Why to come and study in Amsterdam

One of Europe’s biggest capitals with a small-city feel and a large student population, Amsterdam is one of the best places in the world to study. Discover why with this guide to studying in Amsterdam.

Enrol in Amsterdam

Beautiful architecture, distinctive canals and – over 800,000 – bicycles, Amsterdam is an instantly recognisable city well-known around the world for its liberal attitudes, business centre and prestigious educational institutions. Studying in Amsterdam is the gateway to unlocking new experiences in a cosmopolitan city with a kind heart.

It’s no surprise that a large community of students feel at home in Amsterdam. Its cafe culture, famous flea markets and lively nightlife mean that there’s something for everyone.

Why study in Amsterdam?

The excellence of further education in Holland is recognised throughout the world, making it very appealing to students. Dutch universities offer the largest number of English-taught programmes and there are over 2,100 programmes in English to choose from, making it easy to communicate and learn.

It’s one of the safest countries in the world according to the 2016 Global Peace Index and one of the happiest according to the UN’s Happiness survey. Holland is a hub of business which means there are many career opportunities upon graduating. It is also a very student-friendly and liberal country, with international students coming from over 180 different countries.

Amsterdam itself is relatively small, meaning its easy to get around town on foot or of course – by bike. It’s got many cultural offerings from museums and galleries to historic sites, a busy music scene and no shortage of things to see and do. Its also well-connected with the rest of Europe and the world by air, rail and sea.

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A quick guide to the Dutch education system

In Holland there are two distinct types of education. There is a choice from either research-orientated education at a research university or a higher professional education offered by universities of applied sciences.

There is a third, smaller branch of higher education which offer programmes catered especially for international students. Many students undertake an internship as part of the study programme, equipping them with hands-on employment skills.

The education system centres around studying for a bachelor’s degree. Following this, students can pursue a master’s degree. A PhD or PDeng degree programme can then be undertaken.

Reasons to study at the University of Amsterdam

Ranked among the top 40 worldwide and top 30 universities in Europe, the University of Amsterdam is a leading international educational institution. Its world-class research and teaching is well-known across the globe.

It has a rich history dating from 1632 of providing high-quality education, helping students think in original, independent and academic ways. It is internationally recognised for its excellent Economics and Business, and PPLE (Politics, Psychology, Law and Economics) studies.

There are over 30,000 students from more than 100 nationalities at the University of Amsterdam, meaning it is one of the largest universities in Europe. The university offers research-intensive education which prepares students well for the global job market.

Reasons to study at the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences

The Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences is one of the largest institutes of professional business education in the Netherlands and serves to prepare students for their chosen careers with applicable skills and practical-orientated research.

It focuses on training students through a variety of programmes, courses, exchanges and work placements in the international working field. Internships can be undertaken at leading brands like Google, Microsoft and Nike.

It is comprised of a number of faculties covering Sports and Nutrition, Business and Economics, Health, Applied Social Sciences and Law, Digital Media and Creative Industries, Education and Technology. It is world-renowned for its excellence in International Business and Management.

There are over 2,800 students from more than 70 different countries at the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences and it offers a wide variety of programmes in English.

Prepare for your dream career with ONCAMPUS

Whether you choose to undertake a research-intensive or professional-focused course at one of the two types of universities in Amsterdam, you can be sure of a very valuable education in Amsterdam.

While you study, you can make the most of the international outlook, large student population and many opportunities that arise as part of living in Amsterdam. ONCAMPUS prepares students for their dream careers by offering excellent education opportunities, whatever the subject area.

Apply now to discover the many opportunities awaiting you when you study with ONCAMPUS in Amsterdam.

 

 

The Netherlands – One of the Happiest Countries in the World

The Netherlands offers both great education prospects and quality of life. But studying abroad in the Netherlands may have even more benefits.

You may be considering study in the Netherlands due to the excellent universities and the wonderful quality of life for students. But did you know that the Netherlands is one of the happiest countries in the world? We take a closer look at happiness levels in the Netherlands, and how happiness could benefit your studies.

 What is the World Happiness Index?

 Published every year, the World Happiness Index is an assessment of different countries’ levels of happiness. It looks at well-being rather than economic figures. The researchers assess factors such as healthcare, freedom, social involvement, and trust in society and government.

