House rules and information
for participants in School sessions
The following rules were drawn up for reasons of collective life, maintenance of the building and its infrastructure, working conditions and security. They must be followed at all times.
1. General information on the School
The Institute is a legal institution and is called the "International Institute for Research and Education". All participants in their dealings with the local authorities should refer it to under this name. The School is managed by a foundation with its head office in Brussels, Belgium.
The Institute is not open to the general public, so appointments with persons not linked to the school must be made outside the Institute. Likewise, only participants are allowed to sleep in the dormitories.
2. Collective responsibility
All participants are collectively responsible for the overall organizational and material performance of the Institute.
The school is well equipped (housing, dining room, meeting, reading, and leisure rooms, library, TV and video systems, simultaneous translation, etc.). The participants should behave in a responsible manner when using the infrastructure and the different systems provided by the school. Take proper care of the materials (audio-visual, stereo, headphones, etc.) and help us save on expenses by turning off lights when not needed, making sure that taps are closed after use, etc. Individual radiators in the rooms can be turned down, up or off. Do not waste fuel with the heat on and the window open. If a radiator does not heat it may need to be bled. Ask the Institute staff.
3. Finding your way in the building
Note that the building was originally three adjoining houses, so there are three staircases. On the entrance floor you will find the reception (TV room) and meeting rooms.
Staircase A (by the front door): leads up to the library and staff offices;
down to the kitchen/dining room and music room.
Staircase B (to the right before going into the main meeting room) leads up to the bedrooms (2 floors) and down to the music room.
Staircase C (beyond the main meeting room) leads up to the bedroom floors and down to the “chimney room” with the film collection.
Courses and discussions are held in Rooms C and B1. These rooms are exclusively designed for organized collective activities. Room B2 is specially meant to be a reading room where silence must be observed. It can be used as a meeting room for discussion groups when necessary.
DO NOT BRING COFFEE CUPS INSIDE THE CONFERENCE OR READING ROOMS.
Informal gatherings can best be organized in the reception, the dining room, the music and leisure rooms or in the garden. The garden has flowers and plants so be careful where you walk or sit so as not to crush them.
There are two dormitory floors on the B and C side of the Institute compound. Note the room you are occupying on the list next to the telephone. Rooms often have to be shared. The quieter, garden side rooms should be shared first. Sheets and towels are in the cupboards in the hallway; bring them down to the kitchen at the end of your stay. Blankets and pillows remain in the bedrooms.
Please observe silence in the area as much as you can to respect those who wish to sleep or work in their rooms. Do not take showers too early or too late because of the noise. Pay particular attention to this when coming home late after a good drink at the pubs.
There are two stockrooms near the kitchen where food and cleaning provisions are stored. These rooms are open only to cooking teams as required.
The two libraries are open to use by schools/meetings organized by the Institute itself. Please read the guide to the School's library in your first reading material. Always note your name in books or periodicals borrowed from the library in the notebook provided whenever you take a book or periodical out of the room. No books may leave the School under any circumstances. Participants can consult some periodicals and reference books in the reading room, room B2. It is not allowed to take periodicals or books out of this room.
4. Eating and drinking
Food and drinks should not be taken into the meeting rooms. Return all dirty cups to the kitchen. All dirty dishes and cutlery should be rinsed and put in the racks ready to be washed. Come to meals and leave meals promptly - the cooking teams are not servants to wait around for you.
Beer and wine are available if some one at the school undertakes to buy them. Note on the list on the refrigerator door what you take if you do not pay immediately.
A cooking team is responsible for the meals and for keeping the kitchen and dining room clean and tidy during the day (please put away all food - we have had mice). The cooking team must ensure that there is coffee (and a supply of clean cups next to the coffee machine) available throughout the day.
Menus should be planned on the basis of what is available: dry and frozen food in the main reserve (check the freezer), fresh vegetables and fruit in the vegetable reserve. Check leftovers to be used in small fridges. Plan in advance so that frozen meat and bread for breakfast are defrosted and to spread the workload over the day. Meat should not be served more than once a day – too much meat is unhealthy as well as expensive.
Hot water for the kitchen is obtained by turning the knob on the hot water boiler next to the small fridges.
The coffee should be put on (see instructions next to the machine) at about 7.30. Put on the washing up machine also (see instructions). Wake everybody by knocking on doors at about 7.45. Bread, cheese, jam should be put on the tables. Breakfast should be served from 8 to 8.30 and everything cleared away by 9. Lunch is served around 1 p.m. The cooking team should serve from the counter (portion control!) People collect their cutlery and food from the counter but glasses, water, bread, condiments and napkins should be on the tables. Lunch should be cleared away, washing up done in time to give the cooking team a break before the afternoon session. Dinner should be ready at 7.30-8pm. After dinner everything should be cleaned and put away. Mop the floors. Turn off the washing up machine and drain it. Turn off the coffee machine and empty it at the end of the day.
5. Papers and valuables
The Institute has a safe where valuables can be kept. You should make a copy of your passport in case of identity controls, but deposit your passport and plane tickets for safekeeping to avoid losing them.
The participants may use the following facilities:
- cable television in the reception, with 23 channels available for various European stations (the list is displayed). Please do not change the settings.
- a video in the reception, with a small collection of films in the chimney room. To watch a video turn the television to Channel 24.
- stereo and music cassettes and CDs in the music room.
