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Quarterly for international students studying at the University of Amsterdam and Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences

Welcome Edition Spring ‘13


colophon Colophon Insiders is a magazine for students involved in the international student life of Amsterdam in one way or another. Bachelor and Master students studying at the UvA and the HvA, plus students otherwise involved with ISN, as ISNcoach, ISN-Committee members, ISN-buddies and other ISN-enthusiastics are invited to read and or to participate in producing Insiders. This magazine is published twice per semester. Forming a beginning, an ending or an extension to an extraordinary time in Amsterdam. Would you like to share your experiences in Amsterdam with your fellow students, do you have other ideas for the Insiders or do you want to cooperate with ISN? Contact us for a publication in the next Insiders: International Student Network Amsterdam Nieuwe achtergracht 170 1018 WV Amsterdam +31 (0) 205253721 Editor Design Cover Guestwriters

Anoek Baars Jiri Staats Patrick Rogers Vincent Cieraad Brittany Scalise Anoek Baars Tessa Gulpers Jiri Staats

what is isn? ISN Amsterdam is part of the Erasmus Student Network (ESN). ESN is an organization, with 339 sections in 34 countries, that makes sure you will have the time of your life when studying abroad. ISN Amsterdam is a voluntary studentrun organization dedicated to helping international students make the most of their stay in the Netherlands. It has the full support of the UvA and HvA.

cause it’s the best way to meet fellow international students from both the Hogeschool van Amsterdam and the Universiteit van Amsterdam. To take part in ISN-Amsterdam, the only thing you need to do is obtain your ESN card for just E5,- during the introduction week, at our ISN office or at the weekly borrel. Also, subscribe to our weekly Newsletter to keep yourself up to date.

The aim of ISN is to help foster student mobility through optimizing the social and cultural integration of international students in Amsterdam. We try to achieve this by organizing introduction days, parties, ‘borrels’, weekend trips, excursions and other cultural activities. We also promote contact with Dutch students with our coach system. Every semester about 1000 international students join ISNAmsterdam. Not just for the reasons mentioned above, but also be-

We have office hours from 13.00-17.00h on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. You are always welcome to stop by if you want to subscribe for activities, if you have any questions or just for a chat and a cup of tea! Visiting & Post address International Student Network Amsterdam Nieuwe Achtergracht 170 1018 WV Amsterdam





















‘The Best Weekend EVER!’








meet the board The board of ISN Amsterdam consists of eight students studying at the University of Amsterdam and University of Applied Sciences. Here we introduce ourselves! Hi everyone, I herewith would like to take the opportunity to welcome you to Amsterdam and introduce myself. I’m Maxime Schoonman, 22 years old, born and raised in Amsterdam. I’m studying my last year of Law to pursue my masters in (international) private law. In my spare time I try to travel as much as I possibly can. Having lived in Amsterdam, Paris, New York and London were one of the best experiences of my life because I really got to know locals and got to know the cities through them. I’m hoping I can give and share with you what all my international friends have shared with me. I will be president of ISN Amsterdam 2012-2013 and do my best to make this all happen! Hey everyone! First of all I’d like to welcome you all to Amsterdam. My name is Anoek Baars and I will be the secretary for the following year. During my third year of Law, I decided it was time to do something totally different on the side. As I love to travel and meet people from around the world, ISN got to my attention and I can’t wait to get involved in the world of international students. I hope that your stay will be an unforgettable one, and we will try our hardest to make this happen. So if you have any questions about ISN and the activities, don’t hesitate to ask! See you soon! Hi everyone! My name is Vincent Cieraad and I study Economics & Business at the University of Amsterdam. Besides studying I am addicted to kitesurfing, sports and I love to have a good night out in the our beautiful city. Because of my international study I came in contact with the ISN and all their great activities that’s why I will be doing the PR & Fundraising for the ISN for 2012/2013! Besides my work for the ISN I’m also doing the PR for ESNOW, the biggest, craziest and cheapest student snowboard/skitrip in Holland! It’s going to be an awesome year! Hi everyone! My name is Jiri Staats. I’m studying Psychology with the specialization Social Psychology. I will be the Marketing & Design Coordinator this year. I’m responsible for the promotion of the activities. Also, together with the Secretary Anouk, I will be creating the magazine Insiders. I, together with the board of 2012-2013, will do my very best to make your time in Amsterdam the best of your life!


