Information for current international students

This section is aimed at all international students currently enrolled at VU Amsterdam. We realise that you are probably dealing with a lot of uncertainty and may be debating whether you should return home or not. To make sure you can make informed decisions, below you will find explanations of different scenarios and their consequences.
In addition to these practical matters, we of course also care about your well-being. To make sure you can find the right support and services, we have created an overview of relevant contacts.

General questions

VU Amsterdam follows the advice of the RIVM for public health and the advice of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for travel abroad. Together with other Dutch universities, VU Amsterdam keeps a close eye on these advices and communicates via this page if there are any updates for students, staff and visitors.
We ask staff and students to follow government guidelines and only come to the VU when really necessary. Work and study as much as possible at home. Keep a meter and a half distance. Avoid crowds. Wash your hands regularly. Stay at home and avoid contact with others if you have a cold. Also stay at home if a roommate has a fever and/or is cramped. We also point out to students that they should adhere to these rules in their private environment and at study and student gatherings. In addition, there is an overview of measures on campus and information. Information can be found on this page on VUnet.

In principle, all education takes place online. Now that the national measures are more flexible, a start can be made from 15 June with the skills education that really has to take place on campus.

Through Canvas students will be informed about this. All other students are requested not to come to the campus yet and to abide by the national measures.

First semester new academic year
In the first semester of the new academic year, all lectures take place online and we look at the possibilities of organising education on campus per period. In September and October (period 1) this is very limited due to the 1.5 meter rule and the limitations of public transport. Educational activities that take place on campus are clearly indicated in the timetables. The timetables for September and October are ready on 20 July. From that moment on, you can sign up for online and on campus education via VUnet. The timetables for October 2020 to January 2021 will follow later. Keep an eye on the Canvas page of the courses for which you have signed up. There you can read back if and how the education is offered.

Study and examination places
If you can't study at home or take an exam, there are a limited number of places available on campus. These are specifically designated places on campus for students who really don't have the opportunity to study. If you have a cold (such as sniffing, sneezing, sore throat, high sore throat, etc.) or more serious complaints, stay at home. If you have a roommate with more serious complaints, stay at home. You can read more information about the possibilities here.

No, all events and meetings scheduled until 1 September at the VU have been cancelled or, in some cases, will be held online. Information days are now offered virtually. For more information on these information days, see www.vu.nl/proefstuderen.
Everyone studies and makes exams at home. If you can't study or make an exam at home, there is a limited number of places available on campus. These are specifically designated places on campus that are intended for students who really don't have the opportunity to study at home or take an online exam. If you have a cold (such as sniffing, sneezing, sore throat, high sore throat, etc.) or more serious complaints, stay at home. If you have a roommate with more serious complaints, stay at home. You can read more information about the possibilities here.

As of 15 June, the University Library in the VU-H Hoofdgebouw will once again be open daily for the collection of reserved books by VU-students and VU-employees. Are you working on your thesis? Then we also offer the possibility to consult books on the spot.
Click here for up-to-date information about the services of the University Library.

Plan your visit
A large part of our collection can be consulted digitally at home. Install the Library Access plugin and you will automatically be notified when content is accessible to you while browsing. See our off-campus access page for more information.

Opening hours
Our opening hours are different than you are used to: from Monday to Friday from 9.30am to 4pm and on Saturday and Sunday from 10am to 2pm. The Medical Library in the VUmc is still closed.
All digital books and articles can be consulted online and can be accessed anywhere. For help see the website of the library. The VU Bookstore can also provide study material and books. These are available online or by post.
If you are unable to study well at home due to circumstances, you can make use of temporary facilities on campus. More information can be found at the Corona FAQs on the VU website. The study places in the VU-H Hoofdgebouw are unfortunately still closed for the time being.

Consult
Are you working on your thesis and do you need many books or reference books? If so, please contact your thesis supervisor or lecturer first to discuss possible alternatives. If there are none, you can consult books at the University Library by appointment. For more information, please contact [email protected] or 020 598 5200.

All online services are fully accessible. The helpdesk UB is online and will help you as soon as possible.
Mail for general questions to [email protected].
Questions about Pure can be sent to UBVU PURE Support via [email protected].
Mail for help with publishing Open Access to [email protected].
For help with Research Data Management send a message to [email protected].


