If you are interested in doing something next to your study, there’s the option of doing a board year or a committee at different kinds of associations. Below you can find a few different places you could do this at!
Each study within the university has its own study association. Each of these associations has a board which changes yearly. You are able to join the study association that is linked to your study. To be active at a study association you don’t necessarily need to be a board member, you can also be part of a committee within the association. At the start of each year you can apply to be either an active or a nonactive member of your study association. If you choose to be an active member, you can apply for the different committees they are offering that year. Within TSB the study association are as follows: Complex (Psychology), Versot (Psychology), Input (Human Resource Studies) and Polis (GSMI and Organisation Studies). Each of these associations has a Facebook page and a website you can follow or look up for more information on what they have to offer. You can also find short introductions of what they all do here.
In Tilburg there are also a few student associations. These associations are not directly linked to any specific study, but more to the university in general. This means you can join regardless of which study you are from. A list of all student associations and what they do can be found here.
Tilburg has a lot of sport associations for variety of sports. The full list can be found here.
A few of the faculties within our university also have their own faculty association. In the case of TSB this is IDEA. They are responsible for being the link between different parts of the faculty, but also for instance setting up a mentoring program for first year students. They don’t recruit members, but they have a yearly-changing board.
Student parties represent all students in the university and faculty council. Each year elections take place to decide who will get a seat in these councils. The university council consists of student parties SAM and Front, who also have committees you can take part in if you want to do something next to your study, but don’t want to apply for a board year. All faculties have student parties which have a board that changes each year. More information about TSB’s student parties can be found under the heading of TSB platform.
Aside from joining associations, you can also always do some volunteer work to be active next to your study. Tilburg has a ton of different places you could help out. Some are listed here, but you can also always look into volunteer options at for instance your sports club.
We Activate Tilburg
Aside from these associations, there are a lot more opportunities to become active, like becoming a board member of the Social Sciences Career Event, SPS-NIP or even a religious association. For a full overview of all associations you can be a part of, "We Activate Tilburg" has made an overview of all of them including some information about each of them. Click here for the link.
Tilburg University offers its students the possibility to develop themselves beyond the normal curriculum. In several honors programs very talented and motivated students can challenge themselves and their abilities and at the same time broaden their personal and academic horizon.
The "Excellence Program" of the Tilburg School of Social and Behavioral Sciences offers talented students the opportunity to participate in 4 additional courses, one per semester of their second and third year. In these courses a strong focus lies on developing the students academic capabilities. Courses that were offered in the past included “Intercultural Skills: Theory and Practise”, “Social cohesion in a multicultural society” and “Management of human behavior in organizations”.
"By participating in the program, not only will you increase your knowledge and understanding of the social and behavioral sciences, but you will also gain more experience with typically academic skills such as debating, writing and referencing, cooperation and researching." (Tilburg University Website)
This program is advised to students who feel that they are up for the challenge and who received all ECTS in their first year with an average grade of at least a 7.5. Especially students that are striving for an academic career after their studies can opt for this option.
Outreaching Honors Program
The Outreaching Honors Program is an interdisciplinary program offered to ambitious students. The program revolves around three interrelated pillars that are aligned with the core values and objectives of the program:
Leadership: focuses on personal development of the individual ("Me")
Collaborative Interactions: touches upon the dynamics of peer groups and the immediate social environment ("We")
Social Entrepreneurship: seeks to treat the grand societal challenges in innovative ways, with a focus on the public good ("WE")
Ilabs (Impact labs) form the heart of the program, combining all three pillars in exciting and ambitious projects focused on application and valorization. In small groups of five to six students you will need to deploy the skills and knowledge gathered in other domains on a concrete case, assisted by experts from the university and external stakeholders, including alumni. Additional guidance and personal feedback will be provided by team coaches.
Every student of Tilburg University that has completed at least one year of studies at the start of the program is eligible to apply for Outreaching. Thus, applications from current first year students are welcomed. The selection process is output driven and based on Ilab preferences, i.e. particular interests and/or experience relevant to the topic of the Ilab will be taken into consideration.