Hi everyone! I’m Floor Minnema and I will be your activities coordinator of this year. I study Nutrition & Dietetics at the HVA. I’ve always had a passion for travelling. I like to learn about other cultures and other languages. Last year I traveled through South- America and I had an amazing time. When I came back I really missed the interaction with internationals. That’s why I decided I wanted to become a part of the ISN board. I’m really looking forward to organize fun activities for you guys and of course to join them and get to know you all! Hi everyone! I’m Lisette van Namen and I’m very excited about becoming one of your new Introduction Coordinators this year! Patrick and I will do our best to organize an introduction week you will never forget! I’ve lived in Scotland, Syria and Spain so I know how much fun it can be to live abroad and make new international friends. I study Corporate Communication at the UvA and I’ve been living in Amsterdam for four years now. And I can tell you: it’s awesome! So enjoy the upcoming activities, parties and new friendships, I hope you’ll have a great time here! Hello everyone! My name is Patrick Germanus and I’m studying Sports and Business management at the HvA. When it came to my attention that ISN Amsterdam was looking for new board-members I immediately knew that I wanted to be a part of it. I saw an opportunity to put my organizational skills to use and share my experiences. I am really motivated to make sure you all are going to have a great time here studying and living in Amsterdam. We are going to make sure, that your stay in Amsterdam will be an unforgettable one and that you will remember this time with a smile on your face. I am really looking forward to meeting you all! Hello everyone! I am Merel Theisen and I will be the treasurer of ISN this year. Currently, I am a student at Amsterdam University College (AUC), where I study Computer and Brain sciences. While studying at AUC, I realised how much fun it is to study and live in an international environment, and also how important it is for you, the international students, to get to know each other as well as the Netherlands. We, as the ISN board of 2012-2013, will make sure that your time in Amsterdam will be unforgettably awesome!


what to do when you’re in amsterdam Chinese New Year (February 10th) While it may still be a bit chilly outside, there’ll be plenty of celebration to warm things up! Festivities traditionally take place around the historic Nieuwmarkt neighbourhood and in 2012, that meant the inaugural edition of the Asian Food Festival.

Queen’s Night (April 29th) Queen’s Day must turn every other monarchy in the world green with envy as Amsterdam and the rest of the Netherlands turn a bright shade of orange to celebrate their royal family. Queen’s Night (Koninginnenacht) on 29 April kicks off the two-day royal bonanza and whatever you’re into,

Chinese New Year in Amsterdam

Queen’s Night in Amsterdam

Queen’s Day (April 30th) Queen’s Day festivities invite locals and up to 800,000 visitors alike to soak up Amsterdam’s open-air fun. In the streets, canals, parks and everywhere in between, the city is bursting with orange as Amsterdammers enjoy the biggest street party of the year. Amidst orange-pride, live music, DJs, parties and a citywide flea market, you’ll find an electric atmosphere not to be missed. Queen’s Day! 8

National Remembrance Day (May 4th) Amsterdam joins the rest of the Netherlands on 4 May when its citizens pause to pay their respects to the fallen soldiers of World War II and more recent military conflicts and peacekeeping operations. Head to Dam square to join members of the Dutch royal family, major political names and military representatives for the ceremony, which is built around the traditional bugle call and twominutes of silence at 20:00. Liberation Day (May 5th) Just as a number of European nations celebrate Victory in Europe Day on 8 May, the Netherlands pulls out all the stops for Liberation Day (Bevrijdingsdag) a few days earlier on 5 May. The day commemorates the German army’s surrender in the Netherlands on 5 May 1945 and the liberation of the country, just prior to the end of World War II in Europe.

