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7 Steps for choosing the right study programme

How do you find the study programme that is the best fit for you when there are so many possibilities? These steps will take you through the process of making the right choice for you.

How do you find the study programme that is the best fit for you when there are so many possibilities? It is not always easy. Unfortunately, every academic year there are students who discover that they have started the wrong study programme. This can happen to the very best, but you can minimise the chance that it will happen to you by learning everything you can about your options. Would you like to study at VU Amsterdam but are you still not sure which programme to choose? The seven steps below will take you through the process of making the right choice for you.

Have you come to the conclusion that your current study programme is not a good fit? Read about how to successfully switch to a different study programme.

  • # 1 Determine where your talents and interests lie
    Think about which subjects or disciplines you are enthusiastic about. What do you like to talk about with others? Which conversations give you energy? What are you genuinely interested in? What are you good at? It helps to exchange ideas with friends and family about this. Finally, list all of the options for yourself. Gaining these insights is the first step in finding out which study programme suits you best.
  • # 2 Examine the list of degree programmes
    Have you clearly identified your talents and interests? Then, check out the Bachelor's programmes or Master's programmes that are offered at VU Amsterdam and figure out which degree programme(s) is a good match with your personal preferences. Make a list of the relevant programmes and as you find out more about them, start crossing off the ones you are not as interested in.
  • # 3 Create clusters for a better overview
    Do several programmes seem to be a good match with your personal preferences? And does that make it hard to maintain a clear overview? If so, try to cluster those programmes. For example, you can group programmes that you might choose more with your heart (programmes that you are more passionate about but think the job prospects are not as good) and programmes that you might choose more with your mind (that you are not as passionate about but have better job prospects). That will give you a better overview.
  • # 4 Visit the VU Bachelor's or Master's Day
    Do you know which programme(s) you are interested in the most? Then find out more during the VU Bachelor's Day or Master's Day. You can meet current students, teachers and academic advisors during the information market. This will give you a better feel for the programme. During these events, you can also get more information about the application process, money matters, living in Amsterdam and studying abroad. You can even participate in a workshop on ‘Choosing from alternatives’ or a seminar on ‘Learning more about a choice’. This is especially helpful if, at this stage, you have not yet been able to make a final choice from the study programmes that you are considering.
  • # 5 Be a student for a day (only for Bachelor's students)
    Experience what it is like to be a student at VU Amsterdam by signing up for a Taster Day or as a Student for a Day. These are both offered at various times throughout the year. During a Taster Day, you will explore the programme with other prospective students. As a Student for a Day, you will follow along with a current student during his/her day on campus. Your visit will give you a more complete impression of the study programme, the teachers and the students. What’s more, you can get a taste of the atmosphere at VU Amsterdam. This makes it even easier for you to choose the right programme!
  • # 6 Do a final check (only for Bachelor's students)
    Do you feel like you are almost settled on a decision but could use a final check? This is possible through the VU Study Choice Check. This process offers a final check by the university of whether or not a programme is a good fit for you. All students who register before the deadline are entitled to this check and to a personal recommendation. For most programmes, the Study Choice Check is even compulsory because it is important for you as well as for the university to know that you are a good match with the programme of your choice.
  • # 7 Apply for your study programme
    After thoroughly considering your options, are you sure about which study programme you want to follow? Then, it is important that you apply on time for the programme of your choice.

You can find more information about applying for a programme at VU Amsterdam on our pages about application and admission.

Still in doubt? You can go through these steps again and talk about it with others, such as with your parents. Your mentor or counsellor can also advise you.

Do you have a question about a particular study programme? Please feel free to contact the International Student Advisor of your programme.

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