Touch down in Amsterdam

Posted at: 23 Apr 2018

ISN Introduction days – get in touch with the city and with awesome people!

Crazy Group Six.

For some, it’s easy to make new friends, some struggle and need a warm-up time before they start connecting, and some do it easy in the right setting, without even knowing. I consider myself to fall in the last category. For me it is important to have nice people around to hang out and discover new places, having deep conversations and sharing dreams and fears. But how to find this kind of people in a big city like Amsterdam?

My friends, back at home, recommended me to join the ISN introduction days to make the first contact. I was in doubt about that, because I’m not fond of a clinical “meet your new friends now setting” full of superficial conversations like “Oh, where do you come from, how long will you stay here, what are you studying” and asking for names three times in a row…
And while at first, it was just like I described earlier, in the end, I met a bunch of beautiful, awesome people, that I spend most of my free time with. My friends from Amsterdam <3 Looking back, these days were the foundation for many new connections, because your new friends also became acquainted with different people out of this 1500 new international students. It makes it feel like a small village, where everyone knows everybody.

Cuddle like Penguins.

The ISN introduction days starting location was the DeLaMar Theater, where we were warmly welcomed by the ISN team. There we also got us a lot of useful information and were motivated to make this semester the best of our lives. In the end, they divided us into over 40 groups. Each group had two local coaches. I was in group six, where Juri and Thomas (they are really funny) were our guides. Besides them, I also met a lot of good people in my group. We stayed together in this group for the following three days full of action and got to know each other better every day! After the welcome, we did a boat cruise on the canals of Amsterdam, that was followed by a dinner and party with beer pong.

For most of us, the next day started with a hangover, but also with a nice brunch (if you’re vegan you should let the coordinator know in advance!) and coffee. Fun fact: you’ll get coffee almost everywhere since the Dutch people are the heaviest coffee drinkers in whole Europe! The rest of the day we spent in and around CREA - the creative centre of UvA (University of Amsterdam) and AUAS (Amsterdam University of Applied Science). There we had different workshops, group speed dating with challenging questions and a scavenger hunt (which we skipped and chillaxed instead). During that time, I learned how to rap my name and how to sing harmonized in a group, that some prefer to be rich than beautiful and shared crazy lifetime stories with random people. In the end, we went to Coco’s Outback, the place to be on Wednesdays for international students. There we had a free entrance with an ESN card (which is basically necessity if you want to join any ISN activities. But, it also provides discounts in some places or for flights around Europe). At Coco’s, it was really crowded, but also a lot of fun… so much, that I don’t remember what time did I came home.

Party at Coco’s Outback.

Our last day together again started with a brunch, but now everyone had a huge hangover because of the cheap drinks at Coco’s. Therefore, we really couldn’t get enough energy for the sports day. But I managed to do at least three free try-outs for the gym, which I highly recommend! In the end, we just joined one mixed course and skipped the rest, but I heard from other groups, that they had a lot of fun with bouldering, dancing, boxing, fencing or other sports. We needed to gain new energy for pre-drinks and final party. Luckily, our coach invited us to his flat for pre-drinks, so we saved some money. On the other hand, we almost missed the last train to the centre (fortunately, we didn’t). At the train station, it was very cold, so we made a circle in order to warm up like penguins do. Also, not everyone had a valid ticket, so we paired up and got on the train easily. But at the central station, we realized, that getting off, without being caught by the police, wouldn't be as easy as we thought. Therefore, we ran around the train station until we finally found an unchecked exit. Immediately, we started running out like children, that played a trick on the police. The final party was in Paradiso Noord. It had a pretty good DJ and was the perfect way to celebrate new friends and an awesome arrival in Amsterdam!

I hope this motivated you to join the ISN introduction days, even if they may cost the UvA students some money (for me, as an AUAS student, it was free). It’s worth to take it as a launch pad for finding new friends for the semester and sometimes even for a lifetime. For more impression check the ISN Wintro Aftermovie .


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