 Year after year, Holland regularly comes top. This year, Holland is rising up the ranks behind, now holding sixth position. Norway holds the highest position, followed by Denmark. Dutch national statistics show that 88% of the Dutch consider themselves to be happy.

 Why is the Netherlands such a Happy Country?

Holland’s consistently high happiness rankings have prompted researchers to look at what is behind its high scores. They have come to several conclusions.

 Better Work Life Balance

Firstly, the Dutch work structure may be helping happiness levels. It is true that our working lives can affect our levels of happiness in profound ways. In Holland, where dual income is not a necessity for a comfortable life like in other countries, it is possible to work fewer hours and still enjoy a good quality of life.

 The Netherlands has the highest percentage of adults in part-time employment. Flexible hours as well as a more flexible approach to the work-life balance in general may well make people living in Holland happier. Women in Holland recently gained the right to cut back hours without consequences from their employers; this may also be raising levels of happiness.

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 Exercise, exercise, exercise

Secondly, high rates of physical exercise could be benefiting people in living in Holland. Holland is a very active country; you only have to look at Amsterdam where 63% of those living in the city use their bike on a daily basis (according to the website iamsterdam.com).

 The Netherlands comes top of 28 European countries for physical exercise. According to the British Heart Foundation, 53% of adults in the Netherlands do moderate physical activity 4-7 times a week.

 Much research into the benefits of exercise have found lowered stress and improved mental health. It’s possible that Holland’s high levels of physical activity helps workers to de-stress and relax.

 It’s all in your mind

A lot is to be said for the Dutch mindset. Holland is a liberal, open and friendly country.. For this reason, the country is a very popular destination for students, with students opting to attend one of the many excellent universities and enjoy living in the relaxed and welcoming country.

 This is evident in lots of ways. There’s no obligation to understand or speak Dutch to be accepted; many universities even offer courses in English. There is a thriving LGBTQ+ community which is celebrated across the country; one example being the annual summer festival in Amsterdam.

 In many ways, the celebration of the individual in Holland is symbolised by the way in which bicycle travel is so popular. If you want to go somewhere, you can just hop on your bike and the many cycle-friendly routes of the cities will help you to your destination. Even the Prime Minister of the country reportedly cycles to work, just like everyone else.

 For students, it is visible in the higher age groups enrolling on courses. In Holland, it is perfectly acceptable to change your mind and return to studies later on. There is no upper age limit when it comes to expanding your mind in Holland.

 Starting young

From a very young age, the Dutch are happy. In fact, Unicef found Dutch children to be the happiest in the world in 2013. The factors observed being material wellbeing, health and safety, education, behaviours and risks, and housing and environment.

 It really does seem that high levels of happiness begin in childhood where structured learning isn’t introduced until around aged 6. Children aren’t under pressure in the same way that their European counterparts are pressurised from an early age to pass exams. And arguably, if parents are happy, as the World Happiness Index reports, their children will be happy too.

 How can Holland’s happiness levels influence your studies?

Studying in Holland is bound to be an exciting experience. Wherever you choose to study in Holland, odds are that you will encounter some of the happiest people in the world.

 The Dutch mindset in combination with an appreciation of education and a modern approach to the work-life balance are all factors which may make studying in Holland an even more positive experience.

 Knowing that you’re studying in one of the happiest countries on the planet is sure to give reassurance to you as you embark on your course and see you continue to thrive there.

The Best Places to Visit in Holland in Spring

Find out why spring is an amazing time of the year to visit the Netherlands, and get inspiration for your trip. Read on for insights into this fantastic time of the year.

 The sun is out, the temperature is warming up and flowers are coming out in bloom; it can only mean one thing – it is time for spring. This time of year is typically associated with themes of renewal and fresh starts. What better time then, to visit Holland, which comes alive in spring.

 Spring means a celebration of the outdoors

Holland is a country of spectacular greenery and wildlife. This makes it an excellent choice for a trip in spring when longer daylight hours mean the many lakes and parks can be enjoyed to the fullest.

 Holland is a famously bike-friendly country, making cycling a great way to explore the city and the countryside alike. Rent a bike in Amsterdam to take a tour of the city sights by weaving through the many canals. Alternatively, take a cycling route in the protected nature areas of the countryside and observe the natural Dutch spring-time greenery and flowers.

