Besides all the great ESN activities and parties (and the Dutch events), you are all here for another purpose: studying. As you probably did not have time to study (or just tried to ignore it), it is now really the moment to sit down behind those books. But where do you do that? Everybody knows about the university librarys on the Science park or the Drift, but with the exam weeks these places can get really busy and you'll have to get up early to find yourself a study spot. Even more so, the coffee isn't great and the atmosphere can be depressing.
Staying at home to study can be difficult too: concentration problems because everything in your rooms is highly distracting or flatmates that turn up the music while you are trying to cram all that knowledge into your head.
So, where do you go? We have made a list of alternative study spots that might make the hard study days a little easier.
Ludwig Coffee Bar
If you're already at the Drift to find that study spot, but it is totally full inside then Ludwig Coffee bar is a good place to go. It’s at Drift 9, in the same building as the gym Train & More. The comfortable chairs are a definite plus. There’s free Wi-Fi, with plenty power outlets and the bar is never too crowded. With a view on the Janskerkhof and the Dom tower, this is a great place to study. Do you need more reasons to give this bar a visit?
Maybe you’ve already discovered this great hidden place in one of the university buildings: Drift 23. On the highest level of this building, you’ll find a lounge with long wooden benches, topped with enormous colorful pillows, and big carpets on the floor. This lounge was designed by interior designer Toon van Deijne The University Wi-Fi eduroam can be accessed here and there are many power outlets. The only downside: you’ll have to make do with the coffee from the vending machines (or get a take-away coffee and bring it with you).
Café de Zaak
You can find Café de Zaak at the Korte Minrebroerstraat. If you’re someone who has to study in complete silence, this place won’t be perfect for you. However, if you don’t mind a little bit of background noise while you plough through your books, you should definitely check it out! What makes this café so great? You can eat your own food there! You don’t have to spend your money on way too expensive sandwiches to be allowed to stay there for a few hours. Maybe this is my Dutch state of mind, but I love this concept!
Openbare Bibliotheek Utrecht
If you prefer a more quiet environment the Openbare Bibliotheek (Public Library) might be a good spot for you. It’s not as popular as the University Library, which means there are more spots available. There is free WiFi and if you’re a member, you can use one of the library computers.
The Coffee Company is a cozy coffee bar, with a long table to work on, and cozy seats and tables to do some teamwork with a classmate. When you’ve bought your coffee (or a sandwich, cupcake, tea or something else), you can find the Wi-Fi code on your receipt, so keep in mind to ask for a receipt! You can get a small espresso for 2 euro’s, but they have a wide range of great coffees and you can even add extra shots or syrup to your coffee. The atmosphere is great, everybody is laid back and the music is exactly what you would expect in a coffee bar.
At Vredenburg, you can find Time Space. What makes this place different from the other spots I mentioned, is that you have to book your study spot in advance. This way, you'll be sure there is a place for you. Booking a spot for a day is €6. Are you wondering if that's worth it? It sure is! In addition to the assured study spot, you can drink free tea and coffee the whole time!
However, it is also possible to go outside to study once the weather is getting better. Therefore we have also collected some of the best places to study outside.
This wonderful spot hallway between the city centre and the Uithof is a haven for those wanting to escape the nerve-racking closed spaces of the library. There’s a huge grass-covered area where you can lay down on your favourite blanket with some snacks and focus on your studies. Also, there’s a great ice cream stand nearby in case you get hungry ;) Caution: if the weather is extra nice, the park can get overcrowded with students playing football and young families!
If you have many classes on the Uithof campus, spending another minute there might feel like punishment. That shouldn’t be the case when you think of the Botanic Garden filled with rare species and plenty of quiet corners to get away from everyone. If you’re a student or an employee at Utrecht University, entry is completely free of charge and you can stay till 4.30 pm to make the most of your afternoon. And since the garden officially belongs to university, you have eduroam WiFi that you can use to do research online!
By Robin Martina