From Friday 13 March until at least the 1st of June there will be no graduation ceremonies. You will be informed as soon as possible by the study secretariat of your faculty.
All activities related to study guidance and advice will be continued as much as possible. Scheduled appointments will continue as much as possible and will be conducted by telephone or online. Planned walk-in consultations will also continue and will be held by telephone. If you have any questions, please contact your academic advisor.

Inform the International Office when you return to your home country via [email protected]. They can inform you about any questions you may have regarding accommodation and residence permits.

Enrolment

Yes, the standard will remain, but it only needs to be achieved at the end of the academic year 2020 - 2021. 

If you do not choose to re-register in 2020-2021, you must meet the BSA standard in 2019-2020.
Yes, students who have obtained sufficient points will, as usual, receive a positive BSA this academic year 2019-2020.
For students who received a postponed BSA last year, customization will apply. Please contact your academic advisor.

Degree students can request to terminate their enrolment via www.studielink.nl. These requests will be approved by the Student Administration starting on the last day of the month in which the request was received. Should you decide to terminate your enrolment you can do so per 1 April, 1 May, 1 June, 1 July or 1 August.

More information about terminating your enrolment can be found on VUnet.

 


Yes. You are entitled to a partial restitution of the tuition fee if the request is received by May 31st (date of de-enrolment no later than May 31st) You are not eligible for restitution if you de-enroll in June, July, or August.
No. Terminating your enrolment means that you will no longer be able to take any classes online or otherwise. You will be able to re-enrol for the upcoming academic year starting on 1 September (deadline re-enrolment is 31 August).
No. In the Netherlands you can only enrol for the starting period of 1 September (and 1 February for a few programmes).
If you decide to remain enrolled you can follow remote classes while being at home and return to Amsterdam when possible. More information can be found on Canvas.
This depends on your personal situation. After you have completed your studies (and the graduation date has officially been set) you can request a reimbursement of the overpayment of the tuition fee. You can submit the request with the Student Administration via [email protected]. Please always mention your student number and include proof where applicable.
On the "Complete Application" page in VUnet you can now download a proof of enrolment yourself.

Lectures & Exams

Teaching activities and exams take place in principle online. Now that the national measures are more flexible, a start can be made from 15 June with education that really has to take place on campus. Think of practicals. Students will be informed about this via Canvas. All other students are requested not to come to the campus yet and to adhere to the measures of the central government.

First semester new academic year
In the first semester of the new academic year 2020/2021, all lectures will take place online and we will look at the possibilities of organising education on campus for each period. In September and October (period 1) this is very limited due to the 1.5 meter rule and due to the limitations of public transport. You will soon find the educational activities that can take place on campus with a location in the timetable.

Schedules
The timetables for September and October (period 1) are ready on 20 July. From that moment on you can sign up for online and on campus education via VUnet. It is still necessary to sign up for the education, even if this is given online. Until Monday 7 September you can sign up for period 1. The timetables for October 2020 to January 2020 (period 2 and 3) will follow later.
Keep an eye on the Canvas page of the courses you are following or will follow. There you can read back if and how the education is offered.

Study spots
If you can't study at home or take an exam, there are a limited number of places available on campus. These are specifically designated places on campus for students who really don't have the opportunity to study. If you have a cold (such as sniffing, sneezing, sore throat, high sore throat, etc.) or more serious complaints, stay at home. If you have a roommate with more serious symptoms, stay at home. You can read more information about the possibilities here.

All exams will be held remotely until December. That way, we can keep the campus space free for education that has to take place on campus. Students that cannot be physically present can then also participate. Another opportunity for resits will be planned within this academic year.

The course coordinators will provide more clarity on education and exams via Canvas.

It is still necessary to sign up for your exams and the regular registration term applies, so two weeks before the exam date. Please make sure to register.

Tip: you can set Canvas to notify you when there are updates!

As long as there are no classes or exams on campus, exams are taken at home. We do offer a limited number of exam spots on campus for students who are truly unable to take exams at home – or at their parents’ or a friend’s house. If you want to make use of one of these spots, you no longer have to request approval from an academic advisor. We trust you to take make a careful assessment of your needs, and that you will only make use of one of these spots if you have no other available options.

