Founded in 1880, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU Amsterdam) is a comprehensive research university, consistently ranked among the top 150 universities in the world. It comprises twelve faculties and has teaching facilities for 26,000 students.
The university campus and university hospital are situated in the south-western part of Amsterdam, one of the most dynamic and fast-growing business districts in the Netherlands. Schiphol-Amsterdam airport is 10 kilometers away--just 8 minutes by train.
Students can choose from a variety of courses offered in English. Subjects from different disciplines can be combined or one can select from just one discipline. A maximum semester's workload consists of 30 ECTS, a minimum semester's workload is 24 ECTS. 1 ECTS credit = 0.5 U.S. credit. Most courses are 6 ECTS (3 US credits). The two semesters are divided into 3 periods each. Semester 1 includes periods 1, 2 and 3 and Semester 2 includes periods 4, 5, and 6. Students studying for the fall semester only should note that classes during period 3 will overlap with the start of the UMass spring semester. Therefore, it is advisable for fall semester students to select only period 1 & 2 courses. Academic year or spring semester students can opt to take only period 4 & 5 courses, as period 6 runs through the month of June. Students should select two classes during periods 1, 2, 4 and 5 and one class in periods 3 and 6. Students should not select more than one 300-level VU class per period as these courses are extremely advanced.
Grading is on a 1-10 scale. For information about the grading scale and for a conversion table from NL to US grades, click here.
Students wishing to take an introductory Dutch language course, can register for an evening class in beginning Dutch, which meets in the evening two times per week for 2.5 hours. This is entirely optional and there is a fee of €325 to take the class and earn an additional 3 credits.
Exchange students can choose from a variety of accommodation with private or shared facilities--most in the student campus Uilenstede, just a five-minute bike ride or three tram stops from the VU Amsterdam campus. Uilenstede houses both Dutch and international students and the area offers many facilities such as a grocery store, cafe cultural center and sports center. After receiving an acceptance to the exchange, students will be instructed to apply for accommodation.