Frequently Asked Questions

Contact info

Student desk
If you have questions about registration and deregistration, tuition fees, registering for education, requesting a list of grades and authenticating a diploma, please first check if your question is answered in the FAQ's. If your question is not answered, you can contact the Student Desk. Answers to frequently asked questions about transition, registration and admission can also be found on this webpage


Student desk: studentdesk@vu.nl | +31 (0)20 598 5020
- Accessible by mail: Monday till Friday from 10:30 - 17:00 hrs.
- Accessible by telephone: Monday till Friday from 10.30 - 12.30 and 14.00 - 16.00 hrs.

International Service Desk:
Find the contact information for your programme here

As soon as the coronation measures at VU Amsterdam allow it, the desk will be reopened.

Study progress
Are you worried about your study progress? Do you have questions about the effect this period may have on your studies? Or do you have other questions that you cannot answer yourself? Our study advisors can be reached by phone or email. You can find the information for your study programme on the VUweb programme page.

Student wellbeing
We are aware that these times can also cause a lot of confusion and unrest. If you feel the need to talk to someone, our student psychologists are right here for you. You can best reach them via studentenpsychologen@vu.nl or via VUweb. Check this platform for an overview of the support offered by VU Amsterdam.

International Service Desk:
Find the contact information for your programme here

International office: international@vu.nl | +31 (0)20 5985745
Available by telephone: Monday till Friday from 10:00 – 12:00.
HRM Servicedesk: servicedesk.hrm@vu.nl | +31 (0)20 598 2882
- Accessible Monday till Friday: by telephone from 08:30 - 12.30 hrs, by mail from 08:30 - 17:00 hrs.

GENERAL

ONE-AND-A-HALF METRE UNIVERSITY

Protocols have been written and are available for various activities. Check the protocols and an overview of the measures on campus for studying and working on campus. Please read the flyers and/or protocols carefully before coming to campus. Below you will find an overview of all the basic rules:

- Work and study at home as much as possible
- In case of symptoms, please stay at home and get yourself tested. If you are short of breath and/or have a fever, all housemates must stay at home.
- Avoid crowded places. If you’re travelling by public transport, plan this carefully and stick to the agreements.
- Keep a 1.5-metre distance. If this is difficult to do: give the other person some room, move away yourself.
- Wash your hands often and cough and sneeze into the inside of your elbow.

The following agreements apply on campus:
- You are on campus for a permitted activity or when there is no alternative to work or study at home.
- Access only through the main entrance of buildings. Upon entering, you have the opportunity to clean your hands.
- Staff and students report to the office upon entering a building. Bring your student or staff card with you for access control. If you do not have your student card, make sure you can show a certificate of registration.
- Go directly to your place of work or study and follow the instructions and walking routes. When passing, keep to the right, keep walking and avoid unnecessary contact.
- Stay in your own work or study area as much as possible. Do not move around the campus unnecessarily.
- Do not stay on campus longer than necessary – If you’ve just returned from a trip or a holiday abroad and you need to go home for quarantine, you’re obviously not allowed to come to VU Amsterdam. The most up-to-date information on home quarantine after a trip abroad can be found here.

More information about campus during corona (protocols, hygiene, wayfinding, etc.) can be found at:
- For students: Studying at VU campus
- For employees: Working at VU campus

We will check with those requesting meetings whether they can be held in an adapted or alternative way. For new requests, please contact the Conference and Media Centre. Please note: as a one-and-a-half metre university, space at VU Amsterdam is very limited and the organisation of our education and research has our priority! Requests are therefore first discussed internally and, if possible, accepted.

ACADEMIC YEAR 2021-2022

VU Amsterdam is aiming for full campus occupancy in the coming academic year (September 2021). This was decided by the Executive Board after extensive consultation.

We are working on a flexible timetable, in which the campus is once again fully used for education, but in which it is also possible to scale up or down to a '1.5-metre timetable'. This is how VU Amsterdam will be prepared for various scenarios and campus space can be used as effectively as possible, while safety and accessibility of our campus remains guaranteed.

Learning experiences from the current academic year will be incorporated in the new academic year. We experienced how digital innovations help us to better organise our education, and we also like to further grow in activating education with the use of blended learning. Part of our education will therefore also be online next year, supported by digital tools. This is how we can offer high-quality and future-proof education to our current and future students. Physical contact obviously remains crucial for our students. By organising the academic year 2021-2022 this way, we offer our students the best of both worlds: online and offline.

The VU Introduction Days for first-year Bachelor's students will take place on 25, 26, 27, 30 and 31 August. They will get to know the university, their fellow students and Amsterdam in five days. They will hear all the ins and outs about their study programme, follow workshops, take part in sports and cultural activities, and conclude with a party in clubs in Amsterdam. For students who do not want to participate for five days, we also offer a two-day programme focused on their studies. This programme takes place partly on campus and partly online. For the latest information, please visit the VU Introduction Days website.

VU Amsterdam International Office also organises an introduction period for international Master’s students on 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 30 and 31 August. For more information, go to this webpage.

This summer, we will most likely still have to deal with corona measures. We will do our utmost to organise a fun programme, but it may be that we have to adapt it to the measures in place at that time.


TESTING

Students and staff can order a self-test free of charge at www.zelftestonderwijs.nl. With the use of self-tests, the government wants to focus on the faster detection of infections in order to prevent as many corona outbreaks as possible. For information on the use of self-tests in education, please visit www.zelftestonderwijs.nl.