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 In Amsterdam, canal tours are a great way to experience Amsterdam from the water. The famous pedalos offer a fun and interactive way to see the city from a totally different perspective.

 The many parks such as the Rembrandtpark, Sarphatipark or Vondelpark are simply must-sees. In spring, they people flock there to soak up the sun and enjoy the open, green spaces. Often, canal-side houses and museums open their doors to reveal the parks hidden behind them. These Open Garden Days are another great way to enjoy Amsterdam in spring.

 Colour, colour, and more colour

Holland is an explosion of colour every spring. The countryside and indeed the cities come alive with vibrant colours. This is even more enhanced by the longer hours of daylight.

 The national appreciation of colour every spring is exemplified by the celebration that is ‘King’s Day’ held yearly in Amsterdam. Every spring, revellers descend on the city to enjoy boat parties, house parties, and visit the bars and pubs.

 It is held in honour of the King’s birthday, and everyone receives a day off work to celebrate. The carnival demands that everyone wear orange – this extends to include even wigs and face paint. Attendees are encouraged to sample the street food available, where national delicacies can be enjoyed.

 Most museums close down on King’s Day, however a few can still be visited. The Van Gogh Museum, the Rijksmseum, the Stedelijk Museum and the Anne Frank House often remain open. You can even cycle through the Rijksmuseum, for a truly authentic, Dutch carnival experience.

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 Holland’s national identity comes alive in Spring

Flowers, or specifically, Tulips, are one of the country’s most renowned exports. Every spring, the country is awash with beautiful variants of all shapes and sizes of these flowers.

 Plan a trip to Holland’s world-famous ‘flower strip’ or ‘bollenstreek’ to gain the full floral experience. Alternatively, the Keukenhof Gardens are an absolute must between March and May. Lying 30 minutes from Amsterdam, they boast over seven million flowers including tulips, hyacinths, freesia and daffodils.

 To really soak up the country’s national identity, attend the annual ‘Tulip Festival’ which is held every April in Amsterdam.

 Holland in Spring is not to be missed

Embrace the beginning of the new season in Holland with one of the many things to see and do at this wonderful time of the year. Whether you’re spending spring in the city or heading further afield into the beautiful Dutch countryside, you’ll be spoilt for choice at this time of the year.

Your Guide to Amsterdam

The Dutch capital is a consistently popular destination for tourists, students and adventurers. Read on to find out what the historic city has to offer.

Known for its picturesque canals, strikingly beautiful windmills and wonderfully colourful landscapes, Amsterdam is a city that captures the hearts of many who visit.

It’s a relatively small city (compared to other major European cities) making it a delight to get around; visitors get a real feel for its atmosphere, neighbourhoods and charm in just a few footsteps.

It’s a great place to visit at most times of the year with one of the best year-round climates for a city break. It’s also a very significant historic city. More than 6,000 houses and buildings date back to the 16th – 20th century; you can still walk around the Jewish quarter (or Jodenbuurt) just east of the Amstel river.

It has a legendary nightlife, a significant English-speaking population and is an incredibly environmentally friendly city.

Still need persuading on why to visit Amsterdam? Read on to find out more about the Dutch capital.

10 Interesting Facts about Amsterdam

  1. Amsterdam is ranked 2nd in the Top 10 Cities to Live
  2. The capital has been ranked one of the Top 15 Safest Cities in the World
  3. The city has more museums per square meter than any other city in the world.
  4. There are 880,000 bikes in Amsterdam with 12,000 bicycle wrecks being fished out of the canals every year.
  5. 86% of Amsterdam residents are bilingual, speaking both Dutch and English.
  6. There are 1,281 bridges in Amsterdam, criss crossing over the many famous canals
  7. Amsterdam residents are the second largest consumers of coffee in the world. An Amsterdam local consumes about 3.2 cups of coffee a day.
  8. Amsterdam is a city of houseboats. There are 2,500 of them in the city.
  9. The majority of Amsterdam is below sea level. At its lowest point, it is 6.7 metres below sea level.
  10. Many buildings in Amsterdam lean to one side because the city was built on long wooden piles that had to be driven into the ground. The Central station has 6000 of them keeping it up.

