How to apply

The first step of the application process is to choose whether you will come as an individual applicant or via a provider.  If you have already chosen a provider, please apply directly through your provider.  If you wish to apply as an individual applicant, please consult the eligibility and entry requirements and proceed to the application form found below.

The VU Amsterdam Gap Year Experience is organized for recent international high school graduates who wish to take a gap year before enrolling in a full degree program.  Students should not have previously completed a bachelor or master degree program. Students who have previously completed a degree program or are in their second or third year of study should instead apply to the Semester in Amsterdam Program.

All applicants need a diploma equivalent to the Dutch pre-university VWO diploma. You can find a list of diploma requirements by country here.  Please note that you can start your application even if you have not yet obtained your diploma.

In addition to the general admission requirements, students must meet the general rules and requirements outlined below. 

Computer Science, Social Science, and Business and Economics:

Proof of sufficient proficiency in Mathematics 

Students must submit proof of proficiency in mathematics.  After you submit your programme application along with the required documents, an International Student Advisor will check your transcripts to determine if your diploma is equivalent to the Dutch VWO diploma and whether your Mathematics level is sufficient.

These examples of diplomas demonstrate sufficient proficiency in the subject Mathematics:

  • International Baccalaureate: Mathematics Higher Level.
  • British GCE A-Levels: A-level in Mathematics. At least grade A,B or C.
  • Germany: Zeugnis der allgemeinen Hochschulreife, including Mathematics as Leistungsfach.
  • European Baccalaureate:  Mathematics; written or oral examination, at least 4 hours during the Orientation Cycle.

If your proficiency in this subject is considered to be insufficient, your International Student Advisor will inform you about how you can meet these requirements with additional certificates or exams.

When advised to sit an entry exam, the following certificates are deemed equivalent to Dutch VWO Mathematics B:

International Exams

  • International Baccalaureate certificate in Mathematics HL
  • A-level examinations at a registered Cambridge school. Please check to find the nearest Cambridge school in your country.

Exams in the Netherlands

  • Boswell-Bèta (English). Boswell-Bèta in Utrecht (the Netherlands) provides VWO Mathematics B with exams in December, May and July.
  • CCVX (Dutch and English). CCVX offers VWO Mathematics B.

Biomedical Science:

Proof of sufficient proficiency in Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Mathematics 

After you apply to the programme and upload the required documents in our student portal, an International Student Advisor will check your transcripts to determine whether your diploma is equivalent to the Dutch VWO diploma and whether your Mathematics, Physics, Biology and Chemistry level is sufficient. 

 These examples of diplomas demonstrate sufficient proficiency in the 4 required subjects Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Mathematics:

  • International Baccalaureate: Mathematics Standard or Higher Level, Physics Standard or Higher Level, Chemistry Standard or Higher Level and Biology Higher Level
  • British GCE A-Levels: A-levels in Biology, Chemistry, and Mathematics and an AS-level in Physics, or A-levels in Biology, Chemistry, and Physics and an AS-level in Mathematics. All subjects need to be completed with a grade A, B or C.
  • Germany: Zeugnis der allgemeinen Hochschulreife, including Mathematics, Physics and Chemistry as Grundkurs and Biology as Leistungsfach.
  • European Baccalaureate: Mathematics; written or oral examination, at least 3 hours during the Orientation Cycle; Physics and Chemistry: written or oral examinations; Biology: written or oral examinations, at least 4 hours during the Orientation Cycle

If your proficiency in one or more of these subjects is considered to be insufficient, your International Student Advisor will inform you about the possibilities how to meet the requirements with additional certificates.

When advised to sit (an) entry exam(s), the following certificates are deemed equivalent to Dutch VWO Mathematics A, Physics, Chemistry and Biology.

International Exams

  • International Baccalaureate certificate in Mathematics SL, Physics SL, Chemistry SL or Biology HL
  • Another option for obtaining a separate course certificate in one of the required subjects is to take A-level examinations at a registered Cambridge school. Please check here to find the nearest Cambridge school in your country.

Exams in the Netherlands

  • Boswell-Bèta (English). Boswell-Bèta in Utrecht (the Netherlands) provides VWO Mathematics A and B, Physics, Biology and Chemistry courses in English with exams in December, May and July.
  • CCVX (Dutch and English). CCVX offers VWO Mathematics A and B, Physics, Biology and Chemistry exams.

Humanities:

Please see the general admission and language requirements.

VU Amsterdam requires all international applicants to take an English language proficiency test.  Applicants who have completed their (English-taught) education in Canada, the USA, the UK, New Zealand, Ireland, or Australia are exempted from this requirement, as are those who have obtained an International Baccalaureate, European Baccalaureate diploma (English-taught programmes only), or Surinam VWO diploma.

Please note that you can apply to your programme of choice before taking this test and/or submitting your results. 

Deadline for English language test submissions: 

  •      1 June for students who require a study visa
  •     31 August for students with the EU/EEA nationality and other student who do not require a study visa

Please be aware that it may take longer than expected to receive your English language test results.  It is therefore best to take the test far in advance.  We accept the following tests and minimum scores:

  •     IELTS: 6.5 (only the Academic IELTS test is accepted)
  •     TOEFL internet-based test: 92
  •     VU TOEFL ITP: 580 (only the TOEFL ITP test from VU Amsterdam is accepted)
  •     Cambridge Advanced English (CAE): grade A, B or C/ minimum score of 176
  •     Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE): grade A, B or C/ minimum score of 176

Tests must have been completed no more than two years before 1 September of the current academic year.

If you will be participating in the VU Amsterdam Gap Year Experience through a provider, please apply directly through your provider.

Our staff will check the following:

    1. Your application is complete and includes all required documents

    2. You meet our standard admission criteria

    3. You meet all of the entry requirements for your chosen courses

Note:

  • During the application phase you will be pre-approved for your course selection based on entry requirements, target audience, and recommended background knowledge.
  • Courses are finalized after the course lists and timetables for the current academic year are posted online. The course lists for each academic year are posted in July and the timetables are posted a few months before the start of each semester, meaning that students applying for the fall semester will apply using courses from the previous academic year.
  • Until the course lists and timetables for the current academic year are posted online, your course choices are considered provisional and subject to change. Once the course lists and timetables for the current academic year are posted online, we will send instructions for how to check if your pre-approved selections are still on offer and if they overlap in the timetable. In some cases you may need to use a back-up course or choose new course(s) if your pre-approved selection(s) are no longer on offer or if they overlap.

We are now accepting applications for the upcoming Fall 2020 semester!  After carefully reviewing the programme and general requirements, please fill out the application form found here.

If you have questions about the application requirements, please contact us at gapyear@vu.nl.

Fall Semester: 1 April

Spring Semester: 1 October

If you have European citizenship, we may be able to extend these deadlines.  Please contact us if you missed the deadline.

The 2019/2020 costs for the VU Amsterdam Gap Year Experience can be found below.  Please be aware that the Gap Year Experience is a non-government funded study abroad programme.  For this reason, there is no EU tuition fee.  All fees are standardized and cannot be modified. We offer a €200.00 payment discount to all students who pay their full programme fees in one payment by the payment deadline of 1 May, 2020.

The VU Amsterdam Gap Year Experience also offers two scholarships in the amount of €2.500 each. Please check back after 1 November for more information about scholarships.

Programme Fee: Fall 2020€6.995
Programme Fee: Spring 2021€6.995
Housing Fee Per Semester:€5.300
Visa Fees:€250