Holland Festival (1 - 26th of June) A leading international performance arts festival in the Netherlands. Since 1947, the festival has been providing Dutch and international theatregoers with a survey of the best and most widely-acclaimed performance Amsterdam Fashion Week (6 - 13th of July) The Amsterdam Fashion Week summer edition returns to Amsterdam in summer 2013 with a ‘DOWNTOWN’ public programme ‘DOWNTOWN’ turning the city’s streets into a catwalk and the bars into glamorous parties, showcasing the finest in fresh European style.

Amsterdam Fashion Week

Remembrance Day at the Dam 9



cultural amsterdam Different kind of museums take an important place among the many touristic attractions Amsterdam has to offer. The most popular museums in Amsterdam are the Rijksmuseum, the Van Gogh Museum and the Anne Frank Huis. Famous is also Paleis op de Dam (the Royal Palace) and the well known urban park Vondelpark. Other cultural highlights are the Stopera and the Royal theatre Carré. by Rosanne Chocolaad (HvA, The Netherlands)

Rijksmuseum The Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam is one of Netherlands largest and most important national museums and offers a great view on the Dutch art and history. A large part of the museum’s collection consists out of items from Dutch art masters from the 17th century. The Rijksmuseum’s collection furthermore consists of paintings, sculptures, art and crafts, Asian art and history related collections. In the painting collection the Dutch paintings from the 15th century up till 1900 are exhibited. These include works by great artists such as Rembrandt van Rijn with ‘De Nachtwacht’, Jan Steen with ‘De burgemeester van Delft’, Johannes Vermeer with ‘Het straatje’ and Frans Hals.


Van Gogh Museum As the name already indicates, the Van Gogh Museum is dedicated to the Dutch

painter Vincent van Gogh. The museum has more than 200 paintings, 500 drawings and 700 letters from Vincent van Gogh on display as well as his collection of Japanese prints. His paintings are very special, but the painter himself was probably not so happy. He once had a fight with another painter (Gauguin) and threatened him with a razor blade. And we still do not know why he did it, but afterwards he cut of his own ear. That is why in some self-portrait paintings he has a bandage on his head. One of his most famous paintings is ‘De Sterrennacht’. Anne Frank House The Anne Frank Huis is dedicated to and in remembrance of the Jewish girl Anne Frank and her family. The Frank family used the Achterhuis (the backhouse), which was concealed from view by houses on all four sides, as hiding place when

the war started. While living there Anne Frank wrote in her diary almost every day. After hiding for two years they were betrayed to the Nazis, and arrested and deported to concentration camps. Only her father, Otto Frank, survived the war. The hiding place was cleared, but some personal belongings were rescued. Amongst these items was the diary of Anne Frank.

Royal Dam Palace Paleis op de Dam (the Royal Palace) was originally designed to be the town hall of Amsterdam for all administrative and judicial authorities. In 1648 the famous architect Jacob van Campen designed this building. At that time Amsterdam was the most powerful trading nation in the world. People were attracted by the power and prestige and came to Amsterdam. For this reason a larger town hall was needed. Other famous artists were engaged in the design and decoration of the building. The town hall opened its doors in 1655 and the citizens of Amsterdam proudly referred to it as ‘the eighth wonder of the world’. In 1808 Napoleon’s brother, Louis Napoleon, who had become the king of Holland decided to make the Town Hall his residence. The office complex was transformed into a palace in the French Empire style. After some time Louis was

forced to leave the country and almost the entire collection of costly furniture was left behind. It is one of the best-preserved and most complete collections of its kind. So for a moment in history the Town Hall had served as the third Imperial palace of the Napoleonic Empire. In 1813 the palace was returned to the city of Amsterdam, but as Prince William of Orange liked living in the capital, the city granted him the use of the building. At present the Royal Palace is used for State Visits, the Queen’s New Year receptions and other official occasions. When not in use for these purposes, the palace is open to the public. Vondelpark What the Hyde Park means to London and Central Park to New York, that is what the Vondelpark means to Amsterdam. It was opened in 1865 and originally named the ‘Nieuwe Park’. Two years after the park was opened, a statue of the author Joost van den Vondel was placed in the park and as a result people started to call the park ‘Vondelpark’. In the 1990s the number of people that visited Amsterdam grew to approximately 10 million per year. Each summer the Vondelpark has a varied program. The movie theater of the Dutch Filmmuseum is located in the Vondelpark. Here films are screened that range from the 19th century silent films to contemporary digital productions. The museum also organizes exhibitions, lectures and debates and in the summer there are films in the open air. In the open air theatre performances are given ranging from classical music, pop music, dance and musical theatre to cabaret.





