Multi-Disciplinary Studies with a Fieldwork Component
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.
Summer 1-2 2020
Jul 03, 2020 - Aug 01, 2020
Mar 25, 2020
6 ECTS Credits
3.00 Minimum GPA*
- Apply Now
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.
MINIMUM ADMISSIONS PREREQUISITES
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.
Comprehensive Advising and Support
Comprehensive Health, Safety, and Security Support
Tuition at the Host University
Bridging Cultures Program
ISA Discovery Model
Official Transcript from the Host University
Professional Development Toolbox
Full-Time Resident Staff
Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
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 available, you are limited to taking only those listed below. Please contact ISA with any questions.
- Session 1 - Discover the Dutch, Foundations of International Business, Neurodegenerative Diseases, or The Global Energy Transition in a Fossil World
- Session 2 - Discover the Dutch
- 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.
- 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.
- If you have not taken a Dutch language course before or do not have experience in the Dutch language, it is highly recommended for you to take the course Discover the Dutch.
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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Support & Funding
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, please visit the Scholarships and Grants page.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 will have a short commute to your university. Travel times to the various university buildings generally range between 15 and 40 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.
While in Amsterdam you'll be housed at a student residence. You will have a single room on a shared floor with ISA students and other international students. Meal service is not included but you will have a shared kitchen to prepare meals as well as access to the on-campus dining options. Laundry facilities are available for an additional cost.
You will pay a $500 refundable security 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 allotted monthly amount.
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.
THERE’S MORE TO DISCOVER WITH ISA
Excursions are not included in this session. However, while you are abroad, you will have the opportunity to take part in the cultural activities offered by the ISA resident staff.
Kröller-Muller National Park & Museum
Nature lovers will be enchanted by the Kröller-Muller National Park & Museum. You will take a bike tour around the beautiful park and the whimsical sculpture garden. You will also visit the art museum, which contains a famous collection from the 19th and 20th centuries and includes the world's largest privately owned collection by Vincent Van Gogh. This excursion is facilitated by VU.
The Hague is a cultural hub of the Netherlands and home to the Dutch courts and royal family. This charming city sits along the North Sea and is home to many international organizations and entities. On this excursion you will learn more about local and international legal systems with guided tours of the Dutch parliament and the International Court of Justice. A visit to the Mauritshuis museum will offer a deeper look into the Golden Age of Dutch art through the expansive, world-renowned collection of paintings by Dutch artists including Johannes Vermeer's Girl with a Pearl Earring. During the summer session, this excursion is facilitated by VU.
Kinderdijk is a village in the province of South Holland and boasts the largest concentration of windmills in the country. It is a UNESCO World Heritage site and offers visitors picturesque landscapes, interesting museums, and insight into the area's centuries-old battle against rising water.
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.