As the last few weeks of university for this semester are slowly passing by, the new academic year is basically right around the corner. (I know, I’m sorry) For the majority of new students, the coming weeks are packed with prepping for the adventures laying ahead of them. It also, however, means making the decision to either sign up for the introduction week or not. In this blog post, I talk about how my intro week experience was and if I would recommend you guys signing up or not. First things first…
What is the introduction week?
The introduction week (or this link if you are a master student) is a week filled with heaps of different activities that are connected in one way or another to your study programme. It is a great opportunity for you to meet your fellow students, since the introduction week is specifically designed for your degree and is usually mentored by second- or third-year students of your degree. This year, the introduction week is starting on the 21st of August (Wednesday) and ends on the 27th of August (Tuesday). It takes place on the university campus as well as all across the city.
Intro days friends turned professional botanical garden guides
During my introduction week, I went to places such as the Rijksmuseum and in general explored the city a bit more. (which does not mean that I do not still get lost every time I attempt to navigate through the city without google maps though). We also did a little university 101 tour where our guides showed us the library, the help desk, the cafeteria, the rooftop, the botanical garden and so on. I was also given the opportunity to go out and get to know the Amsterdam nightlife. (don’t ask me how that’s connected to your degree, you’ll find a way).
For me personally, it was definitely worth it. It is an absolutely amazing opportunity to make friends. Especially since I am from Germany and did not know anyone, this made everything so much easier. Furthermore, I am still really good friends with the people I met during the introduction week. It was also a great way of getting to know the city and the university from a non-tourist guide perspective. (I, for example, learnt where I can get stolen bikes for cheap). What I absolutely loved was the freedom I had in deciding what I wanted to do and what not. I am not a really big party-goer so I usually opted out of club invitations. Other people were not very fond of museums and did not join us there. Lastly but personally most importantly, it made the first day of university so much less scary. I was absolutely terrified of everything that had to do with my first day (think: finding the room, getting lost, sitting alone in the corner) but I was greeted by a group of people I already knew. I also have friends who decided against signing up for the introduction week and while they are perfectly socially integrated now, they also mentioned that it was a lot harder for them to find friends.
I would highly recommend signing up for the intro weeks in particular if you are an international student and/or have difficulties making friends easily. It is also a great way to get to know the uni as well as the city as a whole.
I hope this helped you a bit with deciding whether or not you should sign up for the intro programme of your degree.