WELCOME TO UTRECHT Your New Home Hel lo and welcome to the beauti ful city Utrecht, your new home! After a careful contemplation, you have decided to move to the Netherlands. With this magazine, we, the Journal ism Committee of ESN Utrecht, aim to share al l the ins and outs you need to know to start your own l i fe in the Netherlands. To give you a l ittle taste of our magazine, we have al l the insider information about Dutch food, f inding a job, or the importance of bikes in every-day l i fe. Being an international student in a new country can come with its chal lenges. ESN Utrecht is here for you to meet a warm group of new friends! Most of us are currently l iving abroad as wel l , or have done so in the past. So there is always a person to talk to. And not to forget, some members might come from the same country as you, so you wi l l always have a connection to home. We wish you al l the best in this new chapter of your l i fe. Enjoy it to the ful lest and remember that you are never alone! COLOPHONE EDITOR IN CHIEF Cassandra Dube EDITORS Aleksandra Atanasova Anniek Blijham Franca Haug Saurabh Chandra Yorick van Teeseling PAGE 4

WHAT DOES ESN STAND FOR? Now that you have opened this magazine, you might be wondering - what is ESN? ESN stands for Erasmus Student Network, a non-profit international student organisation that aims to support international students. Our mission is to represent international students, thus providing opportunities for cultural understanding and selfdevelopment under the principle of Students Helping Students. ESN Utrecht is one of the many lovely local sections of ESN. At ESN Utrecht, you can meet people from all around the world and make friends for a lifetime. We organise activities suited for everyone's interest; charity- and career events, parties, pub quizzes, day and weekend trips, sports activities and a Dutch Language Course. Furthermore, ESN Utrecht runs a blog with all the fun updates you need to know as an international student in the Netherlands. Behind the scenes, there are eleven committees made up of enthusiastic committee members who make all of these events happen. The eleven committees are the Activities Committee, Archive Committee, Career Committee, Culture Committee, Internal Events Committee, Introduction committee, Journalism Committee, Party Committee, Promo Committee, Pub Quiz Committee, and the Social Inclusion Committee. Are you excited to join? You can do so by purchasing an ESNcard, a membership card of ESN. An ESNcard costs only €6 and gives you the opportunity to participate in all events that ESN Utrecht organises. With an ESNcard you can also enjoy many great discounts at our partners in and outside of Utrecht. You can buy your ESNcard in our online ticketshop. Once the order is complete, you will be able to pick your card up at the office of ESN Utrecht. The address is Princetonplein 9, 3584 CC Utrecht, located at the Utrecht Science Park. PAGE 5

MEET THE 32ND BOARD OF ESN UTRECHT ESMEE VAN THUIJL - PRESIDENT Esmee is the President of ESN Utrecht. Before starting her board year she obtained a master's degree in Intercultural Communication. Esmee's responsibilities are managing the board, being the local representative of ESN Utrecht, having contact with higher education institutions, chairing the President's Council, and representing ESN Utrecht towards external parties. Her favourite places in Utrecht are the Botanic Gardens, cute cafés like Carla's Conditorie, Lucas and Broei, the many parks, Amelisweerd and Tivoli. LAURA MÜLLEJANS - SECRETARY Laura is the Secretary of ESN Utrecht. Her responsibilities are handling internal and external communication, planning and organising ESN Utrecht, and writing the monthly newsletter. Her favourite spot in Utrecht is Wilhelmina Park. Laura loves that Utrecht is a big city but has a small city vibe when you walk through it. It is always lively and gives a sense of energy when you stroll through the streets! You know Laura is very comfortable around you when she starts talking in a baby voice. FONS RÖTTGERING - TREASURER Fons is the Treasurer of ESN Utrecht. His responsibilities include bookkeeping, managing the bank account and preparation of financial documents (basically everything related to money). Furthermore, he coordinates the Career and Pub Quiz Committee. Fons's favourite holiday destination is the Seychelles. He can recommend the fascinating wildlife; whilst there he saw rays, squid, a shark, and green turtles! PAGE 6

MEET THE 32ND BOARD OF ESN UTRECHT ESTHER LOEF - PATNERSHIP MANAGER Esther is the Partnership Manager of ESN Utrecht. She is following a master study in Management of Cultural Diversity. Esther's responsibilities are coordinating the partnerships of ESN Utrecht, which involves staying in contact with current partners and acquiring new ones, as well as coordination of national and international partnerships. Besides that, she coordinates the Introduction and Party Committee. Esther is addicted to cheese and bananas and her guilty pleasure is talking to her plants. ILONA GACIC - COMMUNICATION MANAGER Ilona is the Communication Manager of ESN Utrecht. She is in charge of social media, brand managing and marketing. Next to that she coordinates the Journalism and Promo Committee. Ilona has completed a bachelor’s degree in law and describes herself as ambitious, creative and social. Her favourite part about Utrecht is that it feels like a small town while it is actually a big city: you always see someone you know and have a little chat! SONJA VAN DE WETERING - INTEGRATION COORDINATOR Sonja is the Integration Coordinator of ESN Utrecht. She makes sure everybody feels at home at ESN and supports the work of many volunteers. Besides coordinating the Culture and Social Inclusion Committee, she oversees the Dutch Language Collaboration as well as the Running Club. You will definitely find Sonja at every International Dinner (she loves food). Her field of study is Artificial Intelligence. After her board year, Sonja will most likely take over the world with robots. PAGE 7

PARTNERS OF ESN ENJOY DISCOUNTS IN AND OUTSIDE OF UTRECHT WITH YOUR ESNCARD CLUB POEMA Club Poema is where the biggest international student parties happen every week! Every Tuesday, you can join the ESN Borrel between 21:00 and 23:00, followed by ESN Student Night. During the ESN Borrel, beer, wine and soda are only €1.00. If you arrive before 0:30, you can also use your ESNcard to receive two special coins for two free drinks. Club Poema is the place to be every Tuesday! Address: Drieharingstraat 22 CELIL CITYBIKE Still looking for a bike? Buy a second-hand one with accessories with a 10% discount at one of the best and most central bike shops in Utrecht! A bike is highly convenient to get around Utrecht. Most Dutchies cycle everywhere and for international students cycling is a great way to experience the Dutch lifestyle. Utrecht is very bike-friendly, which makes it easy and safe for you to get from one place to another! Address: Voorstraat 24 PAGE 8

PARTNERS OF ESN ENJOY DISCOUNTS IN AND OUTSIDE OF UTRECHT WITH YOUR ESNCARD TIVOLIVREDENBURG TivoliVredenburg is Utrecht's cultural hotspot, a unique venue designed for all kinds of music and entertainment. This large modern music palace harbours halls with perfect acoustics for hip hop, reggae, pop music, jazz, chamber music and dance, as well as cafés, bars, lounges and a restaurant. International acts such as Sam Smith, Lorde, Major Lazer, and Placebo have rocked the stage at TivoliVredenburg! Address: Vredenburgkade 11 BAR WALDEN Fancy a drink in a relaxed environment in with a view of the Dom? Try Bar Walden! Your ESNcard gets you 20% off any drink you order. Bar Walden is located right next to the Dom Tower and is one of the most popular spots for students in Utrecht. Address: Domplein 16 PAGE 9

