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Vrije University - Summer & Winter graduate programs

Vrije University - Summer & Winter graduate programs

Vrije University - Summer & Winter graduate programs


VU Amsterdam Summer School offers interactive small-scale courses at Bachelor's and Master's levels.

Our one and two-week courses cover multiple themes and are offered by all nine faculties of the university. Bachelor's, Master's, and Ph.D. students, as well as professionals, are all welcome to apply. From start to finish, we will be here to support you. In addition to the courses, we offer exciting social activities! Will you join us?

There are many reasons why joining a summer school is beneficial for you. Whether you are looking to upskill and develop yourself personally or academically, our summer school is the place to go. Here are a few of the top benefits of enrolling in VU Amsterdam Summer School:

  • Gain study credits;
  • Expand your knowledge and understanding of a certain topic;
  • Build your (international) network and meet peers from all over the world;
  • Keep your brain active during the summer months and avoid summer learning loss;
  • Experience studying at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam;
  • Engage with leading lecturers;
  • Upgrade your CV.

Join our social activities!

Additional to the courses, we offer exciting social activities to make sure you have a spectacular summer school experience! Make sure to join our social program to meet fellow students from all over the world.

A pick-up service from Amsterdam Schiphol Airport, an informal welcome, and a closing event is included in the tuition fee. But we also offer additional optional activities to discover Amsterdam, the Netherlands, and Dutch culture. Continue reading to find out what social activities we organize for you!

Registrations for the social program will open in Spring (15 April latest). The social program will be based on a first-come-first-serve basis (the earliest you apply and pay for your course, the earlier you can select your social activities).


If you plan to study at VU Amsterdam it is essential to think of a place to live. Unfortunately, finding a room in Amsterdam is difficult and stressful. The housing market in the Netherlands is extremely tense, especially in Amsterdam. Many Dutch and international students are searching for student rooms. Housing prices are high: rental prices at the private market often start at €750 and up. Start your search early and be prepared to search in surrounding villages and towns. We advise you not to come to the Netherlands if you do not have a permanent accommodation before the start of your study program.

Welcome to Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam Summer and Winter Schools

Last chance to apply!


Application procedure

The application process consists of two steps:

Step 1: Please go to our online application form.

Once you have filled out the application form, you will be directed to a payment page. You have the choice to complete the payment to secure your spot in the course, or you can decide to pay at a later moment. If you want to apply for multiple courses, you only need to fill out the form once.

Once we have received your application and thus your payment, the summer school team will review your application and will inform you within 5 working days if your admission is accepted or denied. In case your admission is denied then you will receive a full refund.

In the online application form you will be asked to provide the following three documents (no larger than 1 MB per document):

  • Motivation letter. Please make sure to describe your motivation for the specific course(s) you apply for: Why this topic? How will the course contribute to your future (academic) career? (250-500 words)
    If you apply for multiple courses, answer the questions for both courses in the same motivation letter.
  • Curriculum Vitae/Résumé
  • Transcript of records (a print screen of your most recent grades is sufficient and needs to include your name and the name of your University)

The documents will be shared with the professors before the start of the course.

Step 2: In Spring you will be able to apply for accommodation and social programs. This registration form will be shared with all course participants on 15 April latest. We will divide the rooms and social program on a first-come-first-serve basis (the earliest you apply and pay for your course, the earlier you can select your accommodation and social program)

  • Early Bird Deadline: 15 March 2022 (23:59 CET)
  • Application deadline: 1 May 2022 (23:59 CET)

Course confirmation

Mid-May you will be informed if the course is confirmed to run. In the unfortunate case your course is canceled you will be able to move to another course (based on availability) or request a refund.

Entry requirements

Courses are taught at Bachelor's, Advanced Bachelor's or Master's level, and are suitable for students as well as for PhD staff and professionals. Some courses are offered at both Bachelor's and Master's level. While submitting your application you are able to select the level.

