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Vrije University (VU) Amsterdam




What makes Amsterdam so attractive is the picturesque buildings and the intimacy of the streets, canals and squares which create an atmosphere that visitors find charming. The city has the highest museum density in the world and is home to cultural highlights such as the Van Gogh Museum, Anne Frank House, Hermitage Amsterdam, and the Rijksmuseum with Rembrandt’s world-famous Nightwatch. Other well-known places of interest in Amsterdam are the Jewish Historical Museum and the Rembrandt House. An excellent and extensive public transportation system puts it all within reach. Seldom mentioned is the city's charm with its row-houses, canals, houseboats, and abundant bicycles.

Image of university.Founded in 1880, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam is one of the world’s top 100 research universities with about 25,000 students and hundreds of courses taught entirely in English from various disciplines.

Located in the business district called Amsterdam-Zuid (South). a multicultural and creative environment, the university is just 15 minutes from the city center by bike or tram, 8 minute train journey to Schiphol Airport and 5 minute tram or bike ride to the student housing.

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam is a hub where people feel at home and meet each other. The campus has excellent facilities for teaching and research. The campus offers a wide range of related services, such as:  a variety of shops, cafés and restaurants, including a grocery store. A basketball field, multiple beach volleyball fields and tennis tables are located on the campus ground, free to use for students any time of day.

The International Office is located on the ground floor of the main building. It provides support to incoming and outgoing students in order to help make the transition to a new country easier. Students are supported in finding accommodation, with immigration matters and in applying for scholarships.
Free WIFI is available for all students on campus.

Bridge lit up at dusk over a canal

Choosing When to Study in Amsterdam

This program runs in both Fall and Spring semesters 
Fall: Mid August- Mid December 
Spring: Early February to Early June

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The Program Includes

  • Studying in a highly ranked University
  • Multicultural environment both in the school and in the city of Amsterdam
  • Roundtrip Air ticket(Starting Fall 2020)
  • Airport pick up
  • Arrival and introduction program
  • Social and cultural activities with trips
  • Furnished accommodation
  • Onsite support – International office
    • Admission
    • Accommodation
    • Resident permit 
    • Counselors
  • Dutch buddy system
  • 24/7 emergency assistance
  • Library and IT services
  • 3 Scholarships available   

Course Information

Course Equivalencies 

  • The academic year is divided into two semesters (Fall and Spring).
  • Each semester consists of two periods; Fall semester (periods 1 and 2),  and Spring semester (Periods 4 and 5).
  • A period is 8 weeks long
  • Students generally take 2 courses in each period plus Dutch which runs across 2 periods.
  • Students complete 5 courses (30 ECTS) per semester.
  • Periods 3 and 6 are stand-alone periods
  • Courses range from level 100 to 300 with 100 being first year/introductory, 200 being second year/middle, and 300 being third year/advanced. 
  • Consult the Office of International Programs as early as possible to get assistance on course selection at Loyola so that you are prepared for Amsterdam;
  • This program is open to all majors. 
  • Students take courses taught in English 
  • Students must take a Dutch course 

Disclaimer:  In case of strikes or unexpected disruption to the academic semester Loyola University will work with the host university abroad to provide additional support or other academic arrangements to enable students to complete their coursework in agreement with the rules and regulations of the host university and the laws of the host country.  Loyola University Maryland will not makes any changes to its course, grade, or credit transfer policies following such circumstances.

On-Site Support

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Loyola University Maryland relies on the professional student office at VU Amsterdam. The International Office at Vrije university holds an arrival and introductory program at the beginning of each semester. Vrije requires medical insurance for all semester students; if a student’s home insurance is not be valid abroad, the student may speak with the director of the program at Loyola University Maryland about options of study abroad insurance.


Students live in a housing complex referred to as Our campus.  

Image of Amsterdam Zuid

  • Located in the Campus Diemen Zuid (south)
  • A Train ride or cycling from VU main campus
  • Single Studio apartment- with a Kitchen, bathroom, bedroom and sitting area
  • The Studio is partially furnished 
  • There is a 24/7 security desk
  • Gym membership available - tennis, basketball, soccer, and a climbing wall
  • There is A lounge with TV and a game room
  • Other facilities/services: Albert Heijn supermarket, medical and dental services, bars and restaurants, a hair salon
  • It is close to a train and metro stations
  • Housing is guaranteed


Students are eligible for consideration for all forms of federal, state, institutional and private sources of aid, except the Federal Work-Study Program. Students studying abroad for a semester will forfeit the value of a Federal Work-Study assignment.

Tuition and housing are  paid to Loyola.

A Dutch Residence permit is required. V.U will assist students with the process.