ESSENTIALS TO BRING UPON ARRIVAL IN THE NETHERLANDS Moving to a foreign country and starting your independent student life from scratch can be a hectic time. You may find it hard to find the items necessary for a smooth stay during your first weeks in the Netherlands; the stores are completely different, some essentials are difficult to find, and not to mention the confusion when trying to decipher Dutch labels! But do not worry, we have got you covered! Here are nine items you should definitely pack in your suitcase in your home country when moving to the Netherlands. 1. RAINGEAR The weather in the Netherlands may not be the most welcoming sometimes, so get prepared for occasional spells of rain in all seasons. It is advisable to always check the forecast (consider buienradar.nl your go-to page for this), have a wind-proof umbrella with you, a raincoat and rain pants, and for full preparedness; waterproof shoes. 2. MEDICINE There are counters for medicine and first-aid products in many pharmacies and drugstores such as Kruidvat and Etos, however, bringing some basic medication from your home country will save you the confusion of what to purchase when you are feeling a bit under the weather. Moreover, if you take prescribed medication on a regular basis, you should definitely bring it from home, at least for the first month(s) of your stay in the Netherlands. 3. WARM CLOTHES With its moderate climate, winters in the Netherlands are usually mild and the summers fairly cool. This should not discourage you from bringing your nice summer clothes, but be prepared with more thick layers for your arrival, as the weather conditions fluctuate a lot, especially during autumn and spring. PAGE 10

4. FAMILY AND FRIEND PHOTOS You can put these sentimental items on the walls of your room as a decorative element or just keep them to feel closer to the loved ones in your home country. Putting them in an album or frames will preserve them better and will remind you of the people who are always there for you. 7. COPIES OF IMPORTANT DOCUMENTS It is advisable to have them both in a physical and digital form, because technology can be unreliable sometimes. Make sure you have copies of your ID, passport, visa, and your health insurance card always with you because unexpected situations like having them lost can happen and being prepared will ease your life. 5. DUTCH POCKET DICTIONARY / PHRASEBOOK While you can invariably look up a new word or translate something on your phone, possessing a physical paper dictionary or phrasebook can introduce you to a lot of useful expressions that you can always revise, and it feels much more authentic than a screen version. 6. TYPICAL FOODS FROM HOME Luckily, in Utrecht you can find lots of international stores to indulge in the 'taste of home'. Nevertheless, it is always fun (if your luggage has the capacity) to bring some hardto-find goods such as special condiments or your favourite treats you would like your international friends to try. 8. PORTABLE LUGGAGE SCALE A portable luggage scale is useful to have at hand so that you do not need to worry about overweight luggage. Once you are in the Netherlands, you might want to explore its neighbouring countries; this item will be an essential for your travel kit. 9. A POSITIVE MINDSET Even though some people can experience homesickness from time to time, living abroad and building a life from scratch is extremely fulfilling, not to mention all the valuable connections with people one can create. Seeing your glass half-full and having a positive mindset is an important step to make sure you have the best time in the Netherlands. PAGE 11

"IN THE NETHERLANDS WE CYCLE A LOT " How to survive Utrecht during your fi rst week After giving a careful thought to where to study, you have made the decision to go to Utrecht. A new country, a new city and new experiences! Even though you are prepared and might even have a back-up for the back-up plan, life can sometimes take a turn you cannot anticipate. Take away all the stress, relax and enjoy your first week in Utrecht; we will tell you all our best tips to make sure your first days are smooth sailing. THE DUTCH WAY OF LIFE People from the Netherlands are known for being straightforward about what they think. Especially in big cities like Amsterdam, Rotterdam, the Hague or Utrecht, this way of communicating is fairly common. When you first move to the Netherlands and are used to different customs and values, it may take some time to get adjusted to. Keep in mind that Dutchies value honesty and openness, and will appreciate to receive it in return. HOME When you arrive to a new place, it is important to take your time to settle down and feel at home. Make sure to set some time aside to properly unpack and start with a clear and positive mindset. Once you have made your room your own, it is time to meet your flatmates and get to know them! Together you can explore Utrecht and get to know all the best places to visit. Very likely they are in the same situation as you are or were once new to Utrecht themselves; you can support each other and learn from each other. PAGE 12

TRANSPORTATION During your research on the Netherlands and Utrecht one thing most likely stuck in your head; Dutchies cycle a lot! In fact, the number of bikes in the country outnumbers the population of the Netherlands. When not using a bike, the easiest way to move around the neighbourhood or in the city centre is on foot. Cycling will give you a taste of the Dutch lifestyle and will most likely end up being much more convenient than using public transport. There are many bike shops in Utrecht where you can either rent or buy a (second-hand) bike. Never buy your bike from strangers on the street! It is very likely that it had been stolen. Buying such bike is illegal. Once you have your bike, make sure to also get a proper lock and good lights (front and rear) along with it. If you go visit another city or have friends coming to see you, you can make use of temporary bike rental available at most train stations. PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION There are many buses going to the Utrecht Science Park, Neude, or any other further location within or outside Utrecht. If you want to use public transportation, you need to buy a public transport card, called an OV-chipkaart. You can order a personal OV-chipkaart at www.ov-chipkaart.nl or buy an anonymous one at the train station. To plan your journey, we highly recommend to use the website www.9292.nl or the 9292 app. It will show your entire itinerary, with the exact departure time of any buses, trams, trains, or metro (in Amsterdam). It also provides information on how long the trip will take and how much it will cost. PAGE 13

HEALTH Before moving to the Netherlands, it is important to find out whether your health insurance covers treatment abroad. If you need to go to the hospital or need medical care and your insurance does not cover it, it might become expensive. Keep in mind that if you plan on having a job whilst studying, you will need to take out Dutch health insurance. In Utrecht there are two general practitioner offices for students; Studentenhuisarts De Uithof and Studentenhuisarts Janskerkhof. REGISTRATION AT THE MUNICIPALI TY If your stay in the Netherlands lasts for more than four months, you are obliged to register at the municipality of Utrecht (or another, corresponding to the town you live in) to receive a burgerservicenummer (BSN). Make sure to make an appointment online ahead of time, so that you can register soon after you arrive. You will need to bring a valid identity document (passport or ID card) and a signed copy of your rental contract. In some cases, you might also need to provide other documents, such as your birth certificate. You will be informed about what documents to bring when you make your appointment with the municipality. If your documents are neither in Dutch nor in English, they will need to be translated by a sworn translator. If you move house or leave the Netherlands altogether, you will need to inform the municipality of your address change and possibly deregister yourself. PAGE 14

OPENING A BANK ACCOUNT Once you have registered yourself at your Dutch address, you can open a Dutch bank account. You will need to bring a proof of enrolment at university and a valid identification document. Before you open a bank account, it is important to choose carefully which bank you will go to. In the Netherlands there are may banks to choose from. The three large ones are: ING, ABN AMRO and Rabobank. All banks have different application methods, so it important that you do your research and find the bank that fits you. Once you have decided which bank you want to open an account at and you have completed the application procedure, you will receive a letter with a debit card and your personal identification number (PIN). Dutch banks use internet and mobile banking through which you can manage your digital payments. A Dutch bank account is also useful if you opt to pay your tuition fees in multiple instalments. Plenty of Dutch universities cooperate with the three leading banks of the Netherlands, and it is very likely that your university does as well. GETTING A DUTCH TELEPHONE NUMBER Once you have registered yourself at the municipality and opened a Dutch bank account, you can purchase a Dutch SIM card with a prepaid tariff or a subscription. Before you buy a prepaid number, it is important to find out whether your own provider has a lucrative offer or can offer you an alternative in the Netherlands. Some of the affordable prepaid cards are Lebara and Lykamobile. Other providers with a subscription are KPN, Tele 2, T-Mobile and Vodafone. You can even buy these cards in supermarkets and bookstores, so you don’t need to worry about losing touch with your loved ones at home. PAGE 15