The following entry requirements are set:

  • Bachelor's: at least enrolled in 1st year of Bachelor's studies
  • Advanced Bachelor's: at least enrolled in 2nd year of Bachelor's studies
  • Master's: at least enrolled in final year of Bachelor's studies - professionals need to have a Bachelor's diploma

Individual courses may have their own entry requirements, please check the course page under course overview.

English language requirements

It is not necessary to provide us with proof of your English. We do expect your English to be sufficient to understand classes and course literature. This means you should have at least a B2 level of English, as developed within the Common European Framework of References for Languages (CEFR). This is comparable to a TOEFL internet test with a score of 92 or an IELTS score of 6.5.

Scholarships and Funding

Academic Excellence Scholarship

Applications for the Academic Excellence Scholarship are open until 1 April (23:59 CET).

You can apply via the Scholarship Application Form.

For your scholarship application we request the following:

1. Curriculum Vitae/Résumé (CV) stating your educational background;

2. A recent transcript of records (a print screen is sufficient) shows you have a grade point average of at least 85%. For example, if the highest possible mark is a 10, you need to have an average of at least an 8.5. We will take into account the differences in grading cultures. A copy of your diploma (Bachelor, Master, Ph.D.) is also sufficient if you have this.

3. Professional Letter of Reference Including:

  • His/her/their experience working with you (either in an academic, professional, or volunteer setting)
  • His/her/their motivation for recommending you for the scholarship
  • Complete contact information

When filling out the scholarship form we will ask the following questions:

  1. Why are you interested in joining VU Amsterdam Summer School?
  2. What’s your motivation for selecting this course?
  3. How you will use the information you learn to make a positive impact in the future for both yourself and your community?
  4. Why do you deserve this scholarship?

The Academic Excellence Scholarship covers the tuition for one course and accommodation in one of our accommodation options (if needed) + one social activity. Please be aware that it is not possible to select more than one course for the scholarship. If you are interested in an extra course in a different session then please apply for this course via our regular registration form.

Application procedure

  • Please fill out the Scholarship Application Form.
  • Please be aware that it is only possible to select one course.

Photographer Scholarship

Do you love to capture moments, people, and surroundings on your smartphone/camera? Do you have good editing skills and a passion for social media? Become our summer school photographer!

What do we offer:

  • €500 discount on tuition fee
  • All social activities for free (but must take photos)

What do we expect from you:

  • Photos of your time at VU Amsterdam Summer School (photos of fellow students, Amsterdam, excursions, and social program)
  • Creating content/story takeover on the VU Amsterdam Instagram account
  • Participation in the social program (free of charge)
  • Attending the photographer kick-off meeting

Application procedure

Please send us a short video where you introduce yourself (approx. 30 seconds -1 minute) and some examples of your photo work. It is important to use your own smartphone or camera. The deadline for applications is 15 May 2021.

Visa Requirements

Some students may require an entry visa (or Schengen visa) to the Netherlands, depending on their nationality. Make sure to check if this is the situation for you via the Government of the Netherlands.

If you require an entry visa, you should apply by handing in a visa application form to the Dutch embassy or consulate in your country. Find a list of Dutch embassies. When your application to VU Amsterdam Summer School is confirmed you will receive a confirmation which you can use to request the visa. You will need to arrange the visa yourself.

If you are not required to apply for an entry visa, you are free to enter and stay in the Netherlands for 90 days.

We always give a 100% refund in case your visa gets rejected. We do require a copy of the rejection letter issued by your local embassy. Please be aware it is your own responsibility to make a visa appointment in time. Enquire with your local embassy if it is possible to finalize your application before the start of your course. When time constraints are the reason for not obtaining a visa, we follow the normal cancellation policy.

We will not refund travel costs and such. We therefore strongly recommend holding on to booking your travel arrangements until your visa is approved.

Student Testimonials


  • Amsterdam

    De Boelelaan 1105, 1081, Amsterdam

  • Amsterdam

    De Boelelaan 1105, 1081, Amsterdam


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