University College Utrecht is a unique community of students living and studying together. The Student Life Office is a partner in working towards a rewarding, productive, healthy and fruitful time for all who belong the College.
The Student Life Office is a point of contact for all students to discuss any personal matter. The topics can cover issues such as health, workload, new campus initiatives, planning, family circumstances, effective decision making, or simply putting things into perspective and making it through the next semester. All meetings are confidential (unless disclosure is agreed with the student), and there is no topic off limits.
Students can sit in comfortable surroundings with a counsellor, first and foremost to be heard, understood and respected. Through talking and guidance, the majority of struggles and difficulties can be addressed within a few meetings.
Aside from sitting conversations, other forms of counselling available include:
- Creative Counselling: Our arts studio and music room can be used for one-to-one or small group appointments where students can use ‘knutselen’, craft, drawing, or sounds in alternative conversations about their life experiences, difficulties or issues. This can be helpful to those for whom creativity is a strong means of expression.
- Kinetic Counselling: Other spaces can be used for one-to-one appointments, in which students can move freely, and also use focus pads, as a means to communicate, sometimes as a precursor to spoken conversation. This can be helpful when, for example, feelings of anger, frustration, or sadness are too strong to verbalise at first.
- Silent Counselling: There are also spaces in which counselling can take place in silence, as a respite from the ‘busy noise’ of everyday life, and to allow for a more contemplative interaction..
- Al Fresco / Open Air Counselling: There are opportunities to connect and talk while walking in the neighbourhood, or around the campus.
The Student Life Office also co-ordinates the ‘UC More’ program, comprising some encounters with the natural environment, and with each other, in and around Utrecht. See here for a summary of activities so far, and look out for communications from the Student Life Office for future events.
'Starting confidentiality’ is assured within the confines of the counselling team. If it transpires there is significant risk to the safety of one or more individuals, it may be necessary to disclose to third parties (e.g. specialist psychologist, doctor) – this will be made known to the student before disclosure happens.
The Student Life Office works closely with other support providers throughout Utrecht University and the city of Utrecht. Besides the UCU Tutor team, nearby resources include doctors’ surgeries, psychologists (both on and off the university campus), therapists and others.
The Student Life Office is led by Student Life Officer, Mark Baldwin, who has a wide range of experience, professional training and qualifications as counsellor, mentor, coach and guide. Find out more about Mark’s professional background on his profile page.
Also working in the Student Life Office is Ingrid Wesselink van Meerten, a counsellor with wide experience and a special interest in young adults. Find out more about Ingrid’s professional background on her profile page
A small number of tutors act as support counsellors in the Student Life Office during peak demand. This means that, collectively, the Office comprises both male and female counsellors, from the Netherlands and abroad, whose special experience covers a huge array of issues relating to young adult life.
To make an appointment, please contact Mark Baldwin, email: firstname.lastname@example.org, or drop by spontaneously. If you prefer at the outset to meet with our female counsellor, please indicate this in your request.
The Covid19 virus has limited the amount of face-to-face contact the Student Life Office can offer for the meanwhile. However, good alternatives can certainly be arranged! Counsellors are available to meet via MS Teams, Zoom or Skype where in-person contact is not possible.
The Student Life Office is located in College Hall, room 112.
Best times to book appointments are:
- Mondays 13:00 - 15:00
- Tuesdays 11:00 - 13:00
- Wednesdays 13:00 - 15:00
- Thursdays 13:00 - 15:00