By Jasmin Ronach
— June is the first month of summer and for many students it is a highly anticipated time. With the past few weeks dictated by finals and deadlines, this time period brings a sense of relief and an opportunity to once again treat yourself. Since many students might not spend their summers in Amsterdam, this guide will show you what you can do in and around the city before you leave for the holidays.
The Conscious Club X Hortus Summer Sessions, Tuesdays from 19:00 to 20:30 at Hortus Botanicus
In order to calm your body and mind, you could visit the Summer Sessions, which is divided into four events this June. The sessions begin with a Deep Meditation event, which anyone can attend regardless of experience level. The second Tuesday is a similar Mindfulness event, where participants consume a calming cocoa drink and engage in meditation. The third session utilizes different kinds of yoga to release excess tension in the body, while essential oils have a further calming effect. The final event of the series is a breathing meditation supported by the sound of ancient instruments. It is supposed to influence the hormonal and circulatory systems. The tickets can be bought on the Hortus Botanicus website and cost 20 or 30 euros depending on the event.
Lecture on Sleep and Dissociation, June 5 from 15:00 – 17:00 at the Roeterseiland Campus
A good night’s sleep may be something you desperately need after finals, so let researcher and sleep expert Dalena van Heugten tell you why you should make it a priority. The lecture is divided into two parts, the first of which focuses on disturbances to your sleep cycle and what “dissociation” really means. The second half goes into how trauma can lead to trouble sleeping, and culminates in the presentation of several useful tips to develop healthy sleep habits. Tickets cost 5 euros and are available online.
Skill session: “Bring a POV, not an agenda!”, June 6 from 18:30 – 22:00 at VICE Nederland
This event is for the changemakers and those who want to face the world’s issues head on. As the organizers themselves describe, today’s world is marked by sensory overload with ads as far as the eye can see, which is making it increasingly more difficult to be heard. This makes a unique perspective essential. The workshop will focus on learning from each other, discussing openly and presenting ideas. In conversation, you will learn how to tailor your message so that it arrives at your audience as it should. You have the chance to learn from the experts at VIRTUE, which is an agency born from VICE, that brings an economical but also cultural view into the picture. Entry costs 5 euros and it is important that guests are very punctual.
Criminal Minds Symposium, June 8 from 13:30 to 15:00 at Cognito
Interdisciplinarity is something that is often stressed as important by universities and that is definitely part of this symposium. The student associations for the Brain and Cognition as well as Forensic Science Master programs collaborated to create this event. Some of the main topics will be the relationship between mental health and someone’s likelihood to commit a crime, as well as what motivates re-offenders and how criminals should be treated. The event is led by four researchers whose general areas of expertise are the genetics of antisocial behavior, cultural criminology, the improvement of genetic identification via epigenetic information and the development of scientific approaches towards identifying criminals.
A Radical Defense of Humanity, June 12 from 13:00-14:00 at the Roeterseiland Campus
Moving away from the purely scientific, a great opportunity to learn something new is the Room for Discussion interview on June 12. This time, author, journalist, and playwright Paul Mason will discuss nothing less than the fate of humanity. He will talk about the social consequences of the current world order and how it has led to a psychological deterioration of the self. Some of the solutions he will discuss lie in the area of technology, which he sees as a way of saving the “post-work society”. The discussion goes over the progression from neoliberalism to populism, as well as the role of technology in shaping us as human beings.
Exploring the Urban Forest, June 14 from 14:00 to 19:00 at Amsterdamse Bos
A vast forest might not be the first thought you have when you think of Amsterdam, but that is exactly what you can find not far outside of the city. The forest of Amsterdam “Amsterdamse Bos” is filled with blooming plants, native animals, and offers many opportunities to be active. As part of this event, you sign up via email to participate in a small group that explores the forest together. Other than hiking, you can look forward to forest bathing and a vegan meal, all for the price of 17.50 euros for students. Be quick, because spots are limited and only open until June 10. Alternatively you can explore the forest together with some friends.
Masterclass on the Venezuelan crisis, June 15 from 20:00 to 22:00 at CREA
Moving on to politics, Venezuela is often viewed as a place of poverty and the poster child of failed socialism. After the revolution started by former president Chavez, Venezuela is now succeeded by president Maduro. Under his administration, the economy worsened and hyperinflation has become a big issue, leading to famine, disease, and unrest in the country. Despite having vast oil reserves, Venezuela has not been able to make use of these resources, partly due to volatile oil prices, which sparked the initial social unrest. The SIB-Masterclass will talk about the topic in-depth, in a smaller group, with time for questions from the audience. The focus will be on questions like why an oil-rich country is so poor, who is responsible for the political situation, and what will be the result of Venezuela’s political divide.
Markets around Amsterdam
On June 10, many special edition markets will take place in celebration of Pentecost, a christian holiday. Make use of your free time on this class-free Monday and visit the Noordermarkt or the closer-by Dappermarkt to do some of your shopping. On the weekend of June 15 and 16, IJhallen, the biggest flea market in Europe, will take place once again in the north of Amsterdam. Also, if you want to get rid of old clothes, you are in luck. There are many different swap and sale events, one of which I want to highlight especially. For 5 euros you can rent a table at the Second-Hand market at CREA on June 20. From 13:00 to 17:00 you will be able to buy and sell clothing items at an event specifically made for students.