Zieseniskade 25 AMSTERDAM |

Living in Amsterdam: how to get started by: Brittany Scalise

Being on exchange can be a scary thing at times. Picking up your life and moving it to a new country isn’t exactly an easy process. Just like me, I’m sure you had no idea how to pack for the weather - rain... every day, or how you were possibly going to fit all your things into your suitcases. You were probably nervous about how you were going to find your way here, if you were going to be able to communicate (since you most likely don’t speak a word of Dutch), and most importantly, how you were going to meet people and make friends.

aFortunately for us, the Dutch are a friendly bunch, and most Amsterdammers are totally fluent in English, which will make your transition go much smoother. One problem solved! Also, if you’re reading this, you are probably in ISN, or thinking about joining (DO IT!), which means you won’t have trouble making new friends. Although, I can guarantee that all of them will be crazy… Crazy fun that is ;)

When I arrived in Amsterdam, it was one of the hottest days all summer. I was dressed for the cold and carrying a massive amount of luggage; I was lost, struggling to find my way on public transport, and it 15

showed. Despite my gross looking state, multiple strangers asked me if I needed help and led me in the right direction, even if it was out of their way. Get used to this. And when you become comfortable with the city and see a lost stranger, please do the same! My first meal in Amsterdam was actually not “Dutch” at all – I had Turkish pizza. This was my first experience with the diversity of the city. While there is food from almost every culture in the city, make sure to try the Dutch cuisine as well: pannekoeken, poffertjes, stroopwafels, for sure. It is all super lekker and you won’t regret it! Make sure to watch where you’re walking! If you hear a bell ding, that means you’re about to be run over, so move it! This ding will come from a bike, because you are probably standing on the bike path, and in the way. Get yourself a bike as soon as you can. You will need it to get around town, especially at night since the GVB public transport stops running frequently after 00:30. Don’t forget to buy a good, heavy lock as well, bikes are unfortunately stolen pretty frequently. because bikes are unfortunately 16

stolen pretty frequently. Biking will really help you to get to know the layout of the city. Yes, you will get lost. But that’s the best way to learn where you are in the city on your own. If you do get REALLY lost, check the bus stop signs to mark “you are here” and what direction you need to go in (I still do this pretty often).

Another piece of advice I have for you is to get involved. ISN plans so many great events in Amsterdam, around Holland, and even to other countries, and they’re all extremely affordable! Some of the things I’ve done this semester include canal cruises, museum tours, Dutch movie nights, dinners, and “Exchange Parties” in the city. I’ve also gone on a day trip to the town of Volendam (a touristy fishing village), a weekend trip to Sevenum (in the South of Holland), and den Haag (the Hague – where all the

governmental business takes place and the Queen lives!) There’s so much you would never think of on your own to do, as well as so much that unfortunately costs money, so really try to take advantage of all ISN has to offer you!

Most importantly, make as mannnyyy friends as possible during your stay here. Through ISN you will meet people from all over the world, and they will open your eyes to so much more than you saw before. (Keep in mind that some will want to travel, and you should travel with them! You’re in the center of Europe being in Amsterdam, and there’s so much to see.) You’ll learn about history, languages, traditions, foods,

languages, traditions, foods, and even the weather of new places you’ve sometimes never even heard of! And, while internationals and traveling are all great, make some Dutch friends as well. They are the ones who will teach you about the culture of the city, and will be the biggest help when it comes to learning Dutch :) which is super helpful to go grocery shopping and learning proper pronunciations of street names. Like I said before, the Dutch are super friendly, so don’t be afraid to reach out and make new friendships :)



amsterdam fact list Habitants Amsterdam Hectare Nationalities Bicycles Trees Flower bulbs in parks Parks Trams Ferries Markets Shops Antique shops Canals Bridges Living boats Palace Statues on roads Windmills Museums Galleries Paintings of Rembrandt Paintings of Van Gogh Animals in Artis Zoo

