In 1877 while living with his Uncle Jan, another uncle, Johannes Stricker, arranges for Vincent to be taught Greek and Latin by Dr. Mendes da Costa. Vincent's studies, in anticipation of his entering the clergy, were difficult but enjoyable for him. Vincent and da Costa had a good relationship and they were soon on a first name basis. Da Costa found Vincent's character and intellect intriguing and they enjoyed their studies together in Amsterdam's Jewish quarter.
Despite his best efforts, however, Vincent would ultimately have to give up his studies and leave Amsterdam.