THE BENEFITS YOU CAN RECEIVE AS A STUDENT Learning how to manage your finance in a new country is a part of the experience of living abroad. Your housing, social life and free time activities can quickly add up. Luckily enough, there are ways to save money and benefits you can receive as a student in the Netherlands. But what are they and how can you apply for them? RENTAL BENEFI T (HUURTOESLAG) Renting a house or a room in the Randstad (Utrecht surroundings) can be quite expensive; it really depends on the size of the house and location. If you cannot afford your full rent, there is a system through which you can apply for a rental benefit, known as huurtoeslag in Dutch. Huurtoeslag is a government contribution towards your rental costs. The amount you receive depends on your age, who you live with, the rental price, and the combined incomes of the household. There are certain requirements you need to meet to be eligible for this rental benefit. First, you must be 18 years old and you need to be registered at a Dutch address. It is also important that you have a rental agreement with your landlord or with an estate agent. This depends on where and how you rent a house. Furthermore, you can only apply for the rental benefit if you live in a self-sufficient home with a bedroom, bathroom, and kitchen. If you live in a dorm or a room in a shared house, it is not possible to apply for huurtoeslag. The last important thing is that you do not have too many savings on your bank account. PAGE 16

STUDENT FINANCE In the Netherlands, you can apply for student finance to support your spendings. This can be done by Dienst Uitvoering Onderwijs (DUO). There are many things you can apply for, so it is important to decide what you want and need. You can apply for a loan, the so-called 'basisbeurs' and the travel product you can use to travel from point A to point B. It is important to follow the Dutch news on this because the surrounding rules can change every year. Also, your university can offer you scholarships, so check your university website if there any available to you. All scholarships have an application deadline. Additionally, scholarships typically come with specific regulations for sending in your application. When you apply, make sure to read the instructions carefully and send all the necessary documents. HEALTHCARE ALLOWANCE (ZORGTOESLAG) Health insurance is compulsory for all people who live or work in the Netherlands and can be relatively expensive, with standard packages costing roughly 1100 euros per year. To support people with low income, the Dutch government offers a healthcare allowance (zorgtoeslag), a regular contribution to help cover the monthly premiums for Dutch health insurance (zorgverzekering). If you want to apply for zorgtoeslag you need to be at least 18 years old, have Dutch health insurance and not too high savings. You can apply for zorgtoeslag for a specific year up until September 1st of the following year. The amount of zorgtoeslag you receive depends on your income. Benefit applications must be submitted in Dutch at the Mijn Toeslagen webpage. TAX REFUNDS This all depends on how long you want to stay in the Netherlands. If it is for the short term it is not very beneficial to apply for this, but if you want to stay for a longer period it can be quite handy. Everyone who lives and works in the Netherlands pays taxes. If you have a job, you can reach out to your employer and explain to them that you would like to make use of the so-called ‘loonheffingskorting’ (tax discount). This means that your employer will pay your taxes and the Belastingdienst (Dutch tax office) will automatically recalculate at the end of the year if you either receive money back or you have to pay extra for your taxes. This depends on the amount of working hours. PAGE 17

HOW TO FIND HOUSING WHERE TO LOOK TYPES OF STUDENT HOUSING There are many different platforms to look for You have probably encountered the biggest challenge of starting your studies: the housing situation in the Netherlands. Maybe you have already found a place, or maybe you are still desperately looking. No matter the situation you are in, this is still potentially an important article for you, as the search for housing can always become relevant at a later time. It seems as if there are a lot of offers, however, the number of students looking for a home is even higher. Additionally, as an international student you first need to learn how to navigate the Dutch housing market. Here is our advice for finding a new home in Utrecht and its surroundings. housing in Utrecht and surrounding towns. This may leave you confused as to where to start. Here are some of our favourite platforms to find a home: Kamernet is a platform that offers rooms, apartments, and houses. Hospi Housing is a platform that offers student accommodation with local hosts. SSH is a large country-wide provider of student accommodation. Not to forget, there are many groups on Facebook with people offering rooms and apartments to rent as well as people searching for a home. Just search for keywords such as Utrecht, student, housing, sublets, rooms, rents, and apartments. This way you will find your way into Facebook groups with daily offers. When searching for a home you will see that there are different types of housing. First of all, there is student accommodation; buildings providing students with studios or rooms in shared apartments. These can be short-term, meaning a stay from one to twelve months, or Furthermore, long-term renting. there are private student houses. These are regular houses or apartments that are not a part of student accommodation. Yet, you will share the house with other student roommates. Not to forget, there are both unfurnished and furnished rooms on offer. PAGE 18

HOSPITEERAVONDEN 'Hospiteeravonden' 'hospitality student WATCH OUT FOR SCAMMERS are a Dutch tradition and translate to evenings'. During these evenings a house invites potential new housemates to select the final candidate. They are very common in the Netherlands. Usually, during such an evening, you will meet the people living in the house, get a tour of the house and see the room you have applied for. This is your chance to show who you are and how you fit into the student house. Remember to stay true to yourself and take a good look around to decide for yourself whether it is the place you want to live. Hospiteeravond is also a good opportunity to ask questions about anything that is unclear to you. While looking for your new home you might come across fake offers. Be wary, as they may try to make you transfer money before seeing anything real, or rent a room that does not even exist. To avoid scammers, here are some things to look out for. Firstly, offers that sound too good to be true may indeed be just that. For instance, an offer that is located right in the city centre, yet very cheap. Secondly, a warning sign is the landlord not being able to show you the room, for example because they are apparently not in the Netherlands. Thirdly, many scammers ask for anonymous money transfers before a viewing. Not to forget, most of the time you will not receive clear answers, or the scammer ignores your questions completely and tells you how amazing the offer is instead. Finding a home in the Netherlands can be a challenge, and it is completely normal to move within Utrecht during your studies. Living in surrounding towns or villages is also fairly common and might prove to be a good alternative! PAGE 19

"FINDING A JOB SHOULDN'T BE MUCH OF A PROBLEM" Your Job Search Made Easier Final ly, you have arr ived in the Nether lands and are about to start a new chapter in your l i fe. Rent ing a room, going out wi th fr iends or travel l ing. This sounds l ike a lot of fun, but i t can be cost ly. Especial ly when i t is your f i rst t ime abroad, you might l ike to look for a job to cover your expenses. What is the best way to f ind one and what are some nice jobs you can do? A good f i rst step when looking for a side job is knowing the Dutch term for i t , ‘bi jbaan’ . Keep this in mind i f you start looking for a side job as searching among Dutch adverts can expand your opt ions. Secondly, there is a di fference in requi rements among EU or non-EU ci t izens. I f you are not an EU ci t izen, you are requi red to obtain a work permi t . As an EU ci t izen you do not need one. PAGE 20

How to Land a Job in The Netherlands Finding a job as a student should not be much of a problem. There are two things you need to have before start ing a job. Fi rst is a bank account , preferably a Dutch one. Secondly, you need to have a Dutch BSN number . Many students f ind a part-t ime job in a restaurant , bar or a shop. This kind of job can be found via employment agencies ( including those students) , special ly or aimed via at onl ine advert isements, newspapers and not iceboards. You can also take a walk in the ci ty centre to ask in local shops or ask about vacancies through fr iends. Our advice is to f ind something nearby where you l ive, to avoid spending travel l ing. too much t ime Wi th a strong developed economy, the Nether lands offers many job opportuni t ies. Whether i t is working in the summer at fest ivals, picking f lowers in Aalsmeer or showing passengers the r ight terminal at Schiphol , there are endless possibi l i t ies. We wish you lots of luck in f inding a job, and hopeful ly you wi l l have fun dur ing work as wel l . After al l , a side job can br ing a nice balance to your l i fe next to studying, which is why we highly recommend you look for one that you f ind interest ing. PAGE 21