While exceptional academic performance may indicate determination, other factors such as societal engagement, extracurricular experience, and non-academic skills are of equal importance for selection. One particular focus will lie on the selection of a diverse group in terms of culture, nationalities, gender, age, study programs, study levels, and personalities.
As an international student, it might be nice to have someone to ask questions to who truly understands the situation you’re in. This is why some study associations have International Officers; fellow international students who are available to help you out while also trying to improve the integration of internationals in study associations. Not all study associations have them, but you can check out the website or social media accounts of the association of your study to see if they have one and what they can do for you.
International Student Recruiters’/Ambassadors’ community consists of a group of about 35 enthusiastic students from different courses at Tilburg University. They provide information activities about studying and study choice for secondary school students.
Offering peer-on-peer guidance and sharing their experiences about the study and student life in Tilburg is the central point of this function. International Student Recruiters/Ambassadors work during Information Markets, (virtual) Open Days, Webinars, Campus Tours, and even Youtube videos. An international Student Recruiter is characterized by their international mindset and presentation skills.
If you are looking for an internship, a part-time job or even an entry-level position, you can find the needed information here.
A list of other websites that may help can be found on the Student Career Services page. Other useful information published by the Student Career Services page relates to guiding questions that can help you orient yourself when in the process of entering the labor market. It also provides details about how to set up different kinds of appointments for further in-person aid and about other activities you can take part in.
TSB is the Tilburg School of Social and Behavioral Sciences, meaning the faculty that consists of the five studies and their successive masters: Organisation Studies, GSMI, Human Resource Studies, Sociology and Psychology.
TSB is made up of a couple different ‘parties’. The main components that make up the structure of TSB are the four study associations, the faculty association, the education committees, the management team and two student parties. These parties all work together to make your time at university as useful and pleasant as possible.
Each study has their own study association. For GSMI and Organisation Studies this is Polis, for Sociology this is Versot, for Human Resource Studies this is Input and Psychology has Complex. The faculty association is the umbrella above all study associations and student parties within the faculty. In TSB the faculty association is IDEA.
Each bachelor and master study also has an education committee. Each education committee (OC) discusses matters relevant to that particular study, for instance whether courses are evaluated well by students. Information within these OC’s is also passed on to the student parties in the faculty. Currently in TSB the faculty consists of Student Party Stimulus and Active TSB. Student parties consist of a couple students who represent all other students of TSB within a monthly faculty council. In this faculty council matters regarding the faculty are discussed with the Management Team. The student parties make sure that any decisions made by the Management Team are in the best interest of the students and are also able to give the Management Team the point of view of students. A teacher fraction makes sure teachers are well represented. This makes up a total of seven students, seven teachers, the Management Team and a student assessor as part of the faculty council.
To make sure all parties within TSB are well informed about what everyone else is doing, a weekly meeting called TSB platform takes place. Three times a month this meeting consists of the chairs of the four study associations and the chair of IDEA. Once a month a representative from student party Stimulus and the student assessor also join to update the chairs about what is happening and has happened in the faculty council.
Library facilities and printing
Tilburg University offers the opportunity to print on campus in return for a small fee. Detailed instructions on how printing, copying and scanning works can be found here.
More detailed information can be found here. You also have the opportunity to reserve computers, study places and even rooms. A list of all study places on campus can be found here. In the library, it is possible to place a reservation for a study place with or without a computer or a bigger table to work together with a group. To book a room you’ll need to make use of the web room booking service. To use this service you’ll need to either be on campus or be logged in to the university VPN. More information and the rules can be found here.
Upon enrolling at Tilburg University all students are gifted 2 language vouchers, each worth 6 credits (12 credits in total). These vouchers are only viable for the specific academic year and can be used to take a number of language courses. These are often semester long, but could be shorter. Similarly, not all language courses “cost” the same amount of vouchers, while usually they are 6 vouchers, some (e.g. Dutch I for Internationals) could be 12 vouchers. By adding the course in your MyCalendar you can see all possible groups and their time slots, making it easier to choose, which one to enroll in. Relevant to the registration process is, that groups fill out really quickly. The Dutch courses especially take less than 24 hours to fill out, so it's important to keep an eye out for the date that registration opens. This date is published on the Tilburg University website in the language course section.
