Fees and scholarships

The 2020/2021 costs for the Semester in Amsterdam programme can be found below. Please be aware that Semester in Amsterdam is a non-government funded, study abroad program which serves as the alternative to the Exchange Program at VU Amsterdam.  For this reason, there is no EU tuition fee. All Semester in Amsterdam fees are standardized and cannot be modified or changed in any way.

Tuition Fall 2020€6.995
Tuition Spring 2021€6.995
Tuition Academic Year 2020-2021€13.490
Housing Costs Per Semester 2020-2021 are not included in tuition*:
  • Our Campus/ Our Domain: Off-campus private studio with bathroom and kitchen
  • Hotel Jansen: Off-campus with private bathroom and shared kitchen
  • Homestay Program (*Placement Not Guaranteed)
  • Our Campus/Our Domain: €4.500 per semester (€9.000 per academic year)
  • Hotel Jansen: €4.800 per semester  (€9.600 per academic year)
  • Homestay Program: €3.500 per semester  (not available for academic year)
Visa/residence permit costs, not included in tuition**€250

 *Housing costs are for a full semester (three periods), even if you don't stay for all three periods

**Depending on your nationality, you may not need a visa and may be excused from this cost.

In addition to the above costs, experience shows that living in the Netherlands costs €1000-€1300 per month:

Food€150-300: This depends on how much you cook or eat out. You can reduce this price by shopping at discount supermarkets such as ALDI or LIDL, or shopping at one of the local markets.
Insurance€50-100:  All students are required to have health insurance. You can sign up for discounted student insurance during the arrival days if your home insurance does not cover you in the Netherlands.
Public transportation€25-100: This depends on how much you bike and walk. Cycling will greatly reduce your public transportation costs.
Books and supplies€0-75: Most professors make their reading materials available online.
Other CostsThis depends entirely on you and your personal lifestyle and preferences. If you want to go out to bars, clubs, or events every weekend you can expect to spend much more than if you prefer to stay home. Luckily, there are plenty of free things to do in Amsterdam! We also highly recommend getting a museum card for anyone that plans to spend their weekends at one of the many world famous museums!

Airport pick-up 
On arrival day, all students living at one of our Semester in Amsterdam housing locations will be met at Schiphol Airport and receive a free shuttle service to their accommodation.

Introduction and arrival programme
Your first few weeks in a new country are often the most memorable. We ensure a warm welcome by providing a full arrival and introduction programme consisting of social, cultural, and practical activities covering everything from opening a Dutch bank account to exploring the city center. 

Social programme 
Exclusively for Semester in Amsterdam students, we organise cultural outings throughout the Netherlands over the course of the semester. Examples include the Anne Frank house, International Peace Palace, Royal Palace, and more. 

Dutch buddy 
There is no better way to instantly meet local students than by joining our buddy programme. You will be matched with a VU Amsterdam student who can introduce you to the Dutch way of life and act as a peer resource. The buddy programme also has its own schedule of social events including karaoke nights and international dinners. 

On-site support 
Studying abroad is a one-of-a-kind adventure. But adjusting to a new country can also bring some challenges, which is why you have access to a wide range of support during the programme including academic services, psychological and counseling services, and cultural adjustment support. 

Library and IT services 
Your VU Amsterdam student card will give you access to the university's extensive library collection and study areas as well as Wifi and IT support. 

Official transcript of records 
Once you have fully completed all courses you will receive an official transcript of records. 

24/7 emergency assistance 
All students are provided with emergency contact information for on and off campus assistance. 

You should not count on finding a source of additional income after you arrive and unless you are from an EU member state your opportunities to work are restricted.

How many hours am I allowed to work in the Netherlands? 
If you hold a passport from a country that belongs to the European Union (EU) (with the exception of Croatia), the European Economic Area (EEA), or Switzerland, then you are permitted to work in the Netherlands without limitation. If you are a non-EU student, under Dutch law you are only permitted to work a maximum of 10 hours per week over the year or full-time during the summer months (June, July, August). Your employer will also be required to apply for a work permit on your behalf. 

Do I have to pay income tax if I work in the Netherlands? 
Under Dutch law, everyone who works in the Netherlands is obliged to pay income tax to the Dutch government. However, the rules may be different if you are already paying income tax in your home country and that country has signed a treaty with the Netherlands that income tax is only to be paid in one of the two countries. All EU member states have signed such a treaty. 

What does the Dutch government do for international students working in the Netherlands? 
The Dutch government has a comprehensive system of social security, insurance and tax measures related to working in the Netherlands. More information can be found on the Nuffic website Working While Studying. There is also a factsheet on international students and part-time jobs (pdf).

Type of applicantPayment plan
Applying via a partner university or providerYour payment may be coordinated by your university or provider.  Unless you are an individual applicant, please verify your payment plan with your provider or university.
IndividualOption 1: One payment. Students will receive the invoice after registration for all costs, due one month after the application deadline.Option 2: Two payments. Students applying for one semester will receive the first invoice in the amount of € 4.000,00 due one month after the application deadline.  The second invoice will include all remaining costs and is due at least one month prior to arrival.
Fall 2020 SemesterSpring 2021 Semester
Before 1 June: No Cancellation Fee (all previously made payments will be refunded).Before 1 December: No Cancellation Fee (all previously made payments will be refunded).
1 June - 15 July: Visa Costs of 250.00 Euro (If Applicable).
15 July - 15 August: 1000.00 Euro Cancellation Fee.  No Housing Refund.After 1 December: 1000.00 Cancellation Fee.  No Guaranteed Housing Refund.
After Arrival or 30 August: No Refunds.After Arrival: No Refunds.

We offer financial support in the form of three scholarships. Each scholarship is worth €2,500.00.

  • Blogger Scholarship
  • Photographer/videographer Scholarship
  • Academic Excellence Scholarship

Detailed descriptions can be found on the application page. 

The VU Fellowship Programme (VUFP) offers talented international students the unique opportunity to pursue a Master’s degree at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.

One VUFP scholarship is reserved for an applicant who previously completed a semester or full academic year abroad at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam via the Semester in Amsterdam programme and is now applying for a full time Master's programme at VU Amsterdam. Students who are not selected for the scholarship reserved for Semester in Amsterdam alumni can still be considered for a normal VUFP scholarship. Please refer to the VUFP page for application instructions.