DUTCH LANGUAGE COURSES Although most Dutchies are more than happy to talk in English, sometimes it is nice to understand and speak Dutch yourself! A lot of English movies and TV shows are subtitled in Dutch, which can be an easy way to pick up on some of the language. Below you will find a couple of important phrases and a few options to learn more Dutch. FREQUENTLY USED PHRASES Good morning Good afternoon Good evening Bye Thank you You are welcome How are you? I’m fine My name is ... Goedemorgen Goedemiddag Goedenavond Doei Bedankt Geen probleem Hoe gaat het? Met mij gaat het goed Mijn naam is ... Beautiful weather, isn’t it? Mooi weer hè? There are multiple online programmes available to help you learn Dutch. Duolingo is a free app that is useful to get a grasp on the basics in a fun way! Our other tip is the website learndutch.org. There is also a variety of organisations offering language courses. Babel offers both online and offline courses (online from €150, offline from €195). Volksuniversiteit Utrecht and Lest Best offer more expensive courses in Dutch. At Volksuniversiteit you can receive a short intensive training for €50, provided that you live in the Utrecht municipality and come from an EU country. To practice the Dutch you already know, you can join various groups and activities in Utrecht. Every Wednesday there is a meeting in Café Marktzicht at 20:00 to talk, practice, play and discover languages. Joining this meeting is free! The platform meetup.com shows several language cafés in the area of Utrecht. You can become a member of any café you like. Last but not least, ESN Utrecht offers a Dutch Language Course organised in collaboration with Utrecht University Career Services. This course is very practically oriented; you will learn useful words and sentences related to a different theme every week. For example: introducing yourself, family, getting around, food, or holidays and traditions. Get ready to impress your friends! You can start your journey into the Dutch language with a Beginner Course or continue building your knowledge in an Intermediate Course. You will be guided by a pair of Dutch student volunteers and join lessons together in a small group of international students. To find our more about the course, visit the ESN Utrecht website. PAGE 22

DUTCH HOLIDAYS WHEN LIVING IN THE NETHERLANDS, IT IS GOOD TO BE AWARE OF IMPORTANT DUTCH HOLIDAYS. THIS WAY YOU WILL NOT MISS OUT ON SEEING ALL DUTCHIES WEARING ORANGE OR CHILDREN WALKING AROUND WITH LAMPIONS! THIS GUIDE GIVES YOU AN OVERVIEW OF THESE SPECIAL DAYS AND CORESSPONDING TRADITIONS. 21ST OF SEPTEMBER - PRINSJESDAG Prinsjesdag marks the official start of the new parliamentary year. The king gives a speech about the policy for the coming year in the Grote Kerk in the Hague. Fun fact: Many women who are present during the ceremony wear an accessory on their head, such as a fancy hat. 11TH OF NOVEMBER - SINT MAARTEN On the 11th of November, children make or buy a lampion and bring it along with them while they go from door to door singing Sint Maarten songs, getting sweets as a reward. A typical Sint Maarten song: Sint Maarten, Sint Maarten de koeien hebben staarten de meisjes hebben rokjes aan daar komt Sinte Maarten aan. Translation: Sint Maarten, Sint Maarten The cows have tails The girls are wearing skirts Sint Maarten is coming 5TH OF DECEMBER - SINTERKLAAS The old man, Sinterklaas, comes with his helpers to give presents to children. In the weeks before this day, children sing songs and put a carrot in their shoe in the evening prior. Once they have woken up, they might find something else in their shoe like a little present or candy. Adults often play ‘Secret Santa’. As a part of the tradition, they buy a present for someone else and write a poem for them. Sometimes they will also make an artwork for the person they have drawn. Snacks that are common to eat during Sinterklaas are chocolate letters, pepernoten and chocolate coins. 31ST OF DECEMBER - NEW YEAR'S EVE PAGE 23

26TH OF FEBRUARY TILL 1ST OF MARCH - CARNAVAL 17TH OF APRIL - EASTER The southern provinces of the Netherlands celebrate Carnaval just before the start Lent. Depending on which city you go to, there are different rules on how to dress. In Den Bosch you need to wear a typical scarf and jacket, in other cities you can wear, for example, an animal onesie or any other quirky outfit. Easter is celebrated on the first Sunday following the full moon that occurs on or just after the spring equinox. Typically, parents hide (chocolate) eggs for their children, who need to find them in an Easter egg hunt. The following day, Easter Monday, is a day off. 27TH OF APRIL - KING'S DAY The birthday of the king of the Netherlands is celebrated as a national holiday. Fun fact: before 2013, Queen's Day was celebrated on the 30th of April as the mother of the current king wished to honour her mother’s birthday which was on the 30th. Once king Willem-Alexander acceded to the throne in 2013, the date moved to April 27th. Dresscode: ORANGE! Don’t forget to eat orange tompouce. On King's Day, people go in the streets, sell little knicknacks or play games. Usual activities: biting gingerbread which hangs on a rope high in the air or guiding a nail tied to your waist with a rope into an empty bottle on the ground without touching it. To get more inspiration for nice games to play, read our blog article about King's Day! 4TH OF MAY - REMEMBRANCE DAY On Remembrance Day, a two minute moment of silence is held at 20:00 to pay respect to those who died during World War II. The national commemoration takes place at the Dam Square in Amsterdam. 5TH OF MAY - LIBERATION DAY The 5th of May is another national holiday commemorating World War II. In big cities you can come across liberation festivals with performances. 26TH OF MAY - ASCENSION DAY Ascension Day marks the time when Jesus ascended to heaven for the final time following his crucifixion and resurrection. Whitsun is a Christian celebration of the gift of the Holy Spirit. It takes place on the Sunday 50 days after Easter. 5TH OF JUNE - WHI TSUN PAGE 24

DUTCH CUISINE An Introduction To Some Essential Dishes When moving to a new country, one of the first points on most people's to-do list is trying local food specialties. Although the Dutch are not particularly known for their cuisine, there are a few must-tries when you live in the Netherlands. Generally speaking, Dutch food is very hearty and not the healthiest. Many items are based on meat, though nowadays, you can find vegetarian and even vegan alternatives to most Dutch classics. This article will introduce some of the best Dutch food, and hopefully inspire you to go out and explore! POFFERTJES Poffertjes are delicious small pancakes. Traditionally they are served covered with powdered sugar and butter. During wintertime, there are loads of market stands selling this treat. If you do not want to wait until winter, you can always buy a pack in the supermarket and heat them up yourself. Or, if you are feeling adventurous, you can try making them from scratch. I personally love topping poffertjes with hagelslag, another Dutch delicacy. Poffertjes were created by Dutch monks during the French revolution. Because of a shortage of wheat flour, the monks experimented with the recipe they used to create communion bread. They invented 'little friars', which were soon dubbed poffertjes, a name derived from the noise of air ('poff') escaping the pancakes when they are fried. BAMISCHIJF The Dutch colonized many different countries; therefore, it is only natural that you will find foods that bear witness to this influence. Bamischijf is a snack inspired by Chino-Indonesian cuisine. The Dutch East Indies, today's Indonesia, was a Dutch colony until 1949. Bamischijf consists of bami (Indonesian noodles and vegetables) formed into a schijf (Dutch for 'slice'), coated in breadcrumbs and fried. If you are feeling snacky, you can get this delicious treat in most snack bars. PAGE 25