Buying second hand course materials
Often courses will require you to buy books as part of the mandatory literature. It is possible to buy these books second-hand from students who have followed the course in previous years. Keep in mind though, that the edition required by your teacher might be a newer one than used in previous years. The exam is always based on the edition of the book mentioned in the syllabus. Check with your teacher whether there are any significant differences between the older edition you might want to acquire and the edition mentioned in the syllabus. If you are interested in buying your book secondhand, there are a few websites people in the Netherlands often use. The first one is Marktplaats.nl. A second website you can use is Bookmatch.nl. This website has a quicker process than Marktplaats, because you don’t need to contact the seller yourself. This website is also available in English. The last website is Bol.com. The website is available in English, but this is just a beta service at this point so not all translations might be accurate or finished. This website offers the new version of books, but if you are interested in a secondhand version the part boxed in red below is of interest.You can click on bekijk and vergelijk alle verkopers (see and compare all sellers) and you’ll see a list with all second hand sellers and their prices, as well as the price of the book on other websites. Sometimes there are no second hand sellers. You can see whether a book is secondhand or not in the listing.
Of course you can also always join Facebook groups from your study to see if any books are sold there.
Tilburg has a couple of GP offices. You can visit the following page on the website of Tilburg University to find information on how to find a GP and how much it will cost. They also list some GP’s that are open for international students. Keep in mind that in the Netherlands you don’t have to go to the GP’s office for a cold or similar sickness, since you generally don’t get prescribed medication for this.
When registering with a GP, it is also handy to register with a pharmacy. This way the pharmacy can keep a register of your medication history and your GP can easily send prescriptions to them. Some GP’s work with other pharmacy’s and it can be convenient to also register with that pharmacy. You can also look at one close to you by visiting this link. The website is in Dutch, but just type in your zip code or address in the search bar and you will be provided with a list of pharmacy’s closest to you. Click on any of the names and then on ‘bekijk op kaart’ to see where on the map they are exactly located.
Tilburg has two hospitals, ETZ Elisabeth in the south and ETZ-Tweesteden in the north. You always need a referral by a GP to be able to go to the hospital or your medical complaint needs to be so serious that it can not be treated by a GP. Keep this in mind, because if you go without falling in these two categories your insurance will not cover the cost of your visit! Find the contact information for the two hospitals here.
Before making an appointment at a GP’s office make sure to have your insurance in order. Having health insurance is compulsory in the Netherlands. For a really good overview of health insurers and a good explanation of how health insurance works you can check out this website.
The emergency number in the Netherlands is 112. Calling this number will allow you to be connected with either the police, fire department or an ambulance. Visit this website to see what to do when calling this number. Keep in mind that this number is only for immediate emergencies! Tilburg also has a crisis intervention team which can be called day and night at 0800-8013 for acute physiological emergency situations. If you have suicidal thoughts and have no one to turn to you can call 113 or 0900-0113 to chat with somebody.
Emails from the municipality
The municipality of Tilburg occasionally sends you a letter. These letters will always be in Dutch, regardless of whether or not you are an international student. Google translate and other translating websites will probably go a long way, but if you want to be sure you don’t miss something important it might be good to have a dutch speaker help you translate or explain it. If you have any dutch friends, don’t hesitate to ask them. Otherwise, there are some translation services located in Tilburg you could contact. A list of the 10 best rated ones can be found here.
Information about taxes
Check your contractual agreement to see which taxes are covered by the landlord and which are not. If you have to pay for anything yourself, you can find the municipal tax assessment online with your "MyGovernment" account or via "My municipality". You will also be informed via letter in the post sent by the municipality of the tax amount and due dates. If you cannot pay the taxes on time or at all, you could apply for a remission (for waste, sewerage, property and dog taxes). Request remission here. If your application is rejected, you can appeal this decision within 10 days. Check to see if you are eligible for remission via the municipality website here.
If you live at a place that has an underground waste disposal point and you have lost or broken your card, you can order a new waste disposal card online here. As of writing this the card replacement fee is 12.50€. If your card stops working on it's own, you can contact the municipality and they will redirect you to the company which produces the cards. Once they establish there is no problem with your container and the card indeed has stopped working, they will send you a new card free of charge. If you need to contact Tilburg's Municipality for this or any other issue, you can find various means of contact on the following page.