Attention: The music and leisure rooms are meant to be used by everyone. They should not be transformed into personal working rooms! The music cassette tapes should stay in the music room and should not be brought to the dormitories. Do not play loud music particularly at night, nor have the doors at the garden side and windows on the street side open when playing music, as this can disturb those who wish to sleep and the neighbours and to prevent the police from making a call on us.
The small garden house has a ping-pong table. However, please don’t play table tennis earlier then 9 a.m. especially in the weekend) nor later than 10 p.m. This is because noise/sounds made in the garden are easily echoed to the houses around, and can be very annoying for the neighbours.
A small supermarket on Emmastraat is open every day Monday to Saturday until 8pm. Postal services and currency exchange are at the post office: turn left three blocks down Emmastraat. ‘Strippenkaarten’ for the tram can be bought at the post office and supermarket. For the nearest cash machine, turn left out of the Institute; at the end of Willemsparkweg turn right for an ABN-AMRO Bank or left for VSB Bank.
7. Telephone Calls/ Internet/Fax/Photocopy/Taping
The participants may use the black phone put at their disposal under the stairs near the front door. Use euro coins only! After picking up the receiver, you can change the language displayed from English to French, German or Dutch by pressing the T button.
Personal e-mail can be received at or sent from <email@example.com> at the Macintosh Performa in the little office with the fax machine. Make sure your name is in the subject line. Do not go online from this machine – the staff will send and receive e-mail regularly – and do not have personal e-mail sent to the School’s e-mail address! In the same little office are two laptops on which you can go to websites, including to check your own e-mail account. Please be considerate of others who want to use these computers.
The Institute’s fax number is 673.21.06.
Personal photocopies can be made on the photocopier in the office next to the TV room. You will need a code - please ask the Institute staff. Photocopies cost 5 Euro cents per copy. Pay your bill!
Copying of tapes (for example of reports) can be done on the machine provided for this purpose. Tapes should be provided by the person requesting.
8. Laundry and drying
Personal laundry can be done by hand in the small room adjoining the kitchen. A drying room is available at the kitchen floor adjacent to the dining room. Only the laundry team can do collective laundry using the washing machines. The machines cannot be used by participants on their own. A self-service for laundry can be found at a nearby street (Cornelis Schuytstraat).
9. Cleaning of the houses
The Institute building must be kept clean at all times if it is to remain useable on the long term. We cannot afford to let the building, equipment, and facilities deteriorate. Therefore, the sleeping rooms as well as the work and leisure rooms must be maintained clean. Special attention is necessary for the showers, the lavabos, the toilets, and the kitchen. After using showers and the lavabos, they must be cleaned, and hair and all materials that block the passage of water should be removed. To avoid clogging of pipes and the sewage system, never throw sanitary napkins into the toilet bowls. And never throw coffee-ground into the sink!
At the end of the school, a rigorous general cleaning of the whole house must be organized. This is a vital to ensure we maintain our major investment. Experience shows that it is impossible to clean the building properly in less than 3 hours. So to save the permanent staff (who have lots of other things to do!) from having to clean after a school, the necessary time should be set aside for this. Cleaning teams will be organized and allocated to the different floors of the building. The cleaning materials (including vacuum cleaners) for the different floors can be found:
Bedroom floors – in the cupboard at the end of the corridor on garden side.
Entrance (ground) floor - blue vacuum cleaner in hallway to meeting rooms.
Kitchen (garden) floor – under the sinks or in passage next to main reserve.
Unless you are staying on to the next day (please inform the Institute staff in this case) empty your room before the cleaning begins so that it can be cleaned. If you leave later you must of course clean your own room and ensure that spaces you used are left clean (showers, toilets, kitchen etc).
Each cleaning team cleans the stairs down from assigned floor; collects all rubbish and deposits bags in passage between the kitchen and reserve. Do not bring rubbish bins down. There are detailed instructions on each floor.
In order to lighten the workload, and to ensure longer life of the carpets, participants are requested to change from shoes used outside to slippers or shoes for the interior. A shoe rack at the entrance is provided for this purpose.
Amsterdam is a pleasant city with a varied and abundant cultural life. Leisure time can thus be put to good and pleasant use. However, participants should be careful not to place themselves in situations that could cause prejudice to the school, or endanger the pursuit of its activities.
Door no. 202 serves as entry to and exit from the school. The front door is opened from outside by entering an alphanumeric code and then turning the knob. The code is displayed in the entrance hall. PLEASE make sure the door closes FIRMLY behind you when you go out or come in; it does not close automatically by simply pulling or pushing.
Especially if you’re in the Institute for the first time, please orient yourself a bit with the building, where emergency exits are in case of problems, etc. There are fire hoses everywhere in the building. All big rooms and corridors have emergency lights that will light up in case of power cuts.
Since the school is an official institution it is regularly visited by various categories of civil servants, and also by salesmen. In case of doubt or if the person is unknown, make sure a member of the staff is on hand. Once again: don’t bring friends or visitors into the building unless there is explicit agreement on the part of the staff.
Drugs are strictly forbidden, whatever their nature.
For reasons of fire regulations and health smoking is permitted only in the music room downstairs or in the garden, and NOWHERE ELSE. It is absolutely forbidden to smoke in no-smoking areas, not only to protect non-smokers and help revolutionaries live longer, but also for security reasons and because of specific fire brigade regulations. Before lighting a cigarette, make sure you have a proper ashtray on hand. Do not throw cigarette butts directly into trashcans.