STAMPPOT When I asked my Dutch friends which food was the most classically Dutch, most of them immediately answered 'stamppot'. The dish consists of potatoes mashed with different kinds of vegetables like spinach, carrots, or onions. Traditionally it is served with smoked sausage ('rookworst'). If you are vegetarian, however, you can just leave the sausage out. Stamppot is usually served for dinner during winter months. This hearty food can be traced back to the 15th century. Back then the Dutch would cook everything in one pot and only had a few ingredients available, thus the creation of stamppot was virtually inevitable. On October 3rd, the inhabitants of the city of Leiden eat stamppot to celebrate their liberation from the Spanish. HOLLANDSE NIEUWE If you like eating fish, you must try Hollandse Nieuwe. The snack consists of raw herring served with gherkins and chopped onions. The Dutch eat it in a very special way. They lift the fish by its tail and then bite upwards. The dish exists in different variations; you can eat it on a sandwich, known as a 'Broodje Haring'. You will find this food at market stands. APPELTAART Appeltaart is a Dutch classic, and its creation can be traced back to the Middle Ages. It was already included in the first Dutch-language cookbook, 'A Notable Little Cookery Book', written in circa 1510. Appeltaart is similar to an apple pie. The apples are sliced and covered with pastry. It is usually served with whipped cream. You can buy appeltaart at most cafes. The name 'appeltaart' comes from the Dutch word 'appel' meaning apple, and 'taart' meaning cake. The Dutch have many more amazing foods to offer, such stroopwafels, vla or bitterballen. Go out and give Dutch food a try! PAGE 26

BIKING CULTURE IN THE NETHERLANDS How do you get around in your home country? Do you use a car, or do you prefer public transportation? Who knows, maybe you are used to taking the bus, train, metro or even the ferry. In the Netherlands, a bike can easily become your best friend. The Dutch are very fond of their bikes! So much so that the number of bikes exceeds the actual population of the Netherlands. If you are interested; in 2019, 17.28 million people were registered as citizens, while the number of bikes was estimated at 22.9 million. This number does not even count the bikes slowly falling apart at the bottom of the canals. To get you ready for your biking experience in the Netherlands, here are our insights into the Dutch biking culture. WHERE TO GET A BIKE When you are searching for your new best friend, aka your new bike, you can start by looking at Marktplaats, the Dutch version of ebay. You will be able to search online for second-hand bikes, which are much cheaper than new and less likely to get stolen. Furthermore, all around Utrecht you can find bike stores, offering affordable second-hand bikes as well. Lastly, if you already have a network in Utrecht, ask your friends if they happen to know anyone selling a bike. After all, many citizens have more than one bike, and may have one to spare. SWAPFIETS If you are not ready to commit to buying your own bike, there is no need worry! Alternatively, you can also rent a bike. The company Swapfiets lets you rent a bike based on different subscriptions. Within your monthly subscriptions, Swapfiets repairs any damages on your bike. In addition, if your bike gets stolen, you can immediately receive a new one as a replacement. However, also when renting a bike through Swapfiets, take good care of your bike as it comes with special conditions. If your bike gets stolen you have to pay a fee of €35, and in case it is not locked at the time of theft, you have to pay a €350 fee. PAGE 27

BIKING CULTURE IN THE NETHERLANDS BIKE SAFETY Thanks to the prominent biking culture, the Dutch government has worked towards increasing bike safety throughout the years. The Netherlands is covered with bike lanes, or as the Dutch call them, 'fietspaden'. These bike lanes are usually coated in red asphalt and labelled by blue street signs, either with a bike symbol or with the word 'fietspad'. THE RULES OF BIKING As with everything in life, there are also rules for biking, and not following these rules can lead to potential fines. There are many bikes which all require space for parking. If you want to save yourself a fine, only park your bike at marked parking areas or in underground parking lots. The fine for parking your bike incorrectly usually amounts to €30. After having your bike removed from the incorrect parking spot, you will have to pick it up at a 'fietsdepot'. Furthermore, biking under the influence of alcohol can cost you up to €100, so next time you go for a night out think carefully whether biking is your best transportation option. If you are already biking during the night, do not forget to switch on your front and rear light. Not using lights can get you a fine of €55. Also, did you know that texting while biking does not just lead to you probably dropping your phone, but can also result in a fine of €95? Always remember; 'Don't text and drive' does not only apply to driving a car. After all, even the police bike around the city to patrol. PAGE 28

DE STIJL CYCLING ROUTE 10 KM – 1 HOUR 30 MINUTES 100 years ago, the Stijl art movement revolutionised architecture. One of the people who joined this movement was Gerrit Rietveld. Gerrit Rietveld was a famous Dutch furniture maker and architect. His red-blue chair and Rietveld Schröder House became world famous. Get on your bike and discover the world of De Stijl by following De Stijl cycling route! Start at Domplein with your back to the Dom Tower and cycle left past the Domchurch straight into Voetiusstraat. Turn left at the intersection (Achter St-Pieter). Take the first right (Keistraat), straight ahead at the canal (Drift). Turn right at the busy intersection (Nobelstraat becomes Lucasbolwerk). The canal on your right (Lucas Bridge is crossed almost unnoticed) is the old city canal. Turn left at the traffic lights. Keep right after 100 meters (Wittevrouwensingel / Kruisstraat). Turn right at the end and immediately left into Bekkerstraat. Take the second street to the right (Palmstraat). Take the second street to the left (Poortstraat). Take the first street to the right (Ooftstraat). Halfway along this street is the birthplace of Rietveld on your right (house no. 14). Gerrit Rietveld was born on the 24th of June 1888. His father was a cabinet maker. His workshop was located at Poortstraat 98. Several years later, the family moved to this address. After attending primary school, Gerrit started working at his dad’s. In 1911 he married Vrouwgien Hadders and they moved to Ooftstraat 23. At the end of the street, turn right (Oude Kerkstraat). Cross Biltstraat at the end and turn left. On your right you will immediately pass house no. 423; the home of Truus Schröder-Schräder. After house no. 473 turn right and immediately keep left (Oorsprongpark). At the end, follow the roundabout for three quarters, cross the railway line and turn right into Ramstraat. At number 12 you can see the houses of Houtzagers. The female artist Truus Schröder-Schräder lived at Biltstraat 423 with her family. Rietveld and Schröder worked together: Rietveld designed her room which would lead to a close cooperation and in the end a relationship. P.J. Houtzagers is the designer of the ‘eclectische herenhuizen’ at Ramstraat 2-16 and 23-27. Rietveld followed lessons from Houtzagers and learned about architecture and styles. PAGE 29

Continue cycling through Ramstraat. Just before the end, turn right, via asphalt road past the church (Oudwijk). Keep right at the end (Wilhelminapark). At the roundabout, take the fourth street to the right (Wilhelminapark). After 50m keep right, via parallel road Wilhelminapark. Keep right at the end and take the first right (Julianalaan). Cross the street at Julianalaan 10 and walk around the block of houses along the sidewalk, then turn left past the water (Rembrandtkade), where after 25m you can admire the driver’s house on the other side of the water. Julianalaan 10 looked the same as the other houses when built, but in 1927 Rietveld designed the new frontage and roof. The new design was very innovative at the time. At Waldeck Pyrmontkade 20, Rietveld built a driver’s house. He used prefab components. The trial was not very successful: the roofs were leaking and the steel frames were drafts. Go back to the main road, then turn left (Adriaen van Ostadelaan). After 150m turn right at the large Rietveld chair (Bosboomstraat). After passing the hospital, turn left (Burg. F. Andreaelaan). Go straight ahead at the traffic lights (Mesdaglaan). Take the second street to the left (Breitnerlaan). Keep right at the end (Breitnerlaan). House number 9 and 11 show house Muus and house Theissing. Optionally you can go to the right of house no. 9 via a footpath to the Kromme Rijn park, from where you can see the houses and the Rietveld bench. The interior of house Theissing is typical for Rietveld’s work: the walls can slide away, creating one large space. The Rietveld bench has a good view of the houses. From this spot, you can clearly see that there is a lot of glass used in both houses. This ensures a lot of light and a maximum view of the park. Continue on Breitnerlaan. Turn left at the end (Israëlslaan). Turn right at the end and left at the traffic lights (Adriaen van Ostadelaan). After 200m, turn left a bit into the Ferdinand Bolstraat for the furniture workshop. Continue along Adr. van Ostadelaan. Take the second right (Jan van Scorelstraat). Take the second right (Hobbemastraat). At the end, turn left and take the first right (Frans Halsstraat). At its end, turn left (Laan van Minsweerd). At the end turn right under the viaduct, where you can see the artwork ‘Sitting in Blue’ on your right. Between 1917 and 1924, Rietveld’s workshop was located at Adriaen van Ostadelaan 93. Turn left immediately after the viaduct. Right at the beginning of Erasmuslaan where you will see ‘Het Nieuwe Bouwen’. Go back under the viaduct and cycle straight on past the Rietveld Schröderhuis (immediately on your right, Prins Hendriklaan). Go straight into the park. Follow the main path straight ahead. At the end, keep right, then take the third right at the roundabout (Burg. Reigerstraat). On your right, you will see the houses of Klaarhamer at no. 80-84. Klaarhamer was the teacher of Rietveld. Rietveld Schröderhuis: Truus Schröder-Schräder gave the order to design a house for her family in 1924. The result was an experiment of colours and forms. Even all the furniture was designed by Schröder himself. This project led to their relationship after his wife died in 1958. Continue cycling straight on towards the centre (Nachtegaalstraat, Nobelstraat, Janskerkhof, Lange Jansstraat, Potterstraat, Lange Viestraat). Cycle past Oudegracht and turn left at the traffic lights onto Vredenburg, the route ends at the former Cinema Vreeburg at no. 8. ONE’S DESTINATION IS NEVER A PLACE, BUT A NEW WAY OF SEEING THINGS. PAGE 30

