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Informal care

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Last updated on 22 March 2024
Caring for someone close to you can be very challenging. VU Amsterdam is happy to help you. On this page you will find more information on the subject and you can read what VU Amsterdam can do for you.

Did you know that 6% of the students in Amsterdam has a task as informal caregiver? You might know somebody, or be somebody, who combines their study with taking care of another. Many of these students don’t see their care taking task as being an informal caregiver. Even if they would see themselves as caregivers, there is a large chance they don't share this with their fellow students. Read below what VU Amsterdam can mean to you if you recognise yourself as an informal caretaker, or if you want to learn more information about this topic.

Offering help to a person close to you, like a family member, partner, friend or acquaintance with a physical or psychological disease or impairment can all be described as informal caregiving. Often offering such help is seen as medical. However, help in the form of doing finances, housekeeping, or carrying responsibility for another are all informal care tasks. A lot of students with a caretaking task see it as self-evident to offer such help and do not see themselves as an informal caregiver.

Unfortunately, offering help to others is paired with a higher risk of negative health and study outcomes for the student. Therefore, you should not carry this burden alone. For instance, sharing your experiences with your environment can create understanding and ease your burden somewhat. At VU Amsterdam you can reach out to the student counsellor, the academic advisor, or student psychologists, whom can offer advice and help. Below you can find more information about this topic. You can always contact the student counsellors to talk about your situation.

Facilities for informal carers

  • Counselling you can go to within VU Amterdam

    Academic advisor
    You can consult the academic advisor for all study-related questions. Also for personal tutoring and practical study advice you can reach out to the academic advisor. This can be helpful for example when making a study plan, or when you have to miss classes/ exams due to your personal circumstances.

    Student Wellbeing Point
    The Student Wellbeing Point is an initiative created by and for students. In the informal and relaxed space, trained VU students offer their fellow students a listening ear, a safe space to take a breather, or advice on where to find VU support services. You can find them next to the Student desk.

    Student counsellor
    You can contact the student counsellor for questions or problems that are not directly related to the content of your study programme. The student counsellor provides support and gives advice or information about (legal) regulations or provisions. You can think of (de)registration issues, DUO facilities, urgent housing, assistance with applying for the Profile Fund and other financial provisions. Discussions with a student counsellor are confidential.

    Student psychological counsellor
    The student psychological counsellor can support you with psychological issues that affect your studying. The student psychological counsellor can offer short-term individual counseling where applicable. Moreover, the student psychological counsellors also give training to help you optimize your studying.

    Point of contact students with informal care tasks.
    You can always make an appointment via the blue button at the top of the page, or by sending an email to

  • Day of the informal caretaker

    Every year in November there is the day of the informal caretaker. On this day, we want to give some extra attention towards this group of students. Information about this will be posted on this VU-page, or on the blue screens inside the VU.

    This year there will be a walk-in lunch on November 8th.  It will be from 12:30-13:30, location yet to be announced. Contact Fatiema Khadje or NEWconnective for more information.

  • Informal care and (financial) regulations

    Profile Fund VU
    Students who have fallen behind in their studies can make use of financial aid for their programme from the Profile Fund regulations. Different personal circumstances can lead to study delay. If you are eligible for financial aid, depends on the terms and conditions. It is important that you spoke with your academic advisor during your study delay, we advise you to do that as soon as possible. If you are not sure whether you are eligible for the financial aid you can book an appointment with the student counsellor.

    10 years diplomaterm DUO
    When you are eligible for a student loan via DUO, you normally have 10 years to get your diploma. If you are unable to do this due to your informal care tasks, make an appointment with the student counselor to look at your situation together. Depending on your situation, an extension of this diploma term might be possible.

    Financial regulations for informal caregivers
    On this page of MantelzorgNL you can find information about financial compensation. For example, your travel costs to and from the person you care for can be reimbursed. In addition, it may be possible for you to have your care partly paid out from the personal budget (PGB). It is wise to make an appointment about this with your Buurtteam (students living in Amsterdam) or with an informal care consultant.

  • External organizations and links

    Villa Buitenlust
    Do you need a few days of rest once or a week in a green environment? Students who are informal caregivers and live in Amsterdam can stay for a  consecutive period or separate days/nights in Villa Buitenlust. There are meditation and yoga classes, a large garden, private rooms, a large well-equipped kitchen and a cozy living room. There are no costs except the groceries, which you do yourself. For more information, e-mail student counselor Fatiema Khadje via

    At VU, we work together with Markant. This is the organization in the region for (young) informal carers. You can come here if you live or study in Amsterdam. They offer training courses and workshops that are highly recommended. An example is the 'En nu jij' project.

    Buurtteam Amsterdam
    You can go to the Buurtteam when you live in Amsterdam. This is an official institution that can help you with regulations within Amsterdam. They can also help with PGB.

    MantelzorgNL is the national association that stands up for everyone who cares for a loved one. They offer interesting workshops and information evenings that might be interesting to follow.

Do you have questions about informal care?

Send an email to the student counselors or make an appointment via the blue button on top of this page