We understand that there is more to life than work. To quickly feel at home in another country, it's important to be able to meet other people and to have an outlet: both physical and for the mind. Utrecht University offers a variety of social activities, cultural and sports facilities.
- In the centre of Utrecht, right behind the Dom church, you will find the Faculty Club. A hospitable environment for members of the academic community to meet up. During the week, lunch and dinner are served. Also, the Faculty Club regularly organises lectures and events, mostly for free.
- The International Neighbour Group (ING) organises social activities for international staff and PhD students. ING arranges excursions, international meals, guided town walks, Dutch lessons and other social activities. The activities are either free of charge or offered at a reduced rate. In addition to the activities, ING also hosts a very popular Google Group that internationals use to find housing, buy and sell bicycles or household goods, as well as offer or exchange services.
- Cultural Centre Parnassos provides a range of cultural activities in the city centre. You can attend courses and workshops, visit concerts and use Parnassos' facilities. You can rent rehearsal rooms suitable for to practice music, dance and theatre, and stage shows at the theatre hall, music hall or bar.
- Utrecht University’s Botanic Gardens are the most beautiful botanic gardens in the Netherlands. The gardens were laid out on and around Fort Hoofddijk, which dates from the 19th century. The extraordinary stretch of green space covers nine hectares (22 acres). The Botanic Gardens support education and research and play a role in nature conservation, especially in an international context. Visitors are welcome from 1 March until 1 December.
- The University Museum wants you to get in touch with your inner scientist. The museum lets you experience the differences between science now and in bygone days. The Oude Hortus, the museum gardens, has greenhouses filled with exotic trees and plants. An unexpected surprise in the middle of the city centre, where every season is different.
- Studium Generale is the public platform for knowledge and reflection of Utrecht University. It organises public events with scientists and thinkers at the interface of science and society, including lectures, talk shows and movie screenings. Many events are in Dutch, yet some are in English. Everyone is welcome and the entrance is free.
- Sportscentre Olympos offers a wide selection of sports options: group lessons, courses and free sports like fitness. Staff and alumni of Utrecht University get a discount rate at Olympos. Olympos has extended opening hours and is located at Utrecht Science Park.
Other collaborations, initiatives and events:
- Utrecht Cultural Sundays
- Utrecht University Cultural events
- Utrecht Marathon (website in Dutch)
- Language Cafe Utrecht
Also, have a look at Useful links for expats for expat information and local expat communities.