Students and staff can use their existing institutional account to make the order. If, for some reason, ordering via the existing institutional account is not possible, please contact servicedesk.fco@vu.nl.

Yes, this is possible until mid-August. Conditions for visiting the quick test locations are that staff and students can only get tested if they have no symptoms and have to be on campus for education. In case of symptoms, you should go to the GGD test location. VU Amsterdam students and staff who want to be tested at the quick test location can reserve a timeslot at: www.covidsnelteststraat.nl/VUA using the following code: VUA2021!

Testing is voluntary and results are not shared with VU Amsterdam. You will receive the results of the quick test within thirty minutes. If the result is positive, you need to follow the GGD guidelines. The following rule still applies: in case of symptoms, stay at home and get tested at the GGD. A self-test does not replace a GGD test.

Background OCW pilot quick testing
VU Amsterdam is participating with other Amsterdam institutions in the quick testing pilot, a national initiative of the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science (OCW). Our participation is aimed at answering the question of how quick tests can contribute to the expansion of location-bound education.

The pilot is separate from the objective of introducing self-testing in vocational and higher education. There, the objective is to make a positive contribution to the epidemiological picture in the Netherlands through regular testing. In addition to the voluntary use of self-testing, it is also important to participate in the pilot project with quick testing in order to gain scientific knowledge on how testing contributes to the safe relaxation of safety measures.

STUDYING AND CORONA

You may come to VU Amsterdam for:

- Scheduled educational activities on campus. Check timetable.vu.nl and Canvas for information on your programme.

- For students who do not have a suitable place to study or take exams at home, VU Amsterdam offers study and examination places. Examination places have to be applied for.

Studying
For studying on campus, the following still applies: if you can study at home, do so and do not come to VU Amsterdam. We assume that you will make a careful assessment and only use the places at VU Amsterdam if there are insurmountable obstacles in your private environment. This also applies to students who live in Amsterdam but are attached to another higher education institution. This is how we contribute to limiting travel movements nationwide. Stewards are actively monitoring and providing guidance on campus. Whenever continuous situations with crowds are signalled, the VU Amsterdam crisis organisation assesses whether additional measures should be taken, such as only granting access to students studying at VU Amsterdam.

Study places are available for individual study. Studying in groups can be done online through various options. This overview shows how many study places are still available on which floor in the main building. If you’re studying on campus, please observe the basic rules.

Exams
For students who prefer to take their exams on campus, VU Amsterdam offers exam sites on campus. Reservations can be made up to three days before the exam using this form. It is still necessary to sign up for your exams. The normal term for signing up for exams applies, no later than two weeks before the date of the exam. So make sure you sign up in time. Always bring your student card or proof of registration to gain access to the buildings and abide by the basic rules.

If the Examination Board assesses that remote examinations with online supervision (online proctoring) is necessary, then VU Amsterdam has a legitimate interest in processing the personal data of students. In that case you don’t have to give permission; you will of course be informed about this. VU Amsterdam has a legal obligation to ensure that your personal data are processed in accordance with the applicable privacy legislation based on the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

We think privacy is important and that is why we have taken every possible step to protect everyone's privacy. Our privacy lawyers have advised on the procedures and functionalities and continue to do so, so that all data storage and the procedures comply with the GDPR. In addition, IT has reviewed the software used and made clear agreements with the suppliers, to ensure that it meets VU Amsterdam's strict security requirements.

You can find information about taking exams with online proctoring on this page. The page contains detailed instructions on procedures to follow, how to take a trial exam, equipment to use, what to do if there are problems, and privacy.

VU Amsterdam offers Microsoft Office 365 for students directly and free of charge to support online study in the Corona period.

The Microsoft Office 365 for Students package includes the familiar Office 365 applications such as Word, PowerPoint, Excel and OneNote. You also get access to Microsoft Teams to chat and collaborate live in documents with fellow students. The advantage of this package is that it is an online cloud service, which means that you always have access to your files and the latest version of the Office programmes.

You can download the package as follows: 1. Go to https://portal.office.com2. Log in with your VU email address (emailaddress@student.vu.nl or emailaddress@student.acta.nl) and the corresponding password 3. Download Microsoft Office 365 for students

For a more detailed explanation of the installation of Microsoft Office 365 for Students, please see the Office 365 for Students page on the askIT services portal.

Please note: if you have already purchased Microsoft Office 365 via SURFspot, you must log in once again to one of the Office 365 for Students applications (such as Word) with your VU Amsterdam email address.

Staff and students can request materials and make arrangements for their collection. Requested material can usually be collected from 9.30 - 16.00 in the University Library, first floor HG. The delivery service continues to exist for people who would otherwise only come to VU Amsterdam for this purpose. Research / inspection of Special Collections remains possible by means of made-to-measure appointments. 

Look here for current information about the services of the University Library.

People who are registered in the Personal Records Database (BRP) automatically receive an invitation to get vaccinated against coronavirus. If you are not registered in the BRP, but you are staying in the Netherlands for longer than 1 month, you can get vaccinated under certain conditions.
More detailed information is available on government.nl

Information for international students can be found on this webpage of the International Office. 

The Dutch version of the frequently asked questions can be found on this page.

TRAVEL

VU Amsterdam follows the guidelines of the government. The general advice on travelling currently reads: "Only travel to countries with a green or yellow travel advisory. Whichever country you go to, you may be faced with coronary measures such as a quarantine or testing requirement. The situation in a country can also change rapidly. So always keep an eye on the travel advice." Check up-to-date travel information from the national government.

