If you are considering a different study programme, it is important to prepare well. On this page you will find all the relevant information about switching studies.
How do I switch to another study programme?
Switching study programmes
Information for VU students
It is not possible to change study programmes after the start of a study programme. In Studielink you can submit an enrolment request for the new programme from the next starting date. This is often 1 September. It is important to think carefully about why you want to switch and speak to your academic advisor. Also make sure you are aware of any deadlines and documents you need to submit, more information on that can be found here.
Think carefully about whether you want to remain enrolled in the programme you want to discontinue in the meantime. If you are a first year Bachelor's student and you wish to remain enrolled, it is important that you comply with the norm on binding recommendation on continuation of studies (BSA). If you fail to meet the norm, you will receive a negative BSA. As a result, you will not be able to re-enrol in this programme at VU Amsterdam for three academic years. This also applies to another programme that shares its first-year programme with this one. If you deregister from the programme before 1 February, you will not receive the binding recommendation on continuation of studies. You can deregister in Studielink.
Do you want to transfer to another university? Please contact the other educational institution for more information.
Information for non-VU students
It is not possible to enrol in a programme at VU Amsterdam after it has begun. In Studielink you can request enrolment for the new programme from the next starting date. This is often 1 September. Make sure that you are aware of any deadlines and documents you need to submit, more information on that can be found here.
Students who have passed examinations during another study programme at a recognised institution of higher education can request an exemption from courses within their study programme at VU Amsterdam. For this you must first be fully enrolled at VU Amsterdam; unfortunately, we are not able to inform you on the possibilities of being exempted before you apply. Also keep in mind that additional conditions may apply per faculty and study programme.
The components passed must correspond in terms of content, level and study load to the subjects of VU Amsterdam for which you are requesting an exemption. The Examination Board will only consider requests for exemption based on completed courses. You can find the conditions and the application form on the page Exemption for a course.
Important information for non-EU/EEA students
Non-EU/EEA students should take the following into consideration:
Switching to another educational institution
If you are not happy with your current study programme at VU Amsterdam and you would like to switch to another programme at another educational institution, then you need to apply for a so-called “Change of Sponsor procedure”. That way, your new educational institution can take over the sponsorship of your residence permit for study purposes. For this, you will need to:
- Apply for the new study programme at the other educational institution.
- Quit your current programme at VU Amsterdam; the International Office will subsequently deregister your study permit at the IND, so that the other educational institution can take over your permit.
- Apply for the Change of Sponsor procedure through the new educational institution. Please follow their instructions.
Switching to another study programme within VU Amsterdam
The IND requires students who have a residence permit for study purposes to meet the Satisfactory Academic Progress requirement for each academic year in which they are enrolled. All non–EU/EEA students need to obtain at least 50% of their yearly ECTS in order to keep the right of their residence permit for the next academic year.
Therefore it is not always possible to switch to another programme during the academic year. Please contact the Student Immigration team at firstname.lastname@example.org to check if you meet the requirements.
Tips for a successful transition
Make a study choice action plan
The VU study choice action plan will clarify why you do not wish to continue your current study. The plan also provides you with an overview of your current qualities, wishes and interests. It is important to take these points of interest into account when choosing a new study.
Draw up the study choice action plan using the following six steps:
- Gain insight
Make the inventory 'Why change your study programme'.
- Discover competences and skills
Find out what you are good at or adjust your wishes and interests by doing some self-examination. Also ask others who know you well what they think of this.
- Recognise your weaknesses
When choosing a new study, it is good to realise what your personal weaknesses are. Look at the most common weaknesses. How can you prevent them from getting in your way (again)?
- Define the ideal programme
Remember that the perfect study programme does not exist. But it does help to put down on paper what you think the programme should offer.
- Formulate a top three
Based on the most important characteristics that you determined in the previous step, you can draw up a top three of programmes that appeal to you. Take a look at the Bachelor's and Master's programmes offered at VU Amsterdam and decide which ones match your personal preferences.
- Make an action plan
Finally, map out your actions with an action plan. What information do you still need, who would you like to talk to and what actions do you need to take?
Sign up for a VU Taster Day or Student for a Day (only for Bachelor's students)
One of the steps in your study choice action plan could be to Participate in a Taster Day or become a Student for a Day. 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 on campus. This will not only give you a more complete picture of the study programme, but it will also provide a general impression of the teachers and students. If you are deciding between two programmes, you could participate in a Taster Day or Student for a Day for both programmes.
In addition to activities on campus, activities may also take place online, so that you can also get acquainted with your favourite programme(s) from home. For more information, please visit our website.
Participate in VU Study Choice Check (only for Bachelor's students)
Most Bachelor's programmes use VU Study Choice Check. This check is meant to test whether the programme really suits you and gives you that extra push to make a definite study choice.
If you apply for a Bachelor's degree programme with VU Study Choice Check before 1 May (or before 1 April for non-EU/EEA students), any study advice you receive will not be binding. You may then start your programme, provided you have met all the other enrolment requirements.
To apply, follow the step-by-step plan for Bachelor's programmes with VU Study Choice Check. You will find the Study Choice Check in your personal dashboard on VU.nl.
- Gain insight
Register and deregister in Studielink
Do you know, after careful preparation, which study programme you will choose? Then timely arrange your registration and deregistration in Studielink. Take the binding recommendation on continuation of studies (BSA) into account and deregister before 1 February. Then, arrange your new enrolment in Studielink before 1 September. Have a look at the step-by-step plan for more information about registration and enrolment.
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