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Other possibilities to study abroad

Last updated on 31 May 2023
Besides doing an exchange via VU Amsterdam, it is also possible to arrange (a part of) studies abroad, or get an international experience in another way.

Besides doing an international exchange via the VU International Office, it is also possible to arrange (a part of) your studies abroad, or get an international experience in another way. Below you can find an overview of these possibilities.

Other possibilities to study abroad

  • Internship abroad

    During your studies you have the possibility to do an internship abroad. You are responsible for arranging an internship yourself. Unfortunately, VU International Office does not facilitate any internships, but you can enquire at your programme or faculty about the possibilities. Some faculties have an internship coordinator. For more information, please check your study guide.

    Please pay attention to the following:

    • Once you have arranged your internship, you will need to register this in My Dashboard
    • Please carefully go over our International Travel Policy.
    • VU has scholarships available for internships abroad. Within the EU, you can receive an Erasmus+ scholarship for internships. Outside of the EU, you can request a scholarship via the Fondsendesk. You can request  a scholarship via My Dashboard, after you have registered the internship in our system. 
    • Also have a look at this page, where you can find more information on internships and graduation projects. 
  • Internships in the Valley - USA

    Internships in the Valley 2023 is now open for applications! The program is a unique collaboration by the 13 Dutch research universities (also VU Amsterdam) and the Dutch consulate in San-Francisco to generate internship opportunities for Master and PhD students from the Netherlands. When you get accepted for the program, you receive access to:

    • Training about work life and applying for jobs in the US.
    • Internships through the consulate business network and live webinars from Silicon Valley professionals.
    • Support with contract negotiations and taxes.
    • Support with their J-1 visa application procedure (which makes you attractive for US employers)

    Learn more about the program on 23 Nov and 1 Dec 2022:

    For questions email to: Follow us on InstagramLinkedIn and Twitter for the latest updates.

  • Vulcanus in Japan

    Vulcanus in Japan is a training programme that offers industrial placements for Master’s students in engineering and other scientific fields. It is open to EU nationals and citizens of SMP-associated countries and lasts 8 months, from August 2024 to March 2025.

    Through this programme, the students will get acquainted with the range of advanced technologies employed by a leading Japanese host company, immerse themselves in Japanese culture and boost their future career by connecting with Japanese businesses and people.

    The EU-Japan Center will cover costs for providing lectures about Japan and the Japanese language course. The host company will provide accommodation throughout the entire stay in Japan. Students will receive a pro-rata grant of around € 8200 (paid in JPY) to partially support return tickets to Japan, personal insurance, and day-to-day living expenses. 

    Please find more information about the training programme and how to apply on this page. The deadline to apply to the programme is 10 December 2023. 

  • International experience at home - Buddy programme at VU Amsterdam

    VU International Office organises a buddy programme, in cooperation with the Erasmus Student Network VU Amsterdam (ESN VU Amsterdam). As a buddy, you will be matched to 3-5 international students. You will be expected to answer the student’s questions about what it’s like to study at VU Amsterdam and you can partake in social activities with your international students. It will improve your language skills, you will learn to communicate with students from different countries and you will make friends from all over the world! Would you like to know more about the buddy programme

  • International experience at home - VU Amsterdam Summer School

    Are you looking for an opportunity to build an international network in the field of your study, do you miss, or do you want extra ECTS, do you want to expand your CV or deepen your knowledge about a certain topic?  Join VU Amsterdam Summer School!

    VU Amsterdam has had its own summer school. During the months of July and August you can follow 2-week multidisciplinary courses that cover a wide range subjects. Along with the international students, VU Amsterdam students are also very welcome. As VU Amsterdam-student you even get a discount on all courses!

    All courses are small in size (max. 25 students), and very intensive. Check the VU Amsterdam Summer School website for the full programme and other details.

  • Summer or winter school abroad - Study abroad for a shorter time

    Instead of going abroad for a whole semester, you can do a short programme abroad during summer (a so-called Summer School) or winter (a so-called Winter School). This is also a great opportunity for students in the first or second year to already gain international experience and earn extra ECTS at the same time. Most universities offer Summer Schools from 2 to 6 weeks in many different subject areas and for a broad range of prices. The VU also has 4 exchange Summer School partners in London, Los Angeles, Singapore and Seoul, where you have the chance to follow courses with a tuition fee waiver. Next to these 4 exchange Summer Schools, there are also many other partner universities that offer Summer or Winter Schools and sometimes, you can get a discount for them if you apply via VU International Office.

    For more information on Summer Schools and summer exchange possibilities, have a look at this website from the outgoing exchange team. 

    5 Reasons why you should take part in a Summer/ Winter School

    1. You get international and intercultural experience during a short amount of time, which is usually cheaper than a whole exchange semester
    2. You get the chance to study at some of the world’s best universities, some of which don’t offer a normal exchange semester (yet)
    3. You can gain extra credits, which you can get approved for your elective semester
    4. You can follow a course of your particular interest that is not offered at VU Amsterdam or that prepares you for a specific Master’s
    5. You will make your CV stand out from the competition
  • Study trips

    Some faculties and/or student associations organise study trips or fieldwork excursions. During these study trips, you will broaden your knowledge abroad, together with your fellow students. For more information, please contact your faculty or a student association.

  • Going abroad as a free mover

    Did you not get selected by the VU International Office to spend a semester abroad? Or would you like to study at a university that isn't a partner university of VU Amsterdam? Then you can also choose to go abroad as a free mover. As a free mover, you will arrange and manage the study abroad yourself. You have to contact the university yourself. Please pay attention to the quality of education and the level of the courses. If you want your courses to count towards your degree, you have to get approval for these courses from the Examination Board of your faculty/programme. As a free mover you still need to be enrolled and pay tuition fees at VU Amsterdam. Apart from that, you probably also have to pay tuition fees at your host university.

    Please pay attention to the following:

    • After being accepted at your host university, you have to select the courses you would like to follow. Send an approval request to the Examination Board as soon as possible. It can take up to 6 weeks before you will receive an answer. More information about the Examination Board can be found on this page.
    • Please carefully go over our International Travel Policy.
    • Always register your study abroad in My Dashboard.
  • Master's programme abroad

    It is also possible to do a Master's programme abroad. You will need to arrange everything yourself: you will need to find a university yourself, and arrange your application and admission. You will also need to pay tuition fees at this university. 

    Please pay attention to the following:

    • Start to look for a study programme early. Start your search at least a year in advance. A good starting point is, where you can compare different programmes.
    • You can often ask a professor from your degree programme which universities he or she would recommend. 
    • The foreign university will be able to help you with questions about study programmes, the application procedure, finances, etc.
    • You can find more information on scholarship possibilities here

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). Please note: There will be no consultation hour on Tuesday, 30th of April due to the May holiday. 

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.