VU Amsterdam expects its staff and students to follow government guidelines. If you nevertheless travel abroad, you are taking a conscious risk. Especially if that country has code orange or red. If you have to undergo quarantine after returning from this trip, we expect you to stay at home. Do not come to campus. If you’re unable to carry out your work or not able to carry it out entirely at home and a solution cannot be found between you and your manager, you may be asked to take holiday leave. Your supervisor is advised to contact the HR adviser when this situation arises.

Due to corona, there are many uncertainties that may lead to rapid and unexpected changes in travel advice resulting in premature return. The corona virus is not yet under control in the Netherlands and many other countries. On nederlandwereldwijd.nl you can find the most up-to-date information. Only travel to countries with green or yellow travel advice. Students – in internships, research, apprenticeships, fieldwork etc. - and researchers who still want to travel abroad when code orange is indicated must consult their study supervisor or manager. Possible costs for cancellation or early return due to a new outbreak will not be reimbursed from central funds.

For exchange programmes, the previously communicated guidelines remain valid. An exchange is only facilitated in case of a code green or yellow. Because VU Amsterdam attaches great value to facilitating an exchange, the decision moment or reference date for whether or not to travel has been extended to the maximum scope. It has also been decided that for the "safe list" countries of MINBUZA outside the EU with a low COVID-19-risk without entry restrictions for the Netherlands, an exchange can be facilitated where possible - provided that the context allows this and there are no other non-COVID threats in the country and the partner university welcomes exchange students. Students will be informed directly by the International Office on the specific dates. For questions: outgoing@vu.nl.

Employees can contact their supervisor for advice and students can contact the International Office. More information on the VU Amsterdam travel policy can be found here.

EMPLOYEES/PHD

From 26 June onwards, non-essential work activities will also be allowed to take place on campus, taking into account the one-and-a-half-metre distance. If the one-and-a-half-metre distance is in force, space will remain a limiting factor and we will not be able to receive everyone at the same time for the time being, to prevent congestion. Together with your manager, you can discuss what this means for you. 

If you’re going to work on campus, make sure you know the campus protocol and the corona plan of your own faculty or service beforehand and adhere to the agreed guidelines so that working on campus is as safe as possible for everyone.

The following applies at all times: if you are suffering from a cold, or a housemate has a fever and/or is short of breath, stay at home and do not come to VU Amsterdam. You can find tips for working at home at vu.nl/thuiswerken.

Updating VU Amsterdam laptops
Employees with a Windows workplace can connect to the VU Amsterdam network via eduVPN, so that you don’t have to go to the campus for updates or expired licences. If you cannot update your laptop at home via eduVPN, you can come to VU Amsterdam to do so at your workplace or at the IT service desk in the W&N building. Read more about updating from home at VUweb/medewerker.

Remember to show your VU Amsterdam pass when entering the building.

To park at VU Amsterdam, the normal parking facilities are available and regular conditions apply, including applying for parking passes. Due to the limited number of parking spaces, no exceptions are possible unfortunately. All information and conditions about parking at VU Amsterdam can be found at www.parkerenbijvu.nl.

I’m temporarily travelling to VU Amsterdam by car. Can I still claim the parking costs as of 1 January 2021?
No, parking costs can no longer be claimed, but we do offer a reduced rate in the car parks of VU Amsterdam.
Some employees may be expected to come to VU Amsterdam. This may be because they have a function that ensures that the vital processes at VU Amsterdam continue to run or because they have to attend an event at VU Amsterdam that is deemed necessary. They coordinate this with their managers. If they wish, they can come to VU Amsterdam by car and park at the VU Amsterdam car park at a discount.
Upon presentation of the exit ticket and the VU Amsterdam pass, a barcode can be obtained from the security desk in the main building. The amount is then paid at the payment terminal in the car park concerned. The discount works in all our car parks. If the barcode does not work, please press the intercom button at the payment terminal.
This will solve 90% of all problems immediately or provide information for a possible follow-up. It is not necessary to go back to the security desk in the main building. Employees pay the short-term parking rate of € 1 per 17 minutes with a discount of € 20 on the daily rate of € 30. Employees pay a lower amount if they park for a shorter period of time and never more than €10 per 24 hours.
This temporary measure is evaluated monthly and will be adjusted, if necessary, as it is checked each month whether sufficient parking spaces remain available for regular parking use.

Contact your supervisor or contact person at VU Amsterdam and discuss the possibilities for a later start.
And contact the International Office.

All defence ceremonies will be hybride or online. The beadle will contact those involved.
Click here for more information and the protocol.

TEACHING AND CORONA

Go to vu.nl/online-education for an overview of available tools, didactical and technical advice and tips and tricks for online teaching. 

VU NT&L, together with LEARN! Academy, AVC, SOZ and the UB has also arranged for extra hands to help you on your way.

All information you can find here.

There are 25 so-called teaching studios available for teachers to "record" online education. These studios are equipped with specific equipment and can be used independently. Of course there is available support from AVC should this not be possible. For more information about the educational studios click here.

The educational studios can be reserved via the online application form.

As a teacher, check whether there are alternatives and consult with your program director. There are now limited activities available on campus. The faculty determines which activities can take place on campus. Keep students informed via your Canvas page.

EMPLOYEES/PHD: TRAVEL AND QUARANTINE

VU Amsterdam follows government guidelines. The general opinion on travel is currently in force: “Only travel to countries with green or yellow travel code advice. Whichever country you go to, you may have to deal with corona measures such as a quarantine or testing obligation. The situation in a country can also change quickly. Therefore, always keep an eye on the travel advice”.

