Staying mobile and active contributes positively to many aspects of your life such as concentration, sleep, handling pressure, managing diet and physical health. Some form of sports or recreation is therefore crucial to your UCU experience, and a very good habit to develop for the rest of your life.
For some of you this will be a new resolution – a new commitment to incorporate exercise into your daily life. For others, you may already be very involved in competitive sports or some recreational hobbies. Either way, at UCU there are countless opportunities for you to stay active…
Utrecht University has its own large sports complex, Olympos, with a modern gym, several courts and pitches, a wide range of fitness and dance classes, a climbing wall, as well as facilities for martial arts, yoga, athletics and more. The Olympos sports centre is also a hub for all kinds of student sports associations, and aims to cater for all of your exercise and sporting ambitions!
Using the facilities at Olympos is significantly cheaper than membership at non-university health clubs – see here for how to purchase a special ‘Olympas’ and benefit from all the facilities at a very low price.
UCU students also have access to their own small gym on campus, on the ground floor of the Dining Hall building, maintained by Olympos and run on a daily basis by the UCSA’s Gym Committee.
UCU Sports and Recreation Committees
The UCSA actively encourage its members to stay active, fit and healthy by facilitating a wide range of sports and recreational committees. For those who would like to run marathons or jog around the block, cycle to foreign cities or simply ride through town, sail across wide-open lakes or simply canoe along the canals, there is a group of students on campus ready to help you get involved! Hockey, volleyball, basketball, football, rowing, tennis and skating are also popular amongst students, and the UCSA can help you get involved competitively or just for fun.
In addition to sports there are several other activities and events organized by UCSA committees which can contribute excellently to your wellbeing. For example, there are yoga sessions, mindfulness workshops, dance classes, theatre groups, art sessions, musical projects, and even cookery gatherings. Alongside the vibrant party life on campus, these offer you several options to counterbalance or complement your academic life and explore ways to stay well.
Alongside those available at UCU, there is a huge variety in opportunities for students who want to become active in sports in the wider city Utrecht. For an overview see this page.
The Natural and Built Environment
Utrecht and the surrounding area offer a fantastic environment in which to relax or energise. The city of Utrecht itself is beautiful in many ways, and offer so much to students who seek peace and quiet, cultural discovery, or an active social scene. See what the Lonely Planet has to say about the city here. See what the City of Utrecht municipality says about itself here. But more importantly, go and explore and see what you make of it yourself!
Needless to say, exploring Utrecht and the area by bike is an easy and fun way to relax and discover new places. See here for good tips for getting around by bike.
The nearby Rhijnauwen Pancacke Restaurant is popular with UCU students, and is reached by a walk or bike ride through some woods (the website is in Dutch, so ask a local to point you in the right direction if needed!). Get close to nature, and then indulge in some local cuisine!
There are a number of organisations in the town offering canoes, kayaks and boats for hire, so you can explore the canals, rivers and waterways of the city and its rural outskirts. For example…
The Netherlands has a fantastic coastline with several locations for beach sports such as surfing, kite-boarding, swimming and cycling. Many of these are accessible within an hour by train from Utrecht, and give you the chance to get away from it all, alone or with friends.
There are a number of national parks in the Netherlands, offering a glimpse into the rich natural and cultural diversity of the country, including forests, dunes, rivers, lakes and historical monuments. Be adventurous and be sure to include the country’s beautiful nature in your UCU experience.
Arts and Culture
Utrecht University offers students a variety of choice regarding art and culture. Visit the University Museum or take a course at Parnassos Cultural Centre. More cultural activities at Utrecht University.