Top 5 Things to Do

Amsterdam is teaming with things to do and see. Whatever the weather, you can be sure of an abundance of eye-opening and intriguing experiences across the capital. Where you’re a foodie, a bike-lover or simply an intrepid explorer on your next getaway, there’s something for everyone.

1. A visit to Museumplein

The cultural nexus of the capital houses the Rijksmuseum, the Van Gogh Museum and the Stedelijk Museum of Modern Art. It’s centered around a large, leafy open square where there are often lots of activities, letting you unwind in between soaking up the huge array of culture.

2. Take a Canal cruise

Exploring Amsterdam on water is a necessity in a city where there is more than one hundred kilometres of canals. The main ones are known as Herengracht, Prinsengracht and Keizersgracht. Take in the sights and sounds while floating along the canal on a guided boat tour. There are various ones to choose from, from hop-on-hop-off sightseeing tours to night-time cruises with food and wine.

3. Visit Anne Frank House

The front of the Prinsengracht house where Anne Frank and her family hid for two years after fleeing Germany is now a museum. It features a sobering exhibition about the persecution of Jews during the war and discrimination. It’s an important thought-provoking experience that is an important part of the city’s history.

4. Visit Vondelpark

The city’s largest city park in Amsterdam is well worth a visit. There are often free concerts at the open-air theatre and an array of impressive sculptures. The park has to be renovated every 30 years due to its constantly lowering ground level.

5. Rent a bike

Cycling is an important part of Amsterdam life. There are more bikes than people in the city. Its network of cycle routes and flat landscape make biking the best way to get around. There are lots places to rent a bike, letting you take in the capital’s streets, canals and attractions like a local.

Top 5 Places to Eat

With the twice-yearly Amsterdam Restaurant Week coming up (28 – 31 March) there’s never been a better time to immerse yourself in the culinary traditions of Amsterdam. However, the city is a foodies’ paradise the whole year round. Whatever your budget or taste, you’re bound to find a wealth of delicious temptations in Amsterdam.

 1. A trip to Westergasfabriek

There’s a wide range of bars, restaurants and coffee houses in this foodies’ hub sprawling across former industrial buildings that once were the municipal gasworks. Regular food markets and festivals are held here, including the Sunday market held on the first Sunday of each month.

2. Traditional Dutch cuisine

For those who fancy an immersion into traditional Dutch cuisine, Moeders (‘mothers’ in Dutch) is simply a must. The city centre restaurant serves almost exclusively Dutch dishes such as stamp pot, poffertjes or suddervlees. It’s a homely and quintessentially Dutch experience that’s not to be missed.

3. Living-room restaurants

The latest trend sweeping Amsterdam is centred around blending home cooking with dining out where cosy dinner parties are held at the chefs’ premises. One such example of this is Eat Your Heart Out, a living room restaurant which is great for groups of 15+. Regular afternoon and evening tastings are often available letting you try something new.

4. Something a little different

Amsterdam has no shortage of quirky venues for eating and drinking. Eat in a former church at Bazar, an Arabic kitsch cafe with a North African menu or dine at Brasserie Harkema, a tobacco factory turned restaurant-landmark offering a range of French classics.

5. The Classic Fries and Mayonnaise Experience

It’s difficult to visit Amsterdam without experiencing the unexpectedly delicious combination of chips and mayonnaise. It’s a definite for anyone new or wary of the combination, and has spawned many converts who will now not have their chips any other way. Try Manneken Pis where fries are prepared in front of your eyes and served in the classic paper ‘cone’. Try it, you won’t regret it.

English Video Contest

A few weeks ago our students were given an exciting assignment during English class. All students were asked to create a video about their lives in Amsterdam.  When creating this video the students had to pay attention to their English language fluency. However that was not the only thing they needed to focus on; creativity, collaboration with classmates and effort were also of great importance.

All groups did an amazing job; there were a lot of fun and interesting videos to watch. However there were 2 groups who were standing out. With their outstanding performance they have won free cinema tickets.

The video of one of the winners can be found below. Hopefully you will enjoy watching it!

 

By Kayleigh Vedder

Administrative Assistant

Do you have any questions about Amsterdam? Please do not hesitate to contact us via amsterdam@oncampus.global.