VU Amsterdam asks all employees to assess whether a domestic trip is really necessary, and whether it cannot be replaced by an alternative, such as online meetings. If travel is necessary, you must at all times comply with the applicable general government guidelines and any local regulations, both during the trip and at your destination.

VU Amsterdam follows government guidelines. The general advice on travel is currently: “Only travel to countries with green or yellow travel code advice. Whichever country you go to, you may have to deal with corona measures such as a quarantine or testing obligation. The situation in a country can also change quickly. Therefore, always keep an eye on the travel advice".

VU Amsterdam expects employees and students to follow government guidelines. If you nevertheless travel abroad, you are taking a conscious risk. Especially if that country has code orange or red. If you have to go into quarantine after returning from your trip, we expect you to work from home. Do not come to campus. Are you unable to work (partially) from home? Then, if no solution is found by you and your supervisor, you may be asked to take vacation leave. Your manager is advised to contact the HR advisor when this situation arises.

VU Amsterdam follows government guidelines. The general opinion on travel is currently in force: “Only travel to countries with green or yellow travel code advice. Whichever country you go to, you may have to deal with corona measures such as a quarantine or testing obligation. The situation in a country can also change quickly. Therefore, always keep an eye on the travel advice”.

Travel is only possible to areas that have positive (green or yellow) travel advice. However, in the context of Corona, there are still many uncertainties that could potentially lead to rapid and unexpected changes in travel advice which can lead to an early return. It is therefore advisable with travel advice yellow to only cross the border if a trip is necessary and cannot be postponed. Students (research, internships, fieldwork, etc.) and researchers who still want to go abroad with code yellow need the approval of their tutor or supervisor. Any costs in the event of cancellation or early return due to a new outbreak will not be reimbursed from central means. For exchange programmes the previously communicated guidelines will continue to apply.

Employees can contact their supervisor for advice, students can contact the International Office (international@vu.nl). See specific information about VU travel policy on VUweb.

VU Amsterdam follows government guidelines. The general opinion on travel is currently in force: “Only travel to countries with green or yellow travel code advice. Whichever country you go to, you may have to deal with corona measures such as a quarantine or testing obligation. The situation in a country can also change quickly. Therefore, always keep an eye on the travel advice”.

It is important to carefully follow RIVM and local guidelines during your holiday. Just before departure, consult the travel advice of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the specific Q&A of the central government for travel to and from abroad. Some destinations are subject to quarantine regulations upon return to the Netherlands, please keep this in mind. After returning from abroad, we appeal to your own responsibility regarding coming to campus to prevent any possible spread of the coronavirus. At all times: if you suffer from a cold, or a roommate has a fever and/or is cramped, stay at home and do not come to VU Amsterdam. 

Employees and students of ACTA and VUmc School of Medical Sciences are subject to the guidelines and information of ACTA and Amsterdam UMC.

During your stay in the Netherlands you must follow the rules that have been imposed to prevent the spread of COVID-19. These rules apply to everyone in the Netherlands. We advise you to check this site of the Dutch government regularly as measures may change. In short:

· Maintain a distance of 1.5 metres (approx. 2 arm’s lengths) from other people.
· Wash your hands frequently.
· Don’t shake hands with others.
· Cough and sneeze into your elbow.
· Avoid busy places. Leave if you notice it is becoming difficult to keep a distance of 1.5 metres.
· Face masks are compulsory in public transport and in busy areas in Amsterdam.
· Self-quarantine is necessary if you travel from certain orange /red areas, please check the information on the website of the Dutch government. 

You might also want to check this page of the Dutch government for instructions.

In order to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus in the Netherlands the Dutch government has decided to implement measures for passengers travelling to the Netherlands from areas with many coronavirus infections by means of a health declaration form and self-quarantine.

What measures do I need to take before travelling to the Netherlands? 

· Check the status of the area you are traveling from. We advise you to consult this page regularly for updates.
· Students and staff coming from red or orange areas are advised to take extra care two weeks prior to their departure to the Netherlands and avoid (risky) social activities. This includes visiting bars, (departure) parties and large gatherings. Do not travel if you have any symptoms!
· Before you fly, please check whether this country is on the EU-list of safe countries and whether it is exempt from the EU entry ban.
· Buy/make face-masks to use in public transport/taxi etc. after arriving in the Netherlands.
· Fill out and print a health declaration form. You need to show it upon request on the airport.
· Apply for a health insurance for your stay in the Netherlands: see the information page about insurance in the Netherlands. If you apply in advance, the insurance will also cover the travel days.
· We advise you to bring a valid credit card so that you have access to money as long as you do not have a Dutch bank account.
· More information

What should I do when I arrive at the airport in the Netherlands?

· On the airport maintain a distance of 1,5 meters from others, also at the luggage belt.
· At Schiphol airport, a free Covid test is available for passengers from orange/red countries. Be aware that a negative test does not replace the self-quarantine periode.
· More information about the COVID-19 rules at the airport

How do I go to my accommodation from the airport or train station?

· You will have to arrange your transport to your accommodation yourself. Route descriptions for public transport will be available soon. It is also possible to make a reservation for a taxi in advance.
· To travel to your accommodation from the airport, you can use a taxi or the public transport. For both, you will need a non-medical face mask.

