International Office

Profile and services

VU Amsterdam’s International Office is part of Student & Educational Affairs and assists in students’ and employees’ international mobility. The International Office hosts, organizes and supports multiple international and cultural activities and programmes on campus, to increase its appeal and to make it as accessible as possible to students and employees. 

Innovation is very important to VU Amsterdam. VU Amsterdam is constantly changing and adapting to meet the demands of the international community by transforming its programmes and campus to include English-taught courses and English-language signs, activities and projects. The university is also proud of its diverse students and members of staff. Further promoting diversity among incoming and outgoing members of staff and students is an important point of focus for the International Office. The International Office also provides all the necessary information to international students about application procedures, how to find housing, organize visas and work permits and anything else they may need prior to, during and after their stay in Amsterdam.


The department:
  • assists in preparing and advising on institutional internationalization policy and in offering services to students and foreign guests at the university.
  • takes care of foreign students’ applications and registrations at the university for English-taught Bachelor’s or Master’s degree courses
  • the evaluation of foreign diplomas, degrees and certificates, and visa applications, residence permits and work permits for students and guests.
  • provides VU students with information about the possibilities to study abroad and do work placements in other countries
  • evaluates partnerships
  • manages various funds and exchange programmes
  • is responsible for housing foreign exchange students and university guests. 
  • manages a diverse portfolio of financial grants and scholarships for students and staff and reports on spending to the relevant authorities.
  • organizes arrival days and events for students/staff at the university such as career services, a buddy programme and other community building events. 

The Mobility Department consists of the following teams: 

  • Degree mobility The team that facilitates all forms of international mobility aimed at obtaining a diploma at VU Amsterdam. The most important group is incoming international Master’s students, but the department also focuses on Bachelor’s students and PhD students. Core activities include recruitment, admission (diploma evaluation) and student commitment. 
  • Student Exchange Entering into partnerships with foreign higher education institutions for the purpose of improving student mobility from and to VU Amsterdam. Student exchanges are either short stays of a few months or long-term stays of a semester or a year, with the goal of obtaining study credits abroad and experiencing life in another country. The team includes experts on specific areas. The institutional Erasmus+ coordinator is also part of the team.
  • International Services Team The International Services Team assists international students, guests and employees. The team is tasked with providing housing support, visa and/or residence permit application assistance and the management and administration of financial grant programmes or scholarships.
  • Study Abroad team (VU Amsterdam Summer School and Semester in Amsterdam) The International Office initiates and organizes specific programmes for students including the Amsterdam Summer School during the summer months and the Semester in Amsterdam programme.

Supports and develops VU Amsterdam's internationalization strategy and policy.

Responsible for the global promotion, marketing and communications, market research, planning and execution of all marketing activities for the university’s international Bachelor’s and Master’s programmes. The team is also tasked with carrying out international communications projects and the supervision of the introduction of new degree programmes and specializations. Core tasks include starting and maintaining relationships with foreign institutions and organizations such as recruitment agencies, representatives, embassies and Netherlands Education Support Offices (NESOs) that contribute to the qualitative and quantitative growth of international mobility.

Supports and promotes the university’s strategy of internationalization and diversity. The project department at the VU International Office is responsible for cooperation with faculties at foreign universities in Africa, Asia and Latin America on the acquisition and implementation of projects. These projects are in line with the faculty research priorities.

The department of Finance and Administration carries out and supports a range of financial and administrative tasks and activities.

The secretariat supports the service with many practical tasks.

Director: Mr Frans A.M. Snijders (in photo)

Frans Snijders began his career as the Director of the International Office after a long career at VU Amsterdam’s Faculty of Economics, Leiden University and the National Research Institute for Mathematics and Computer Science in the Netherlands (CWI). Mr Snijders is particularly interested in the challenges arising from the international character of higher education. International and cultural diversity often bring conflict and differences of opinion, while at the same time providing the ultimate inspiration and enabling progress. Education, research and VU Amsterdam’s societal impact all benefit from this progress and international community.

Frans Snijders


VU International Office
Main Building Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
De Boelelaan 1105, kamer 0E-68
1081 HV Amsterdam The Netherlands
E: [email protected]

International Student Desk
Main Building Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
De Boelelaan 1105, central hall, 1081 HV Amsterdam
Opening hours: Monday till Friday from 10.30 till 17.00
Telephone: + 31 20 598 5020

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