VU University Amsterdam

Amsterdam, Netherlands
VU University Amsterdam is an internationally renowned university located in the vibrant city of Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Amsterdam is one of the most multi-cultural cities in the world, boasting 179 different nationalities. It is also the city with the largest concentration of students in the Netherlands and English is widely spoken. At VU University Amsterdam some 78 nationalities work and study closely together, creating an international and dynamic academic community.
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Why should I study here at VU University Amsterdam?

  • Quality of education

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam has a sterling reputation for the fine quality of its teaching. You work in relatively small groups, in which considerable emphasis is placed on interaction and a personal approach. The teaching is well-organized. This is reflected, for instance, in the clear structure of the study programmes.

  • Lively Amsterdam

As a student of Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, you stand to benefit from all the advantages offered by the capital. In just over fifteen minutes you are in the lively centre of Amsterdam, where there are numerous shops, places of entertainment, parks, and pavement cafes. Amsterdam is safe and English is widely spoken.

  • Personal supervision

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam devotes considerable attention to personal study advice. Right at the start of your course of study, you will be introduced to your programmes study advisor. This person will offer you advice about any problems that you might have with your course of study, and answer questions about the job market.

  • Unique identity

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam was the first university in the Netherlands established by a private person, with no interference from the church or the state. This heritage is still very much part of who we are: Vrije Universiteit, literally translates as Free University. From the very beginning, the university has determined its own areas of research, created its own study programmes and practised its own didactic methods.

  • Easily accessible

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam is readily accessible by public transport. Schiphol Airport is only eight minutes away by train. Amsterdam Zuid Station is within walking distance of Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. There is also a rapid tram connection to Amsterdam Central Station. Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam is also easy to reach by car, being situated close to Amsterdams orbital motorway.

  • University campus

Almost all of our students, staff and programmes are located on campus: a single building complex in the business district of Amsterdam. Accordingly, in the course of your studies, it is very easy to familiarize yourself with other disciplines.

  • Scholarships

A number of scholarship programmes exist for international Masters students.

  • VU Fellowship Programme

The VU Fellowship Programme (VUFP) offers talented prospective students the unique opportunity to pursue a degree in a selection of Masters programmes at VU University.

  • Organization

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam is a traditional Dutch university presided over by an Executive Board (three members), and has 12 faculties directly under the Executive Board. Each faculty provides one or more Bachelors degree and Masters degree programmes and carries out research. They are all organized differently, but most have a board, a central staff and several departments and graduate schools. The university also has a number of service departments, of which the International Office is one, and there a number of interdisciplinary research institutes.

About VU University Amsterdam

VU University Amsterdam offers 98 English taught programmes at Bachelor’s, Master’s and doctoral level. Ten faculties share one campus and cover a wide spectrum of business, law, science, arts, and medicine studies. The campus is strategically located in the Zuidas area, i.e. the financial district and business center of Amsterdam. Students are always surrounded by professionals going about their daily routine. Not only are they a source of inspiration to look up to, but there is always ample opportunity to start a conversation with them and build op a network.

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam’s focus is based on four themes:

1. Human Health and Life Sciences: research and teaching in the area of health and life sciences, from single molecules to the individual, to human society as a whole.

2. Science for Sustainability: Multidisciplinary research and teaching in the area of sustainability, focusing on energy, scarcity, climate and governance.

3. Connected World: research and teaching into the various facets of the ‘network society’: the

technology that makes this new societal structure possible, the accompanying structural, social and cultural changes, and the consequences for the world around us.

4. Professional Services: research and teaching in the area of financial, legal and organizational services, with a structural emphasis on corporate social responsibility, behaviour and integrity.

Accreditations of VU University Amsterdam

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam is fully recognized by the Dutch Ministry of Education as a research university. All degree programmes at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam are either accredited by or in the process of being accredited by NVAO, the Accreditation Organization of the Netherlands and Flanders. This body was established by international treaty and guarantees the quality of higher education in the Netherlands and Flemish-speaking Belgium through the accreditation of study programmes.


  • Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam Services
An International Student Advisor (ISA) assigned to the faculty you are interested in will help you with the application procedure and any other information you may need. Once you have been admitted to the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam’s programme, the Services-teams at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam International Office can help you find accommodation and apply for a visa and residence permit (if applicable). The International Office offers orientation periods for international students in August, consisting of social events, sports activities and a cultural programme.
  • Facilities and Activities
As a student at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, you will have a wide range of facilities at your disposal. You will have access to an extensive library, a university-wide wireless network and numerous computer and reading rooms. The university’s sports centre offers more than 35 different sports and the Griffioen cultural centre organizes a variety of courses in the arts as well as other cultural activities.
  • Finances
Students from the EU or EEA pay the same tuition fees as Dutch students. The tuition fees for most programmes are set by the Dutch government on an annual basis and vary per programme. Experience shows that it costs between €800 and €1,000 a month to live and study in the Netherlands, excluding tuition fees and other non-recurring expenses. Some students manage to spend less, but of course that depends on your individual lifestyle.
  • Scholarships
With our own scholarship, the VU Fellowship Programme (VUFP), we offer strongly motivated students with excellent study results the unique oppurtunity to pursue a Master’s degree with financialsupport provided by the university. The VUFP scholarship covers tuition fees and provides an allowance towards study and living expenses. The Holland Scholarship Programme (HSP) is meant for students from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) who want to follow a Master’s programme in the Netherlands. Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam embraces diversity as an enrichment to our teaching, research and our contribution to society. This scholarship is specifically intended for excellent students who contribute to the diversity at our campus. As an international student planning to study at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, you can apply for a variety of grants and bursaries.

Student life at VU University Amsterdam

Here are three testimonials of current Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam students:
  • Aarony Zade/Bangladesh


When I had to pick out a course for my Bachelor’s degree, the IBA program stood out for me. The emphasis on the international aspect of business is vital because it is helping me understand how different business cultures come together. The small tutorial classes are very helpful because it gives me a chance to work with my group as well as the lecturer more closely, which is essential for understanding the courses better. The exchange program abroad, which I am looking forward to, promises to put our understanding of the global business world to practice.

Coming to Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam was an easy decision. The city is exactly how I pictured it to be, beautiful, fun and bustling with life all year round. The Dutch people are open and friendly, but very direct! The university has been excellent in helping me adjust to a culture that is nothing like mine and feel welcome. I have made friends from all over the world because Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam as well as the city of Amsterdam hosts a massive mix of different cultures. For me, coming to the Netherlands and studying at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam has been a crucial step to becoming a global citizen.

  • Hioe Muliadi/ Indonesia


The campus is strategically located in the Zuidas area, i.e. the financial district and business center of Amsterdam. We are always surrounded by professionals going about their daily routine. Not only are they a source of inspiration to look up to, but there is always ample opportunity to start a conversation with them and build up our networks.

Furthermore, the business & economic faculty of Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (FEWEB) has close relationships with many multinational firms and financial institutions. This results in numerous opportunities for collaborative projects and field assignments. In fact, the majority of the course assignments that I had during my Master’s programme were of this nature. I could not begin to express how valuable this experience has been.

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam also acknowledges highly talented students through scholarship opportunities, Honours programme and other prestigious awards. The VU Fellowship Programme scholarship (VUFP) of which I am very fortunate to have received, is just one of many examples to illustrate this.

The International Office has also been very helpful throughout this time. They routinely organized career events for international students. I can say that they have done a stellar job in getting us ready for the job market.

  • Maria Altendorf/ Germany


I have chosen to study at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam not just because of the wonderful, funky and international city of Amsterdam. Additionally, I have chosen to study at VU Amsterdam because this University offers me a high level of education, as Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam just ranked second highest of the Dutch Universities in the well-known Leiden-Ranking!

I am now completing my second year, and have done already one of my two research Internships, which are mandatory in my program. Due to these internships I collected already a lot of experience in the field of research in Global Health. This is great! It gives me a lot of confidence and makes me a strong candidate for my later job application process. Further, I can already find out in which area of Global Health I am interested in.

The city of Amsterdam is just amazing. The best is: In Amsterdam you can even cycle at night – I always feel safe here! Come to VU – I don’t regret it!

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Master's Programmes at VU University Amsterdam

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Many organisations offer scholarships or grants. Some of these might help you to study for a Master at VU University Amsterdam!

The Global Study Awards: get funded with up to £10,000 to study abroad

Together with the ISIC Association and British Council IELTS we offer you the chance to receive up to £10000 to expand your horizon and study abroad. We want to ultimately encourage you to study abroad in order to experience and explore new countries, cultures and languages.

Other Degrees by VU University Amsterdam

University Location

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