Do I need to wear a face mask in the Netherlands?
When travelling by public transport, taxi, coach or car, you must wear a face-mask and also in pubic places. A non-medical face mask that does not have a filter and is made of a material such as cotton is enough. These types of face mask are sold in places like supermarkets and pharmacies. You can also make your own.

You may not use a scarf, face shield/visor, snood, bandanna, the collar of a jacket, or a non-medical face mask made from a sock, for instance. Gas masks should also not be used. All passengers aged 13 and over are required to wear a non-medical face mask. The fine for not wearing a non- medical face mask is € 95.
Information how to use a non-medical face mask

Should I go into self-quarantine?
Staff travelling from red or orange areas need to go in self-quarantine for 10 days after arriving in the Netherlands, check here. Some areas are exempted, please check the following page of the Dutch government for actual information. It does not matter whether an area has an orange /red travel advice or if this changes during the first weeks after you arrived in the Netherlands. In both cases you must self-quarantine for 10 days after arriving in the Netherlands. If a country has an orange travel advice for reasons other than health, you do not need to self-quarantine.

What are the general rules for self-quarantine?
The rules on self-quarantine are published here by the Dutch government.

In short:

· We expect you to have to stay in your room for 10 days after arriving in the Netherlands.
· Quarantine is also applicable if you tested negative in your home country or short after your arrival in the Netherlands.
· During the self-quarantine period do not travel or go to another location in the Netherlands.
· You may not return to your country of origin.
· You cannot go to a grocery store for food.
· If you need medical assistance do not go to your General Practitioner or the hospital, but phone the doctor instead.
· Nobody may visit you (except a medical doctor)
· You can sit outside if you have a garden or balcony. If you do not develop any symptoms that could be caused by COVID-19, you can end the self-quarantine after 10 days.

How do I get groceries in self-quarantine?
For staff who need to order food or other essentials during quarantine, we created an information sheet on how and where to do so.

We advise you to try to get in touch with colleagues living in the same area, you can ask your supervisor or the secretary for suggestions. Your colleagues who do not need to do the quarantine period might be willingly to help you with groceries. If you live in one of the University accommodation buildings, we would also advise you to take part in their whatsapp group to get in touch and ask for support if necessary. Be aware to hold on to the COVID rules when you get some help!

Can I go to the municipality to register and get a BSN number during the quarantine time?
Make sure to plan your appointment at the municipality as soon as your self-quarantine ends. More information

Can I go to a bank to open a bank account during the quarantine time?
You can not go tot the bank office during quarantine time. But alternative options are possible, check here.

How do I get in contact with the university during the quarantine time?
The HRM Servicedesk and the International Office are open and available for questions. You can contact us via: 

HRM Servicedesk
T 020 598 2882 (on working days from 09.00 – 17.00)
E servicedesk.hrm@vu.nl 

International Office
T +31 (0)20 598 2955 (on working days from 09.00 – 17.00)
E immigration@vu.nl

What about quarantine if I live in a room with shared facilities?
PhD’s and staff who reserved a room in a building with shared bathroom and shared kitchen, or only a shared kitchen might have challenges with social distancing and keeping with the rules of self-quarantine. Be aware that not all students on your floor will come from orange /red countries, so quarantine will not be necessary for everyone.

However, we ask all staff for their understanding, respect, cooperation and solidarity towards each other and hope that you will find a way all together to make it possible maintain social distancing and prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

We advise you to make agreements with your floormates about the following topics:

· Limit the use of shared spaces as much as possible, so stay in your room!
· Protect yourself and each other by keeping 1,5 meters distance in common areas
· Create a WhatsApp group with your flatmates to keep in contact with each other
· Make schedules for cooking, use of bathroom. The maximum number of people must be restricted so everyone can keep the 1,5 meters distance
· Check out how you can help each other with groceries
· Make schedules for cleaning the common areas
· Use of face-masks in common areas
· Do not invite colleagues from other flats
· It is not allowed to organise parties during quarantine time
· Do not share dishes, drinking glasses, cups or eating utensils
· Follow the general rules on hygiene: wash your hands frequently and cough and sneeze into your elbow
· Check on your flatmates in quarantine and ask if you can help them

I have COVID-19 symptoms, what can I do?
Anyone with complaints related to the COVID-19 virus can call the following telephone numbers for an appointment to be tested between 8.00 AM and 20.00 PM.

· National number: 0800 – 1202
· If you are calling from abroad: +31- 850659063

You can only make an appointment if you have one or more symptoms of COVID-19, such as:

· a stuffy nose
· a runny nose
· sneezing
· a sore throat
· a cough
· fever
· or sudden loss of smell or taste 

More information about the COVID-19 testing in general and locations where it is offered.

What are the costs of a COVID-19 test?
Your health insurance will cover the costs of the COVID-19 test. If you did not apply for your insurance before arrival, we advise you to do this as soon as possible. More information

How can I contact a doctor to discuss my medical situation?
In the Netherlands, the General Practitioner (GP) is the first contact in case you need medical assistance. We advise you to register with a General Practitioner as soon as possible after arrival. If you would need medical assistance, the GP is the first to contact. You can choose a GP close to your accommodation, or register at the University General Practice in the VU Medical Centre.

In life- threatening situations always call 112.

I need psychological help, what can I do?