780.559 21.939 180 881.000 220.00 600.000 40 255 9 32 6.159 165 165 1.281 2.500 1 302 8 51 141 22 206 6.100

Amsterdam has more Canals than Venice! Amsterdam is more save than London or Paris. Amsterdam is in the Top 25 of safest cities in the world. When you land at Schiphol Airport, you are actually four meters below sea level. Amsterdam boasts more museums of any city in the world, measured per square meters.



By Vincent Cieraad At the beginning of the semester you will meet each other during the introduction week. Since everyone is doing different courses, it’s hard to meet up and keep seeing all the people you’ve met. To solve this problem, we have our weekly International Student Borrels in Coco’s Outback! Every (other) Wednesday the ISN and VUniverse organize a party in Coco’s Outback at Rembrandtplein. This is THE place to meet all the international students and have a drink, laugh and dance with each other. Last semester the Wednesday drinks have been awesome! The vibe is always so relaxed, all the people are open to meet new people and the staff really loves the ISN parties. Let’s make this semester even better and hopefully we will create some good memories together! 20

Every now and then we try to shake things up a little by mixing the ‘borrel’ with a theme. So be prepared to some dressing up and joining several amazing contests. From the beginning of the semester we’ll be having our drinks on a weekly basis, every Wednesday from 22:00. I hope to see you all there, not only the new internationals but also the ones who were here last semester!

Coco’s Wall


Discover Holland Weekend!

by jiri staats

The Discover Holland Weekend is a weekend where ISN will take you to another city in the Netherlands for an amazing weekend! Last year we went to Sevenum, a small town somewhere in the countryside of the Netherlands. It was a weekend where everyone who went got to know each other and have some fun, while drinking a beer or two.

On the last night we went to the club Paladium, which is a club with five rooms with different music. And the best part: we went there with a party-bus. So music, drinks an dancing in a bus! It’s not unexpected that the most heard frase after the weekend was: ‘ The BEST weekend EVER!’

During the last Discover Holland Weekend we went to some awesome places. Like the Floriade, which is a gigantic flower parc which is only once every four year.! (see the picture below)

During the nights in the farm, where we stayed last semester, we had a pajamas party and some awesome games like speeddating and beer-pong. We also had a price for the best pajamas. 22

My advice for everyone is to join this amazing weekend. This semester we’ll go to Maastricht, which is a big city in the most southern province of the Netherlands. Don’t hesitate, just sign up, only limited spots available!

DISCOVER HOLLAND WEEKEND Destination: Maastricht Date: March 8th, 9th and 10th

Join the Discover Holland Weekend, a weekend you will never forget! This semester we will be spending the weekend in the most beautiful city of the southern part of Holland, Maa stricht. You’ll be sleeping in a hostel near the centre and we have planned some good activities.


80 euros

Includes - Accomodation - All transport - All activities - Food (except lunch) You can sign up for the Discover Holland Weekend at the office. Nieuwe Achtergracht 170, Amsterdam Office hours: Mon-Wed-Fri 13:00-17:00

What can you expect: - Beercantus - Pubcrawl - Boat tour - Caves of Maastricht - ‘Drielandenpunt’ - Cemetary Margraten



crash course dutch Even though Dutch is the 6th language in the European Union, not many people are familiar with it. In fact few have any clue of where it is spoken. by Tessa Gulpers (UvA. The Netherlands) Dutch is spoken in the Netherlands and in the Northern part of Belgium, though here it is called Flemish. Outside of Europe, the Dutch language is also spoken in former colonies Aruba, Netherlands Antilles and Suriname, though it is a second language here, and mother tongue speakers are a minority. In another former colony, Indonesia, Dutch is spoken only by older generations. Afrikaans, a dominant language in South Africa, was derived from Dutch and though it is a language in itself, Dutch people can understand it fairly well. To make your exchange experience in Amsterdam and the Netherlands even more enjoyable why not learn a little of the local language? Here are some useful Dutch phrases with their English equivalents. Almost everyone in the Netherlands speaks very good English. Anyway it might be nice to learn some important words and expressions. Dutch people realize that their language is not the easiest to learn and are extremely flattered when you give it a go. More often than not, they’ll even take the time to coach you and teach you more! Introducing My name is…

Mijn naam is…/ Ik heet..

