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Exchange step 4: to do after selection

Ask permission for optional subject or minor outside VU Amsterdam
Last updated on 29 August 2023
You have been selected to study abroad for a semester. After selection, VU International Office will nominate you at the partner university. Afterwards you will have to officially apply at the partner university and arrange practical matters for your exchange.

If you have been selected for an exchange semester, VU International Office will officially nominate you at the partner university. After you have been nominated, you will have to officially apply at the host university yourself. In the meantime, you will also have to ask the Examination Board of your faculty for approval of the courses you want to follow abroad and make practical arrangements, such as arranging your accommodation and possibly applying for a visa. Depending on where you go, you can also apply for a scholarship. 

What to do after selection?

  • Accept or reject your selection

    Please check your VU and personal inbox carefully! You have 3 days to accept or reject your selection offer. If you accept your offer, we expect you to continue with the exchange process. Your decision is final in this point and can only be changed in exceptional circumstances.

    If you reject your offer, you might still apply again in our second selection round. However, please be aware that there will be less spots available. 

  • Applying at the partner university

    If you have been selected by VU International Office, you will first be nominated at the partner university. After you are nominated by VU International Office, you will have to apply at the partner university and follow their application procedure. Only after you have been admitted by the partner university, you can officially go on exchange. To make sure the partner university will admit you, please follow the following steps:

    • Make sure that you apply before the partner university's deadline with all required documentation. 
    • Check carefully if you need to take an English language test (TOEFL or IELTS). Sometimes, the VU TOEFL (ITP) from the Taalloket is accepted, or a letter of English proficiency from the VU International Office. You can find the requirements on the Study Abroad Map. If you need to do an official language test, make sure to apply a.s.a.p., as test dates fill up quickly. 
    • The partner university will then decide whether to admit or reject you. The chances of you being accepted are high, but not 100%. You will only know for sure after receiving a (letter of) confirmation of your admission from the partner university.
    • Please wait until you have officially been admitted before arranging practical matters (e.g. purchasing tickets). 
    • Do you have questions about the application procedure, choice of courses or other practical matters? Please contact your host university directly. They will be able to assist you. 
  • Approval of courses by the Examination Board

    • You need to request approval from the Examination Board of your study programme for the courses that you would like to follow during your exchange semester. 
    • Please carefully check the requirements of the Examination Board before submitting your request. You will receive a document with the requirements after you have been selected. 
    • If the Examination Board does not give its approval for a minimum of 24 ECTS, you cannot go on exchange. 
    • Start this process as soon as possible after you have been selected, as it can take up to six weeks before the Examination Board assesses your the courses.
    • Include one or two extra courses in your request for the Examination Board, to have back-up courses in case of courses being full or if one of your courses is not being approved. 
    • If the courses at the host university have not yet been announced for next academic year, you can base your choice of courses on the current offer.
    • You also need to inform your host university about which courses you would like to take during your exchange semester. Do not wait for the decision of the Examination Board to register for courses. This procedure must be done at the same time, to make sure that you register for the courses on time at the host university. If not all the courses are approved or if there is a timetable clash, you can still submit a new request to the Examination Board. 
  • Pre-departure meetings

    Pre-departure meetings

    In February and March, we organize pre-departure meetings to inform you about what to expect and what to arrange once you have been selected. There will also be an opportunity to ask questions. If you are selected, we will send you an invitation for the pre-departure meeting of your region shortly after selection. 

    After the pre-departure meeting you will receive our pre-departure checklist by mail.

    Dates pre-departure meetings 2024:

    North America: 9th of February, 12:45-13:30

    South Africa: 16th of February, 12:45-13:30

    Oceania: 23rd of February, 12:45-13:30

    Northern & Eastern Europe: 28th of February, 12:45-13:30

    Asia: 4th of March, 12:45-13:30

    UK: 5th of March, 12:45-13:30

    Southern Europe: 21st of March, 12:45-13:30

  • Unpack Your Study Abroad Programme

    The Unpack Your Study Abroad (UYSA) programme has been designed and developed by VU Amsterdam’s International Office, in collaboration with the LEARN! Academy of VU Amsterdam. The programme is part of your exchange semester, and it was designed according to VU Amsterdam’s Mixed Classroom principles. This means that it was developed to support and enhance your ability to make successful cultural adjustments and to optimize your preparations for your semester abroad.

    The programme is divided in three phases: before, during and after exchange. You will become acquainted with the theoretical concept of culture, while also experiencing a new country first-hand during your exchange. By completing the assignments for each phase of your exchange in your e-Portfolio, you will learn how to reflect upon your experiences and how you can use the competences obtained abroad upon your return.

    You will be added to the UYSA Canvas page after you have been selected for exchange. You can then also get in touch with other students selected for your destination.

  • Applying for a scholarship

    • If you are going on exchange within the Erasmus+ programme, you will receive an email with information on how to apply for the scholarship together with the necessary documents in May. 
    • If you are selected for a GLOBE scholarship, you will be invited by email to apply for the scholarship in April. 
    • If you are selected for a NL Scholarship, you will be invited by email to apply for this scholarship in April. 

    Please have a look at the information about international scholarships, inside and outside of Europe. 

  • Apply for compensation student travel product and DUO scholarship

    Staying abroad

    When you are staying abroad for your programme, for instance because of an internship or an exchange, you can apply for compensation for the student travel product with DUO. To apply for this compensation, go to www.duo.nl. In order to apply for this compensation, you need a signed statement from the educational institution. This form needs to be signed by the Student Desk (either by mail or in person). Please double check this with the Student Desk. 

    You can only get the statement signed by the Student Desk after you are fully enrolled for the academic year in which you are going abroad. So, are you going to another country for your education in the academic year 2024-2025? Please complete your enrolment as soon as possible (including the payment of tuition fees); after you get a notice from Studielink that you are fully enrolled you can request a signature. 

  • Rent out your room during your exchange (and earn €500!)

    The VU International Office is happy to help you rent out your room to an incoming international VU student who is going on exchange just like you.

    Rooms are greatly needed in Amsterdam, which is why international students are very grateful for your contribution to a pleasant exchange!

    There are a few requirements that your room must meet. So, check this before you sign up.

    • The landlord must agree that you sublet your room
    • Also check whether your housemates agree that you are subletting your room to an international student
    • The monthly rental price must include your service costs and any other costs for TV and internet
    • The room must be furnished and clean

    In addition, it is possible to indicate your wishes about the sublessor (for example, gender and age).

    Register via the registration form before May 1, 2023. If you successfully sublet your room to an international student, you will receive a bonus of €500 from the International Office!

    If you have any questions, please send an email to studentaccommodation@vu.nl.

  • During exchange: in case of crisis

    See our policy (International policy in case of crisis).

Outgoing Student Exchange Team

+31 (0)20 59 85745 (between 10:00 - 12:00, Monday, Wednesday and Friday)

Do you have a question? Mail us!

Consultation hour (walk-in, no appointment required):
Every Tuesday between 12:30 - 13:30 in the Global Room (HG-1A36). There will be no consultation hour on Thursday, 20th of February, due to the second selection round. 

Zoom consultation hour: 

to make an appointment please use this link

Emergency number for VU exchange students abroad: +31 (0) 20 6444117. This is the VU-wide emergency number. Emergencies for example include natural disasters, assault and (mental) health issues.