· You can contact our Occupational Social Worker (staff welfare officer) via secretariaat.amd@vu.nl. Further information about the support VU could provide can be found via VUnet (log in with your VUnet-ID)
· You can contact your GP directly to discuss a referall to a psychologist.
· You may want to look for an online treatment by a psychologist. There are online treatments available (E-health), and several psychologists offer online treatment. I-practice offers a telephone consultation hour for questions about mental health and COVID-19 (www.ipractice.nl).
· Another possibility in Amsterdam is InterBeing, a group of international psychologists who are specialized in supporting international students in the Netherlands. They are also offering online sessions.

In case you are already receiving treatment for your issues, or have received treatment before, contact your (previous) therapist or GP. If you have thoughts about death or suicide, or worry about somebody you know, call 0900-0113, or visit www.113.nl/english for help with suicide prevention 24/7.

MORE INFORMATION FOR INTERNATIONAL EMPLOYEES/PHD'S

All general information for international staff and PhD candidates coming to The Netherlands, and their visa procedures can be found on our general website about working at VU

For specific inquires please contact immigration@vu.nl 

For more information regarding IND regulations in the light of COVID-19 crisis please check https://ind.nl/en/Pages/Coronavirus.aspx

If you would like to find out whether there are some options for you and your family, or if you would like to extend your stay in the current accommodation, please check the website or contact accommodation@vu.nl

I am currently in short stay accommodation but want to leave prior to expiry of my contract. What do I need to do?
VU Amsterdam provides options in this case. Please consult Evangelina via accommodation@vu.nl

I am currently staying in long term accommodation and wish to leave for several months to my home country. What can I do?
VU Amsterdam provides options in this case. Please consult Evangelina via accommodation@vu.nl. For more information regarding accommodation options for PhDs visit our PhD website.

I got offered a contract to start working at VU Amsterdam the upcoming months but due to the Corona situation I am not able/comfortable to actually start on the agreed date.
Please, contact your supervisor to verify possibilities to postpone the starting date of your contract, work from home the first period of time, or discuss other options. 

I will start as a PhD candidate in September/October 2020, is this indeed the right timing to start?
We are still not sure how the university will be operating in this time so we advise a delayed arrival. Our immigration services will also be overwhelmed so if you are applying for a visa only in July we cannot guarantee that things will ready for September arrival. 

What are my possibilities as a PhD (both intern and extern) to extend my contract?
Please, verify with your supervisor what the possibilities are to extend your contract. 

New employees
Agreements that have already been made with new employees (whether or not from abroad) about entering employment, etc., are valid unless the new employee agrees to changing the agreements made, for instance, postponing the employment start date. New employees, just like all other VU employees, will work from home as much as possible.

Contract termination
The regular processes, such as notifying about the termination of a temporary employment contract and applying for unemployment benefits will continue according to standard procedures. Relevant documentation can be handed in at the security desk in the main building. Please contact your HRM advisor for more information.

We offer various online career coaching opportunities. Please, do not hesitate to contact us at sciencecareer@vu.nl to verify which support might be relevant for you.

-The International Office organizes a Zoom session for all our international staff once in two weeks. The first meeting was on Wednesday the 15th of April at 10 AM. During these sessions you can share experiences, tell us how you are and ask all sorts of (practical) questions about immigration regulations, accommodation, your contract, etc. If you were not invited, please do not hesitate to contact us via sciencecareer@vu.nl and we will invite you accordingly.

-We organize PhD lunches every Thursday where you can engage with other PhD candidates as well as international office PhD advisors and ask questions regarding your travels, accommodation, visa, immigration or generally voice your concerns raised by the corona virus situation. For more information please write to phd@vu.nl or check our Facebook page Your VU-PhD News.

-A number of online workshops and online coaching is also being offered to our international staff and PhDs, and among others:
a) online career coaching and handling uncertainty by Experiential Insight,
b) communication and negotiation by Margarita Louredo,
c) time management by FACTA.

For more information and application please contact sciencecareer@vu.nl

-A sense of purpose in times of corona: discussion sessions
How can we experience a deeper sense of purpose and connection in the midst of the corona crisis? Many of us find purpose in our work, for example. We draw value, inspiration and fulfilment from achieving common goals. But how does that work in the present circumstances? Talking to colleagues via your home computer is not the same as meeting them at the office. Contact with students is also very different. Some aspects of your work may have fallen away altogether.
The sense of connection with others outside your work – another source of fulfilment – is also less natural and evident. You may be alone and feel isolated, or overburdened and frustrated by having to spend so much time cooped up with your family. Cinema, live music and the theatre will not be a source of entertainment and consolation for some time to come.
And then there are the uncertainties and fears, about the health of loved ones for example, or the indefinable, existential threat that can loom larger at times of crisis. All this can raise fundamental questions about what is important in your own life and how we function as a society.
If you feel the need to discuss matters like these, the Faculty of Religion and Theology can help. A team of staff experienced in offering guidance on questions of purpose, connection and fulfilment is available for short conversations on an ad hoc or a regular basis. If you would like to sign up, please contact Hans Alma.

For more information regarding wellbeing and corona please check this VUweb page.

I am an international staff member or PhD student and I suspect I have corona. What to do?
The Dutch basic health insurance covers your health costs in case of the coronavirus. If you take leave and go back to your home country keeping your work contract, the health care costs will be covered in your home country as well.
Keep in mind though that the costs will be reimbursed till the maximum tariff in the Netherlands. Do you have additional health care (aanvullende zorgverzekering) or a travel insurance, they might cover any extra costs.
International staff and PhD candidates with a valid (check the validity!) European Health Insurance Card will have no extra costs in case of falling ill with the coronavirus. Contact your local GP (huisarts) only by phone and they will direct you where you should go. Follow their instructions carefully. 

