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50 year anniversary Office of International Student Affairs

Share your story and celebrate together

The Office of International Student Affairs would like to celebrate its 50th anniversary with you. Not only by telling you about our story. But foremost, by asking you for yours, and sharing it with the extended and growing BIS community that you are a part of. So, we invite you to return here as much as you feel like, celebrate with us, and share.

Chantal Kok

How we started. And why

The Office of International Student Affairs was established within the UvA on 1 July 1970 as BIS, short for Bureau Internationale Studentenzaken. Its purpose from the start has been to explore and coordinate the international affairs at the University, and to discover new initiatives of collaboration.

Our mission has been and will be to fuel global student experiences. We will continue to enhance those experiences by paying tribute to the diversity of international collaboration and striving for a more inclusive global student community. The future looks promising, and we're looking forward to it.

Best practice: Student Exchange Ambassador Programme
BIS supports students by overseeing and managing global student mobility. We aim to facilitate (international) student engagement, for instance, through the award-winning Student Exchange Ambassador Programme. We implemented this programme to administer and disburse student scholarships and loans.

The programme also endeavours to stimulate collaboration with academic units and international offices at different faculties. In that capacity, it has been a pivotal contributor to cultivate and build strategic partnerships and collaborations around the world.

Chantal Kok

Share your story and celebrate

A true celebration is only possible when you, our valued alumnus, colleague from within our outside of the university, network relation and business partner are at the heart of it. What better way, than to ask you to share your story with us – and all your fellow visitors of this celebration page.

Anecdotes, experiences, events
Specifically, we encourage you to share a story, anecdote, experience or event, that was meaningful to you – and could be attractive to your fellow visitors of this page. We would like to ask: 

  • You as an alumnus, to share with us how you have fared after gaining an international learning experience. And what impact did the experience abroad have on your life?
  • You as a colleague, what has happened in the field of internationalisation within the UvA in the past 50 years? And what do you think our future could be?
  • You as a colleague from another university, relation, or partner, how our partnership came about? Where do we stand now, and how do we solidify our working relationships for the times ahead?

Picture? Perfect

If you have pictures to go with your story, that's excellent! (And if you only want to send images, that's perfect too. If you add a line to clarify the context - so other visitors understand why you wanted to share your picture - that would be heaven.)

Share with us, so we can share with you

Are you an alumnus, colleague, partner or otherwise professionally related to the Office of International Student Affairs? Send us your story, and photos. We will curate the content on this page as diligently as we can, so we can share as much relevant and engaging content as possible. So check back regularly, and catch up on your reading about 50 years of BIS - and the future that lies ahead of us!

Sign up for the Global Connect Newsletter
Would you like to receive news, articles, interviews and stay up to date on topics around our global student exchange programmes? You can sign up for our newsletter here:

Pushing back boundaries in Spui Magazine

Editors of the Spui Magazine wrote an interesting article about 50 years of Exchange at the UvA and about BIS (in Dutch). You can read it through the link below.