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With education taking place entirely at home and social contacts virtually nonexistent, this is a strange and difficult time. For this reason, various study associations, the Faculty Student Council and individual students have launched all kinds of initiatives that focus on your well-being – from a platform to organise walks to a virtual study environment. Check out which initiatives suit you and apply now!

Walking with fellow students

UvA Walks
If there is one way to keep your spirits up, it is walking. Fellow student Tim Wagelaar has therefore set up UvA Walks, a platform which allows you to get in touch with another student so you can take a walk together. If you sign up, you will receive the contact details for a walking buddy at the end of the week so you can make an appointment together. Don't live in Amsterdam? In this case, you can sign up for a ‘phone walk’: once you have signed up, you will be given a student's phone number so you can chat to them on the phone during your walk.

Initiator Tim Wagelaar: ‘A year ago I would never have thought that walking with someone could be the highlight of my day, but now I really enjoy doing it on a daily basis. With this initiative, we will hopefully be able to arrange plenty of nice walks, meet up with other people and make the current lockdown a bit more bearable as a result.’

Walk through Amsterdam with Kwakiutl
The Anthropology study association Kwakiutl is also organising walks in Amsterdam in the coming weeks, visiting a different part of the city each time and allowing students to talk to each other about various topics. This could be with a fellow student you already know, or a fellow student you met during the earlier online ‘meet your walking buddy speed date’.

Sports

Running/Workout WhatsAppgroup
Looking for a running/workout buddy? Joint the special VSPA group chat. It is accessible for any student in Amsterdam.

Film

Monthly Movie Nights
Every month the VSPA will stream a movie. Afterwards we can have a little chat about the movie. The link is also accessible for students who don’t have a Facebook account.

Studying online

Virtual study area
The number of physical study places has decreased considerably due to the coronavirus measures. The Faculty Student Council has therefore devised the FMG Virtual Study Space, a free Discord server where you can study together remotely and track your progress. For example, there are study timers of 25 or 50 minutes with a break of 5 or 10 minutes. You can also contact students from your degree programme via a text channel. Tired of studying and need a break? You can also catch up, let off steam or play virtual games with fellow students on the platform.

Online study hours
Every Tuesday from 14:00 - 16:00 the VSPA hosts online study hours on Zoom. The link is posted on Facebook a few minutes in advance! You can also find this link if you don't have a Facebook account.

Podcasts

Happiness during the pandemic
Everyone is experiencing these times differently. However, many students are having a hard time remembering that sunshine always follows after rain. To help students stay positive, the Machiavelli study association (Political Science) has issued a podcast in which two students talk at length about happiness during the age of coronavirus. They discuss what happiness is, what happiness means to them in these times and how you can find happiness once again. So if you need an extra mood boost, want a positive perspective or are simply looking for entertainment during the lockdown, listen to the podcast.

Study tips
Studying is now more difficult than ever. To give you an extra boost, the Machiavelli study association has also issued a podcast in which a professor from the Brain and Cognition department shares tips on how to study best in general and during the age of coronavirus.

Mental health
Psychology student Seung Ju Kim has launched a special podcast series in which students discuss topics such as mental health and loneliness.