The worst question ever

We all have been in the situation where people from your home country are visiting you abroad and ask you the worst question ever – “Can you please advise me where to go”, and when they add “I do not want to go to a touristic place, but to something special”, you start panicking and thinking that you have absolutely no clue. In this article I’ll try to help you with this struggle. After reading this article you should be able to answer this question from your visitors.

Quick note: I’m keen on fancy places, creativity and art, if you do not share the same interests, this article might not be that useful for you.

I’ll start with a short review of the touristic hotspots in Amsterdam (in my opinion of course). I had a lot of guests during the first two terms here at ONCAMPUS Amsterdam, so I have visited the majority of the hotspots already. Be ready for a long list!

  • Van Gogh museum – I would definitely recommend to go here. The museum is quite small and looking at the paintings from really close by is an exciting experience. You won’t have to suffer from wondering through endless rooms with the same paintings on every wall, which is in my opinion a good thing! The unique thing about this museum is that you can observe the development of Vincent van Gogh’s madness when visiting the museum. The exposition starts with his earliest works and finishes with his very last one.
  • Rijksmuseum – I would not recommend going here, if you already have visited the same kind of museums before. This museum is really similar to other museum which exhibit masterpieces from famous painters. You won’t find anything new here. If you have not visit such a museum before the Rijksmuseum is a nice place to go to.
  • Madame Tussauds – If you have the time this is a cool place to visit . It’s cool and impressive. Nevertheless it wouldn’t be my first choice, if I need to pick my favourite spot in Amsterdam.
  • NEMO – NEMO is a nice place to visit with families and kids who are between 6 and 14 years old. For children who are a bit older or adolescents it might be a bit boring.
  • The Amsterdam Dungeon – I had a lot of fun when visiting the Amsterdam Dungeon. The live performance was interesting, intense and sometimes even a bit scary. Although it was fun I do think it doesn’t really represent Amsterdam.

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Next to the touristic hotspots there are a lot of other places that you can visit. Here are the places that I would recommend to go to when being in Amsterdam:

  • MOCO museum – MOCO museum is located on Museum square, just as Rijksmuseum and Van Gogh Museum. The museum is much smaller and more private than the other museums located on this square. You will need around 40 minutes to have a look around. The museum renews it exposition every now and then. Banksy is permanently exhibited here and in the past pieces from Andy Warhol and Salvatore Dali were exhibited. If you like this kind of art, MOCO is definitely a nice place to go to.
  • A’DAM Tower and Eye-museum – These are my favourite places. The A’DAM tower is the best place to sit in the sun, chill and watch Amsterdam from above. In the Eye Museum next to the A’DAM Tower you can learn a lot about movies. There is an informative movie that you can watch and more interactive things that you can participate in. In Eye you will also find a café with an incredible view over the river Ij. Even the building of the Eye museum is very unusual and interesting to see.
  • A walk through the city – I think a walk through the city is the best way to discover Amsterdam. A nice route for you might be: Central station – The Dam- Rembrandt square – Amstel river – Museum square – Jordaan neighbourhood. When taking this route you will see all the Amsterdam Highlights and activities or restaurants will always be close by. In my opinion the Jordaan neighbourhood is the nicest places to go to. Here you will find the most beautiful buildings and surroundings. You can really feel that you are in the heart of Amsterdam.

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Next to all these tips from me, there also some websites and applications that might be able to help you out;

  • If you would like to look up some nice restaurants or other places where you can buy food the app Foodguide might help you. They also have an inspiring and convenient Instagram page. Other than that you can use TripAdvisor, but I am not really a big fan of this.
  • IAMSTERDAM is a really good website if you want to know anything about Amsterdam as well. This website will tell you everything about things going on in Amsterdam, staying in the Netherlands and Dutch culture. You can find the website here.
  • In my opinion Facebook is your best friend when staying in Amsterdam. It knows your preferences and shows you what you like. I think when the weather is okay the best thing to go to in Amsterdam is a festival. You can find all different kind of festivals on Facebook. At a festival you will feel really welcome and you can try a lot of new things. And most of the time these festivals could be visited for free. I am happy to live in Amsterdam, where a lot of festivals and events are organized every month and it won’t be a problem to find one.

