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Reclaim the campus

5 July 2021 - 8 July 2021

You probably miss campus and your fellow students a lot. We get that! That's why we’re inviting you to VU Amsterdam from 5 to 8 July for Reclaim the Campus. And no, not online, but actually on campus.

During this week, we’ll celebrate the fact that VU Amsterdam can open up further! We’ll be offering an inspiring programme for Bachelor's students that is focused on meeting each other, personal development and creativity.

Together with other students, you’ll participate in challenging interactive workshops on a wide range of themes. We’ve listed them for you: cultural diversity, group dynamics, artificial intelligence and beauty, digitalization, personal storytelling, climate change, Black Lives Matter, EU choices and dilemmas.

All workshops relate to the question: In what way would you claim and manifest the new ‘normal’ (campus) life? Related to the pandemic, the workshops invite all participants to create new habits, perspectives and rituals towards the opening of a new year in September.

There will also be plenty of opportunities to chat with each other dover delicious coffee. You can also get to know student organisations and simply enjoy the campus!

Will you join us? Come to VU Amsterdam on 5, 6, 7 and 8 July. Scroll down for more information on the programmes. 

Sign up now!

Once you’re registered, you will receive practical information about the programme. You can sign up until 24 June.

Outro-day for first year students of the School of Business and Economics & the Faculty of Social Sciences

If you are a first-year student of the School of Business and Economics or the Faculty of Social Sciences you can participate in the Outro-day during Reclaim the Campus. You will meet your fellow students and discover hotspots on the campus. This day is organised by the study association of your faculty. An excellent way to finally get to know the campus and your fellow students better after such a crazy online start.

You can participate in both the Outro Day and Reclaim the Campus. If you think that’s a bit too much, you can also choose one of the two programmes. Register via the registration link on this page. You will receive practical information about the programme around 20 June.

Of course we will keep in mind the corona measures in force at that time.

Programme Reclaim the Campus
All workshops are given by students. They have been trained by the Bildung Academie and partner organisations. If you participate in Reclaim the Campus, you will follow all workshops in a fixed group of about 20 students. The workshops are in English - basic knowledge of English is sufficient to participate.

Monday 5 July - 1.30 p.m. - 4.30 p.m. (walk-in: 1 p.m.)

Group dynamics

How do you create a positive vibe within a group? This is the theme of this light-hearted, experimental workshop. We will discuss subjects like health and happiness and reflect on the past (corona) year. We create a positive group vibe starting with all participants in the 'Campus Arena’ followed by smaller group sessions, getting to know one another and getting used to larger groups in real life and new people.

The workshop uses the format of the Mischief Makers, who are known for their techniques to create great group dynamics in a fun and playful way.

Tuesday 6 & Wednesday 7 July - 10 a.m. - 4.30 p.m. (walk-in: 9.30 a.m.)

Cultural diversity
In this workshop you will learn to look through other people's eyes. Playful methods are used to talk about subjects like cultural diversity and (personal vs. cultural) values. You will learn to view through different eyes. The different methods which will be used are roleplay based on (personal) cases and ‘cross the line’.

The workshop was developed by the confrontational theatre makers of Stichting Confro, who use various interview techniques and methodologies to make social themes, taboos and diversity openly discussable. 

EU Choices & Dilemma's
Politically a lot has been going on in Europe and due to the pandemic we’ve continuously been challenged to work together as a union. The question is, how and must we go further? As this generation will be facing severe challenges in climate change, immigration, unemployment, homelessnes, etc. we’d like to challenge you to think of your future Europe. During this session, you will discuss different dilemma’s finishing in the Defensity College Europe Game, defining you micro-revolutions towards a future-proof Europe. 

The Ministry of Defence's Defensity College attuned its programme to VU Amsterdam. Looking beyond your own horizon and getting to know yourself are central to the programme.

A VU History
During dilemma reconciliation with Martin Luther King's viewpoints, you will get acquainted with the VU history, it’s vision and mission. Also, you will learn and discuss through King's eyes on today’s societal challenges such as climate change, digitalization, Covid and Black Lives Matter. 

The workshop is developed by SERVUS. The SERVUS project ‘We Shall Overcome’  is about Martin Luther King Jr.’s heritage and his connection towards VU Amsterdam - as an honor’s doctorate.

Personal Storytelling
It’s been a year since we’ve met new people. New people mean new stories. Stories tell the perspective you have about the world, others and most of all yourself. Through stories we learn what you find important and what you’ve experienced in life. By telling stories we meet, feel connected and get inspired. You will get the chance to define your personal story, share this story and learn presentation skills which you can use in your further (academic) career.

