Tilburg Survival Kit

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How to live in Tilburg as a foreign student

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  • 1Tilburg Survival Kit

  • 2 3

    Welcome to Tilburg!

    Contents

    Preface 2

    Living with the Dutch 4

    Traditions and Customs 4

    Religion and Places of Worship 5

    Typical Dutch Festivities 5

    Financial Matters 6

    Bank 6

    Exchange Office 6

    Prepaid Chip Card/Chipknip 6

    Credit Cards Use 6

    Transport 7

    By Air 7

    By Bus, Tram, or Metro 7

    By Train and Train-Taxi 7

    Car Rental 7

    A True Cycling Country 8

    Medical Assistance 9

    General Practitioners 9

    Hospitals in Tilburg 10

    Public Health Department 10

    Dentists 10

    Insurance 11

    Confidential Advisers 11

    What to do in case of an Emergency 11

    Communication 12

    Postal and Telephone Services 12

    International Calls 12

    Yellow Pages 13

    Shops and Shopping 14

    Shops 14

    Department Stores 14

    Supermarkets 14

    Markets 14

    Bookshops 15

    Second-hand Furniture Shops 15

    Culture and Leisure 16

    Culture and Leisure 16

    Tourist Destinations 16

    The Tilburg Area 16

    Cities near Tilburg 16

    Theme Parks 16

    Public Library 16

    Holidays 16

    Museums 17

    Theatres, Cinemas and Concerts 17

    Sports 17

    Pubs and Cafs 17

    Pubs with affordable Meals 17

    Restaurants 17

    Summer Festivals 18

    Cultural Events Calendar 18

    Hotels in Tilburg 19

    Contact 20

    General Contact Information 20

    Tilburg University Staff 20

    Maps 22

    Map of the Netherlands 22

    Map of Tilburg 23

    Map of Tilburg Universitys Campus 23

    Disclaimer

    All information provided in this brochure is for information

    purposes only and does not constitute a legal contract

    between Tilburg University and any person or entity unless

    otherwise specified. Although every reasonable effort is

    made to present current and accurate information,

    Tilburg University makes no guarantees of any kind.

    Whether you are planning to stay for weeks, years or even

    for a lifetime, this vibrant city offers you everything you need.

    With one research university, two universities of applied

    sciences, and a student population of almost 30,000, there is

    a dynamic vibe to the city. With over 200,000 inhabitants and

    thousands of visitors staying here for long or short periods,

    our city has grown accustomed to the needs of both our

    national and international guests. This brochure will tell you

    about many of the benefits of life in Tilburg, but I am sure

    that you will discover many more!

    Do you want to get to know the city and its people? Explore

    the city by bicycle to learn about our city with a village

    atmosphere. Talk to us - Tilburgers are welcoming to guests

    and we love talking about our city and telling you about

    ourselves. We enjoy living in Tilburg, enjoy our work or

    studies, our daily lives, sports and hobbies, all within easy

    reach. Where can you find us? A good place to start would

    be at one of the many events held in the town throughout

    the year, when the centre of Tilburg becomes a meeting

    place for everybody.

    Occasionally, you may want to escape from the hustle and

    bustle of everyday life and Tilburg has parks, gardens and

    forests in abundance both in and around the city where you

    can do just this. A fifteen-minute bicycle ride will take you

    into the green countryside that surrounds the city, with its

    unique natural beauty. Or you can simply enjoy a drink and

    a bite to eat at one of the many pubs and pavement cafs.

    The desire to experiment is typical of Tilburg - we like to try

    new things, to face new challenges and discover creative

    solutions. I am pleased to welcome you to Tilburg and

    would like to thank you all in advance for joining us in

    the search for both questions and answers concerning

    the challenges which we face today.

    Welcome to Tilburg. I am sure that you will feel at home right

    from the start.