FUN WAYS TO LEARN SOME DUTCH Moving to the Netherlands is a challenge you already embraced. But what about picking up some useful phrases in Dutch that you can impress your friends with? Having a basic understanding of the language will surely help you connect with the local culture. As you might notice, nearly all Dutch people speak English, many with complete fluency. However, learning the basics of the Dutch language will improve your understanding of your surroundings, plus it is easier to do once you are in the Dutch-speaking environment. In this article, you will find some proven (and entertaining) methods to improve your Dutch comprehension! The language bears resemblance to English as they are both part of the Germanic branch of the Indo-European languages, meaning that some words have similar roots. Most of the vocabulary is very logical and intuitive, so grab your dictionary and “laten we beginnen”! ESN UTRECHT DUTCH LANGUAGE COURSE ESN Utrecht and Utrecht University Career Services collaborate on offering a Dutch Language Course specially made for international students. The course centres around topics useful in daily life; this means you can learn words and phrases related to a new theme each week and find out interesting facts about Dutch culture along the way. Lessons are offered to both beginners and intermediate learners, so you can decide which level fits you best. The course is taught in an informal setting by enthusiastic Dutch students; the perfect opportunity to learn Dutch from a local! You can find more information on the ESN Utrecht website. THE BABBEL APP Even though Duolingo might be the first association that pops up in mind when thinking of a language learning app, at times it might slow down your learning process as it gamifies it, and admittedly, some of its example sentences are not very practical. If you are looking to build a stable foundation, Babble is quite a flexible option. You do not need to complete levels to reach a section you are interested in, which saves time. In addition, its lessons are culture-oriented and you get to hear native speakers. Babble offers a free trial lesson and afterward, the monthly subscription is approximately €10. PAGE 31

PLACES TO GO – LANDMARKS TO SEE The Netherlands is a beauti ful country ful l of amazing sights you can visit! There are many di fferent cities to explore. In case you do not know where to start, we have put together a l ist of some of our favourite spots for you. We hope this article wi l l inspire you to go discover your new home. Please make sure to check the websites of attractions prior to your visit for current Covid-19 measures. UTRECHT Like many other Dutch cities, Utrecht has rich history. Its roots can be traced back to 47 CE, when the construction of Castel lum Traiectum began. Because of this long history, many old bui ldings can be found throughout the city, some of them dating back to the High Middle Ages (1000-1250 CE) . One such old structure is the Dom Tower. Construction of the tower began in 1321. Visitors can either take the elevator to the top or walk up a lot of stairs. Unti l 2024 the Dom Tower wi l l be under construction, however, you can sti l l visit it. Additional ly, you should have a look around the Dom Cathedral Square (Domplein) and visit the Pandhof garden right next door. The Dom is located in the centre of Utrecht; therefore, you can easi ly combine your visit with a strol l around the shops in the surrounding streets. Utrecht has many di fferent parks in which you can hang out with friends or read a book. One of our favourites is the Gri ftpark. Not only is it beauti ful , but it also has a publ ic bathroom, a skate park, a restaurant, and a playground. I f you are into art, you should go visit the Centraal Museum. It displays artworks from many di fferent eras and hosts varying temporary exhibitions. Casteel de Haar is a beauti ful castle dating back to at least 1391. It is the largest castle in the Netherlands and is very famous. During your visit you can l isten to an audio tour and dive deep into the history of this magni f icent structure. After you have looked at the rooms inside you can take a strol l around the castle garden. AMSTERDAM Amsterdam is the capital of the Netherlands and easi ly the most famous Dutch city. Even though it is known for its coffee shops and the red- l ight district, there is much more to see. During your trip to the city you should consider taking a boat ride along the beauti ful canals. Amsterdam is home to many fascinating museums. One of them is the Tropenmuseum, a museum of world cultures. It houses objects from a plethora of cultures and a visit is thus a very enriching experience. They have great temporary exhibitions too, so keep an eye on the agenda! The Ri jksmuseum is the largest museum in the Netherlands. It is dedicated to Dutch artwork, and it houses over 1 mi l l ion artefacts of which 8.000 can be displayed at a time. The exhibition includes paintings of many famous Dutch artists such as Van Gogh, Rembrandt, and Vermeer. I f you are interested in history, consider visiting the Verzetsmuseum. This museum is dedicated to Dutch resistance and Dutch l i fe during World War I I . Close by you can f ind the Hol landse Schouwburg, a theatre that many Jews got deported from during the Holocaust and that now serves as a memorial place. PAGE 32

THE HAGUE/DEN HAAG The Hague is the administrative capital of the Netherlands and the seat of the Dutch government. I f you l ike pretty views and eating in the sky, consider visiting The Penthouse. This 135-meter-high skyscraper is home to the highest restaurant in the Netherlands. A couple of f loors down you can f ind the Sky bar, which serves cocktai ls. I f you do not feel l ike eating but sti l l want to enjoy the view over the city you can always buy a ticket (with a student discount) and take the elevator up. The Hague is located close to the ocean, it only takes about 15 minutes by publ ic transport to Scheveningen. This beach is perfect for long walks and picnics and some lunch at the many beach bars. You can also have lunch in one of the restaurants along the promenade. Furthermore, there is a ferris wheel and a sculpture museum cal led Beelden aan Zee. The miniature park Madurodam, holding smal l repl icas of many Dutch landmarks, is also close by. ROTTERDAM In May 1940 Rotterdam was bombed, leaving vast parts of the city destroyed. This incident, known as the Rotterdam Bl itz, them are unique architectural is the reason why contemporary Rotterdam looks very di fferent from most other Dutch cities. Bui ldings are more modern and many of structures. The Kubuswoningen (Cube Houses) are especial ly famous and def initely worth looking at. One of the cubes contains a museum (Ki jk-Kubus) in which you can learn more about the concept. Close by you can f ind the picturesque Old Harbour. The Erasmusbrug, which crosses the river Nieuwe Maas, is the second largest bridge of the Netherlands. It connects the north and south part of the city. I f you l ike walking you should consider crossing this 802-meter- long structure! The bridge was named after one of the most famous historical f igures from Rotterdam: the humanist Desiderius Erasmus. MAASTRICHT Maastricht is the capital city of the province of Limburg. As it is located close to the German border you wi l l f ind many German-speaking people in this city. In 1992 the original members of the European Union united in Maastricht to sign the treaty that founded the EU. I f you love books, you need to pay a visit to the Boekhandel Dominicanen. This is an old Dominican church that got converted into a bookstore. You can skim the books, have a coffee in the l ittle café inside the shop, and look at the preserved sacral decorations. The St. Peter’s Caves are an 80km long tunnel system running through Saint Peter’s Mount which is located close to Maastricht. The excavation of these tunnels began around a 1000 years ago. You can take a guided tour through the tunnels and discover their fascinating history. OTHER SPECIAL ATTRACTIONS Have you ever scrol led through Instagram and seen pictures of people posing by tul ip f ields? Would you l ike to be one of those people and make al l your friends jealous? Visit Keukenhof! Keukenhof is one of the world’s largest f lower gardens and is also known as the ‘Garden of Europe’ . Most people associate the Netherlands with bicycles, tul ips, and windmi l ls! Consisting of 19 windmi l ls, the windmi l ls at Kinderdi jk are the largest col lection of old windmi l ls in the Netherlands. They are so special that they have become an UNESCO world heritage site. Three of the mi l ls have been turned into museums in which you can learn more about the functioning and history of windmi l ls. PAGE 33

