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Foundation year for international students (VASVU)

The VASVU programme prepares students who have completed their pre-university education abroad and want to study a Bachelor’s or pre-master’s programme, but cannot be admitted directly.

This Dutch-taught preparatory year helps students to prepare for the entrance exams needed to qualify for admission and the full-time degree study that follows after. VU Amsterdam is the only Dutch university that offers such a complete preparatory programme.

Were you educated in another country but want to study at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam? The VASVU Programme can help prepare you.

Het Voorbereidend jaar Anderstalige Studenten Vrije Universiteit (VASVU) was created in 1980. It is a university-preparatory programme intended for students who currently live in the Netherlands and were previously preparing for university abroad but are not directly admissible to the VU. VASVU helps prepare students to take the entrance exams required for admittance to the VU. In addition, VASVU aims to teach students about both the social and academic elements of the Dutch university system. Thus, VASVU offers not only academic courses but also excursions and activities designed to encourage integration and improve study skills.

Programme and Study Load

Students in the VASVU Programme study Dutch through VU-NT2 (Dutch as a second language). In addition, they complete courses designed to meet the entry requirements for various programmes (see the chart below for details). VASVU students study approximately 40 hours per week (lessons and self-study).

FieldVASVU courses
Social sciencesEnglish, mathematics A/C, biology (for pyschology students), history, academic skills
Economics and businessEnglish, mathematics A, history, academic skills
Computer scienceEnglish, mathematics B, programming, academic skills
(Bio)medicine and hard sciencesEnglish, mathematics B, biology, physics, chemistry, academic skills


In addition to preparing students for exams, VASVU offers an introduction to the Dutch university system. The programme includes meetings with former students, educational excursions, information about various academic programmes, and visits to university information days. Each VASVU student is paired with a mentor who can provide individual guidance.


VASVU lessons are generally taught in Dutch. Therefore, students need at least an A2-B1 level of Dutch to participate in the VASVU programme. The intake procedure for VASVU consists of an interview and intake exams for Dutch, English and mathematics. Some programmes also require intake exams for physics and chemistry. Intake exams are free.

The VASVU Programme begins in late August, though, in special cases, students sometimes enrol in VASVU after the official start of the programme.

The intake exams are in May, July and August.

Registration and Information

If you would like more information or have any further questions, please email
To apply for the intake tests, you can fill in the application form
If you are obliged to integrate after 1 January 2022, please check the website of the Taalschakeltraject Amsterdam.