Student societies in the Netherlands: what you need to know

The Netherlands has an extremely wealthy scholar life, the place college students are inspired to tackle extracurricular actions. These are largely within the type of scholar associations (studentenverenigingen), typically often known as Dutch scholar societies

For these of you contemporary off the airplane and settling into your new scholar life within the Netherlands, you could have already skilled the Dutch introduction week often known as introductieweek. It’s mainly a bombardment of banners, leaflets, and free pens, throughout which tall native college students persuade you to join scholar golf equipment.  

This may be fairly overwhelming, after which you stroll away questioning what precisely you signed up for. Was that an instructional membership, an affiliation, or some form of sorority or fraternity? The traces get a bit of blurry on the subject of scholar teams within the Netherlands. 

What sort of scholar associations are within the Netherlands?

Pupil associations within the Netherlands exist for nearly all the pieces. From soccer, politics, rowing, LGBTQ, historical past, artwork, avenue dance, debating, a spiritual group, vegans, worldwide college students, nationalities, and extra!

Usually, Dutch scholar societies are divided into 5 completely different teams: 

  • Social associations (Gezelligheidsverenigingen) — current primarily to socialize and take advantage of out of scholar years.
  • Examine associations (Studieverenigingen) — with a spotlight in your diploma space.
  • Sports activities associations (Sportverenigingen) — for a selected sport.
  • Spiritual associations (Religieuze studentenverenigingen) — for members of sure religions or faiths.
  • Different associations (Overige studentenverenigingen) — anything you may consider!

What are the perks of becoming a member of a society within the Netherlands?

This may very well be your new dwelling! Picture: Bert Kaufmann/Wikimedia Commons/CC3.0

If you wish to combine into Dutch life whereas learning within the Netherlands, becoming a member of a society is a good concept. In fact, it’s not with out challenges, however normally, you may benefit from some candy advantages. Right here’s only a few!

Networking and scholar life

Pupil associations are a fast strategy to meet individuals and make pals (OMG completely BFF like, for reals). You’ll must be up for studying a brand new language and keen to throw your self into all of the events and actions. If that’s the case, then scholar associations shall be a good way to satisfy some pleasant individuals. 

In fact, for worldwide college students although, breaking into these tight Dutch circles generally is a little extra sophisticated. Many internationals are grasp’s college students and are solely round for a yr or so. They’ve a status for taking their research extra significantly — I imply, none of us flew throughout the planet to fail — so are inclined to have decrease dedication ranges to societies than native college students. 

The result’s that scholar associations typically put much less effort into attracting internationals. Sadly, this will create a little bit of an anti-international vibe. 

It’s additionally pure that many societies within the Netherlands function in Dutch, making it troublesome for internationals to really feel part of issues. There are sororities and fraternities which are particularly worldwide, however this won’t be ideally suited should you’d truly prefer to make some Dutch pals. 

If you need the advantages of becoming a member of a scholar affiliation with a bit much less strain, decide into a global scholar affiliation, like ESN. A lot of the college students shall be in the identical boat as you, however there may even be some Dutchies floating round that love hanging with foreigners. 


As chances are you’ll know already, there’s a nationwide housing disaster within the Netherlands, particularly in scholar cities. 

Now we’re not right here to say that becoming a member of a scholar affiliation will rating you an superior place to stay. Nonetheless, discovering a spot to remain is simpler if you’ve constructed up a community — particularly when you have some Dutchies blended into your social circles.

In the meantime, some fraternities and sororities have scholar homes that can solely settle for members. 

Job market

Within the scholar group, becoming a member of a scholar society is alleged to noticeably assist your profession out. I’ve heard tales of internships and different jobs being made attainable due to a shared society membership with the employer (which many nonetheless boast about lengthy after graduating). 

Clearly, you’re not going to magically get a job simply since you joined a scholar affiliation. However it definitely doesn’t harm, particularly contemplating that discovering a job within the Netherlands as a global scholar might be fairly powerful. 

How do I be a part of a scholar affiliation within the Netherlands?

A good way to make pals and a assured social gathering invite. Picture: mild_swearwords/Wikimedia Commons/CC2.5

The best method to participate in a scholar affiliation is by exhibiting as much as introductieweek (introduction week). Right here, nearly all scholar societies shall be represented and searching for new members — like your self! 

When you occur to overlook introductieweek examine in along with your college to see if it has a listing of scholar societies, or do a fast Google search. You by no means know what scholar affiliation will catch your eye — and chances are you’ll simply find yourself making some killer pals alongside the best way 😉

Are you, or have been you, a part of a scholar affiliation whereas learning within the Netherlands? Inform us within the feedback under!

Characteristic Picture: cottonbro/Pexels

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