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Feel at home at VU Amsterdam

No matter who you are and who you want to become—everyone is welcome at VU Amsterdam.

The name says it all. We are Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, which means ‘Free University’ in English. With us, you are free to be whoever you want to be, regardless of your sexual orientation, nationality, culture, way of thinking or religion. At VU Amsterdam, we embrace differences and it is precisely those differences that we use to stimulate your creativity and development, so that you can make a difference in our society.

Ever since its foundation, VU Amsterdam has stood for diversity and inclusiveness. But it’s not just words to us; we also put it into action. For example, it is important to us that you feel at home at the university as a student, whatever your background. Your first steps at the university can be a bit uneasy, from handling very practical matters such as finding the right accommodation to learning what your added value can be in the academic world. This can especially be true if you have a non-Western background, for example, or if you are going to be the first in your family to attend university. At VU Amsterdam, we want to help you as much as we can to find your way in this new world. We do this through various projects.

  • Arrival and Introduction
    We know it can be difficult to know where to go, what to do, how to organise, and what to prioritise. The Introduction Week offered by VU Amsterdam play a crucial role in offering a soft landing for international students and prepares you for your new life in Amsterdam.
  • How to make it at the VU
    During the Introduction Days, we organise 'How to make it at the VU'. Here you will learn about the Dutch grading system and educational style, get tips on how to ride a bike or party responsibly, and take a Dutch crash course. Everything you need to know to make your time here a big success
  • Meet your Mentor
    What is the value of your non-Western background and how does it affect you when trying to find a suitable job? And how do you learn more about the labour market and determine the focus for your future? With the Meet Your Mentor programme, we support talented students with a non-Western background in their transition to the labour market. Together with a mentor, you will look at the challenges that you may face and see where your strengths lie as a future young professional. You will find all the information you need on their website (in Dutch). Note: the Meet your Mentor programme is meant for students who already speak some Dutch.
  • A Broader Mind
    How do you look beyond the world in which you grew up? And how does a broader perspective benefit your studies or your life in the future? With A Broader Mind, you not only develop at an academic level, but also beyond. Find out more here.
  • Other
    Of course, we do a lot more at VU Amsterdam to ensure that everyone feels at home—both for students and teachers. We also have a VU Pride network for LGTBQIA+ students and teachers and the Wo/Men 4 Women Network@VU. Are you curious about what else we do? Then have a look at this page for a complete overview.