Frequently asked questions

There's no stupid questions, and especially so with something as large as the GBE. Below we've listed some of the questions you may have related to the excursion or its organisation. However, if you've got a different or follow-up question, don't hesitate to send us an email at

What is ...

... the FMF?

The FMF is the study association for Physics, Mathematics and Applied Mathematics, as well as Applied Physics, Computer Science, Artificial Intelligence and Astronomy. She's founded with the goal of bringing students of the FSE closer together, whether for the general improvement of the education, or social fraternization. You may know the FMF from events such as the physics and mathematics alumni days, the board games evenings, the catch up-sessions for Bachelor's students, the annual barbecue, and so forth.

... the GBE?

The "Grote Buitenlandse Excursie" (GBE; EN: Big Foreign Excursion) is a biannual excursion to somewhere outside of Europe. For approximately three weeks, the excursion takes you to see the state of academia and business in some country or countries, touching upon all the areas of the FMF as much as we can. As such, the scope of visits is very broad: from university buildings to nuclear accelerators and telescopes to offices. To get a taste of what happens on a GBE, you can take a look at the reports of previous years, for instance when they went to Japan in 2017, Singapore and Indonesia in 2015 and South Africa in 2013.

... the Stichting GBE-FMF?

The Sitching GBE-FMF is the organ that oversees the hosting and execution of the excursion. They're there to provide a critical voice to the committee's decisions, so as to steer her to host a more robust excursion, financially speaking and otherwise. Since the committee hosts the excursion in the name of the Stichting -- just as an FMF committee hosts events in the name of the FMF board, if you're familiar with that construction -- on formal documents you will notice them listed instead of the committee. However, as participant, they should be invisible to you -- they work purely behind the scenes. If at any point you do find a decision of the committee to be significantly objectionable, though, you may always appeal to the Stichting at email

... Lejano '19?

That's us, the excursion to Chile and Argentina in 2019 -- hello there! We're planning to visit at least the countries' capitals of Santiago and Buenos Aires, but we're working on visiting so many more places than just those two. Besides all the academia- and business-related activities, there'll be enough free time to explore the cities, see the beautiful nature or simply have a great time with your fellow students. All the reasons in the world to go!

Can I come?

There's only two formal requirements to coming along on a GBE.

  1. Be a member of the FMF. This is only €5,- annually, and comes with endless perks besides being allowed to go on GBE!
  2. Have garnered at least 120 ECTS.

The second rule implies that effectively only third year's bachelor's students and above can come along. However, we require this so the organisation you'll do your case study for knows they will have an advanced student doing their job.

An informal yet most important requirement for the GBE is, though, that you have 120 hours to spend on a case study. When you spend this time on your case study is fully between you and the organisation for which you're completing it. We will also take when you'd most prefer to work on your case into consideration when assigning you your case study.

What is the process of coming along?

  1. First, you'll need to sign up! This you can do on the website, where you'll be asked to fill a Google form and add any of the documentation we need from you at this stage.
  2. After signing up, our case commissioner, Floris Westerman, will invite you to have a meet-and-greet with him. This is kind of like an interview, where we get to know you so we know which case study would fit you best (or what case studies we still need to look out for). At this stage, you're still considered to be an applicant.
  3. Once a case has been found for you, you will once again be contacted by Floris. You will be introduced to your case, and subsequently you can start completing it (or at another point that you've agreed upon). From now on, you're considered a participant, and you're definitely coming along on the excursion!
  4. Somewhere around the end of 2018, we'll have our first participant's meeting. You'll get to meet your fellow travelers, the committee (and hopefully the staff!), and generally have a good time socializing with each other.
  5. The subsequent participant meetings will be in 2019, where we'll update you regarding the (preliminary) programme and try and introduce you to some of the sights we'll (definitely) be seeing.
  6. And then, once semester IIb of academic year 2018-2019 rolls around, we'll meet you on departure day for Lejano '19!

Shut up and take my money!

If you want to join, you'll have to pay for the excursion in two ways.

  1. A payment of at most €999,- for members of the NNV (Nederlandse Natuurkundige Vereniging), and about €100 more if you're not a member (and won't become one).
  2. Completing a case study of around 120 hours for a third party. The committee will (try to) find a case study for you, matching with your field of study and your interests. To get more information about what a case study would look like, have a look at the case reports of the previous excursions: these will give you a taste of what's in store for you. You can find these at Particpants --> Case Information, or in the final reports of the previous excursions (2017, 2015, 2013).