    Peter Noordanus LLM

    Mayor of Tilburg

  • 4 5

    Traditions and CustomsThe first time you take a train, you may notice that Dutch

    people can be rather aloof towards strangers. The seats will

    fill up in a fashion that postpones proximity as long as

    possible, and people will seldom speak to each other unless

    they are acquainted. Although you may regard this behaviour

    as unfriendly, it also reflects a respect for the privacy of

    others, perhaps combined with a certain reserve. The latter

    interpretation is probably more accurate, and it can certainly

    make living among the Dutch more enjoyable. The Dutch

    respect for privacy is evident in many ways. For example,

    famous people can usually go about their business freely in

    public without being disturbed. In contrast to their generally

    reserved character, the Dutch have a direct manner of

    communicating that may startle those who are not used to it.

    The Dutch tend to come straight to the point when they have

    something to say. In fact, the Dutch consider this directness

    to be a positive personality trait. Dutch people meeting each

    other for the first time do not usually wait to be introduced.

    They offer their hand for a handshake, make eye contact, say

    their names and listen for the name of the other person.

    On social occasions, people who already know each other

    also shake hands if they have not seen each another for a

    while. Good friends or relatives will also exchange three kisses

    on the cheeks.

    The Dutch tend to be less competitive than many other West-

    erners. They place great value on teamwork and consensus,

    and those who try too hard to excel will be criticized for not

    being team players and excluded from the group. Young

    people often go to discos, clubs, pubs or cafs to be with

    friends and meet new people. This usually takes place during

    the weekend, although Tuesday and Thursday are the nights

    for going out in many student cities. Food does not play as

    large a role in hospitality in the Netherlands as it does in many

    other cultures. When visiting Dutch people, you will always be

    offered something to drink, but do not expect a meal unless the

    invitation specifically mentions this. What matters in the

    Netherlands is not so much the food, but the company. When

    you welcome Dutch guests into your home in the Netherlands,

    you normally start by serving coffee and cake or cookies before

    soft drinks and/or alcoholic drinks and snacks are served.

    Living with the Dutch

    Like all people, the Dutch have their own traditions and customs. Because other publications deal with these issues

    extensively, we will only mention things that international guests might find unusual during their first few days and weeks

    in the Netherlands.

    You may have the impression that the Dutch are serious,

    mild-mannered people who tend to mind their own business.

    In fact, the Dutch have a very special way of having a good

    time. It is expressed by the Dutch word gezelligheid, which

    describes an atmosphere of warm, relaxed congeniality.

    If you live in a Dutch student house, you will probably see

    evidence of the independent, separate lives that people lead.

    Resources are not generally pooled in such households;

    everyone keeps track of his or her own spending and

    consumption. Cooking is sometimes done individually, but

    the residents of many student houses cook and have dinner

    together. Food placed in a communal refrigerator is

    considered personal property; if necessary, it is marked as

    such. This deeply rooted independence is something that

    most newcomers must learn to live with.

    More information on living in the Netherlands can be

    found at: www.nuffic.nl/international-students

    Religion and Places of WorshipThe Netherlands has a Christian tradition. About two-thirds

    of people are either from a Roman Catholic or a Protestant

    background. Some 800,000 Muslims also live in the

    Netherlands and many ethnic groups practice Hinduism,

    Buddhism, and other religions. Each religion has its own

    place of worship. For more information, please visit:

    www.tilburguniversity.nl/religion

    In the middle of the Tilburg University campus, you can find

    the Zwijsen building (also called the Stiltecentrum). It is the

    universitys centre for reflection, meditation and prayer, which

    gives reflection a central role at the university. This location

    (see photo on the right) offers you a place to pray, search for

    inspiration, meditate individually or in a group, or just to

    spend some time in the building quietly and relax.

    Typical Dutch FestivitiesQueens Day On 30 April we celebrate the birthday of the

    (Dutch: former Queen, Wilhelmina. Everyone wears

    Koninginnedag) orange, in honour of the name of the Dutch

    royal family, the House of Orange. This festival

    is celebrated all across the Netherlands.

    St Nicholas 5 December is an exciting day for Dutch

    (Dutch: children, who wonder what will Sinterklaas

    Sinterklaas) bring them? This celebration is on the name

    day of Saint Nicholas, the patron saint of

    children. Gifts are given on the evening

    of St Nicholas Day, which is called

    pakjesavond (presents evening).

    Traditionally, presents