Registration
If you decide to take your exam on campus, you need to register in advance to make sure there is a spot available. Please fill in the registration form (https://forms.gle/mDDAcjbjw16TSFtf7) no later than three working days before your exam.

Make sure to include all the required information. After your request has been approved, an SOZ employee will send you confirmation of the exam location and your exam spot.
Do you have any questions? Please send an e-mail to [email protected].

Don’t have your own laptop?
We assume that you will be bringing your own laptop to take the exam. If you do not own a laptop, try to borrow or rent one. If this not an option, please indicate this on your application. If this is the case, we will provide you with a VU laptop. Please note that availability is limited.

Further information
If your exam includes online invigilation, this will also be the case if you make use of one of the exam spots on campus.

The spots are available Monday through Friday during regular exam times to VU students only.

Everyone studies and makes exams at home. If you can't study or make an exam at home, there is a limited number of places available on campus. These are specifically designated places on campus that are intended for students who really don't have the opportunity to study at home or take an online exam. If you have a cold (such as sniffing, sneezing, sore throat, high sore throat, etc.) or more serious complaints, stay at home. If you have a roommate with more serious complaints, stay at home. You can read more information about the possibilities here.
It is investigated whether exams can be offered in an alternative way or will take place at a different time. You find the information on Canvas. This does not alter the fact that the current situation may eventually lead to a study delay. In case of urgent questions about study delay you can contact your academic advisor.

VU Amsterdam will only use remote assessment with online monitoring (online proctoring) if the Examination Board has deemed it necessary. You do not need to consent to the use of online monitoring. This is because the university has a legitimate interest in using online monitoring while students cannot come to the university and in cases where the Examination Board has ruled that there is no other alternative.

We understand that this raises questions regarding privacy. We take these concerns very seriously, and will make every effort to ensure that all personal data is handled carefully and securely. When using new educational tools, we will therefore consider in advance whether these are appropriate and, if so, under what circumstances and conditions. A tool will only be used if it meets the requirements of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and meets the needs of both students and teaching staff.

Everything about taking exams with online proctoring can be found on this page. This site contains detailed instructions on procedures to follow, taking a test exam, equipment to use, what to do if there are problems and privacy.

From Monday, 20 July onwards, you can sign up for courses and exams taking place in September and October (period 1). You can find the registration terms for period 1-3 on VUnet under “registration terms” or via this link.

The registration deadline for period 1 is Monday, 7 September.

Schedules
The timetables for September and October (period 1) will be ready on 20 July. From that moment on you can sign up for online and on-campus education via VUnet. You can sign up for period 1 until Monday 7 September. It is still necessary to sign up for the education, even if this is given online. The timetables for October 2020 to January 2020 (period 2 and 3) will follow later.
Keep an eye on the Canvas page of the courses you are following or will follow. There you can find if and how the education will be offered.

In principle, teaching activities and exams will remain online. Due to the relaxations of the national measures, we were able to make a start on 15 June by offering some activities on campus for education that is really location-bound, such as lab work. From September onwards, we hope to slightly increase on-campus education, but please be aware that the opportunities will still be very limited due to the 1.5 meter rule. Students will be informed via Canvas if this applies to one of their courses. All other students are requested not to come to the campus yet and to adhere to the measures of the central government.

First and second semester of the new academic year
In the first and second semester of the 2020/2021 academic year, we will offer hybrid education: all lectures will be provided online and for each period we will look at the possibilities for on-campus education. Please be aware that on-campus opportunities will still be very limited in September and October (period 1) due to the 1.5 meter rule. You will soon find the educational activities that can take place on campus in the timetable, where the locations will be specified. Should you be taking a course that is offered (partly or fully) on campus and you are unable to come to VU Amsterdam yet, you can follow an online alternative. All exams will be taken remotely until the end of December.

Schedules
The timetables for September and October (period 1) will be ready on 20 July. From that moment on you can sign up for online and on-campus education via VUnet. It is still necessary to sign up for the education, even if this is given online. You can sign up for period 1 until Monday 7 September. You can find the registration terms for period 1-3 here.
Keep an eye on the Canvas page of the courses you are following or will follow. There you can find if and how the education will be offered.

