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International Office

VU Amsterdam’s International Office is part of Student & Educational Affairs and assists in students’ and employees’ international mobility.

The International Office hosts, organises and supports multiple international and cultural activities and programmes on campus, to increase its appeal and to make it as accessible as possible to students and employees. 

Innovation is very important to VU Amsterdam. VU Amsterdam is constantly changing and adapting to meet the demands of the international community by transforming its programmes and campus to include English-taught courses and English-language signs, activities and projects. The university is also proud of its diverse students and members of staff. Further promoting diversity among incoming and outgoing members of staff and students is an important point of focus for the International Office. The International Office also provides all the necessary information to international students about application procedures, how to find housing, organise visas and work permits and anything else they may need prior to, during and after their stay in Amsterdam.


  • Degree mobility

    The Degree mobility team consists of a group of International Student Advisors (ISAs). This team handles all applications from international students who want to follow a Bachelor's or Master's degree programme at VU Amsterdam.

    International Student Advisors
    We understand that applying for a degree programme abroad can lead to many questions. Is my diploma valid in the Netherlands? Can I be admitted to the programme of my choosing? And how do I prove my English language proficiency? To help with these types of questions, international students are assigned an International Student Advisor (ISA) right from the start. Each faculty has its own ISA(s) that know everything about the programmes, requirements and deadlines. He or she guides the student through the application process and answers any questions he or she might have. It is the priority of the ISAs to help students every step of the way and make sure they are all set to become VU students.

    Tasks from the ISAs include, but are not limited to:

    • Recruiting international students, mainly through e-mail, phone, WhatsApp, Zoom and higher educational fairs
    • Providing information and advice about studying at the university and guiding students through the application process
    • Processing and evaluating student applications and diploma evaluation (international credential evaluation)
    • Offering on-site support for students during the arrival weeks
    • Contributing to the development and improvement of the programmes and processes
  • Credit mobility

    The core task of the Credit Mobility Team is to facilitate and improve student mobility to and from VU Amsterdam. Student exchanges can vary from one semester to the entire academic year, and the goal is to obtain study credits while experiencing a different social, cultural and academic setting.
    Our credit mobility team consists of the following sub teams: 

    • The incoming student exchange team provides support to incoming exchange students with regards to application, course registration and other related matters. Students from partner universities nominated for exchange are welcome to choose from a large selection of English-taught Bachelor's and Master's level courses, or the minor programmes offered at VU Amsterdam.
    • The outgoing student exchange team is the main point of contact for VU students who are interested in going on exchange to one of VU's partner universities. The team organizes information meetings, is responsible for the selection of outgoing exchange students and provides support to students before, during and after their exchange.
    • Semester in Amsterdam serves as the fee-paying alternative to the exchange programme at VU Amsterdam and is accessible to students from non-partner universities as well as students who are not currently enrolled at a university. Semester in Amsterdam students can choose to follow a cohesive minor programme or create their own schedule of courses and enjoy a full schedule of social activities as well as on-site advising and support.
    • VU Amsterdam Summer School and VU Graduate Winter School offer interactive courses in July and January. The short courses (1-2 weeks) cover multiple themes and are offered by all nine faculties of the university. In addition to the courses extra services such as exciting social activities and housing are offered. Bachelor, Master and PhD students as well as professionals are all welcome to apply.
    • The regional advisors manage partnerships with higher education institutions abroad, with the aim to enable student mobility on a bilateral basis. The regional advisors also coordinate Erasmus+ subsidies for student/ staff mobility and international cooperation.
  • Services

    The Services Team at VU Amsterdam International Office supports with all practicalities regarding the visa and/or residence permit and housing. We will make sure that both students and new international staff will have an easy landing in the Netherlands. The Services Team is also responsible for incoming and outgoing scholarship and financial aid services.

    • The housing team provides support to international students and staff in finding accommodation. The number of rooms available is limited so we cannot guarantee accommodation, but we will do our best to help students and staff to find a suitable accommodation. More information about housing can be found on our website.
    • The immigration teams for non-EU students and staff supports with the application of visa, residence permits and work permits. You need to complete the immigration procedure before you start your study, research or work at VU Amsterdam. Our Services team can help you with this and will apply for the immigration procedure on your behalf.
    • The scholarship team is responsible for the processing and selection of scholarship and loan applications for incoming and outgoing students and staff.
      - All information about scholarships programmes and Financial Aid for incoming Master’s students can be found on our website.
      - For incoming Bachelor’s students, check here for information about financial aid.
      - For outgoing students, going on exchange or internship abroad, several scholarship programmes are available, you can find information here.
      - For VU staff going abroad ( EU country) for teaching, training etc., please check the available options here
  • Centre for International Cooperation (CIS-VU)

    The Centre for International Cooperation of VU Amsterdam initiates, facilitates, and co-implements projects in capacity building, research collaboration and education with a strong commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals. CIS-VU has a vast international cooperation network, that includes academic institutions, government institutions, NGOs and small and medium enterprises in Africa, Asia and Latin America. Their programmes focus on Food and Nutrition and Sustainable Land Management; ICT for Development; Conflict Resolution and Mediation; Good Governance & Democratisation and Security & Rule of Law. CIS-VU adheres to an interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary approach in serving its role as a central hub, where research meets practice.

  • Policies and Business Development

    Policies and Business Development supports and develops VU Amsterdam's internationalization strategy and policy.

  • International Communication and Marketing

    The International Communication and Marketing team is responsible for the worldwide promotion of VU Amsterdam among various target groups. Examples are (digital) materials and brochures, representation at education fairs and (online) campaigns. Online marketing and the associated data it produces play a major role in determining our strategic communication plans. The team also works together with the English-taught degree programme to promote the intake of international students.

    In addition, international communication processes are set up and implemented, and the introduction of new English-taught programmes and specialisations is supervised, for example by carrying out market research. The core tasks also include establishing and maintaining relationships with foreign institutions and organisations, such as recruitment agencies, embassies and Netherlands Education Support Offices (NESOs) that contribute to the qualitative and quantitative growth of international mobility. 

  • Finance and Administration

    The department of Finance and Administration carries out and supports a range of financial and administrative tasks and activities.

  • Secretariat

    The secretariat supports the service with many practical tasks.