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Living in Amsterdam

Read all about our accommodation options and useful information on living in Amsterdam.

Our registration deadline has passed, it is no longer possible to apply. You can leave your contact details to be added to our summer 2023 newsletter.  Applications for Summer School 2023 will open in mid-December 2022. 

Are you wondering what it's like to live in Amsterdam? Don't worry, we have you covered! Amsterdam and The Netherlands are wonderful to explore, especially during summer. Continue reading how to make the most of it under the section: Living in Amsterdam. 

Finding accommodation in Amsterdam yourself is not easy and often expensive. Therefore we highly recommend to use our accommodation service. We offer different accommodation options in different parts of Amsterdam. Read more under the section: accommodation options. 

Questions? Please reach out to us via amsterdamsummerschool@vu.nl or you can leave your contact details

Living in Amsterdam

  • Getting around - Bike

    With more than 880,000 bicycles - four times the number of cars - Amsterdam is a city of bikes. With an extensive network of cycle lanes, bicycle parking and specific traffic lights the city is perfect to traverse by bike. Everything in Amsterdam is within reasonable biking distance. Even though cycling in Amsterdam is fun and an essential part of living the Amsterdam life, it is not without risk. Check out this handy guide before cycling in Amsterdam.

    How to get a bike? We will share tips and tricks with our summer participants in our regular newsletters.

  • Getting around - Public Transport

    The city of Amsterdam has an extensive public transport network consisting of trams, metro services, buses, ferries and trains. Extensive maps and timetables of all routes can be found on the GVB (municipal transport company) website . 

    Public transport smart card (OV-chipkaart) 
    The most convenient and affordable method of paying for public transport is by 'OV-chipkaart'. You can buy a refillable anonymous OV-chipkaart at ticket vending machines, GVB Tickets & Info locations, certain newsagents and supermarkets. Find more detailed information on the GVB website.

    Check in, check out 
    It is important to remember to check both in and out when using your OV-chipkaart. This can be done by holding the card against the reader present on platforms for trains and metro, or on board of the vehicle in buses and trams. You must also check in and out when changing to a different line or mode of transport.

  • Costs of living

    Apart from housing, you may consider the following estimated living expenses per two weeks:

    • Food, minimum €100 if you cook for yourself, eating out will be more expensive
    • Insurance, approx. €20
    • Public transport or bike rental, approx. €50 
    • Other expenses during your stay, minimum €100, this increases if you wish to engage in more cultural and social activities

    You could consider bringing a small amount of cash for the first day, but overall there are plenty of ATM’s available. Major credit and debit cards are accepted in most shops and restaurants. Bear in mind that most ticket machines for the tram and metro do not accept cash and some shops, such as grocery stores, do not accept foreign credit cards.

  • Weather

    The summers in the Netherlands can be described as mild. On average the temperature will be around 22 degrees Celsius (or 72 degrees Fahrenheit). It may occasionally rain so consider bringing an umbrella or light raincoat. A jacket that you can wear during the evenings is recommended.

  • VU Amsterdam campus

    VU Amsterdam is a campus university: almost all university buildings are situated on one site, with teaching and research facilities and several leisure activities all together. It is located in the business district of Amsterdam, so that during your studies you can also get a glimpse of the business world.

    Our cam­pus is:
    • a modern international campus
    • situated in the middle of the most dynamic and fastest growing business district in Europe
    • well connected to public transport
    • a 15 minute tram or bike ride away from the historic city centre
    • an 8 minute train journey away from Amsterdam Schiphol Airport
    • rich in possibilities for grocery's, drink/ food and sport options

  • Sustainable campus

    VU Amsterdam has a clear vision about sustainability. Core values are: stewardship for planet Earth and responsibility to achieve a sustainable future. Not only teaching and research programmes have a focus on sustainability but environmental sustainability is also a major consideration when construction and refurbishment activities are carried out. VU Amsterdam offers several Bachelor’s and Master’s degree programmes in the field of Sustainability & Energy, collectively known as Science for Sustainability. Flexibility, sustainability and cost consciousness are important drivers for the development of the Campus. New sustainable buildings are delivered according to BREEAM standards, the top of environmental sustainability assessments. Old buildings are refurbished to meet current sustainability standards as much as possible.

    Read more about Sustainable campus.

  • Safety

    When you come to Amsterdam you can be assured that you will be safe. In fact, Amsterdam is ranked Europe's safest city on the Economist Safe City Index. Of course like in any major city you should be aware of pickpockets in busy areas. 

    Read more about the safety measures at VU Amsterdam campus.

    Useful Phone Numbers
    Emergency (police, ambulance, fire): 112 
    VU emergency number, available 24/7: +31 (0)20 598 22 22
    Police (theft and other queries): 0900-8844 or +31 (0)343 57 8844

Team VU Amsterdam Summer School

We are here to help!

+31 20 59 86429

Skype: by appointment via amsterdamsummerschool@vu.nl

Contact

  • Bianca
  • Programme Coordinator
  • Celia
  • Summer and Winter School Officer
Celia VU Amsterdam Summer & Winter School
  • Helena
  • Summer and Winter School Support Assistant
Helena VU Amsterdam Summer and Winter School