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A modern university with a rich history, the University of Amsterdam (UvA) traces its roots back to 1632, when the Golden Age school Athenaeum Illustre was established to train students in trade and philosophy. Today, with more than 30,000 students, 5,000 staff and 250 study programmes (Bachelor's and Master's), many of which are taught in English, it is one of the larger comprehensive universities in Europe. It is a member of the League of European Research Universities and also maintains intensive contact with leading research universities around the world.
Teaching and research at the UvA are conducted in seven faculties: the Humanities, Social and Behavioural Sciences, Economics and Business, Law, Science, Medicine and Dentistry, with programmes offered in almost every field. Over time, the UvA has risen to international prominence as a research university, gaining an excellent reputation in both fundamental and socially relevant research. The UvA's thriving doctoral programmes provide an excellent foundation for engaging in high-quality teaching and research.
The UvA seeks to offer an inspiring international academic environment in which both staff and students can develop their talents optimally. Characterised by a critical, creative and international atmosphere, the UvA has a long tradition of open-mindedness and engagement with social issues, in keeping with the spirit of the city with which it is inextricably linked.
Close cooperation with Hogeschool van Amsterdam (HvA)
The UvA aims to see all its students graduate, which is why it seeks to give each student the education that suits him or her. It therefore offers a wide range of educational routes with tailor-made student guidance. In order to facilitate this, the UvA has been actively involved with the Hogeschool van Amsterdam, University of Applied Sciences (HvA). If a student appears to have made the wrong choice iof programme in the first year, he or she is steered towards a more appropriate programme within either the UvA or HvA. In light of this, the UvA and HvA have increasingly synchronised their student guidance facilities.
The University of Amsterdam (UvA) has many facilities in the fields of sports, information and culture which are open to the general public. These include the cultural centre CREA, the gallery of the new Special Collections Library, the University Sports Centre and the university restaurants.
Facilities which are meant for students and/or staff can be found on the student website and on the staff website
Prospective students can visit the prospective students website for more information on the University and its facilities.
Libraries and museums
Collections, documentation and student life from the history of the University of Amsterdam from 1632 onwards.
Art and the UvA
The UvA is spread throughout the city in many different buildings. Two artists have demarcated the site of the UvA in public space. Visit the website on the art projects for information on the artists and a route description.
Allard Pierson Museum
This museum for Classical Archaeology contains a diverse collection of artefacts from ancient Egypt, the Near East, Cyprus, the Greek World, Etruria and the Roman Empire.
The historical collection of the University's Museum Vrolik, which was established in the nineteenth century, includes bones, embryos and specimens of congenital malformations.
Schriftmuseum J.A. Dortmond
The J.A. Dortmond museum of script and writing features exhibitions showing the history of script from 3000 BC to the present day.
Special Collections Library
The Special Collections Library specializes in acquiring, conserving, and making available (paper) data sources of all types, among which old editions, manuscripts, maps, atlases, prints, and photos. It holds an extensive collection of printed works from before 1850.
UvA Computer Museum
The collection of the UvA Computer Museum shows what a computer was like in the past, but also also how calculations were done before the advent of the electronic computer.
Zoological Museum Amsterdam
Scientists from all over the world visit the Zoological Museum to study its collection of specimens.
Apart from the collections in the large central library, the UvA also holds many smaller specialised collections.
Living in Amsterdam
Finding an affordable place to live is not easy. Begin your search in good time and tell everyone you know you are looking for accommodation; hang up notices in faculty buildings, study centres or in the supermarket. There are many housing options specially for students.
Many rooms are rented out in Amsterdam. If you are renting a room, you usually have a room for yourself and you share the kitchen and bathroom. There are a number of websites that advertise student rooms.
ASVA Student Union Rooms Bureau
The ASVA Student Union Rooms Bureau raffles off a room among its members each day providing there is sufficient supply. You can also approach the ASVA Student Union Rooms Bureau for advice and addresses of reliable room hiring agencies.
Anti-squat' accommodation is affordable and adventurous. You take up temporary residence in a building in order to prevent squatters from moving in.
Priority given to those that live far way
The UvA Kameractie' (room initiative) is a priority arrangement for first-year students of the UvA that live far outside Amsterdam and who register before 1 May.
StudentenWoningWeb brings together the considerable stocks of student accommodations offered by housing associations De Key, DUWO, Ymere and Stadgenoot in the city centre, Osdorp, north Amsterdam, Diemen and Amstelveen. Rents are between 160 and 350. Registering with StudentenWoningWeb costs 30.
Register as quickly as possible with WoningNet if you are going to study at the UvA (registration costs 60). As a registered member, you will be able to search WoningNet's supply of rented and owner-occupied housing according to region. If you find something suitable, you can apply for it. Allocation of housing depends on how long the applicant has been a registered member.
From October through to May, Casa Academia rents out rooms (rent around 325; with one kitchen for eleven rooms). In the summer Casa Academia is a hotel. It is located near Amstel Station.
Ymere has around 600 dwellings (for one to four students) that it rents out temporarily. Rent: 250 to 500.
University restaurants, bars and canteens
Food in the university restaurants is good and cheap. The menu is printed in Dutch every week in Folia (independent university magazine), and you can also find it at
Both student restaurants also have bars.
The bars, the Atrium, the Agora and the other canteens also rent out rooms and cater for receptions and other university events.
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Many organisations offer scholarships or grants. Some of these might help you to study for a Master's degree at University of Amsterdam!