Multi-Disciplinary Studies with a Fieldwork Component

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
Amsterdam, the Netherlands

Program Overview

Program Overview

  • Program Name

    Multi-Disciplinary Studies with a Fieldwork Component

  • Location


  • Host University

    Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

    Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU) was founded in 1880 and is one of the top research universities in the Netherlands. There are over 23,000 students at VU and hundreds of courses taught entirely in English. There are many international students and faculty, creating a diverse and globally-minded learning environment. Some popular areas of study at VU are earth and life sciences, behavioral sciences, business, economics, social sciences, and humanities.VU was the first university in the Netherlands to be established without ties to the church or the state. This legacy is maintained as it still operates unconventionally, determining its own areas of research as well as creating unique study programs and specialized pedagogical models. VU encourages a student-centered teaching style where you will be given opportunities to develop your opinions through creative and critical thinking. All academic programs are housed at VU's main campus in the Zuid district, Amsterdam's business center. It is a beautiful, modern campus with student housing and many facilities including computer labs, fitness centers, a green office, and even a bike repair shop. The VU campus is well-connected to public transportation; it is only a 15 minute train ride to downtown and an eight minute train ride to Schiphol Airport.

  • Term

    Summer 1 2021

  • Program Dates

    Early Jul, 2021 - Mid Jul, 2021

  • Program Length


  • Application Deadline

    Mar 25, 2021

  • Forms and Payment Deadline

    Apr 10, 2021

  • Credit

    3 ECTS Credits

  • Eligibility

    3.00 Minimum GPA*

  • Cost


  • Apply Now

Study Abroad Program Description

In this interdisciplinary and academically rigorous program at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU), you will take an intensive, in-depth look into your chosen course of study. All classes are instructed in English with other international students. Course offerings are highly specialized, focusing on research methodology across various disciplines. Each course also has an experiential learning component. You will use Amsterdam as your classroom as labs, field trips, and other activities facilitate deeper engagement with course material.

You will make course selections upon application to the program. This is a tentative selection as admission into all courses is dependent upon approval by the host university; VU will vet your completion of the stated pre-requisites before granting admission to a course.

VU follows a modular academic structure. The summer is divided into two sessions (called blocks) which are each two weeks in length. You will take one course during each block that correspond with the program title. 



Students must have a minimum grade point average of 3.00.


There is no language prerequisite for this program.

  • You must hold at least a Sophomore standing at the time of study.
  • You must submit a recent resume and letter of intent before your application is considered complete. 

What's Included

Comprehensive Advising and Support

24-Hour Emergency

Comprehensive Health, Safety, and Security Support

Airport Reception

Visa Support

Tuition at the Host University


Bridging Cultures Program

Internet Access

ISA Discovery Model


Cultural Activities


Official Transcript from the Host University

Professional Development Toolbox

Full-Time Resident Staff

Scholarship Opportunities



ECTS Credits


Contact Hours


Recommended U.S. Semester Credits


Recommended U.S. Quarter Units


Academic Information

Note that if you have completed just one year of university courses before the start of the Summer term there are very limited course options. Of the courses listed, you are limited to taking only Discover the Dutch, Foundations of International Business, Neurodegenerative Diseases, or The Global Energy Transition in a Fossil World . Please contact ISA with any questions.

Course Availability

  • The courses listed below are based off of last year’s course offerings and ISA will inform students of course updates as they become available.
  • All students are required to indicate course selection upon application to the program. This is a tentative selection as all course eligibility will be determined by VU.
  • Additional upper division courses may be available.
  • Students are expected to complete self-study hours in order to keep up with class material.
  • Requests for detailed course descriptions can be made to the Amsterdam Program Manager.

Course Selection

  • Eligibility for courses is dependent upon the fulfillment of the posted pre-requisites. Please note that local VU students are on an academic track very different than in the US; they do not take general education courses and are often at a higher level of study than their US counterparts within the same discipline.
  • All course selections are dependent upon approval from VU.
  • The academic structure at VU is different than in the US with exams totaling up to 100% of final grade. Please consider each course’s assessment techniques as you make your course selection.

Course Credit and Transcripts

  • Credits earned vary according to the policies of the students' home institutions. According to ISA policy and possible visa requirements, students must maintain full-time enrollment status, as determined by their home institutions, for the duration of the program.
  • ISA recommends 3 U.S. semester credits/4.5 quarter units per 45 contact hours. Credit transfer is ultimately determined by the student's home university. 
  • Upon program completion, students will receive an official transcript issued by VU.  The transcript will reflect ECTS credits for all courses taken.


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Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
Session 1
3 ECTS Credits
45 Contact Hours
3 ECTS Credits
45 Contact Hours
3 ECTS Credits
45 Contact Hours
3 ECTS Credits
45 Contact Hours
45 Contact Hours
3 ECTS Credits
3 ECTS Credits
45 Contact Hours
3 ECTS Credits
45 Contact Hours
3 ECTS Credits
45 Contact Hours
3 ECTS Credits
60 Contact Hours
3 ECTS Credits
45 Contact Hours
3 ECTS Credits
45 Contact Hours
3 ECTS Credits
45 Contact Hours
45 Contact Hours
3 ECTS Credits

Support & Funding

U.S. Team

Matt Gulizia

Program Manager, The Netherlands


Marina Lopez Duarte

Resident Director, The Netherlands

Funding Your ISA Program

As an ISA participant, you have the opportunity to apply for scholarships and grants that can be applied directly to assist with your study abroad programs. ISA offers over $1,000,000 in scholarships and grants each year. To see what opportunities are available, you may visit the Scholarships and Grants page. Please note that some programs, including remote learning opportunities, are not eligible for scholarships.

View all Funding Options


Living in ISA housing will allow you the opportunity to experience aspects of the local lifestyle that are inaccessible to the average visitor. Regardless of your housing option, you may commute to your host university by public transportation or bike. Travel times to the various university buildings generally range between 15 and 50 minutes depending on housing and class locations. With an open and adaptable mind, the experience of living in another culture can be highly rewarding.

We strive to match your housing preferences with our available accommodations, however, housing preference requests cannot be guaranteed.

Student Residence

While in Amsterdam you'll be housed at a student residence. The location may vary, but students will be typically housed at Hotel Jansen, which is located 20-25 minutes by public transportation to the host university. You will have a single room with an en-suite bathroom on a shared floor with other ISA students and international students. You will receive vouchers for a substantial amount of meals from the host university that you can use at on-campus dining options. Laundry facilities are available at an additional cost.

You will pay a $500 refundable deposit if living in this ISA housing option. ISA may retain some, or all, of this deposit in the event of damage to property, or if utility usage exceeds the monthly allotted amount.

Independent Housing

You may elect to secure housing independently. If you select this option, you will receive a discount equal to the housing portion of the program price.



Cultural Activities in Amsterdam

The ISA on-site team encourages you to explore the city and culture of Amsterdam. The team facilitates this by offering a robust calendar of events that showcases what makes Amsterdam special.

These activities vary each term, and previous offerings have included a walking and canal tour of the city, visits to museums (Van Gogh Museum. Anne Frank House, Troppenmuseum, Moco muesem, etc.), cheese and wine tasting, tour of Dutch National Opera and Ballet, and attending a classical musical rehearsal concert at the Royal Concertgebouw.