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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) Summer School

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Here you will find the answers to the most frequently asked questions, more information about visa and our cancellation policy. Questions? Please reach out to us via  


  • Applying for VU Amsterdam Summer School

    When is my admission definite?  
    Your admission will be definite once we have reviewed your application based on the entry requirements, availability in the course(s), and once we have received your payment. Your spot in VU Amsterdam Summer School will not be guaranteed until the payment is made and we have received  it. Please be aware that courses need a minimum number of participants. So even when you have been admitted to the programme, it is still possible that the course is cancelled or has reached the maximum capacity. If this situation occurs, then the summer school staff will of course help you find another course or you will be fully reimbursed.  
    Your admission will be definite once we have  

    What's the cancellation policy for VU Amsterdam Summer School?
    If you have been accepted to VU Amsterdam Summer School and have paid the tuition fee/accommodation/social programme, but due to unforeseen circumstances need to cancel, the following refunds will be given:  

    • Cancellation before 15 May: 100% of total fee will be refunded 
    • Cancellation before 1 June: 50% of total fee will be refunded 
    • Cancellation after 1 June: no refund will be given 

    We will not refund travel costs and such. We strongly recommend holding on to booking your travel arrangements until your visa is approved and/or your on-campus course has been confirmed to run. 

    What are my chances of being accepted?  
    If you apply on time and meet both the general as well as the course entry requirements, you have a good chance of being accepted to the programme. Beware that your spot in the course is not guaranteed until we receive your payment. We operate on a first come first served basis, so we recommend you to apply as soon as possible. This also means that courses may be full before the deadline of 1 May. If so, this will be announced on the website in the course information. If a course is full, you can ask to be placed on the waiting list.  

    What is and what is not included in the course fee? 

    Included in the course fee: 

    • Application and registration 
    • Orientation programme and welcome/goodbye event 
    • Course excursions (if applicable) 
    • Exclusive course content for a limited number of participants 
    • Individual/group guidance from the course organiser 
    • Access to all VU facilities such as the library and online learning environments 
    • On-site support 
    • A transcript of records and certificate of attendance after completing the course 
    • A discounted access to our sport facilities at Uilenstede Sportcentre 

    Not included in the course fee:  accommodation, additional books (most courses use free digital articles/books available in the library), extended Social programme activities, international and local travel expenses, insurance, living expenses, visa arrangements 

    How can I pay for  VU Amsterdam Summer School?  
    In the application form you will be directed to a payment link. You can pay by Visa credit card or Master credit card. For the following countries it is also possible to pay online by debit card (Maestro): The Netherlands, Belgium, United Kingdom, Spain, Italy, Poland, Russia and Denmark.  

    If you wish to pay via an invoice then please request this by sending us an email at

    If you come through a provider or a partner university then it could be that you need to apply via a different application form. Please consult for this. 

    Will VU Amsterdam Summer School arrange a visa for me?  
    No, since you will be enrolled in a short-term programme it is not possible to apply for a study-visa for the Netherlands. This means you will have to apply for a tourist visa at the Dutch embassy in your home country yourself. We cannot provide assistance to students deu to the large number of applicants. Check the how to apply and visa page for more information. It is important that you start the process of getting your visa in time. Our general cancellation policy applies in case your visa is rejected and you need to cancel your registration.  

    Do you have scholarships available? 
    VU Amsterdam Summer School offers two types of scholarships: the Equal Access Scholarship and the Photographer Scholarship. You may check out the instructions on how to apply and deadlines on our website. 

    How can I stay up to date? 

    We send out regular newsletters by email and closer to the summer you will receive emails from us more frequently. We will also create a Community group via Telegram closer to the start of the sessions.  

  • Courses

    When should I start preparing for the course? (Pre-readings and such) 

    If a course requires some preparation, then this will be announced shortly before the course starts. You will be given access to the learning environment in due course, and there you will be able to see what you need to do before the course starts. 

    How big are the course groups?  
    Most groups will be small, with a maximum of 25 students (some courses allow more people in class). In this way we can guarantee  that courses are highly interactive.  

    Can I transfer my credits to my home university?  
    At the end of the course, you will receive a transcript of records if you pass the final assessment. In most cases you will be able to transfer these to your home university, but this depends on their own specific regulations. Make sure to check this with your home university well in advance. All courses are expressed in ECTS-credits according to the European Credit Transfer System. Because some educational systems (such as the American universities) base their credits on contact hours, we have included information about the contact hours in the course descriptions.  

