcard can also be used or you can buy a separate ticket on the bus. The prices are a bit more expensive and there are fewer buses at night.
University of Amsterdam about public transport
The University of Amsterdam also wrote information about public transport in Amsterdam. For more information, check out their website.
Besides study associations, Amsterdam also has a lot of different associations you can join! A student association focuses on student life in Amsterdam.
Student associations are separate associations for students from all different programmes. Most student associations have a hazing system. This is a period in which students have to prove themselves with all sorts of crazy assignments before they belong to the student association. Think of being dropped somewhere random in the Netherlands without a phone or money. The aim is to get back to the city you came from. In addition, student associations are mainly about having fun and getting together. For more information, go to the student life page on the UvA website!
Next to the ‘basic’ student associations, there are also some student associations with a specific focus on for example theatre, art, politics or music!
- International associations
There are international associations, these associations focus mostly on the internationalization of young people and offering them opportunities for e.g. cultural integration, international internships or housing! For more information, click here
- Cultural and ethnic associations
These associations that focus on specific cultural or ethnic groups. For example, there are associations specifically for Moroccan/Dutch students, Asian students, Jewish students and Surinamese students! For more information, click here
- Religious and spiritual associations
These associations have a religious or spiritual focus. For example, there are reformed Christian associations, Hindu associations or meditation associations. For more information, click here
- Gender and sexuality associations
Then, there are also student associations that focus on gender and sexuality. For more information about these associations, click here
- Creative arts and media associations
You can also find associations that offer opportunities to take part in arts, music or media! Want to know more about orchestra, TV or art association? Click here
Sport associations are the perfect combination of playing sports and the ‘gezelligheid’ of a student association. You will meet a bunch of new people and have a lot of fun, while also staying in shape! What more could you ask for? Amsterdam offers around 25 sports associations, varying from badminton to cricket, and volleyball to rowing. Whatever sport you prefer, there is always something that floats your boat!
Most sports associations are open to registrations at the beginning of the academic year (Aug/Sep), and halfway through the academic year (Jan/Feb)
You can find all the sports associations on the website of the UvA, go check it out!
CREA Courses & Workshops
CREA is the UvA’s cultural centre. It is situated on the Roeterseiland Campus opposite the G-building. CREA offers a wide variety of courses and workshops in the fields of music, theater, dance, film, digital media, photography and literature. Learn how to play ukulele during an 8-week course or dive into improvisation theatre during one of their week-long summer courses! As a UvA student you get a 50 percent discount on these courses and workshops.
For more information on the different courses that CREA has to offer you can head over to their website: https://www.crea.nl/cursussen/?lang=en
Working out is an important part of a healthy lifestyle, but as a student you do not always have the time or the money to do so. Besides joining a sport association (see above) you can also sign up for a gym!
First of all there is the USC. USC is the student sports center in Amsterdam, focused on improving sports facilities for students in Amsterdam. They have multiple locations throughout the city, for example on Science Park, and close to Roeterseiland. They offer group or solo training, ranging from tennis, basketball and football, to fencing, pole dancing, and diving. Trial memberships are available, and their gym membership starts at only 16 euros a month!
Next to that there are multiple (big) gyms you can sign up for, these are the most popular ones in Amsterdam:
- BasicFit (also offers Lady Only gyms)
Where Can I Study?
- This is probably the most well-known study spot for students in Amsterdam. The hotel has a ‘werkplaats’ (workplace) area, with indoor and outdoor workspace, and even work-cabins available. You can book meeting rooms for work or group projects. Usually the ‘werkplaats’ is open until 1AM (2AM on Sundays), but with COVID-19 these opening hours can vary, so make sure to check before you go. https://www.volkshotel.nl/en/werkplaats/
- Of course, the UvA has some great study places as well, one of them is the University Library on Singel. This is a great place for students who prefer a quiet place to study. In addition to tables and desks all around the building, there are also private study rooms and computers you can use. https://uba.uva.nl/en/contact/locations-and-opening-hours/university-library-singel.html
- Of course, every UvA campus has a lot of libraries as well. You can always visit these libraries, but in times of COVID-19, make a reservation first!
- Cafes are a great place to work if you don’t like to study in silence, some examples are Coffee Company, Bagels and Beans, CREA, House of Watt, and many more!
- OBA stands for Public Library Amsterdam, the main library is located near the Central Station and has seven floors, but there are a lot of different OBA locations all over Amsterdam, so there is always one close to you! https://www.oba.nl/oba/amsterdam-public-library.html
Stedelijk Museum Library
- The Stedelijk Museum Library is accessible for free and without a ticket to enter the museum.
The Student Hotel, West & East Amsterdam
- The Student Hotel provides the perfect place to work, there are a lot of students and it acts as a networking hub as well. There is a lot of space and the chairs are comfortable. There are two locations on opposite sides of the city. https://www.thestudenthotel.com/amsterdam-city/
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Choosing a Specialisation
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Choosing a Master
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During your studies at the UvA you can also join one of the many exchange programmes that the UvA offers. Studying abroad is a great way to meet new people, gain an unforgettable international experience and improve your CV in a fun way.
For more information about studying abroad you can head over to https://vspa.nl/vspassistance/take-off/
Who to Contact at the UvA
The Ombuds student
The Ombudsstudent is an independent contact person, this year that is Ayra Gerlach. If you ever find yourself in a situation in which you feel that you are being treated unfairly, or if you disagree with something and you don’t know how to solve it, she is your contact person!