A GU I DE TO DU TCH STORES Living alone or with roommates is a lot of fun, but also comes with new responsibi l ities. Among other, from now on you wi l l have to do your own grocery shopping. This could easi ly get expensive, especial ly when you are shopping with an empty stomach and want to try al l the new del icious treats! And how to f igure out which store is the best to buy drugstore items, school suppl ies or household items in a new country? To help you get started, we put together a shopping guide for l iving in the Netherlands which includes affordable stores, as wel l as some tips on saving money. GROCERIES I f you have been in the Nether lands for some t ime al ready, you might have encountered Jumbo and Albert Hei jn; these stores have many branches al l around the country. I f you are looking for a cheaper al ternat ive, visi t Lidl , Aldi or Boni . These three supermarket chains wi l l help you save money and get more for less. SCHOOL SUPPLIES Hema is your best affordable school DRUGSTORES fr iend for suppl ies; pens, notebooks, paper cl ips, you name i t . Aside from school suppl ies, at Hema you wi l l f ind ki tchen suppl ies, bathroom suppl ies, drugstore i tems and make-up. Further , they also sel l essent ial clothing i tems and bike accessor ies such as l ights or bike bags. For drugstore i tems such as shower gel , body cream, make-up or prescr ipt ion-free medicat ion, Kruidvat and Etos are your go-to places. Even though both drugstores frequent ly offer var ious discounts, somet imes they can get a l i tt le bi t pr icey for us students. Lucki ly, Utrecht has a secret drugstore wi th lower pr ices cal led Normal . I t is located in the Hoog Cathar i jne mal l , on the opposi te side of Media Markt . PAGE 34

A GU I DE TO DU TCH STORES SHOPPING ON A BUDGET As a student, you are l ikely on a l imited shopping budget. This can be a great experience to learn how to save and value your income. Here are some of our tips to make the most out of the funds you have avai lable. 1. Make a budget. It is important to know how much you have avai lable for your monthly spending, as wel l as what your expenditures are. You should also think about how much you want to save and what amount of money you want to set aside for emergencies. Giving yoursel f a budget is helpful to keep control over your f inances. 2. Do not order meals on a dai ly basis. Having pizza, sushi or burgers may be del icious, but ordering takeout can get pricey very quickly. Remember that cooking at home can be del icious too! Meals prepared with love are even more special . Why not try out some new recipes and impress friends with your cooking ski l ls? 3. Use the app Too Good To Go. Too Good To Go is a an app that helps prevent food waste. Di fferent businesses can offer food items through the app for customers to purchase at a discounted price. 4. Freeze left-over groceries. Freezing food can quite helpful . Why, you might ask? I f you accidently bought more than you wi l l eat or l ike to buy certain ingredients in bulk to enjoy discounts, instead of fearing the food expiring, you can freeze it and enjoy at a later time. PAGE 35

10 AMAZI NG STUDY/WORK SPO TS I N U TRECH T Note: Due to Covid-19 regulations, some of the venues on the l ist may have restricted capacity or be temporari ly closed. You can consider them once the regulations are l i fted. UNIVERSITY LIBRARIES Students at Utrecht University (UU) and Hogeschool Utrecht (HU) benef it from an agreement between the two universities that their students can use faci l ities such as study spots interchangeably. However, during the exam period, the Utrecht University l ibrary can be used only by its own students. The UU l ibraries are located at Dri ft 27 and Heidelberglaan 3, whi le the HU l ibrary is at Padualaan 99. THE NEUDE LIBRARY In the heart of the city centre you wi l l f ind a publ ic l ibrary equipped with a café and individual work- and study spots. You can also make use of their computers. Your hard work deserves breaks, and then you can reward yoursel f with coffee and snacks in the cafeteria. Tip: make sure you come wel l before the opening hour (9am) to claim your spot, because the queue is usual ly quite long. SEATS2MEET Located in the Hoog Cathari jne shopping centre, Seats2meet is a wonderful place regardless of whether you want to study alone or work on team projects. Its professional setup wi l l surely boost your productivity. Their common area is usual ly quiet and the separate meeting rooms offer comfort and work-related faci l ities. One of its privi leges are the free warm beverages, but they also offer a tasty lunch! Bear in mind that you should book an appointment on their website, and it is for free i f you come by yoursel f! DE STADSTUIN De Stadstuin is a creative workplace and is more suitable for young workers and entrepreneurs, but also a great study spot. It has a network of six locations around Utrecht, and i f you prefer having a dedicated study area, a permanent workplace can be rented for a l ittle over €100 per month, which is an affordable price compared to other co-working spaces in the city. I f you are tired of studying, you can enjoy a lunch break in their cosy café with various tasty sandwiches and snacks. It is a good investment i f you are planning to study/work somewhere outside of home for a longer period! THE 5TH The 5th f inds itsel f in the StayOkay hostel in the centre, right at the cosy Neude square. It offers relaxed work spots and during your study session, you can enjoy drinks and foods such as salads, sandwiches, snacks and many more, al l fresh from their café. It appeals to those who prefer a balance between a more environment and relaxed work convenient a location. Their doors are open to everyone, but the trick is to come early and secure a good spot. TIMESPACE As a modern, co-working space right next to the Central Station, Timespace operates around the concept of shared economy. A single visit there costs €6.50 and you can f i l l your coffee cup an unl imited number of times! It is also suitable for larger group meetings but the reservation is going to be more costly. Make sure to reserve your spot in advance and check their website for special subscription offers. PAGE 36

