Studying abroad is an exciting and rewarding experience. Students United in the Netherlands (SUN) is a Windesheim committee that helps exchange students learn about Dutch student life and settle in.
Learn about life in the Netherlands with SUN
In 1997, Windesheim set up an organization to help foreign exchange students by running a buddy and activity programme. The organization is called SUN, which is short for Students United in the Netherlands. SUN is a committee of about ten Windesheim students, closely supported by the International Office. As an exchange student, you are given a Dutch SUN mentor as soon as you enrol. Your mentor will make you feel at home from day one. The benefits of SUN for exchange students:
- Lots of opportunities to meet other international and Dutch students
- Help adapting to student life in Zwolle
- Informal evening and weekend activities
- The opportunity to go on a planned trip in the Netherlands
We look forward to meeting you and we wish you a fantastic and valuable experience here in the Netherlands. All the best from Zwolle!
Our SUN mentors have received appropriate mentor training and are dedicated to helping you out with any questions or issues you may come across. You will be guided by your SUN mentors in peer mentor groups throughout the semester or academic year.
Activities organised by SUN:
As well as supporting exchange students, SUN also provides entertainment, with themed nights and various social meetings throughout the academic year.
• The first activity of each semester is always the Introductory Week, held in week 2. See the academic calendar for the semester dates. During the Introductory Week, you'll be given essential information about living and learning in the Netherlands and navigating your way around the university. You'll also have the opportunity to settle in and make new friends, and to go on trips to local places of interest.
• Along with the Introductory Week, the other activities linked to the ECTS (European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System) form part of the (compulsory) cross-departmental module Introduction to Windesheim and the Netherlands. The module involves various activities and is organized by SUN in collaboration with Windesheim's International Office. To obtain the two ECTS credits for the module, you have to participate in at least four of the six activities and complete an assignment.
• You'll get to know the other exchange students and of course the SUN team. Most activities take place in the evening and are intended to enable you to get to know your fellow students, learn about (student) life in Zwolle, about Dutch culture in general and about academic life at Windesheim. On the SUN trip, you will get to see more of the lovely Dutch countryside and to sample some Dutch culture. There is a SUN activity that you can join in each month.
• In addition to the ECTS activities, there are various social activities each semester, which you can take part in if you like. They aren't compulsory.
SUN Activities Programme
Highlights that appear every semester:
- Introduction Week with several events to welcome exchange Students
- Getting to know Zwolle
- Celebrating 'Sinterklaas' or ice skating (depending on the semester)
- Country presentations
- Multi cultural food night
- SUN trip
- Farewell Party
SUN activities are free of charge. Some of the events will have refreshments included, but you will need to pay for personal items and for most of your drinks and food yourself. The SUN Activities Programme is subject to change, depending on demand and availability.
The International Office organises a pick-up-service for exchange students. Our SUN mentors can pick you up from the railway station in Zwolle to take you straight to your dorm. If you want to make use of the pick-up-service, send an e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Please inform us well in advance about your date of arrival.
Connect on Facebook
If you are coming to Zwolle next semester, please join us on Facebook. Here you can meet up with the other future international students. It also gives you the chance to learn more about experiences from our former Erasmus students.