Are you not insured at all and do you suspect you have the corona virus?
Please contact a GP (huisarts) and if necessary they will refer you. The costs will be sorted out in a later stadium. Primarily you are personally responsible for the costs but if you are to be hospitalized, the hospital might decide to use a government subsidiary for the costs. Of course, the hospital will check first whether you are insured or not.

VU Amsterdam follows the travel advice of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Nederland Wereldwijd*. International staff and PhD candidates are strongly advised not to go abroad. PhD candidates, guest researchers and staff who still want to travel for work or study are only allowed to do so after consultation with their manager or study advisor.
*The travel advice of the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs regarding the coronavirus is currently only available on the Dutch side of the website. Fill in the search bar, under the heading Reisadvies: kies uw bestemming, the country you have visited or will visit. To do so, use the Dutch name of the country in question. You will then be shown a map of the country. On the map you will see the travel advice in green, yellow, orange or red. 

I am an international employee or a PhD candidate. Can I travel back to my home country?
We advise that you contact your supervisor and discuss options. Ultimately, you will decide for yourself whether or not to travel back to your home country. In all cases, we recommend that you look at opportunities to work at home in your home country, and at possible (future) travel restrictions and health care in your home country. Please note that for many countries there are restrictions on entry and exit. Please refer to the information provided by the country in question. 

I have fieldwork planned soon for a region for which the travel advice is not greet. What should I do?
Contact your supervisor and discuss solutions for alternative assignments or courses in order to avoid research and work delays as much as possible. 

I am currently in another country or from another country. What to do?
We urge employees and PhD candidates who are temporarily abroad to consider returning to the Netherlands. In doing so, you should consider possible (future) travel restrictions and/or health care facilities in the country in which you are currently residing. Consult with your manager or supervisor if necessary. 

My business trip was cancelled due to corona crisis. What should I do?
Members of staff who booked a trip for work and received a voucher or corona voucher when the trip was cancelled are asked to use their voucher to pay for a subsequent business trip if at all possible. For example, a voucher can be used to pay for travel to meet an appointment or attend a conference that is rescheduled for a later date. If you are unable to take the trip at a later date, ask your travel company to make the voucher out to Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. In that case, you should give the voucher to your manager so that it can be used to pay for official travel by other members of staff. If the travel company is unwilling to do this, you should ask for a refund, making it clear that your booking was work-related and not for leisure. For instructions on how to repay this amount to VU Amsterdam, please contact the HRM Servicedesk.
The voucher may only be used to pay for business trips which have already been arranged and which have been approved by your manager.

The ARQ Nationaal Psychotrauma Centrum provides some valuable insights about working from home and the challenges you face in this period of time.
People respond in very different ways to the measures taken in the Netherlands as a result of the spread of COVID-19. It is understandable that people experience negative emotions during this time, for example:
• Worrying about your health and the health of those dear to you
• Feeling lonely due to the lack of contact with others
• Feeling restless due to a lack of control
• Feeling fearful or sad thinking of worst-case scenarios 

As these times have an effect on all of us, it is important to take good care of ourselves. Here are some tips to help you do that:
• Bring structure to your day. Create a new routine and make a planning. Make sure you set reachable goals for every day – this can help you regain a sense of control. Try to sleep at regular times, eat enough and get as much exercise as possible.
• This unusual situation can cause emotions that aren’t familiar to you. Try to accept the emotions you’re experiencing and give yourself time to understand them. Talk to people who you trust about how you are doing.
• Reading information about COVID-19 might cause more worries. It can help to set yourself a maximum of 3 times a day (for example) to check the news. When you check the news, only rely on reliable sources like the RIVM.
• Create distractions. Exercise, watch a movie, read a book etc.
• Try to stay mentally active (by doing a crossword for example).
• Stay in contact with your social network.
• Try to look at the positive sides of the situation. This will help against the feeling of hopelessness.
• Try to limit smoking and drinking alcohol. 

I am a researcher and my research in delayed. What do I do?
Research might be delayed due to the corona crisis. This is understandable. We are currently making an inventory of the bottlenecks and what arrangements we can make across the university (and possibly also nationwide). We hope to be able to provide more information in the week of 30 March. 

I am a researcher. What are the consequences for grants and subsidized projects?
The coronavirus also affects grants and subsidised projects. More information on Horizon2020 and NWO proposals and projects.

Guest researchers currently in The Netherlands should contact their supervisor for further procedure regarding extending their stay at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, and consult immigration@vu.nl for any visa related issues. 

Incoming guest researchers should consult their receiving supervisor at VU Amsterdam about postponing the date of arrival. 

A general advice would be to postpone your research visit until more information is available regarding functioning of the university in the next months. 

For additional information or support you can contact sciencecareer@vu.nl

If you are interested in applying for any of our current vacancies or about to start your employment or PhD at VU please consult workingat.vu.nl

For additional information related to prospective candidates please send us an email via:
- International academic staff: sciencecareer@vu.nl
- PhD candidates: phd@vu.nl

We are accepting PhD applications for non-funded positions via www.vu.nl/phd. For funded positions please check workingat.vu.nl and search for PhD vacancies.

Funding via international funding agencies such as CSC China, LPDP Indonesia, Conicyt Chile, Conacyt Mexico, Colfuturo and Minciencias Colombia, NRF Nuffic programme and others are proceeding accordingly. If there are any questions please contact phd@vu.nl

NOTE: We advise all incoming PhD candidates to plan their arrivals and commencement of their PhD trajectories from end of October or beginning of November 2020. Please consult with your supervisors about what is possible and feasible. 