By Ivanna Slipets, Student Representative 

 I hope this article is informative and may help to you to make a decision on where to go to in Amsterdam, or answer the questions from your annoying visitors. I’m working on finding more sources for interesting events myself, but if you know something interesting share it with me!

Coming to Study at the University of Amsterdam? Here’s What to Expect.

What is it like study at the University of Amsterdam? From friendly locals to amazing nightlife and tourist attractions, find out what is waiting for you.

With its scenic canals and historic architecture, Amsterdam is one of the most beautiful cities in the world. The capital of the Netherlands, located in the northwest of the country, it has long been one of Europe’s top tourist destinations, with millions of people arriving every year to experience its rich culture and friendly atmosphere.

For international students, Amsterdam is also becoming increasingly attractive as a study destination. The city boasts a number of top universities, with many offering a wide range of programmes in English, and tuition fees are relatively low compared with other English-speaking countries.

It’s also a great place to live, and was ranked as the 11th best city in the world in Mercer’s Quality of Living Survey in 2016.

Read on to find out more about what Amsterdam could have in store for you.

Study at the University of Amsterdam for a World Class Education

The Dutch education system is one the best in Europe, and the country is home to a number of top institutions. The University of Amsterdam, for instance, was in the top 100 of both the QS and Times Higher Education world university rankings in 2016.

The Netherlands was also the first country on the European continent to offer university study programmes in English, and the variety of English-speaking programmes on offer continues to grow. Pathway programme students who go on to study at the University of Amsterdam can choose from four different English- taught degrees.

Amsterdam is One of Europe’s Most International Cities

Amsterdam is one of the most multicultural cities in Europe, and is home to over 180 different nationalities, so you are sure to have plenty of opportunity to meet people from all sorts of different backgrounds. Locals have a reputation of being very open-minded and friendly too, so you can expect a warm welcome!

Local people in Amsterdam are very friendly and welcoming

In addition, even though the first language is Dutch, over 80% of people in Amsterdam are fluent in English and the language is widely spoken throughout the city, and many locals even speak two or three different languages. This makes it an ideal city to improve your language skills.

Students in University Foundation Programmes in Amsterdam Will Find Plenty to Do

When you get a break from your studies, you will find plenty of different ways to spend your time off. Even though it is a small city with a population of just 750,000, Amsterdam has all the attractions of a larger city. It is famous for its nightlife, with lots of great bars, clubs, and cafes for students to socialise.

There are also a number of unique events and festivals held all year round, as well as several great museums and art galleries to discover, including the famous Van Gogh museum, where you can view some of the legendary Dutch artist’s most famous work.

Students can visit great attractions like the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam

Students enrolled in university foundation programmes in Amsterdam should also check out Amsterdam’s famous markets, such as Waterlooplein and Albert Cuyp, where they can pick up clothes, furniture, and much more at bargain prices. There are a number of great outdoor spaces to explore too, including the city’s famous canals, which are perfect for a stroll or bike ride at any time of day.

Are you looking to meet the entry requirements for the University of Amsterdam?

Contact ONCAMPUS Today to find out more about our programmes!

Amsterdam: a very popular student city, but why?

As I am writing this the month March has just begun. At the end of this month spring will start, which means that there will be more light, sun and flowers. I love it! It is not only the start of spring for us here at ONCAMPUS; it is also the start of the application process for the September intake, which is always very exciting! Every year we are curious as to what our students will look like where they’re from and what their story is. It is also always really exciting to see how many students will join us.

You might be one of the students that has applied for our programme or would like to apply for our programme but you are still in doubt. With this article I would like to help you with making that decision and tell you why Amsterdam is a good choice. Hopefully this will help you out, so that we can welcome you in September!

Amsterdam is a multicultural city

Amsterdam’s population is one of the most diverse populations in Europe. In Amsterdam you can find people from around 180 nationalities and around 45 per cent of the population is an ethnic minority. It is even expected that within the next 10 years, half of the population will have been born abroad or will have parents or grandparents who were born abroad. Living in such a multicultural city has a lot of advantages in my opinion. An example is that due to this multiculturalism almost everyone in Amsterdam speaks English very well. This makes it easy for you as an international student to get around the city and communicate or get in contact with locals and other expats very easily. People in Amsterdam are also very open minded. I think this might be due to the multicultural vibe in the city as well. Often people are interested in your culture and the country that you have been living in or the travelling that you have done. The people in Amsterdam are open to other opinions, norms and values and will accept you just the way you are. Finally, due to the diverse population a lot of nice restaurants, shops and religious centres opened up in Amsterdam.  This means that you do not have to miss your food or products that you normally buy at home, you can find it all in Amsterdam and even try some new ones if you are interested!