When sending and receiving letters or parcels in the Netherlands, there are various rules, charges and services to be kept in mind.
Most post offices in the Netherlands are open Mondays to Fridays (9am - 5pm). You can purchase boxes, wrapping paper, tape and pens in most post offices, but you are generally expected to have the parcel ready to be sent.
Dutch post boxes are usually red or orange with two separate slots. The right slot is for letters being sent to nearby zip codes and the left one is for mail to further destinations. Post boxes are generally emptied every weekday at 5pm, except for holidays. If you post a letter before this time, your letter should be delivered some time the next day, if sent to an address within the Netherlands. Letters sent on Saturday, Sunday or Monday are delivered on Tuesday.
Dutch postage stamps often have a number, rather than their worth printed on them. Here’s what the numbers mean:
- Dutch stamp number 1 = 0,91 euros
- Number 1 with international mark = 1,50 euros
Letters can be posted through post boxes, which are located on public streets.
Mailing costs for a letter (Netherlands)
0 - 20 grams: 0,91 euros (1 Stamp)
20 - 50 grams: 1,82 euros (2 Stamps)
50 - 100 grams: 2,73 euros (3 Stamps)
100 - 350 grams: 3,64 euros (4 Stamps)
350 grams - 2 kilos: 4,40 euros (5 Stamps)
Mailing costs for a letter (International)
0 - 20 grams: 1,50 euros
20 - 50 grams: 3,00 euros
50 - 100 grams: 4,50 euros
100 - 350 grams: 7,50 euros
350 grams - 2 kilos: 9,00 euros
Depending on the country you are mailing to, these prices may differ.
In general, the rule is that as long as a parcel fits through a standard post box slot, it can be mailed through the post within the Netherlands. It costs 4,25 euros to send a package through the post box. Parcels that do not fit through the post box need to be sent via the post office, or a parcel shop.
Costs and size for sending a parcel (within the Netherlands)
0 - 10 kilos: 7,25 euros
10 - 23 kilos: 13,50 euros
Up to 10 kilos - 100 x 50 x 50 cm
10 to 23 kilos - 176 x 78 x 58 cm
Prices for sending parcels outside the Netherlands may differ per country.
Customs clearance tax
Parcels sent from non-EU countries will have to go through customs clearance. You will be charged for VAT, customs duties and clearance tax when:
- A commercial parcel is noted as being worth more than 22 euros.
- A gift is noted as being worth more than 45 euros.
Please note: these costs can turn out to be rather high, and they will be expected to be paid in cash upon delivery.
In certain cases, a parcel will be delivered to the most nearby pickup point, rather than to your home address. This can be the most nearby post office, or a parcel shop that is connected to the delivery company that is handling your parcel. Most of the time, you can choose to have a parcel delivered to a pickup point close to your home address. This is especially useful when you are not at home at the predicted delivery date or if you want to be sure that your package is not stolen.
Public transport in the Netherlands is easiest to access when you have a OV chipkaart. This card can be used to check in for busses, trains and trams. It’s similar to the oyster card in the UK, which you might be familiar with. Having one means you don’t have to keep buying tickets at the station for the train or in the bus, which would generally be more expensive. A personal OV card will cost you 7,50€ and be valid for five years. You can also buy an anonymous OV chipkaart, but this card will be just as expensive without for instance the benefit of loading credit automatically. However, an anonymous card can be used by multiple people so there’s some advantages there as well. You can compare the two cards here.
If you have a personal OV card, you can get subscriptions. These subscriptions can potentially save you money by giving you discounts when travelling. Each transportation service has its own subscriptions available. The ones that’ll probably be most useful to you are the ones from NS and Arriva. Different companies operate in different parts of the Netherlands. NS has trains throughout the entire country and Arriva is responsible for (among others) the busses in Tilburg and Noord-Brabant. The table below lists all public transport companies in the Netherlands and the website where you can find their subscriptions. Most of these pages are in English.
|public transport company||website|
https://www.qbuzz.nl/gd/abonnementen-kaartjes/abonnementen (Region Groningen and Drenthe)
https://www.qbuzz.nl/dmg/abonnementen-kaartjes/abonnementen?resolve=true (Region Drechtsteden - Molenlanden - Gorinchem)
Where can you get bikes?
