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 our employees and students to follow government guidelines and not to come to VU Amsterdam. We also point students to social distance in their private environment and at study and student associations.

No, as a result of the government measures, we ask students not to come to VU Amsterdam for studying and examinations. In principle, education willcontinue until 29 June.

The exception to this rule is that we can start with practical on-campus education for those activities that have to take place on campus from the 15th of June onwards. A part of this practical education will take place on campus. Please keep an eye on the Canvas page of the practical courses that you have signed up for. You will be able to read there how and whether the course will be on campus.

All other students are requested to not come to the VU Campus and follow the measures of the government, also at student associations.
We do offer a limited number of study spots on campus for students who are truly unable to study at home – or at their parents’ or a friend’s house. If you do experience common cold symptoms such as coughing, fever, sore throat, etc. or worse symptoms, please stay home. If you have a roommate with common cold or worse symptoms you also have to stay home. More information on the possibilities can be read here.

No, all events, meetings and information days have been cancelled until the 1st of June.
Study facilities will be closed until further notice. It is therefore not possible to study at VU Amsterdam in the period up to 1 June. Educational activities will in principle take place online until 29 June.
Only the online services of the University Library will be available in the coming period.

All digital books and articles are available online and accessible from anywhere. Check the website of the library for help. The VU Bookstore can also provide study materials and books. These are available online and/or by post.

Online services
All online services are fully accessible. The UB helpdesk is online and will help you as soon as possible.


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 fees if the request is received by 30 June (date of de-enrollment no later than 30 June) at the latest. You are not eligible for restitution in July and 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.

Lectures & Exams

Until 29 June there will be no education at VU Amsterdam. Education will be offered online as much as possible. Keep an eye on the Canvas page of the course you are following and find out how education will be continued remotely. For courses that are not offered online, we will look for another solution. For up-to-date information about your course, please visit Canvas.

The exception to this rule is that we can start with practical on-campus education for those activities that have to take place on campus from the 15th of June onwards. A part of this practical education will take place on campus. Please keep an eye on the Canvas page of the practical courses that you have signed up for. You will be able to read there how and whether the course will be on campus.

All exams will be held remotely until the end of October. 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.

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.

As long as there are no classes or exams on campus, everyone is studying at home. We do offer a limited number of study spots on campus for students who are truly unable to study at home – or at their parents’ or a friend’s house. Study spots are available at the following locations:
1. Ground floor of the BelleVUe building, 96 spots.
2. First floor of the Medical Faculty’s (MF) D wing, 50 spots.

If you want to make use of one of these spots, you no longer have to request approval from an academic advisor. This also means that you do not have to register for one of these spots in advance. We assume that you make a careful estimate yourself and only use these places if there are insurmountable obstacles in your private environment. We trust you to make the right decision about your needs.

We do ask that you sign in on the day itself, at the buildings’ entrances:
- At the entrances to the BelleVUe building and the MF, a host will write down your name on a sign-in sheet.
- Show your VU Amsterdam student ID when you sign in.
- Make sure you sign out again when you leave, so the host can give your spot to another student.
- Spots are assigned on a ‘first come, first served’ basis. If there are no spots available, you will not be put on a waiting list. You can come back later to try again.
- Do not call to ask about study spot availability – this information will not be shared over the phone.

The study spots in the BelleVUe building and the MF are available Monday through Friday, between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m. On Saturday and Sunday, BelleVUe is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The MF is closed during the weekend. There will not be a host at the BelleVUe building during the weekend. To sign up for a study spot on Saturday or Sunday, go to the Main Building. The other rules still apply.

While making use of one of the study spots, please observe the following rules:
- Study spots may only be used by VU Amsterdam students.
- Although the study spots are cleaned, students are free to clean their spot themselves. Cleaning products will be made available.
- Eating and drinking is not allowed.
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.

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.
Yes. Trips for study, internship and research abroad for the period until at least 1 June are not considered necessary by VU Amsterdam and must be postponed or cancelled. If travel is allowed again after 1 June, it is only possible to travel to areas that have a positive (green) travel advice.

The government’s advice is to stay home. We therefore discourage both students and staff from travelling for private matters as well. Follow the advice of the central government.

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

We call on students who are currently abroad for study to return immediately. Travel for study, internship and research abroad is currently not considered necessary and must be postponed or canceled. Air traffic between countries is decreasing and it is therefore not justified to stay abroad longer. Please contact the International Office [email protected]l | +31 (0) 20 59 85 745). They can assist and support you in your return journey to the Netherlands. See also: https://www.bijzonderebijstandbuitenland.nl. In addition, contact your internship supervisor or academic advisor to discuss the further course of your study.

If you are a non-Dutch national and/or you are currently staying in your (or your family’s) country of origin, this may not apply. Please contact your supervisor and inform them about your decision.

If necessary, the Dutch embassy can also be reached by telephone 24/7 at +31 247 247 247. Foreign Affairs can also be reached via WhatsApp at number +31 682 387 796 or via Twitter at @24/7BZ.

If you cancel your room and return to your home country, you must deregister from the municipality where you lived.
If you are doing an internship, your internship activities will be put on hold unitl June 29th. This applies to internships inside and outside the VU. Where possible, the internship may be extended. Discuss this with your internship supervisor. Internship activities that you can do from home, such as drawing up a research design, carrying out a data analysis, etc., can go ahead. If the company where you are doing your internship resumes working on location, it is allowed to do your internship on location again. Do you have any questions? Please contact your internship coordinator.

We call on students who are currently abroad for study to return immediately. Travel for study, internship and research abroad is currently not considered necessary and must be postponed or canceled. AIf you have a nationality other than Dutch and you currently reside in your country of origin (or that of your family), this may not apply. Stay in touch with your mentor or counselor and inform him or her of your decision.

If you have any problems with your return journey, the Dutch embassy can be reached 24/7 by telephone on +31 247 247 247. Foreign Affairs can also be reached via WhatsApp on the number +31 682 387 796 or via Twitter on @24/7BZ

If you have any further questions, please contact the International Office at [email protected]. See also: https://www.bijzonderebijstandbuitenland.nl.

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. Your academic advisor can grant you with an excusable reason if applicable.

If you cannot obtain the required minimum amount of ECTS due to the impact of the corona outbreak, please contact your academic advisor. Your academic advisor can grant you with an excusable reason if applicable

Contact

Student desk

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

International office

[email protected] | +31 (0)20 59 85745  
- Accessible by mail: Monday till Friday from 10:30 - 17:00  
- Accessible by telephone: Monday till Thursday from 10.30 - 12.30 and 14.00 - 16.00, Friday from 10.30 - 12.30