Being at university usually means going through several changes, some of which can be demanding on you both physically and mentally. Arriving in a new city and starting a new course of study is exciting, but it might also feel daunting and unfamiliar. In itself, this is perfectly normal and should be expected – after all, the whole idea is to step outside your comfort zone and extend your capacity for work and life.
Wherever you're from, take some time to settle in, participate in activities, make friends and be sure to look out for each other, yourself and your welfare so that you stay happy and healthy, and get the most out of your time at UCU.
The following resources are available to support you in this…
UU Student Psychologists
Utrecht University has its own team of psychologists devoted to supporting its students. This team of certified psychologists is part of UU’s Student Services, and is located on Utrecht Science Park in the ‘Bestuursgebouw’ building – around 5-10 minutes away by bike.
The psychologists are experienced in counselling students from the Netherlands and abroad, in a range of personal and study-related issues. The meetings are strictly confidential and free of charge (though the first ‘intake’ session for Dutch students costs €25). After your initial intake meeting, and depending on the nature of your case, you will be advised on further treatments.
See here for further information about scheduling appointments with the psychologists.
No referral is required to make an appointment – you may simply contact Student Services directly yourself.
General Practitioner (GP)
You may also consult your General Practitioner (GP) in case of mental health problems. Where appropriate, s/he can refer you to a suitable specialist (e.g. a psychologist or psychiatrist) for ongoing treatment.
There are, of course, many other healthcare professionals in Utrecht and throughout the country, who offer consultations in psychology and various therapies. The University does not make specific recommendations, though a basic internet search reveals a number of practitioners, including some with previous experience in counselling UCU students (in English or Dutch). Some are listed in the International Therapist Directory.
Further Information and Self-Help
The Dutch organization PsyQ offers a range of mental healthcare support to Dutch and international students and residents
GGZ Nederland (Dutch Association of Mental Health and Addiction Care) is the sector organisation of specialist mental health and addiction care providers in the Netherlands.
Altrecht Crisis Hotline (Altrecht Crisisdienst), for mental health emergencies
Tel: 030 230 8850 (22.00 to 08.30)
This hotline can be used in urgent situations 24/7, when other student services are unavailable. English can be used and translators for other languages can be provided if necessary