    How do European credits (ECTS) relate to credits of my non-European University?  
    It is useful to consult your home institution about the conversion of ECTS to the credits of your country. Your home institution can take the contact hours into consideration to determine the right number of credits.  

  • Living in Amsterdam

    Is accommodation available for students? And when can I receive the key to my room?  
    Yes. Since finding an affordable place in Amsterdam yourself can be extremely difficult, we arrange accommodation for summer school students. We offer different options at different rates in the city of Amsterdam and Diemen. Check-in and check-out times depend on the session you are in and the accommodation you have selected. All information on how to register for accommodation and when the arrival (key pick up) and departure day is, will be communicated to all participants by email and via updates on the website. 

    Do I need insurance?  
    Yes, it is important to have insurance when participating in  VU Amsterdam Summer School. Check with your insurance company to see if you will be covered in the Netherlands. If you do not have coverage, you may get a temporary insurance from or  

    What is the voltage in Europe?  
    The voltage in the Netherlands is 230 V and plug types C and F. Check if you need a world adapter for your local plugs.  

    What living expenses can I expect while studying at  VU Amsterdam Summer School?  
    Apart from accommodation, you may consider the following estimated living expenses for  two weeks:  

    • Food €150 (if you cook yourself, eating out will be more expensive) 
    • Insurance €50  
    • Transportation €75 (unless you buy or rent a bike)  
    • Other expenses €100 (at minimum, increases if you visit more museums and undertake more social activities) 

    What is the usual method of payment in the Netherlands? Should I bring Euros?  
    The Euro is the currency in the Netherlands. You could consider bringing some cash with you for the first day or so, but overall, there are plenty of ATM’s available. Not all credit cards are accepted in supermarkets and restaurants, but ATM’s will accept them.  

    What will the weather be like in Amsterdam in the summer?  
    The summers in the Netherlands can be described as mild but we always recommend checking the weather forecast before you come. Usually, the average temperature will be around 20-25 degrees Celsius (or about 70-80 degrees Fahrenheit). It may occasionally rain. Make sure to bring a light summer jacket that you can wear during the evenings and an umbrella.  

Additional Information

  • Reasons to join

    There are many reasons why joining a summer school is beneficial for you. Whether you are looking to upskill and develop yourself personally or academically, our summer school is the place to go. Here are a few of the top benefits of enrolling in VU Amsterdam Summer School:

    • Gain study credits;
    • Expand your knowledge and understanding of a certain topic;
    • Build your (international) network and meet peers from all over the world;
    • Keep your brain active during the summer months and avoid summer learning loss;
    • Experience studying at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam;
    • Live like a local in the beautiful city of Amsterdam or Diemen;
    • Engage with leading lecturers;
    • Upgrade your CV.
  • Visa information

    Some students may require an entry visa* (or Schengen visa) to the Netherlands, depending on their nationality. Make sure to check if this is the situation for you via Government of the Netherlands.

    More information can be found on the webpage Visa application for Summer School Students.

  • General cancellation policy

    If you have been accepted to VU Amsterdam Summer School and have paid the tuition fee/accommodation/social programme, but due to unforeseen circumstances need to cancel, the following refunds will be given: 

    • Cancellation before 15 May: 100% of total fee will be refunded
    • Cancellation before 1 June: 50% of total fee will be refunded
    • Cancellation after 1 June: no refund will be given

    We will not refund travel costs and such. We strongly recommend to hold on to booking your travel arrangements until your visa is approved and/or your on campus course has been confirmed to run. 

  • Coronavirus

    All restrictions in the Netherlands have been lifted. Please consult your own embassy and the page Netherlands Worldwide before traveling to the Netherlands.

    In case of new restrictions, we will make sure this page is up to date with all the information. If you have any other questions about this, please don't hesitate to contact us.

  • General Terms and Conditons

    Our General Terms and Conditions apply when participating in VU Amsterdam Summer School. 

Team VU Amsterdam Summer School

We are here to help!

Skype: by appointment via


  • Bianca
  • Programme Coordinator
  • Celia
  • Summer and Winter School Officer
Celia VU Amsterdam Summer & Winter School
  • Helena
  • Summer and Winter School Officer
Helena VU Amsterdam Summer and Winter School