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.


We understand that applying for a degree programme abroad can lead to many questions. Is my diploma valid in the Netherlands? Can I be admitted to the programme of my choosing? And how do I prove my English language proficiency?

Registering in another country, complicated procedures, new systems: it is not always easy. That is why international degree students will have an assigned International Student Advisor (ISA) from the very beginning. For every faculty we have assigned ISAs who know everything about the programmes, requirements, and deadlines. He or she will guide the student throughout the application process and answer any questions they might have. It is their priority to help students every step of the way, making sure they are all set to become a student at VU Amsterdam. And once the students arrive in the city, they will even be welcomed by your ISA during the Arrival Days.”

The core task of the Credit Mobility Team is to facilitate and improve student mobility to and from VU Amsterdam. Student exchanges can vary from one semester to the entire academic year, and the goal is to obtain study credits while experiencing a different social, cultural and academic setting.
Our credit mobility team consists of the following sub teams: 

  • The incoming student exchange team provides support to incoming exchange students with regards to application, course registration and other related matters. Students from partner universities nominated for exchange are welcome to choose from a large selection of English-taught Bachelor and Master level courses, or the minor programmes offered at VU Amsterdam.

  • The outgoing student exchange team is the main point of contact for VU students who are interested in going on exchange to one of VU's partner universities. The team organizes information meetings, is responsible for the selection of outgoing exchange students and provides support to students before, during and after their exchange.

  • Semester in Amsterdam serves as the fee-paying alternative to the exchange programme at VU Amsterdam and is accessible to students from non-partner universities as well as students who are not currently enrolled at a university. Semester in Amsterdam students can choose to follow a cohesive minor programme or create their own schedule of courses and enjoy a full schedule of social activities as well as on-site advising and support.

  • VU Amsterdam Summer School and VU Graduate Winter School offer interactive courses in July and January. The short courses (1-2 weeks) cover multiple themes and are offered by all nine faculties of the university. In addition to the courses extra services such as exciting social activities and housing are offered. Bachelor, Master and PhD students as well as professionals are all welcome to apply.

  • The regional advisors manage partnerships with higher education institutions abroad, with the aim to enable student mobility on a bilateral basis. The regional advisors also coordinate Erasmus+ subsidies for student/ staff mobility and international cooperation.
The Services Team at VU Amsterdam International Office supports with all practicalities regarding the visa and/or residence permit and housing. We will make sure that both students and new international staff will have an easy landing in the Netherlands. The Services Team is also responsible for incoming and outgoing scholarship and financial aid services.
  • The housing team provides support to international students and staff in finding accommodation. The number of rooms available is limited so we cannot guarantee accommodation, but we will do our best to help students and staff to find a suitable accommodation. More information about housing can be found on our website.

  • The immigration teams for non-EU students and staff supports with the application of visa, residence permits and work permits. You need to complete the immigration procedure before you start your study, research or work at VU Amsterdam. Our Services team can help you with this and will apply for the immigration procedure on your behalf.

  • The scholarship team is responsible for the processing and selection of scholarship and loan applications for incoming and outgoing students and staff.
    - All information about scholarships programmes and Financial Aid for incoming Master’s students can be found on our website.
    - For incoming Bachelor’s students, check here for information about financial aid.
    - For outgoing students, going on exchange or internship abroad, several scholarship programmes are available, you can find information here.
    - For VU staff going abroad ( EU country) for teaching, training etc., please check the available options here.

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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