Contact and meet the team

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Skype: VU Graduate Winter School - by appointment, email first
Telephone: +31 20 59 84717

VU Graduate Winter School consists of: Eduard Pasma (team leader), Jan Kostelijk (Coordinator), Bianca van Putten (International Officer) and Mayke Jildou Schlatmann (International Officer).

Quality Assurance members: Nana de Graaff, Associate Professor, Faculty of Social Sciences and Bart Bossink, Full Professor, Faculty of Science.

Eduard was born and raised in the Netherlands. At the age of 18 he spent a year working and travelling in Australia. After completing his Bachelor’s degree in International Development Studies, he did his Master’s internship at the New Zealand Tourism Research Institute in Auckland. Besides working at various International Offices in the Netherlands, Eduard worked as the General Manager of a remote lodge in Malawi, after which he joined the VU in 2017. 

“From my own travels I have learned that living (and studying or working) abroad can be a life changing experience. That is why I always encourage students to spend at least a few months abroad and challenge themselves in a new environment, making new friends and learn from all different kind of people and cultures.”

Jan Kostelijk

Jan was born and raised in The Netherlands. During his Bachelor’s degree in European Studies he moved to the Czech Republic one year. His time abroad not only showed him the importance of complementing academic studies with international experience but also inspired his passion for internationalization. After graduation Jan worked at the Anne Frank House for some years. But he never lost his interest in academic internationalization and in 2016 he started working for the VU Amsterdam International Office. “Studying abroad brought me so much, not only in the area of expanding knowledge but also on a more personal level. I think learning from other cultures and developing intercultural qualities are the most valuable things students can give to themselves.”


Bianca was born and raised in Haarlem, the Netherlands. During her studies Bianca had the chance to follow an internship in Sweden, go on exchange in England, and complete a minor in Bali. After graduating she decided to work for a hostel while being able to travel several months per year. When she was ready for a new challenge her mind was set on working for the International Office of VU Amsterdam where she has happily been working since October 2017.

“In my opinion internationalisation is truly important for an individual’s personal development, global cooperation, and solidarity. I believe that each individual should go abroad to gain international and cultural awareness. A true cliché, but these are experiences I will never forget myself. It excites me to work as an International Officer to assist others in gaining this wonderful opportunity".


Mayke Jildou was born and raised in The Netherlands. During her degree she became passionate about different languages, countries and cultures, with her ERASMUS exchange and travels around the world the icing on the cake! She is thrilled to work for the winter school and adamant to make this experience unforgettable for you.

“I once read the following from David Foster Wallace:  There are these two young fish swimming along, and they happen to meet an older fish swimming the other way, who nods at them and says, “Morning, boys. How’s the water?” And the two young fish swim on for a bit, and then eventually one of them looks over at the other and goes, “What the hell is water?” To discover your own ‘water’ I think you need to get out of your comfort zone and experience other cultures so you can really understand your own. Trust me, just do it! Besides having completely and utterly fallen in love with Amsterdam (like I do every day), you will go back to your homecountry with a completely different point of view.”

Quality Assurance Board Members:

  • Nana de Graaff is Associate Professor in Political Science and International Relations at the Department of Political Science and Public Administration. She is also Director of Studies for the BSc and MSc Political Science at this department and Programme director of the Graduate School of Social Sciences at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. She was a Honorary Fellow (2016-2017), at the Department of International Politics, City University of London. Since September 2015 she is boardmember of the Dutch Political Science Association (NKWP, Nederlandse Kring voor de Wetenschap der Politiek).
  • Bart Bossink is Full Professor of Science, Business & Innovation at the Faculty of Sciences of VU University Amsterdam. He obtained a master degree in Industrial Engineering & Management and a doctorate degree in Civil Engineering & Management at University of Twente. He was core member of the team that introduced the bachelor and master program Business Administration, and leader of the team that introduced the bachelor and master program Science, Business & Innovation at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. He is chair of the section of Science, Business & Innovation at this university. He authored six books and 40+ scientific articles about eco-sustainable, technological and social innovation. He advised the Dutch government on eco-sustainable innovation in industry, and presented a TV program about innovation in SMEs on Dutch national television.