The workshop is developed by Happy Good Talk.

Beauty and the algorithm
Just by looking at your phone you can turn into a ‘rockstar’, covered in tattoos with black shades on. This is the newest and most used Instagram filter of the moment. Though how do these filters actually work and how can you make your own digital mask? During this workshop you will learn how the algorithms of these filters work with artificial intelligence. Designing your own face 3D mask through the investigation of identity in a digital world. Next to coding, you will talk about the effects of algorithms and discuss the topic of beauty standards, identity, the digital world and how they’re affected by it.

Creative Coding Utrecht, that developed this workshops, brings together the community of makers (artists, designers, researchers, developers, performers, musicians) to share knowledge and collaboratively explore the artistic potential of self-made soft- and hardware for creating expressions.

Thursday 8 July - 10 a.m. - 11.30 a.m. (walk-in: 9.30 a.m.) / 12 p.m. - 13.30 p.m. (walk-in: 11.30 a.m.)

Reclaim the Campus
During this workshop we will work with exercises that challenge you to shape your hopes and wishes for the academic year to come. One of those exercises is led by the thought: ‘Every revolution starts with a movement’, a special method that creates physical manifestations, real movements of ideas. Also we will work with sound, by exploring the campus and by finding physical objects that can create sounds that ‘fit’ your ideas. In this way the campus itself becomes part of the whole process. You will learn to give shape to your ideas in an explorative and physical way. A way in which your thoughts will become tangible through sound and movement, which will literally resonate throughout the campus. By the end of the day we will have a musical-sound-intervention that functions as a closing ritual for the Reclaim the Campus week.

Questions Collective, that developed this workshop, is known for their artistic and interdisciplinary projects nationally and internationally. They guide by the idea of enabling others to create, which suits the idea of a programme for and by students perfectly.

Other activities
Besides the main programme, various activities are organized daily. In the programme booklet, which you will receive as a participant, you will find all the information. Below a number of these activities.

Come chill with FAM
Monday 5 July, 4.30 p.m.

In the mood for a cool and educational hangout with karaoke, games and pizza? We have it all!. After a long Corona year we are all a bit socially awkward, don’t worry we got you. We will start with some fun introduction games so that we can break the ice and get to know each other We also prepared an interesting quiz about diversity and inclusion and the winner will get a prize! And of course, there will be music and food. Come by and make new friends! (max 20 participants).

Family of Academic Minds (FAM)
FAM is a student association that focuses on diversity and inclusion. Our students are mainly minority groups, such as: first generation students, bicultural students and international students. We organize various events in which empowerment, awareness and fun are central, such as: multicultural dinners, healing sessions, karaoke, museum visits, in-house days, workshops, etc. Everyone is welcome, regardless of your background, gender, religion, study or study year!

Courageous Conversations 18: My solitary campus life

Tuesday 6 July, 4.30-6 p.m., 3D – VU campus

Many of us feel deprived of social interaction because of the lockdown. We meet our friends, teachers and fellow students mostly online, as you sit behind your computer all by yourself. This is especially harsh for first year students, who start their new lives without the campus and classrooms where you would normally meet people and make new friends. 

We invite first year students to share their experiences and stories with each other. This conversation is a brave space, which means that feelings are valid, and that what is said during the conversation, will not be shared outside of the conversation. More information

Friend-Shipping: for real & relaxing encounters
Wednesday 7 July, 4.30-6 p.m. - 3D - VU campus

The past few days you’ve probably met a lot of new people in real life, during Reclaim the Campus. Are you interested to get to know them better, and go beyond the small talk? Here’s the next step!

NEWConnective offers you the opportunity to come closer to some of them. We make use of the speed-dating method, but better topics, and a relaxed setting. In 3D, a calm and inspiring venue at the VU campus, you can catch your breath and take your time for real encounters, with the help of deep-diving questions.

Who knows, this slow-date-Friendshipping programme might be the start of some real new friendships!

Outro-day, the special event for first-year students of the Faculty of Social Sciences and the School of Business and Economics that was organized during Reclaim the Campus, will not take place because the one-half meter rule still applies. A new date in the new academic year is currently being considered.

About Reclaim the campus


  • 5 July 2021 - 8 July 2021

Organized by

  • Reclaim the Campus has been developed especially for VU Amsterdam by Bildung Academie in cooperation with general student organisations and study associations.

Sign up now!

For Reclaim the Campus and/or Outro-day

Click here