Boundless mind

At Amsterdam Science Park, we believe knowledge has no borders. That’s why you’ll find cutting-edge institutes, top-class facilities and business incubators in one convenient location. You’ll meet motivated students, innovative researchers, talented scientists and adventurous entrepreneurs – all in an environment where it’s easy to work together. Cross-disciplinary initiatives and holistic thinking flourish. Ground-breaking research projects become successful spin-offs. That’s the strength of Amsterdam Science Park: connecting boundless minds.

Michael Vermeer

Michael Vermeer is a graduate intern at Amsterdam University College, where he recently obtained his degree.

“I wanted to study in the international environment that I am used to - although I’m Dutch, I lived abroad with my parents for 17 years. So I chose Amsterdam University College (AUC) at the Amsterdam Science Park campus because its courses are in English and over half the students have international origins. It’s a liberal arts and sciences college on the American model. The great thing about it is that you can follow lots of different courses for your undergraduate degree. Your studies have a wide scope and benefit from a variety of disciplines and perspectives. I chose to focus on social sciences, political science and economics."

“The greatest benefit of Amsterdam Science Park is that it connects you with such a diverse group of people and so with a world of different ideas”

“Amsterdam University College is only six years old. Because it’s new, there’s lots of space to start your own initiatives. There are no established traditions, so everything needs to be started up and developed – which is exactly what I did. Together with my friend Jesse Vullinghs, I set up Jeugdlab. The name means ‘youth lab.’ The idea was to foster contact with our local neighbourhood: the Indischebuurt. We wanted to build a bridge between AUC and local people."

“After talking to councillors, we came up with a programme in which students provide science education for small groups of local children. This is very much activity- based. We’ve done things like building rockets and studying insect life in local ponds. We do these activities twice a week. We generally get 10 to 20 kids per session, aged from six to 12. Our aim is always to enthuse kids about science. It’s not about passing tests. It’s all about that spark of enthusiasm."

“Breaking down barriers is an important part of education”

“Doing community work or an internship is a requirement of AUC degrees and we earned course credits with our project. The local neighbourhood has a high level of civic participation here – there are about 250 citizen initiatives from a population of just 20,000. So that’s a very different kind of expertise from that of scientific research and I think that combining the two enables links between society and science. This is important, since ordinary people often poorly understand developments in technology and science. Now I have handed over the Jeugdlab project to others, but as a graduate intern I’m still working on how to connect citizen activities and Science Park activities. Breaking down barriers is an important part of education."

“Living on campus is relatively very cheap for Amsterdam, and it makes a pleasant and affordable base in a great city”

“Living on campus is relatively very cheap for Amsterdam, and it makes a pleasant and affordable base in a great city. There are excellent transport links, right on the park site. Science students can use the superb UVA facilities, which are on our doorstep. There are also a number of internship possibilities at Ace Venture Lab, the start-up accelerator, for example."

“The greatest benefit of Amsterdam Science Park is that it connects you with such a diverse group of people and so with a world of different ideas. There is huge potential for interdisciplinary research and I see the park growing into an even greater hub of expertise and knowledge.”