For any additional information, double or joint PhD arrangements and mobility at PhD levels please send an email to phd@vu.nl or contact Sandra Hasanefendic (coordinator for international PhD recruitment).

Whenever possible please also refer to Nuffic website information, Euraxess information and VU news on corona.

CONTACTS 
phd@vu.nl for PhD related questions and website www.vu.nl/phd
sciencecareer@vu.nl for international academic staff (postdoc, assistant, associate and full professor + researchers) 

VUweb: Working and corona

VU- HRM Servicedesk
Email: servicedesk.hrm@vu.nl
Tel: 020 59 82882
Availability: working days 08.30 - 17.00

VENTILATION

VU Amsterdam closely follows the discussion about the possible spread of Corona through ventilation systems in buildings and also receives questions about how the ventilation systems at VU Amsterdam work. There are staff members who have expressed their concerns about this.

We think it is important to explain how the systems work at VU Amsterdam, how the RIVM guidelines are applied and whether additional measures are needed for VU Amsterdam.

VU Amsterdam takes all possible measures to maximise the use of the ventilation systems in its buildings. We stick to the advice and rules for ventilation in the Buildings Decree and the RIVM instructions, and regularly consult with the GGD.

By adequately following this advice and the guidelines, we do what can be expected of us and contribute to minimising the risk of contamination through ventilation. VU Amsterdam depends on the latest available scientific knowledge about the possible spread of the virus via ventilation. Guarantees that someone is 0% at risk cannot be given. We do, however, follow the RIVM guidelines and the instructions of the GGD closely and adapt our approach quickly in the event of new insights.

Ventilation systems at VU Amsterdam
Our systems comply with the rules for ventilation laid down in the Buildings Decree as well as the RIVM guidelines. Not all our buildings are the same. One building is older than the other; one building is entirely connected to a ventilation system, the other is partially connected to a ventilation system. Laboratories and specific research environments require different ventilation systems (e.g. in combination with fume cupboards) than offices and educational environments.

In our operational management, the systems are adjusted in such a way that the ventilation in the buildings, old and new, is as good as possible. All ventilation systems in our buildings are maintained and checked on their current operation by qualified personnel. The existing ventilation systems are kept up to date and in good condition. This is the responsibility of FCO's property management department. This department takes care of maintenance and operational management using its own technical staff and in cooperation with contract partners. We attach great value to the proper functioning of these systems and carry out additional checks on a daily basis. The systems are also monitored in real time via the building management system.

The ventilation capacity of the installations is set at the same level as if the buildings were 100% in use, even with less intensive use of the campus due to the six-foot rule. This means that we’re using the maximum ventilation capacity; more air is available for fewer people.

There are, however, differences between buildings in the installation design. Not all our buildings are equipped with fully mechanical ventilation systems. Sometimes there is top cooling (top cooling is cooling of max. 2-3 degrees in relation to the outside air), windows that can be opened, or combinations of systems. For example, in the W&N building in the T and U wing and corridor P 4th floor on the south side, there is no or only a limited mechanical ventilation system. There are, however, possibilities to bring in fresh air by opening windows. This also applies to the smaller buildings such as BelleVUe and Filosofenhof. The MF building also has combinations of systems.

One of the topics in the discussion about ventilation is the question to what extent fresh air is used or present air is recirculated. Recirculation is a technique whereby part of the air that is present in the building, which still meets the air quality requirements, is recirculated so that the air treatment installations do not always have to treat 100% of the outside air (such as cooling, heating, dehumidifying).

We have currently set up the installations in such a way that as much fresh outside air as possible is used for ventilation. Recirculation has been switched off. As a result, the extracted air from the buildings is now blown directly outside.

In addition to normal business operations, we start up the buildings' installations two hours before they open and let them run for two hours after the buildings close before switching to night mode (with less ventilation).

Installations often also need recirculation to operate in more extreme weather conditions, from a sustainable energy consumption point of view. If the outside temperature drops, it may not be possible to meet the temperature or humidity standards in all buildings. Even on warmer days, we draw in more warm outside air so that the indoor temperature can be higher than normal.
If situations arise in which this could become a problem, an assessment will be made in consultation with the Operational Crisis Team and the Strategic Policy Team as to whether, and if so what, actions are appropriate. For example, if the temperature in the building becomes too cold or too hot.

In certain (research) rooms, such as labs (e.g. fume cupboards), the cutting room, the MF room and the Human Performance lab at the Medical Faculty, additional or separate requirements already apply in 'normal operations'. These situations already have a different set-up for their environments in terms of ventilation. No additional measures are currently required here.

This information provides an explanation of the measures that VU Amsterdam has taken in the ventilation of its buildings. Property management and the crisis team closely follow the developments, discussions and recommendations of the national government (and RIVM) and, if necessary, take follow-up measures.

We have done everything possible to maintain and adjust the installation properly, given these special circumstances. For further information or specific information in a building or lab, please contact the On-Site Campusteam:On-site-campusteam@vu.nl.

STUDENTS AND EMPLOYEES VUMC SCHOOL OF MEDICAL SCIENCES

For students and employees of VUmc School of Medical Sciences the guidelines and information on Tulip Intranet apply.

STUDENTS AND EMPLOYEES ACTA

For students and employees of ACTA the guidelines and information on ACTAnet apply.