APPS TO MAKE YOUR LIFE IN UTRECHT EASIER Navigating l i fe in a new city and foreign country can be a chal lenge. Lucki ly, nowadays, there are many apps out there to make our l i fe easier! We have summed up the most useful apps for you to have as an international student in the Netherlands. ALWAYS MISSING THE BUS? There are two particularly handy apps that can help you navigate publ ic transport in the Netherlands. 9292 helps you plan your travels. The only thing you need to do is f i l l in your starting point, the destination you would l ike to reach, and your preferred time of departure, 9292 wi l l plan your trip for you. Additional ly, the app lets you buy e-tickets. NS is the off icial app issued by the Dutch rai lway company. It is a train trip planner, and it provides you with information on al l departures and delays. NS stands for ‘Nederlandse Spoorwegen’ , which translates to Dutch rai lways. LOOKING FOR COMPANY? Moving to a new country is an exciting opportunity to meet new people and forge new friendships. These are some platforms to help you f ind your group: USEFU L APPS FOR STUDEN TS The Duko Student app gives you student discounts on sustainable Utrecht. products The app Blackboard at are subscription cost is €4.49. The MyUU and also convenient appl ications for studying Utrecht University. The MyHU app and Canvas are great to have i f you are studying at Hogeschool Utrecht. in yearly Goin’ is an app that assists you in f inding other students at your university. You can join fun groups and also start your own group ( i f you have a speci f ic hobby or interest) . I f you are interested in meeting people outside of your university, Meetup is the app for you. There you can f ind groups that meet up regularly to do certain activities together. There are LGBTQI+ groups, expat groups, book clubs, and many more. I f instead group hangouts you would rather meet individual ly, you should consider downloading Bumble. Just remember to switch your settings to ‘ friends’ as otherwise you may accidental ly f ind yoursel f on a date. I f you identi fy as a woman and would l ike to meet other women, Hey! Vina may be the perfect app for you. It never hurts to check out di fferent Facebook groups. Just type in Utrecht + the kind of group you are searching for (example: expats or soccer) and see i f you can f ind something suitable. Alternatively, you can also consider founding your own group. PAGE 37

APPS TO MAKE YOUR LIFE IN UTRECHT EASIER LANGUAGE DIFFICULTIES? Even though almost everyone in Utrecht is able to speak Engl ish to some degree, it wi l l not hurt to download some language apps to help you f ind your way around. I f you would l ike to learn Dutch, give Babbel or Duol ingo a go. Trust me, the Duol ingo owl wi l l keep an eye on you to study. Duol ingo is completely free of charge. Whi le the f irst couple of lessons on Babbel are free, there you wi l l later have to pay a subscription fee to continue using the app. To translate texts and conversations on the go, instal l and use the Google Translate App. It even lets you translate pictures of text. HUNGRY? I f you shop at Albert Hei jn, we suggest downloading the ah app. It provides you with an overview of al l items in the ‘bonus’ that week, which means you wi l l be able to purchase them at a discounted price. To join the bonus programme, go to your local Albert Hei jn, ask for a bonus card, and connect the card with your app. It is a good way to save some money on groceries at Albert Hei jn. I f you l ike to buy in bulk and would l ike to save money whi le at the same time rescuing food, download Too Good To Go. This app was created to prevent food waste. It provides you with an overview of food-saving deals in your neighbourhood. Want to eat fancy on a budget? Het laatste tafeltje is the app for you! It al lows you to see last-minute meal deals from restaurants in your area, with discounts of up to 70%. Al leFolders gives you an overview of discount deals in di fferent shops in your area, including but not l imited to grocery stores. I f you are too lazy to leave your house, you can have great food del ivered to your doorstep through the Thuisbezorgd, UberEats, or Del iveroo app. WANT TO FEEL LIKE A LOCAL? There are some apps that most Dutchies have on their phone, and you should also consider downloading: I f you have Dutch friends, chances are you wi l l come across the phase “Ik stuur je een Tikkie” quite frequently. Dutch people enjoy spl itting bi l ls, and this sentence means the person is expecting you to pay them back via Tikkie. This app al lows you to transfer smal l sums of money to your friends very quickly. It is a great app to have for nights out. To use this app you wi l l need a Dutch bank account. The DigiD app makes logging into governmental websites easier. Instead of constantly having to f i l l in your BSN and password, you can use the app for two-factor-authentication. The Berichtenbox is an app designed by the Dutch government to help you keep track of your correspondence with the authorities. Marktplaats shows you second-hand items to buy from other people l iving in your area. Let’s say you are looking for a bike, a table, or clothes, Marktplaats would be a great place to start your search. I f you want to sel l something you can also easi ly advertise it through this app. The Route.nl app is great to have i f you enjoy riding your bike or hiking. It includes around 150000 possible routes. ALWAYS GETTING RAINED ON? Although Dutch weather may seem completely unpredictable, Buienradar is an app that predicts the weather and winds with a very high accuracy. PAGE 38

5 AFFORDABLE OPPORTUN I TI ES TO DO SPORTS I N U TRECH T Working out is not only benef icial to your physique but also improves your mood and supports your mental health. One of the major incentives to exercise in groups is creating new connections and sharing the same hobbies with the people you meet. It is always a source of gratitude to complete a workout, accompanied by a training buddy. I f this al igns with your interests and sparked your curiosity, keep reading to f ind out about the possibi l ities to do di fferent sports for a smal l fee or for free with other establ ished teams! RUNNING CLUBS ESN UTRECHT RUNNING CLUB ESN Utrecht launched a Running Club for students who are having a hard time to motivate themselves to train, want to maintain their physique during lockdown months, or simply wish to f ind a buddy to share a run with! To f ind out more and join the community, visit the ESN Utrecht website. OTHER CLUBS WITH LARGE COMMUNITIES Unsurprisingly, running clubs are quite popular in Utrechtno special or expensive equipment is required, and with such a beauti ful city to explore, running never gets boring! Another three running clubs you can join for free are the Utrecht Running Project, Utrecht Run Club, and Girls Running Squad, whose groups you can f ind on Facebook. AT THE SCIENCE PARK - UNIVERSITY SPORTS CENTRE OLYMPOS The Olympos sports centre offers around 60 di fferent sports at an affordable rate for students. Besides group lessons, you can use their f itness faci l ities and gym, the footbal l f ields, squash and tennis courts, beach vol leybal l playground, gol f practicing course and a cl imbing wal l ! With so much variety you wi l l surely keep engaged and motivated, so do not hesitate to get yoursel f their OlymPas sports card. With an OlymPas, you can access numerous sports lessons in student teams with a nice discount. BOOTCAMPS When the weather al lows it during the spring and the summer, bootcamps are a great choice to keep f it and get those endorphins! The Bootcamp Club in Utrecht offers more than 100 training sessions per week in the numerous parks around the city such as Lepelenburg, Wi lhelminapark, Gri ftpark, Jul ianapark, Oog in Al , and Maximapark. PAGE 39

5 AFFORDABLE OPPORTUN I TI ES TO DO SPORTS I N U TRECH T GYMS AROUND UTRECHT In Utrecht, as students we are privi leged to receive great discounts, which appl ies to gym memberships too! Visiting your local gym is a convenient solution - your workout can always correspond with your busy schedule, and you may bring a friend for support. Here is a l ist of some budget-friendly gyms in di fferent neighbourhoods: DeWorkout: an ESN Utrecht partner where you can enjoy a four-month membership for €160 (30% discount) or get a 20 session pass for €105 (35% discount) . Basic Fit: the gym chain with perhaps the most widespread locations where a monthly subscription starts at €19.99. Fami ly Fitness: the monthly membership is €20 and it combines gym faci l ities with nice extras l ike group and spinning classes, swimming, and sauna. Fitness Factory: central ly located, this gym offers a yearly subscription which comes at €19.95 per month (check their website for additional information) . Gym4Al l : the old-school , authentic gym with a monthly subscription of €18.50. TrainMore: a modern and wel l -equipped gym where the monthly fee is €30 for a yearly subscription (and guess what, for each day you train, you receive €1 off your next month’s fee! ) . FitForFree: another real ly affordable gym chain with 4 locations in Utrecht, which offers you the f lexibi l ity to choose between a monthly, 1 or 2-year subscription, and the longer you commit yoursel f for, the greater the discount you get! They offer high-qual ity strength and cardio equipment, functional training areas, and group lessons. OUTDOOR SPORTS FACILITIES I f you prefer working out in cal isthenics parks, Utrecht provides a wide array of options spread throughout the whole city. They are completely free to access and your workout can sti l l be very effective even with minimum equipment! PAGE 40

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