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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 Premaster’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.

    - The VASVU (Voorbereidend jaar Anderstalige Studenten VU) programme offers a path towards admission, when you do not yet meet educational or language requirements, and because of this, cannot be admitted directly to your chosen degree programme.
    - The VASVU prepares you for the entrance examinations of VU Amsterdam. The programme takes a full academic year and has four terms of ten weeks from early September until early July. If your level of education is sufficient, you may start later in the academic year.
  • Dutch language
    - You can only be admitted to the VASVU programme, if you already have a basic understanding of Dutch, as all courses are taught in Dutch. Additionally, you have to live permanently in the Netherlands, or come from a country of the EU/EEA (European Economic Area). It is almost impossible to enrol in this preparatory year, if you depend on a study visa or MVV.
    - Please note: we are unable to apply for a visa or residence permit on your behalf, if you are following a preparatory year before applying for a Bachelor's programme. This means that, if you are from a non-EU/EEA country, you must already be in possession of a residence permit in order to begin the VASVU year.
  • Entrance examinations
    The courses you take within the VASVU depend on the bachelor’s programme you want to follow and the entrance exams required for admission to the programme. For almost all faculties of VU Amsterdam, you will have to take entrance examinations for the subjects Dutch, English and mathematics. Depending on your degree programme, you may also have to take examinations for biology, chemistry or physics (science programmes) or history (other programmes).  VU Amsterdam offers special courses in these obligatory subjects so you can prepare yourself properly for the entrance examinations.
  • Subjects
    - Your subjects in the VASVU are directly related to the entrance examinations of your degree programme.
    - The VASVU offers all relevant subjects:
      • Dutch
      • English
      • Mathematics
      • History
      • Biology 
      • Chemistry
      • Physics
  • Extra activities
    The VASVU is more than just a preparation for the entrance examinations and also offers an introduction to studying at a Dutch university. During the classes, there is attention for various aspects of studying at a university. There are also meetings with former students, educational excursions and information days of the university.
  • Intake tests for the VASVU
    If you are interested, please come to an information or consultation session. The intake procedure for the VASVU programme consists of an interview and intake tests in Dutch, English and mathematics. For some bachelor’s programmes, there are also intake tests for physics and chemistry. Find out more about the VASVU intake tests, curriculum and costs
  • Information and registration during consultation sessions 
    Due to the circumstances concerning the corona crisis, you can only contact the VASVU by e-mail. Please send a message to


If you have any questions, you can send an e-mail to