Student Experiences

Semester in Amsterdam welcomes students from across the world with a rich variety of backgrounds. Learn about what our alumni have to say about living in the Netherlands and studying at VU Amsterdam.

Fall 2019 Semester in Amsterdam Photographer/Videographer: Camille

 Want to be the next Semester in Amsterdam Photographer/Videographer? You can apply for the scholarship here!

*Please be aware that this scholarship is only available to Semester in Amsterdam students. This scholarship is not available to Exchange students or Bachelor or Master students.

We invite all our prospective students to reach out to one of our ambassadors. They will answer your questions regarding studying at the VU, living in Amsterdam, the biggest cultural shocks that they had experienced, and places to attend for a good night out/perfect cup of coffee / great places outside Amsterdam. Feel free to contact them if you wish to learn more about Semester in Amsterdam programme, and also their own Dutch adventure.

Emma Peters [email protected]
I chose to study at the VU because of the international academic atmosphere. I spent my first semester of college in Florence, Italy, and studied with mostly other American students. While the experience was positive, I knew I would have gotten more out of my experience had I studied with students from around the world. The VU was initially interesting to me because of their wide range of law, art history, and linguistics courses, but the fact that the student body is so diverse and international drew me to the Semester in Amsterdam program even more. Overall, I loved my experience abroad at the VU, and the connections I made with other students, professors, and the city of Amsterdam have enriched my college experience.


Linnéa Petersen
[email protected]

I chose to study at the VU because of the courses they offered and as well because it was located in Amsterdam, my favorite city. The culture, people, and atmosphere that you experience in Amsterdam make you feel at home only after just a few weeks. Amsterdam is probably one of the most diverse and international cities in the world and the VU as well. At the VU all nationalities, cultures and religions are welcome and everyone speaks perfect English, which makes it so much easier being an international student.
The Semester in Amsterdam programme made it possible for me to study in Amsterdam for one semester as my home university is not a part of the Erasmus agreement; and for that I am so thankful! If it weren’t for the program I would never have had this experience and made friends for life. Amsterdam, I’ll be back!

Hailey Coons [email protected]
I studied at the VU because it offered the courses I needed to graduate and it is globally well-respected and has a great course selection – I was so excited to take classes I could not take back at UNC-Chapel Hill! I have studied abroad numerous times. In high school I studied abroad in France and Spain and loved the experience; had it not been for these experiences I doubt I would have decided to study abroad in Amsterdam for a year. My time in Amsterdam was unforgettable! I took classes that I loved and met friends for life.  
Fernando Leal [email protected]
Helo! I'm passionate about traveling and meeting new people. I've lived in Amsterdam for 1 year and would be happy to share my thought around this wonderful city and help other students choosing their next international destination. Moreover, studying at the VU was a great academic and personal experience. Everyone on campus was kind and open and it’s structure was very good. Besides that, my minor combined two of my biggest interests: business and psychology. Finally, I've also done a small exchange in Vancouver for a couple of months.
Caroline McPhillips [email protected]
I chose the Semester in Amsterdam program because I really wanted to study in the Netherlands as it’s a country i wanted to visit for a long time. I especially wanted to be in Amsterdam as it’s well located for traveling to other countries and around NL itself. I really wanted to be in Amsterdam because I wanted to experience the atmosphere and culture of a city I had only really seen in pictures before. This program was a great choice as well because I was able to take classes that I wanted to and would transfer back to my home school. It’s an amazing city and I’m so happy it’s where I ended up and the Semester in Amsterdam team was awesome and really made my stay worthwhile.

#VUathome: Firsthand Stories from Students and Staff

Welcome to our new series of interviews with students and staff! We have created this series to connect with our students and staff, both here in Amsterdam and around the world, and to find out how they are doing during these challenging times. Stay safe and happy reading!

Interested in being a VU Amsterdam Blogger during your Semester in Amsterdam? Contact us at [email protected]!