Students are responsible for all other expenses personal travel and meals.


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Loyola University students who have a U.S. passport will start the process to get a residence permit while they are in the United States and complete it after they arrive in Amsterdam.

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam will apply for a residence permit when you have been (conditionally) admitted. The price of the residence permit changes every year. The cost of the resident permit will be communicated at the time of application. It is approximately 300 Euros.

The following documents are needed to complete your immigration procedure:

  • Copy passport including your signature and any stamped pages. Your passport needs to be valid for at least 6 more months.
  • If applicable, a copy of your Schengen residence permit (front and back side).
  • Antecedents certificate signed by hand. Please sign the form with the place and date of signing. Please do not fill in your place and date of birth!
  • TB Statement. It depends on your nationality which form you need to submit. Please note that you do not have yourself tested in your home country, but the test takes place in the Netherlands. VU Amsterdam will make appointments for the TB test prior to the Arrival Days.
  • Proof of financial means. - There are 6 acceptable forms of proof of financial means and you can also combine all or several options. It is very important though that the documents of the option(s) you choose meet all the requirements, because otherwise we have to reject them. Below you will find the requirements. 
    1. Proof of your own financial means
    2. Proof of sponsorship by an individual residing outside the Netherlands
    3. Proof of sponsorship by an individual residing inside the Netherlands
    4. Proof of scholarship award
    5. Proof of loan
    6. Transfer the proof of financial means to VU Amsterdam- This option is obligatory to students from Bangladesh, Cameroon, China, Nepal and Pakistan.


It is very important that you check the airline website to make sure that your luggage complies with weight restrictions and the number of bags flown for free. International flights are very strict about luggage size and weight and it is something that can change without ample warning, so checking the website periodically is highly suggested.

Money and Banking

Students have an option to open a bank account in Amsterdam. This is required for the students that choose the wire deposit as a way to prove their financial means. Other students can keep using their U.S. bank account, which they will still have access to through the ATMs in Amsterdam. Students should check with their bank to make sure that their debit/credit card will work overseas, and find out what fees are associated with using the account internationally. Students in the past have recommended withdrawing the maximum allowed from ATMs while in Amsterdam and keeping their cash in their bedrooms, only taking the amount that they need each time they leave home. This will save on ATM fees. Students will be able to withdraw money from any ATM.

Credit/Debit cards are not as widely accepted in Amsterdam as they are in the United States. People tend to use cash more frequently for small and large purchases or open a credit card that has PIN number. Students are also given a AUAS ID card, which can purchase goods and services on campus when money is allocated to the ID cards.

Euro is the currency used in all transactions.

Expenses While Abroad

The living costs students incur will depend on their lifestyle. A student typically needs between 900 and 1,200 Euros per month to cover rent, food, insurance, transportation, and other expenses. Some students manage to spend less, but this of course depends on their own lifestyle and travel preferences.

Odds and Ends

Amsterdam is well known for its thriving business community, museums, architecture, food, rich culture, and history. Parents should be aware that Amsterdam is also known for its coffee shops (marijuana smoke houses) and red light district (prostitution). Parents should have a conversation with their son/daughter about these last two issues. Although both are legal in Amsterdam, Loyola University Maryland believes that the two put students who visit them in unhealthy and potentially dangerous situations. As such, any student found engaging in either could be removed from the program, and classes and any payments would be forfeited.

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Criteria for Applying

  • The program is open to all majors.
  • Open to students with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or above;
  • Attend an information session;
  • Discuss with your major advisor the possible courses you could take abroad and see if there are any potential problems he/she sees with your plans to study in Amsterdam;
  • Discuss with your family if taking a summer course(s) is an option to help with any unexpected academic problems that could occur at Loyola or abroad;
  • Students cannot be on disciplinary probation nor have a history of serious disciplinary problems.

Application Requirements

Students must submit an online application AND a Course Planning form by 11:59 pm on the second Wednesday after Thanksgiving break of their sophomore year to study abroad in the fall or spring term of junior year. 

Apply to this Program

*Please keep in mind that study abroad information, dates, benefits, and fees are subject to change without notification. You are encouraged to contact the Office of International Programs directly for the most up-to-date information regarding any study abroad programs offered at Loyola.


Contact Us

Phone: 410-617-2910
Office: Humanities 132

Additional contact information


In order to apply, all students must attend a Study Abroad 101 (Powerpoint) session before the application deadline. The application deadline for all Fall, Spring, and year-long opportunities during academic year 2024-25 is December 11, 2024.

The deadline for opportunities taking place during academic year 2025-26 will be announced during the Spring 2024 semester.

Study Abroad 101 (Powerpoint)