Essential information regarding life in Amsterdam can be found on the I Amsterdam website. It's an official website where you can learn more about settling into life in the Amsterdam Area and read the latest news, whether you're moving to the city region, newly arrived or an established citizen.
Experience shows that living and studying in the Netherlands for one year costs a student between €1000 and €1,100 per month. Some students manage to spend less, but this of course depends on your own lifestyle.
If you have any questions about financial matters, including student loans and grants (such as problems with DUO), insurance or social benefits, or you are in need of Financial aid, for example in cases of illness or exceptional family matters, contact our student general counsellors for help (email@example.com). For more information regarding financial regulations during the COVID-19 crisis, please consult our Study & Corona page on VUweb. EU students may have the opportunity to get a tuition fee loan from the Dutch government. For more information, please consult the website of DUO.
Are you looking for some tips for working and living in the region? Check out the I Amsterdam website as well.
Are you an international student from EU?
If you hold a passport from a country that belongs to the European Union (EU) (with the exception of Croatia), the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland, then you are permitted to work in the Netherlands without limitation. If this is not the case, then you are only permitted to work a maximum of 16 hours per week averaged over the year or full-time during the summer months (June, July, August). Your employer will also be required to apply for a work permit. More information can be found on the Nuffic website Working while studying.
Although public transport in Amsterdam is efficient, for most students biking is the best and quickest way to get around. With an extensive network of cycle lanes, bicycle parking everywhere and even traffic lights specifically for bicycles, there is no safer or easier place to cycle than here. We also have an excellent public transport system that makes it easy to travel longer distances. However, it can also be quite challenging for those who are used to biking in a more quiet area or who haven’t done city biking before. In order to prepare you for the hustle and bustle that is Amsterdam bike life, former VU Amsterdam students Thijs and Rendel have created a video to prepare you how to navigate the streets of this city, for example how to cross the tramrails, and how to blend in with the locals cycling-wise – safety first!
Drugs and alcohol
New experiences are part of your student life. For some, this will include the use of alcohol or other drugs. How do alcohol and other drugs work? And what are the effects of them on your brain, memory and study performance? How do you get through your student days without a hangover? What is the Dutch Drug Policy? Where can you test your drugs? And if you're worried about your own or your friend’s alcohol or drug use, where can you go to? Find this and other information on the Jellinek website. Jellinek has amassed a wealth of knowledge about recreational substances and addiction and is offers reliable and non-judgmental information about the risks of alcohol and other drugs. This way, you and your (new) friends can make well-informed choices and get the most out of your student days. Be Smart. Be Safe.
Accommodation for internationals
The International Office offers accommodation to our international students. There are furnished and unfurnished rooms with private or shared facilities. The number of rooms available is limited so we cannot guarantee accommodation for every student, but the International Office will do its utmost best to find suitable accommodation for everyone. If you have rented (or would like to rent) a room via the International Office and you have any questions or concerns, please contact the International Office: firstname.lastname@example.org
VU Amsterdam also offers a Residence Life Programme for those students living in the VU residences of Uilenstede Green Tower, Hoogbouw 1, Hoogbouw 2. The Residence Life Programme has been set up to create a safe, healthy, inclusive environment for international students. Our Resident Assistants are international students living in dorms of VU Amsterdam. They organize activities to help new international students to settle in, to get to know each other and to learn more about Amsterdam and student life. They also offer support in practical and personal matters and can refer to professional support staff of VU Amsterdam and DUWO if required. But they will also be there to just have a nice talk. They will present themselves as soon as you arrive.
Are you looking for a checklist for your first days and weeks in Amsterdam? Check the website for new international students here.
Report Unsafe Housing
The ASVA Student Union believes that every student deserves to feel safe at home. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. All too often, we hear stories of students who don’t feel safe in their own home. Burglaries, assaults, strangers wandering around and poorly-lit streets are often heard complaints.
The ASVA Student Union believes it’s important that these issues are taken seriously by landlords, the municipality and the police. To be able to respond properly and take these issues seriously, we have launched this website where you can report unsafe housing.
All reports we receive will be handled with the utmost care. If you wish, you can report an incident anonymously. Then we will discuss with involved parties such as your landlord and the police to see how we can prevent these incidents in the future.
However, if you fill in your name and contact details, we can also keep you updated about what we do with your report, and we might be able to offer you support if you wish. You may also think with us about possible solutions.
>> IN CASE OF AN EMERGENCY, ALWAYS CALL THE POLICE AT 112 <<
In case of a criminal offence, please also contact the police to report it.