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First-year experience

Experience. Grow. Connect.

Welcome aboard UvA Economics and Business (EB) on the Roeterseiland campus. Your first-year experience is all about starting your university life, becoming part of the campus community and meeting new people.

Our extensive network of lecturers, mentors and study advisers will guide you on your study path. Various activities and events will help you to make the most of your first-year experience!

The path you take is up to you, the opportunities will help you along the way.

  • Intro-days: get to know UvA EB and your fellow students

    Intro day

    Start your university life with the intro-day of your study programme. Get to know your study programme, your fellow students and prepare for your time as a UvA Economics and Business student. You will receive an invitation by email.

    Intro Days Part 2: make the most of your student life

    Join the intro-days part 2 programme to meet your fellow students and get to know the UvA Economics and Business (EB) services for study support and skills training. Participate in workshops and social events. Due to a lot of enthusiasm for the programme, the limited spots available for activities on campus are already fully booked. Fortunately, you can still register for the online workshops. Check the programme on the event page to see which workshops are offered online.

  • Skills tutor: tips and guidance from experts
    Student Mentor Committee Economics and Business
    Student Mentor Committee

    Together with a smaller subgroup of your first-year group you will attend weekly tutorials. The aim of tutorials is to help you improve your personal and academic skills and support you in the courses you are taking. In the first semester, the ‘Skills and connect’ sessions will help you develop the academic skills needed for a smooth transition to an academic environment. Guided by your skills tutor, you and your fellow students will exchange study tips, set goals and reflect on them. You’ll develop and improve your teamwork, public speaking and Excel skills.

    Also, your skills tutor will help you to connect with your fellow students by organising social activities, find your way around campus and will make you feel comfortable at the UvA. You will meet your skills tutor at the study programme Intro-days in August.

  • Unibuddy: Chat with a student

    Do you have questions about studying and living in Amsterdam and would you like to have additional tips? Chat with other students at Economics and Business (EB). Our student ambassadors are from around the world and represent a variety of programmes.

  • Study associations: broaden your horizon

    Through study associations at UvA EB you can broaden your social, academic, and professional horizon. This is of great value during your studies and for your future.

10 tips from EB students Desi and Sofia

Desi: 'In the first week of my BSc studies I was always behind. My classmates were submitting assignments I hadn’t heard of. They received emails from our tutor which I didn’t. I asked for help at the student desk. It turned out that I was not receiving notifications on my preferred email account but on my student account, which I didn’t check regularly. I found an error in the system and found out how to set up my student email to make sure not to miss important emails again. So here are some useful tips for you that I’ve collected over the years.'

Desi and Sofia, students Economics and Business
Desi Zheleva (l) and Sofia Cannarella

Sofia: ‘When I came to Amsterdam to study at the UvA, I found my new responsibility and independence as a university student overwhelming. Time helped me to grow and to take things step-by-step: study planning, getting to know the city, arranging insurance, registering for a dentist. Then, when you think you have arranged everything properly, there are always things that you didn't know about. I received  letters from the municipality of Amsterdam stating I was getting a fine for not having Dutch health insurance while working. That’s why I’m happy to give some tips.’

  • Tip 1: Register for a student doctor (GP)

    Are you looking for a General Practitioner (GP) specialised in student health? Are you feeling ill and need medical help? Contact the Oude Turfmarkt practice. You can register with them for the full duration of your studies.

  • Tip 2: Register for a student dentist

    Do you need a dentist but it is not possible to see your regular dentist back home because of exams and deadlines? No problem! Visit the dental students at ACTA. They will treat your dental problems and they offer a 65% discount!

  • Tip 3: Check out Dutch health insurance requirements

    Having health insurance is compulsory in the Netherlands, otherwise you risk a fine.

    • If you’re only studying from abroad within the EU, a private health insurance or European Health Insurance policy (EHIC) is probably enough. A Dutch health insurance policy is mandatory for non-EU students.
    • Are you working while studying, take on a Dutch health insurance policy, irrespective of whether you have an EU or non-EU nationality.

    Find out if you are required to have a Dutch health insurance policy.

  • Tip 4: Let your voice be heard

    Do you have remarks or suggestions about your study programme, teaching methods or the campus? Don’t be afraid to speak your mind!

  • Tip 5: Set up your student email

    If you don’t want to miss emails with important info and deadlines, make sure to set up your preferred email account as default via Studielink.

    Choose to communicate with your personal email account (Hotmail, Gmail, etc.) or an account. Have you activated an account, but not set up as your default, then occasionally it’s possible messages will be sent to this account.


    • Set up your account as default via Studielink.
    • Forward all your messages from to your default email account you have set up in Studielink.
  • Tip 6: Get your wheels on

    Amsterdam is the city of bikes. Regular exercise has been proven to have a positive impact on your academic score. That’s why cycling daily is the best way to multitask - not only will you save money, you will also be fitter, healthier, and perform better academically.

    • A second-hand bike is the most financially-friendly option. You can find bike stores in the city, on Marktplaats or in Facebook groups. Make sure you buy a bike from a legal owner. Buying a stolen bike is illegal.
    • You can get a new bike at all bike stores, but also at big chains such as Gamma or Praxis, of a webshop. A new bike is more expensive, but you can engrave it for free to protect it against theft.
    • Rent a bike via swapfiets or studentbikes for a monthly fee. Maintenance and a new rental bike in case it gets stolen is covered in the monthly fee.
  • Tip 7: Get comfortable with the city’s public transport

    If you are not into biking, live too far, or if it is raining, you can get around by public transport. There are a number of trams, busses and metros that stop nearby the Roeterseiland campus.

    Travel for free or at a reduced rate with the DUO student travel product (OV-chipkaart).

    Firstly, check if you are eligible for this travel product. If not, buy a discounted monthly GVB-subscription or a personal OV-chipkaart. Connect the card to your bank account for topping up credit automatically when it’s too low. This way, you will avoid getting a fine and also you will not have to stand in line to top up your credit.

  • Tip 8: Get your books: new or second hand

    You can purchase new or second hand books. First check the course catalogue for the books you need for each class.

    New books

    • You can purchase new books from the Sefa store (UvA EB Roetersstraat 11, Central hall building E). They usually offer the books you need for each period in a package.
    • Compare prices and save money: go to the Athenaeum Boekhandel (Roeterstraat 41) or check out websites such as

    Second hand books

    Keep in mind, a second-hand book can be outdated due to revisions to an edition of a book. Most lecturers will warn you if this is an issue, or they will provide a list with the differences between editions.

  • Tip 9: Paying on campus

    Are you hungry or craving a coffee? Pay with

    • your bank debit card at the coffee machines and the canteen.
    • use your student card to pay or print at every UvA location. You are able to top up credit on your student card on the campus or online.
  • Tip 10: Don’t miss out on your student discounts

    The best part of being a student is getting discounts with your student card at places such ase.g.:

    • Artis zoo (only €4!)
    • UvA’s University Sports Centre (USC)
    • UvA’s Cultural Student Centre (CREA)
    • Cinemas, museums, theatres
    • Athenaeum Book Store

    Some cafes and bars offer discounts on coffee or beer.

    Bonus tip: For even more discounts, become a member and get a CJP card for €17,50 per year or an ISIC card for €12 per year.