Science, Liberal Arts & Business Courses with Locals

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
Amsterdam, the Netherlands

Program Overview

Program Overview

  • Popular Subject Areas

    Science, Liberal Arts & Business Courses with Locals

  • 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 with an AACSB accredited business college. 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

    Academic Year 1 2023

  • Program Dates

    Aug 19, 2023 - Jun 01, 2024

  • Program Length

    Academic Year

  • Application Deadline

    Apr 01, 2023

  • Forms and Payment Deadline

    Apr 15, 2023

  • Credit

    48 - 60 ECTS Credits

  • Eligibility

    3.00 Minimum GPA*

  • Cost


  • This session is closed and is no longer accepting applications.

Study Abroad Program Description

In this interdisciplinary and academically rigorous program, you will have the opportunity to study alongside Dutch and other international students for a semester or full academic year at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU). Course offerings are highly specialized, focusing on research methodology across various disciplines including earth and life sciences, business and economics, social sciences, and humanities.

VU's academic year is divided into six intensive "periods", or blocks, with the option to take two or three classes per period. Please find below the breakdown of these periods within ISA's program offerings*:

Fall 1: Periods 1-2 (Mid August - Mid December)
Spring 1: Periods 4-5 (Early February - Early June)
Academic Year: Periods 1-5 (Mid August - Early July) 

*These are the general timelines for VU's respective periods, but they are subject to change from year to year. Exact program dates will appear on our website as they are confirmed by the host university.

All students will make course selections upon application to the program. This is a tentative selection, as enrollment is not confirmed until VU confirms that the stated pre-requisites have been met.

Enjoy Flexibility with ISA Flex

We’ve partnered with Arizona State University (ASU) to help you overcome common study abroad challenges by adding an ASU Online course to your ISA program. With more than 2,100 courses to choose from, ISA Flex minimizes academic challenges, like major requirements and limited course options, so you can make the most of your experience abroad. Once you’ve applied, access the Flex form in your ISA Student Portal for more information on how to add this to your program and enroll in the course you need.



Students must have a minimum grade point average of 3.00.


There is no language prerequisite for this program.

  • You must hold a Sophomore standing or above during term of study.
  • The following application materials are required to complete your application: valid passport copy, photo, VU application form. Please contact ISA if you expect any issue in receiving your passport before the application deadline. 

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 Orientation

Full-Time Resident Staff

ISA Discovery Model


Cultural Activities


Official Transcript from the Host University

Professional Development Toolbox

Scholarship Opportunities


Support & Funding

ISA is here to support you when it comes to navigating identity questions related to traveling abroad, providing resources and information for your accessibility needs, and identifying funding for your program abroad.


Our U.S. staff is available to support you though every stage of your study abroad journey. Please reach out with any questions about ISA programs or life on-site to your country-specific Program Manager.

Our on-site staff are there for you as soon as you arrive in country and will support you throughout your time abroad.

U.S. Team

Dana Guthrie

Program Manager, The Netherlands


Lindsey Turneau

Resident Director, The Netherlands

Identity Resources

Accessibility & Accommodations

With our wide portfolio of program types and locations, we’re confident there is a suitable, accessible program for each student.

Securing accommodations abroad can take time, so we ask that those with requests inform ISA early in the advising process. We recommend reaching out to your Program Manager or our Accessibility Team ( to discuss your accessibility needs or accommodations abroad.

Destination Information

Our diversity pages for each ISA destination include information on Indigenous communities, languages, race and ethnicity, religion, LGBTQIA+, and disability access. We hope it will help when reflecting upon and contextualizing intersectionality in your host community.

Identity Blog

ISA offers students the opportunity to blog about their experiences abroad from their own diverse perspectives. These posts can be found on the ISA Student Blog, and interested students should email for more information.


All students should have the opportunity to study abroad. To help make this a reality, ISA offers a variety of scholarships to help cover your study abroad costs. To learn more about our scholarship opportunities, check out our scholarships & grants page!

If you receive financial aid from your home university, you can likely use those funds for study abroad, as well. Speak with your home university’s financial aid office to learn about your options. Check out steps for using financial aid.

Questions about scholarships and funding? Email us at


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 time to the various university buildings is generally around 25-30 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 typically be placed in the OurDomain - Diemien Zuid student village, which is located 25-30 minutes away from the host university by bike or public transport. You will have a single private room with a private bathroom and kitchenette. You will live in the same complex as your fellow ISA students alongside other international students. 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. 

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.



Brussels, Belgium

Brussels is a unique yet charming cosmopolitan city and the heart of international affairs, home to the European Union, the UN, the European Parliament, and NATO. Multicultural and multilingual, Brussels is the perfect example of a global society that has managed to retain its own distinct personality. You will visit historical landmarks around the city like the Royal Palace, St. Michael's Cathedral, and the famous Mannequin Pis. Downtown, you will find quaint alleys lined with picturesque restaurants, delicious sweets shops, cute boutiques, and cafés galore.

Domestic Day Excursion

ISA will provide a day trip within the Netherlands. Possible excursion locations include The Hague, Utrecht, and Rotterdam. Locations will be determined on-site depending on scheduling availability as well as student preferences.

Zaanse Schans

The historic and well-preserved village of Zaanse Schans offers a glimpse into what life was like in the Netherlands during the 18th and 19th centuries. Located along the Zaan River and lined with iconic windmills, Zaanse Schans is a charming city where you will learn about how windmills were used to fuel a variety of industries. On this excursion, you will have a guided tour of the city and will visit the Zuiderzee Museum of cultural heritage and maritime history.

VU Domestic Excursion

Each semester, VU facilitates a mandatory overnight excursion within the Netherlands. This takes place during the first week of the program and is included in the program price. Possible destinations include Friesland, Maastricht, Leiden, Slot Assumburg, or Efteling.

VU International Excursion * Optional

Each semester, VU facilitates an overnight excursion outside of the Netherlands. This is an optional excursion and is offered for an extra fee. Possible destinations include Munich, Luxembourg City, or Antwerp.

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, cheese and wine tasting, tour of Dutch National Opera and Ballet, stroopwafel tasting, and attending a classical musical rehearsal concert at the Royal Concertgebouw.


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