Student Wellbeing - Healthcare and Health insurance

In case you suspect you might have contracted COVID-19, please read the guidelines of RIVM  for steps you need to take to get appropriate health care and to minimize infecting others.

If you are not registered at a GP (huisarts) yet, please do so as soon as possible as this is your first point of contact in case you are in need of medical help. Information about health care, health insurance and contact information of GP’s can be found here. It’s also possible to register at the GP’s office of the Amsterdam University Medical Center.

EU students with a valid EHIC have a right to basic health care in the host country. In the Netherlands this also means that emergency costs, such as hospitalization, are covered. Even if similar costs would not be covered in your home country, they will be covered during your stay here according to Dutch law. If you need to go to the hospital, you can show your valid EHIC and your hospital bills will be sent directly to Zilveren Kruis, our national insurance body appointed by the Dutch government to arrange reimbursements from abroad. Zilveren Kruis will then take care of the reimbursements from the insurance company in your home country.

If you’re an EU student and you are not insured or your EHIC is expired, it is very important that you apply for an EHIC or extend your contract as soon as possible in your home country. If this is not possible, you can apply for a private insurance in the Netherlands.

Please check with your own insurance provider which costs are covered during your stay in the Netherlands. If you need extra coverage, you can apply for additional private insurance in the Netherlands. You can contact Aon in case you need additional insurance. Please note certain conditions may apply when registering for additional insurance.

With the Aon Complete+ insurance package you are covered for treatments for COVID-19, including hospitalization. Hospital bills will be sent directly to Aon.

If you have returned to your home country, are a registered VU student following online education there, and you haven’t canceled your Aon insurance,  you will be covered for medical costs in your home country up to 8 weeks under the Aon Student Insurance.

If after reading this information you have any further questions about health insurance, please contact [email protected].

Student Wellbeing - Mental Health

Our student psychologists have set up some tips and tricks for you to help you cope with the changes in your daily life. In this document, you can also find some apps and websites for extra help.

Red Cross Helpline can help you with questions and advice regarding the Corona virus and measures that have been taken. You can call them at 070 4455888. Most volunteers speak English, or they will try to find someone within their team as soon as possible.

If you wish to talk to a mental health professional you can call 0900 1450 (15ct p/minute) or use chat, whatsapp or e-mail services. Most mental health professionals speak English, or they will try to find someone within their team as soon as possible.

Furthermore, Therapieland offers free online modules (in English) to help you cope with the stress and anxiety during the corona-outbreak.

Please send an e-mail to the student psychological counsellors ([email protected]). They will contact you and discuss with you the type of help they can provide.

You may want to look for an online treatment by a psychologist. There are online treatments available (E-health), and several psychologists offer online treatment. I-practice offers a telephone consultation hour for questions about mental health and Corona (www.ipractice.nl).

Another possibility in Amsterdam is InterBeing, a group of international psychologists who are specialized in supporting international students in the Netherlands. They are also offering online sessions.

In case you are already receiving treatment for your issues, or have received treatment before, contact your (previous) therapist or GP.

If you have thoughts about death or suicide, or worry about somebody you know, call 0900-0113, or visit www.113.nl/english for help with suicide prevention 24/7

If after reading this information you have any further questions about mental health, please contact [email protected].

Travel abroad & Internships

Inform the International Office when you return to your home country via [email protected]. They can inform you about any questions you may have regarding accommodation and residence permits.
Travel is only possible to areas that have positive (green or yellow) travel advice. However, in the context of Corona, there are still many uncertainties that could potentially lead to rapid and unexpected changes in travel advice which can lead to an early return. It is therefore advisable with travel advice yellow to only cross the border if a trip is necessary and cannot be postponed. Students (research, internships, fieldwork, etc.) and researchers who still want to go abroad with code yellow need the approval of their tutor or supervisor. Any costs in the event of cancellation or early return due to a new outbreak will not be reimbursed from central means. For exchange programmes the previously communicated guidelines will continue to apply. Employees can contact their supervisor for advice, students can contact the International Office ([email protected]).
See specific information about VU travel policy on vunet.