I’m from the Netherlands Ik kom uit Nederland

gaan I will be right back

Ik ben zo terug

Where do you live?

Waar woon je?

To greet Good morning


Good afternoon



Hallo, hoi

See you later

Tot ziens

Where are you from?

Waar kom jij vandaan?

I like you!

Ik vind je leuk!

Nice to meet you

leuk je te ontmoeten

How old are you?

Hoe oud ben je?

Have a nice day

Fijne dag

I’m twenty years old

Ik ben twintig jaar oud

To thank Thank you


I have to go








sorry, pardon

You’re welcome

geen dank

Asking for help Sorry sir/madam, may I ask you something? Sorry meneer/mevrouw, mag ik u iets vragen? Do you speak English? I speak a little Dutch

Spreekt u Engels? Ik spreek een beetje Nederlands.

How do I get to Coco’s Outback bar? Hoe kom ik bij de Coco’s?

Could you speak slowly please? Kunt u langzaam praten alstublieft? Where can I find…?

Hoe kom ik bij…?

How much is this?

Hoeveel kost dit?

Can you help me?

Kun je me helpen?





Ordering Can I see the menu, please? Mag ik de menukaart, alstublieft?

One (2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10) beer(s), please Één (twee, drie, vier vijf, zes, zeven, acht, negen, tien) bier graag How much does it cost? het?



Diagologue at the borrel at Coco’s Outback bar You: Goedenavond! Good evening! Bartender: Hoi


You: Alles goed?

Everything ok?

Bartender: Ja prima, met jou? Yes fine, and you? You: Heel goed, woensdag bij Coco’s Is altijd een mooi feestje! I’m fine too, Wednesday at the Coco’s is always a nice party! Bartender: Ja zeker wel!

Yes, for sure!

You: Mag ik vijf bier alsjeblieft? Can I have five beers please? Bartender: Natuurlijk, dat is dan tien euro met je ESN kaart Sure that’s 10,- euro with your ESN card. You: Alsjeblieft, neem er zelf ook een There you go, take one yourself aswell Bartender: Dankje! Fijne avond Thank you! Have a great night!


Come join us to a wonderful world of fairy tails and enchantments. The Efteling is the largest theme park in Holland and one of the oldest in the world. It has many attractions, beautiful shows and a fairy tale forest. What more can you wish for?! When: February 17th Price: 22.50 inc. transport For more information look at the website of the Efteling. Buy your ticket at our ofďŹ ce as soon as possible!



Every month ISN will organize a Dutch Film Night in CREA. The Dutch movies will have Dutch subtitles. We will show you the most renowned Dutch movies and arrange a speaker who will give you more background information about each movie. Going to the Dutch Film Night will give you the opportunity to get to know more about the Dutch film culture and to meet other international and Dutch students. So write down these dates in your diary! We hope to see you there.

January 21st: February 18th: March 18th: April 14th: May 20th: June 17th:

De hel van ‘63 Liever verliefd Turks fruit Simon Zwartboek Alleen maar nette mensen

Free of charge for: UvA and HvA students. Do not foget to bring your student card! Otherwise: 5 euros








Little Panda’s









Planetarium There are two shows. 1st: 16:00 - 16:30 2nd: 17:00 - 17:30













Insiders Welcome Edition Spring '13  

This is ISN Amsterdam's Insiders Magazine Welcome Edition Spring '13, including the Introduction Program

Insiders Welcome Edition Spring '13  

This is ISN Amsterdam's Insiders Magazine Welcome Edition Spring '13, including the Introduction Program