You can buy bikes second hand, for instance on Marktplaats.nl or you can get them new from a bike shop. In the Netherlands, bike shops always both repair and sell bikes. If you want to buy a bike, the easiest way to do so is by going to Google and just googling fietsenwinkel Tilburg and to then on Google Maps see which one is closest to you. During opening hours you can then just walk in and explain what you are looking for. There is also a bike shop located on Campus, close to the A building. You can find their website here. A good option for buying a second hand bike is through Save a Bike. They don’t just sell bikes, but also offer an option to rent a bike per day or per month for a set fee. The bikes they offer are ones that were abandoned and then repaired by them, and are cheaper than bikes sold in bike shops with prices starting at 65 euros.
Where are bike repair shops?
As mentioned above, all shops selling bikes will probably also repair them. Just go to the location of your preferred bike shop and explain what is wrong with your bike, they’ll help you further.
How do swapfiets and OV bikes work?
An alternative to buying your own bike is making use of either Swapfiets or OV bikes. In the case of Swapfiets, you rent a bike by paying a fixed amount each month. In return you get both a bike and access to their services, meaning they will make sure your bike always works. If your bike breaks, they will make sure you’ve got a working one within one day. More information can be found on their website.
Another way to rent bikes is by using OV bikes. These bikes can be rented for 24 hours at a time and cost 3,58 euros per time. You need an OV card and an OV-bike subscription to rent one of these bikes. More information about exactly how it works and where to get the subscription can be found here. The bikes typically can be found at any big train station, for instance the one in the center of Tilburg. For exact locations you can also check the link mentioned before.
How does cycling work in the Netherlands?
Cycling is a pretty big part of Dutch culture, and something Dutch people are taught to do from a very young age. It’ll be hard to find a Dutch person unable to ride a bike. If you are already familiar with traffic rules, you’re already mostly familiar with most rules that go for cyclists. Since there are so many cyclists in the Netherlands, the streets are designed in a way to make it easy for cyclists to get everywhere safely. Most larger streets and roads have the sides specifically designated for cyclists and sometimes you'll even find a separated bike path next to the street to completely separate cars and bikes. When on your bike, make sure to keep to the right side of the road and to indicate the direction you are going by using your arms. If you are going left somewhere, hold out the entirety of your left arm so other people can anticipate that you are going to make a turn. Also always make sure to abide by any other traffic rules, like stopping for red lights and to let other people go first if you come across the white triangles on the ground which Dutch people call haaientanden (shark teeth). Also try not to cycle on the sidewalk, this is not allowed in order to keep pedestrians safe. If you need to get someone's attention in traffic, for instance if you want to overtake someone on a small bike path, you can ring the bell on your steering wheel to warn them or to make sure they move aside so you can pass. This is especially handy when the people in front of you are cycling with multiple people next to each other. You are allowed to cycle with two people next to each other, so it’s fine to do this. More people next to each other at the same time though is not allowed. Bike paths are as a result generally about the width of two cyclists. Two other things to watch out for are bike lights and phone-use. To make sure you are visible, you need to have two lights on your bike: one on the front and one on the back. Not having your lights on can result in a fine if you are caught. It also makes it far harder for other road users to see you. Another rule to create safety on the roads is the new law that does not allow cyclists to use their phone while cycling. So no texting or calling while on your bike, unless you stop and do it by the side of the road. Having your phone in your hand to use Google Maps is also not allowed, you need to have it attached to your steering wheel to be allowed. If you are not able to cycle yet, you can follow some lessons to help you get started. For instance the cycling association in Tilburg offers lessons to people from all ages and backgrounds. You can find them on Fietsersbond.nl. They are familiar with teaching people who don’t speak Dutch. Don’t feel discouraged if cycling is hard at first, it takes time to really master and comparing yourself to people who have been doing it all their lives is not fair to yourself. Try to have fun learning the new skill!