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Amsterdam has an interesting labour market

From the early ages the Netherlands has been well-known for its trading culture. And even until this day this is very important for our country. Due to the importance of trading and the location of the Netherlands in comparison to the rest of Europe a lot of big companies are located in the Netherlands. Some of them even have their headquarters located in Amsterdam, such as L’Oréal, Nike and KLM. Location is not the only reason why big companies set up their offices in the Netherlands. They also appreciate the Dutch working environment which is very open, multicultural and business –oriented and the stable economy of the Netherlands. The multicultural, stable and interesting labour market in the Netherlands and Amsterdam can lead to some interesting opportunities for you as an international student. You might for example be able to do an internship at one of the big multinationals or conduct a research for them. This will be a great addition to your CV!

Amsterdam is centrally located in Europe

Amsterdam is very centrally located in Europe, which makes it easy to travel to the UK or mainland Europe. Amsterdam is a good starting point if you would like to explore Europe during the breaks that you have in between terms.  From here it is only 3 hours to London, 5 hours to Paris and 6 hours to Berlin. Since Amsterdam is so centrally located it also means that it is easy for friends or family to visit you and see where you live. Tourists are also coming here a lot, which allows you to be in contact with people from other cultures on a daily basis and will broaden your view on other cultures and the world.

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Amsterdam offers high quality education

Higher education in Holland has a worldwide reputation for its high quality. Dutch educational institutions score highly in the rankings. Twelve Dutch research universities are among the top 200 universities in the world and thirteen are among the best in Europe. This shows that the academic quality of Dutch institutions is well recognised. Studying in the Netherlands does not only look good on your CV, but will also help you to develop skills that could be very useful in your further studies or your future job. You will for example learn how to give a presentation, how to lead a debate, how to conduct research and how to write an essay and you will be taught by teachers who have a high reputation in the field that you are studying in. Furthermore the Netherlands has a very open educational climate. There is not much of a hierarchy between teachers and students. You can easily ask the teacher questions and they will be more than happy to help you. This will help you to understand the content that you need to learn even better and will help you to develop even more. On the other hand teachers in the Netherlands also expect you to study hard and put in the effort. As a student in the Netherlands you need to be independent and work hard, but this will lead to great results!

By Kayleigh Vedder, Administrative Assistant at ONCAMPUS Amsterdam

I hope this article has helped you decide if you would like to study in Amsterdam. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.  

What it feels like to live in Kraanspoor

It is late in the evening; I am hearing some small noises of a party going on in another room in the background and in front of me I see that the extraordinary headquarter of HEMA has already disappeared into darkness. I’m sitting in front of my large window writing something for you about Kraanspoor, where I have been living for the past couple of months now.

FACILITIES

Kraanspoor is newly build accommodation owned by DUWO with 380 single studios available. Every 40 of them are divided into a separate area, which you can only enter with a personal card. This makes Kraanspoor a very safe place to live. Next to that every student has its own bike shelf and mailbox. There is even a laundry room, where you can use the washing and drying machine for 2 euros per use.  If you want to read more about Kraanspoor, please have a look at the DUWO website as well.

LOCATION

Kraanspoor is located in the North of Amsterdam, next to HEMA’s headquarters. To travel between here and Central Station you will need to take a ferry, which is free of charge. The ferry will head off to Central Station every 15 or 30 minutes, so make sure to leave 10 minutes before. I have to say that catching the ferry has been the biggest challenge for me so far. However, I am now trying to see this 5 minute morning run as my new fitness routine.  If you do not run fast enough to catch the ferry there is also the option of taking the 391 Bus at the back of the Kraanspoor building. This bus ride will cost you 1.91 euros. However, to be honest, it will not be any faster than waiting for the next ferry to arrive.  When arriving by ferry at Central Station you will need to take a metro to the UvA Roeterseilandcampus. This will cost you around 1.25 euros for a single journey. If you are travelling a lot, buying a personal OV card and a central area contract might be cheaper. This contract will cost around 50 euros per month and can be bought at the GVB.