The study advisors
The study advisor’s primary job is to help you go through your studies without hiccups. For study advice, guidance and planning you can contact one of the study advisers. So, all study related questions are for them! You could come to them for information about a specific course, or any personal issues you might experience, that influence your studying.
Because of the corona restriction, the study advisers work mostly form home, and it’s only possible to visit (Nieuwe Achtergracht, 129-B, rooms G0.23 and G0.24) by appointment.
You can send the study advisors an email and ask for a telephone or zoom appointment if you like. You could also call them during the telephone consultation hours for short questions.
The study advisors are:
- Merel van Beem
- Rosemarijn Franses
- Irene Luth
- Sarah Plunkett
(please include your full name and student number when you email them)
Telephone consultation hours:
- Tuesday 10.00-11.00 T:+31(0)20 525 5855
- Wednesday 10.00-11.00 T:+31(0)20 525 6884
- Friday 10.00-11.00 T:+31(0)6 39270562
The VSPA is always there for you, for whatever questions or issues you might have. Both personal and study related questions are always welcome! We will try to help you or send you to the best person to contact.
This year we have two appointed trust persons, Tim and Levi. They are the specific people in the VSPA to contact when you have personal troubles and you don’t know who to contact. Tim or Levi will then help you out, either directly or with finding the right person.
You can contact us via Instagram and Facebook by sending us a private message, or you can send an email to email@example.com. In non-corona times you can ofcourse also always stop by at the VSPA room (GS.25)
You can always contact your teachers, the people giving the lectures, for questions that are related to the study material.
Their contact information is course (and teacher) specific, but you can always find them on canvas or by googling: ‘their name, UvA’.
Your tutorial teacher is there to help you with your study material and studying in general, but they’re also your mentor! You can always contact them with your personal and study-related troubles, don’t be afraid to ask them for help.
Every semester you get a new tutorial teacher, you can always email them via canvas and they usually also share their other contact information in one of the first tutorials.
The education desk
If you have other questions about your application, admission or selection, you can contact our education desk. You may experience difficulties reaching the Education Desk via telephone. If you send them an email, they will reply to you shortly.
You can contact the education desk for:
- Your (certified) grade list, which includes your GPA
- Requests about general study information
- To pick up your propaedeutic and bachelor’s degree (after notification)
- Information about test viewings and reassessment requests (1st and 2nd year bachelor)
- Contract education
- Colloquium doctum (21+ tests)
Nieuwe Achtergracht 129-B, room G0.22
1018 WS Amsterdam
Telephone: +31(0)20 525 6770 (between 10:00 – 14:00)
Canvas is one of the main websites you’ll be using when studying or planning your courses. This is the website where the UvA puts all the information about your courses, they call it their digital learning environment. The course syllabus, your lecture slides, course announcements, assignments, etc. will all be posted here.
Go to canvas.uva.nl and log in with your UvAnetID (this is your student number and password). If you’re logged in, all your active courses are placed on the Dashboard. For help, you can click “Help” in the toolbar on the left of your screen.
If you scroll down in the Help section, there are five tips posted for using Canvas. Also, more information can be found on the UvA Website (https://student.uva.nl/en/content/az/canvas/canvas.html). Hopefully this will help you further!
The UvA has different buildings and campuses located in different parts of Amsterdam. The psychology department is located on Roeterseilandcampus, Roetersstraat 11. This is the center of Amsterdam, and the place you will have most of your lectures and tutorials. However, your exams mostly take place at another location, mostly at IWO, Meibergdreef 29, Amsterdam.
The different buildings at Roeterseiland Campus:
- A, B, C: you will have most lectures in these buildings. These are the bordeaux red, light orange and lila buildings on the map. Big chance that your tutorial groups will take place here as well.
- D or “De Brug” (the Bridge): De Brug is a canteen on a bridge over the canal on the 4th floor and has an amazing view over the campus. It is the green building on the map. So, for a nice view during your lunch, you should definitely go there.
- E: Faculty of Economics & Business
- G: the Psychology Department. The VSPA room is also situated in this building. This is the place to get your summaries, ask your questions about extracurricular activities and meet fellow psychology students. This is the orange building on the map.
- H: In building H, the red building in the top left corner, is the general canteen. Here you can buy sandwiches, soup, and a changing assortiment of warm meals, such as vietnamese, indian or mexican food. Building H also has workspaces, a library and computers to work on.
- JK: there is a chance that your tutorials will take place in the purple JK building.
For a nice study break, a good lunch, some coffee or a beer, CREA is the place to be. CREA is a cafe and a cultural student center, where you can do a lot. You can do courses in music, dance, film & photography, theatre, creative skills, fine arts and much more. And everything with discount for UvA students. For more information about CREA go to their website, (https://www.crea.nl/?lang=en) or see the topic down below.
For other food around campus, you should go to “De Brug” or the canteen in the H building. Luckily, the buildings are very well marked on campus with their letters. And you can always ask someone at the service desk of a building. Furthermore, the campus has practical facilities as well. There are computers in the library, you can print on campus, and you can book your own rooms via https://uva.mapiq.net/.
Around campus, there are loads of facilities. There’s a supermarket, Albert Heijn, around the corner. There are tram and metro stops close by, what makes the campus easy to reach. Moreover, there are bars, cafes and restaurants in the streets around campus as well.
For a tour around Roeterseilandcampus, see this video:
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