Contact and meet the team

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Skype: VU Graduate Winter School - by appointment, email first
Telephone: +31 20 59 84717

VU Graduate Winter School consists of Eduard Pasma (team leader), Sandra Hasanefendic  (consultant), Jan Kostelijk (Coordinator) and Bianca van Putten (International Officer).  You can reach us through e-mail, Skype or phone.

Eduard was born and raised in the Netherlands. At the age of 18 he spent a year working and travelling in Australia. After completing his Bachelor’s degree in International Development Studies, he did his Master’s internship at the New Zealand Tourism Research Institute in Auckland. Besides working at various International Offices in the Netherlands, Eduard worked as the General Manager of a remote lodge in Malawi, after which he joined the VU in 2017. 

“From my own travels I have learned that living (and studying or working) abroad can be a life changing experience. That is why I always encourage students to spend at least a few months abroad and challenge themselves in a new environment, making new friends and learn from all different kind of people and cultures.”

Sandra bio pic for meet the team

Sandra is a double doctorate holder in higher education policy from the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, as well as ISCTE-IUL in Lisbon, Portugal. For the past couple of years, she has been working as a consultant on international higher education. She is currently consulting and coordinating international doctoral education at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam at the International Office, and is associated with the Organization Department at the Faculty of Social Sciences of the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, as a researcher. Prior to these positions, she was a researcher at the Center for Innovation, Technology and Policy Research IN+ in Lisbon, Portugal where she worked on European projects and conducted research related to highly skilled human resource development, higher education research dynamics and research policy implications on the functioning of universities of applied sciences.

Jan Kostelijk

Jan was born and raised in The Netherlands. During his Bachelor’s degree in European Studies he moved to the Czech Republic one year. His time abroad not only showed him the importance of complementing academic studies with international experience but also inspired his passion for internationalization. After graduation Jan worked at the Anne Frank House for some years. But he never lost his interest in academic internationalization and in 2016 he started working for the VU Amsterdam International Office. “Studying abroad brought me so much, not only in the area of expanding knowledge but also on a more personal level. I think learning from other cultures and developing intercultural qualities are the most valuable things students can give to themselves.”


Bianca was born and raised in Haarlem, the Netherlands. During her studies Bianca had the chance to follow an internship in Sweden, go on exchange in England, and complete a minor in Bali. After graduating she decided to work for a hostel while being able to travel several months per year. When she was ready for a new challenge her mind was set on working for the International Office of VU Amsterdam where she has happily been working since October 2017.

“In my opinion internationalisation is truly important for an individual’s personal development, global cooperation, and solidarity. I believe that each individual should go abroad to gain international and cultural awareness. A true cliché, but these are experiences I will never forget myself. It excites me to work as an International Officer to assist others in gaining this wonderful opportunity".