All in all the entire journey from Kraanspoor to UvA Roeterseilandcampus will take you about 35 minutes. Kraanspoor is located closely to Central Station and lot cheaper than most places in the city centre. Therefore I think it is a good place to live.

kraanspoor

LEISURE TIME

Most of my social activities take place on the other side of the river Ij. I normally do my groceries, go out for dinner or have a drink at or near the city centre. But also at Kraanspoor you do not have to be bored. You can easily do something fun with your neighbours or get some fresh air at the outdoor platform on the second floor of this building. As for shopping, the closest shop to Kraanspoor is the HEMA store, which is open until 6.30pm, 6 days a week. HEMA is not the cheapest shop, however it is handy to have a shop nearby where you can buy something that you urgently need. If you go up North you will also find an Albert Heijn. At the Albert Heijn you can do groceries, but also pick up parcels.  You can bike to the Albert Heijn within 10 minutes. The scenery along this route is stunning. You will have ride along tall trees and beautiful houses with warm lights, as if you are cycling in Northern Europe.

Despite the fact that living in Amsterdam North is inconvenient sometimes, I felled in love with the place that I am living at, at the moment. Travelling back home with the ferry every day and being at Kraanspoor always inspires me a lot due to the extraordinary scenery that I happen to see every day. Furthermore travelling a bit further also leads to bonding and meeting with interesting people. We met quite a lot of Dutch people on the ferry, who learned us more about the Netherlands, the Dutch culture and the people here. We also met some tourists with whom we talked about travelling and being abroad. There is never a dull moment on the ferry! Even on Valentine’s days there was a guy on the ferry handing out roses to everyone. This made me feel happy and energetic for the whole day!

This is what Kraanspoor is like in my opinion, I would like to recommend you to stay here since I have such a nice time staying here at the moment.

By Zeya Wei (one of the student reps.)

I hope you enjoyed reading it, please let me know if you have any questions.

 

 

5 tips to prepare for an exam

Exams in a week, but you haven’t started preparing yet? Your friends want to go out with you because a new movie is on at the cinema and your bed just doesn’t want to let you go during the weekends? If your answer is ‘Yes’, then rest assured, you are not alone.

Sometimes (if not usually) it is so difficult to get started, to make yourself do homework or prepare for an exam. However, the key is to focus on our incentives. If one really wants to get an A in the exam, the only person who can help you is YOU.

Okay, I am not here to teach you how to live, only to offer you some tips which, I hope, will help you prepare for the coming finals. Here they are:

1. Flashcards

I am pretty sure you’ve heard of them before, but if not: flashcards are cards with the primary function of helping you to memorise definitions. All you need is some paper and a pen. On one side, write the term, and on the other side, its meaning. Then, while studying, look at the term and try to recall what it means. There is also a Flashcards app called Quizlet (for both IOS and Android).

Photo by Blog-Tilt

2. Get things organised

Once you have everything organised and scheduled, you suddenly realise you have so much more time, because you don’t have to waste time on things that are not of immediate priority. You can either use a diary or your phone, but do not become too preoccupied with finding different apps for this. After all, the aim is to save time and not waste it. Here are two apps to create timetables for IOS and Android.

3. Put your phone away

Yeah, I know. It will be difficult as friends will always be texting you and it’s difficult to ignore them as they send funny snaps and share hilarious pics, but turn the phone off. Nothing catastrophic will happen if you don’t use it for a small period of time.

4. Don’t forget to allow yourself breaks from studying

This doesn’t mean that you should immediately check your Facebook or watch a video on YouTube during the break. Instead, try going outside for a minute, resting your head on your bed, or even sleeping for 20 minutes. It is a scientifically proven fact that a short nap in the afternoon can help you to get over sleepiness.

 
Photo by Sleep Sugar

5. Highlight you work

Highlight sentences, but — there is always a ‘but’ — I don’t mean colour your book in all different shades of highlighter; simply underline key ideas with a pencil. Colourful highlighters just distract you from the main ideas.

Finally, work smarter, not harder. And good luck to us!

By Viktoriia Akhankova 

What is your best study tip? Please share it with your fellow students!