Updated: Dec 19, 2022
University life is not all about studying and stressing over exams. Sure, they are probably the least fun part of it, but let’s not forget that university is also meant for you to meet new people, discover what the city you live in has to offer, and cultivate your passions.
Students at UvA have the possibility to join several associations designed to engage their members in academic, social or even humanitarian activities. Here is a quick overview of the organizations you can choose from.
For starters, each study program has its own association which organizes activities ranging from academically-related projects to social gatherings and trips. Yes, you read that correctly! If you are passionate about traveling, you can join the many exciting trips that most study associations plan throughout the academic year, both within and outside Europe. If these trips are not for you, there are still plenty of opportunities to connect to other students from your Bachelor’s or Master’s outside of the classroom. For example, Machiavelli (Political Science) organizes borrels every Wednesday. And to make it interesting, their borrels are usually themed! Latin pop, 2000s music, Western, etc… You will for sure have a great time (and tons of beer). Also, the study associations are your point of reference when it comes to buying your school books as they sell them at a discounted price most of the time, and finding a study buddy for those struggling or wishing to prepare well for exams.
Here are some other study associations: Mercurius (Communication Science), SES (European Studies), AIM (PPLE), Offscreen (Media and Culture), SEFA (Business Administration). Is your study program not listed? You will find more info on the UvA site: https://student.uva.nl/en/topics/student-associations.
Any hobby you may have is shared by many other students at UvA and CREA is the perfect place to explore your creative side. CREA offers courses in photography, fine arts, film design, and countless more. If you are passionate about writing, you can publish articles in the magazine of your own study association or independent magazines. Are you looking to join an acting group? The Student Theatre Amsterdam (STA!) puts together terrific productions every year. There is your chance to go on stage or simply take part in one of their workshops. Have you always dreamt of having your own live radio show? Or have you wanted to film, DJ, illustrate and work with music for the longest time? Then, Slim Radio is an awesome match for you and those curious about the media world. If your goal is to stay active and fit, you will find your new sports team through SSA (Stichting Studentensport Amsterdam). Do you want to give back to the community and volunteer for a fair cause? HeForShe x UvA, Amnesty, UNICEF Student Team Amsterdam are strongly recommended.
If you are simply looking to meet people with a similar background to yours or explore your identity, it is definitely worth it to check out Asian Students Netherlands (ASN), UvA Pride and A.S.V.Gay.
Since the UvA community is mostly made up of international students, ESN (Erasmus Student Network) is an amazing organization you can join to have the best time studying abroad. Their events include Language Exchange meetups, where you can practice your target language as well as teach your own, and parties at Coco’s Outback and Melkweg, hands down two of most elite clubs in Amsterdam.
If partying is not your strong suit, the next organizations are more academically/professionally oriented and would make a neat addition to your CV. AISEC (Association Internationale des étudiants en Sciences Économiques et Commerciales) arranges exchanges for internships and volunteering, while SIB (Dutch United Nations Student Association) plans activities related to the field of international relations, such as MUN debates and visits to IOs and NGOs. For those interested in politics and improving the UvA community, consider joining 020 or other political parties you may relate to.
There you have it, all the information you need to make the most of your university experience. Good luck!
All the organizations that we have mentioned so far have their own Instagram page, so make sure to check them out if you find anything that caught your attention!
Article by Vanessa Toraldo