Accommodation for exchange students

Accommodation for Exchange students

The International Office offers accommodation to incoming exchange students. There are furnished rooms with private or shared facilities. The number of rooms available is limited so we cannot guarantee accommodation for every student, but the International Office will do its utmost best to find suitable accommodation for everyone. Below you will find all housing rules and regulations. We advise you to read them carefully.

How to apply for accommodation

Once your application has been accepted and you have confirmed your participation in VUnet, you will be able to apply for accommodation in VUnet. Accommodation will be assigned based on a first paid, first serve system. The date on which VU Amsterdam receives the payment of your housing fee will determine your place in the queue. As soon as you finished the housing application in VUnet, a link to pay the housing fee online will become available in VUnet within a few minutes.

Step 1

Please confirm your participation in VUnet.

Step 2

Please apply for accommodation in VUnet. When you submit your application for accommodation in VUnet, you have to indicate your preferences. Please note that you can no longer change your preferences as soon as you have submitted the application in VUnet.

Step 3

Please transfer the housing fee. Accommodation will be assigned based on a first paid, first serve system. The date on which VU Amsterdam receives the payment will determine your place in the queue. The housing fee is charged to cover our costs in providing accommodation services to international students. For 1 semester exchange students the fee is €250. For 1 year exchange students the fee is €500 for all contracts. We advise you to use the online payment tool, but it is also possible to pay the fee via bank transfer. The bank details are as follows:

Account name:Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
Name of bank:Deutsche Bank
Address of bank:De Entree 99-197, 1101 HE Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Please state your name and S+ student number (e.g. s1234567). When paid from abroad, all banking costs are to be paid by the applicant. You can pay your visa and housing fee in one transaction.

As mentioned above, we work with a first paid, first served system based on the housing fee payment date. Therefore we recommend that you use the online payment tool. Applications for accommodation will not be dealt with until VU Amsterdam has received this payment. In case all rooms are booked, students will be placed on a waiting list.

Step 4

Please wait for further instructions. You will receive additional information from the International Office by e-mail within a few weeks.


Your housing fee will only be refunded when you cancel your application before 1 August 2020. You will need to fill out your address and bank account details in an online form. You can request the link to the form by sending an e-mail to [email protected]. It is only possible to request a refund of the housing fee after 1 August 2020 when the VU Accommodation Office did not yet offer you a room. As soon as you receive an offer, your housing fee becomes non-refundable. For example, when you are on the waiting list and you receive an offer later than 1 December then it is not possible to cancel this offer without costs. If you do not wish to be on the waiting list any more, please inform [email protected] as soon as possible.

Accommodation types

Accommodation for exchange students consists of furnished (single) rooms with private or shared facilities. It is common that men and women live together in the same student house. Given the shortage of good accommodation, you may find the room you get is rather small and not of the standard you had expected. Accommodation in Amsterdam is not only limited, but can also be more expensive than at home. Thinking about these things in advance could help avoid unpleasant surprises later. We are trying to manage your expectations.

Here you can find an overview of the types of accommodation that we offer.

Rental periods

The rental periods are:

  • First semester: from mid-August to end of January
  • Full year: from mid-August to mid-August
  • Second semester: from end of January to mid-August

Please note that:

  • Contracts cannot be extended
  • Early termination of the contract is not allowed
  • The rooms for this type of contract are furnished

Registration with the municipality

If you will stay in the Netherlands for more than four months, then you need to register with the local authorities, the municipality. After registration the municipality office will send a social security number (BSN) to your Dutch address. You can find more information under ‘When you arrive’.

Required documents

  • Passport or European ID card
  • Rental agreement for your Dutch address (if you do not have a rental agreement then you must bring a written statement of approval signed by the main tenant and a copy of his/her passport).
  • Birth Certificate (legalized)* - please note that this is only required if you are staying in accommodation outside of Amsterdam or Amstelveen. If your birth certificate is not in Dutch, English, French or German, then you must supply a sworn translation into one of these languages.

Students who are married will also need to bring their marriage certificate (legalized).*

* The legalization method depends on the respective country. The Dutch missions in other countries are responsible for legalizing foreign documents for use in the Netherlands. The documents must first have been legalized by the country’s own authorities, usually the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the country where the document was issued.


Finding other student accommodation

Finding a place to live in Amsterdam is not easy, as there is a serious shortage of accommodation for students. Although the International Office of VU Amsterdam will do its utmost best to arrange suitable accommodation for everyone, in the following cases VU Amsterdam may not provide accommodation:

    • If you will bring your family or pet
    • If your preferences do not need the accommodation on offer from VU Amsterdam

If you fit in one of these categories, we strongly advise you to have a look at the following accommodation alternatives. There are various Dutch websites that offer housing in Amsterdam and they provide useful information on finding accommodation. 

Be aware that when responding to adverts offering accommodation, there may be some fraudulent operators around. Please look out for scams. VU Amsterdam cannot be held responsible for the services delivered by any provider of alternative accommodation. If the offer sounds too good to be true, it probably is.


If you have any questions about accommodation please check our FAQ or if you cannot find the answer, please send an email to [email protected].

In case you would like to meet up with us to discuss your accommodation, please call us at T +31 (0)20 598 1813 to schedule an appointment or schedule a phone call in our online tool.