It is important to carefully follow RIVM and local guidelines during your holiday. Just before departure, consult the travel advice of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the specific Q&A of the central government for travel to and from abroad. Some destinations are subject to quarantine regulations upon return to the Netherlands, please keep this in mind. After returning from abroad, we appeal to your own responsibility regarding coming to campus to prevent any possible spread of the coronavirus. At all times: if you suffer from a cold, or a roommate has a fever and/or is cramped, stay at home and do not come to the VU.

Employees and students of ACTA and VUmc School of Medical Sciences are subject to the guidelines and information of ACTA and Amsterdam UMC.

If you cancel your room and return to your home country, you must deregister from the municipality where you lived.

Housing

You can cancel your accommodation with a one-month notice. We expect you to leave your room clean and empty before you depart. You can drop the key in de DUWO mailbox of your building or at the reception desk of the other landlords. Please inform your landlord via email about the return to your home country

If you decide to return to VU Amsterdam this academic year, we will do our utmost to assist you in getting accommodation again through us. We cannot guarantee the same room will be available.

If you want to keep your accommodation in case you might be able to return, do not cancel your rental contract and pay your rent. You can then leave your personal stuff in the room and you don’t have to check out. If at the end you will not be able to return, you need to arrange the pick-up of your personal stuff yourself before the end of the rental contract and might have to pay an additional cleaning fee. Please keep in mind that we are unable to ship any personal belongings that you leave in your room.

If you cancel your rental contract and you were eligible for housing allowance, don’t forget to cancel your rental allowance. Otherwise, you need to refund it. Cancelling is possible on the site of the Tax Authorities. (only available in Dutch)

Please contact the International Office if you need more information: [email protected].


If you cancel your room and return to your home country, you must deregister from the municipality where you lived.

Financial Issues

If you have financial problems due to the Corona crisis and measures, for example because you lost your part-time jobs and therefore you are not able to pay livings costs, we understand that this is a very unpleasant situation.

We advise you to investigate the following options:

EU Students / DUO loan
For EU students, with Study Finance from DUO, we advise you to check the DUO website. It might be possible to temporarily raise your loan or take an extra loan to cover the tuition fee.

Loss of income
In case of loss of income, you can ask your employer to appeal to the Hardship Fund Bridging Employment (in Dutch: Noodfonds Overbrugging Werkgelegenheid) so that your income can continue to be paid. Information can be obtained from your employer or the UWV. (Only in Dutch)

Tuition fee
Many students pay in instalments, the planned data are: 24 March and 26 May.
If the tuition fees cannot be debited from your bank account due to insufficient balance, you will receive a message with the instructions which actions you can take. Your registration will not be terminated.

Rent payments
If you can no longer pay the rent of your student accommodation, we advise you to contact your landlord to discuss the options of a payment arrangement.

Acute financial need
Students who are in severe financial need, can send an email to: [email protected]
 

Visa & Immigration

If you cancel your enrollment from VU Amsterdam, we will deregister you at the IND. Your residence permit will be revoked in that case and you would have to leave the Netherlands.

If it is not possible to travel back to your home country, then you can make use of the Return Decision of the IND. In that case, you can stay for another 28 days in the Netherlands before you can travel back to your home country. To make use of this option, you must make an appointment with the IND desk in Amsterdam. Call: 088 - 043 0430. If you still encounter any difficulties with your return, please contact your embassy / consulate.

If you want to re-enroll for the next academic year at VU Amsterdam, you need to apply for a new visa / residence permit again. Please visit www.vu.nl/visa for more information. The deadline for the visa application is July 1.
If you remain enrolled at VU Amsterdam, cancel your room and return to your home country where you continue with your online education: you must inform the International Office at [email protected], because we have to inform the IND about your temporary return. You can use your current valid residence permit to ultimately return to the Netherlands.

If you cannot obtain the required minimum amount of ECTS due to the impact of the corona outbreak, please contact your academic advisor.

If you cannot obtain the required minimum amount of ECTS due to the impact of the corona outbreak, please contact your academic advisor.

Contact

Student desk: [email protected] | +31 (0)20 598 5020
- Accessible by mail: Monday till Friday from 10:30 - 17:00 hrs.
- Accessible by telephone: Monday till Friday from 10.30 - 12.30 and 14.00 - 16.00 hrs.

International Service Desk:
- Find the contact information for your programme here.