Amsterdam – Business & Economics


Read more about this program on the institution's website

Program Description

Earn U.S. Credits Virtually This Summer

Get ahead! Earn extra credit through a globally recognized U.S. education program this summer on our Virtual World DiscoverIES program.

Just picture it: one day you're exploring business ethics with a professor in London and the next it's Japanese pop culture from Tokyo, studying alongside classmates from the U.S.’s highest-ranked colleges and universities. This is what it's like to take a course or two (of your choosing!) from IES Abroad’s most popular centers around the world this summer.

Learn more about how you can discover the world through IES Abroad.


Why Amsterdam?

Imagine studying international business and global economics in beautiful Amsterdam, one of Europe’s leading cities for business and progressive social and economic policy. It’s also a hub for entrepreneurship and start-ups. With its central location in Europe and full-member status in the European Union, the Netherlands is the perfect place to study abroad and understand not only business and economics in the Netherlands, but across all of Europe—its significant trading partners are Germany, Belgium, France, and the United Kingdom.

What You'll Study

By enrolling in this program, you’ll have the unique opportunity to choose from a large variety of Business and Economics courses at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU). Located in Amsterdam’s business district, the School of Economics & Business Administration has applied for AACSB accreditation and offers courses in Business Information Systems, Finance, International Business Law, Global Supply Chain Management, Organization Theory, and many other topics. You can also supplement your studies at the VU with an IES Abroad course taught at the Center in Art History, Art, Cultural Studies, Dutch, or Gender Studies.

Daily Life

Amsterdam and the Netherlands will be your classroom. You will get a first-hand understanding of how business and trade work in the European Union and how changes in border policy (both in Europe and abroad) might produce unforeseen circumstances. Field trips will take you off the beaten path to places like Rotterdam, Maastricht, or Texel Island, and course-related trips in and around Amsterdam will provide valuable insight into what you’re learning in the classroom.

We want you to feel at home in Amsterdam, so we do everything we can to help you integrate into life in the city. From housing to cultural events, our job is to make sure you have the most authentic study abroad experience possible.


Our mission is simple: to provide you with the best study abroad program possible—which includes the highest quality academic and cultural experiences.

While in Amsterdam, you take 15-19 credits per semester at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam’s School of Economics & Business Administration, which is awaiting AACSB accreditation.

Create your own academic experience by selecting from the following required and optional components:

  • 4-5 Business or Economics courses at the School of Business & Economics (VU) (required, 3 credits each)
  • One IES Abroad area studies course (optional, credits vary)


This is a list of planned course offerings. After you are accepted, you will see a list of final course offerings in your MyIESabroad account.

  • Highlights of Dutch Art: From Rembrandt to Mondriaan and Beyond
  • Studio Rietveld: An Introduction to Studio Art in Amsterdam
  • Social Entrepreneurship and Leadership for the 21st Century
  • Dialogues on Difference Spring, Fall
  • Dutch Language in Daily Life
  • Sex and Science: Dutch Medicine and Intersexuality
  • Introduction to the Study of Sexuality and Gender in the Context of Amsterdam
  • Translating Race: a Comparative Approach
  • European Union in a Changing World: History, Politics, and Policy-making
  • Cross-Cultural Psychology
  • Social Entrepreneurship and Leadership for the 21st Century
  • European Union in a Changing World: History, Politics, and Policy-making
  • Translating Race: a Comparative Approach
  • Cross-Cultural Psychology
  • Sex and Science: Dutch Medicine and Intersexuality
  • Translating Race: a Comparative Approach
  • Introduction to the Study of Sexuality and Gender in the Context of Amsterdam

VU University Amsterdam (VU) Courses

  • Courses at the VU are listed in ECTS. 2 ECTS=1 U.S. Credit.
  • Fall classes are offered in Periods 1 and 2. Spring courses are offered in Periods 4 and 5.
  • Fall students are expected to enroll in a minor for their course of study. Minors are not offered in Spring, so spring students enroll in individual courses.

Partner Institution(s)

About Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU)

The VU, founded in 1880, enrolls about 25,000 students, and offers courses in eleven faculties covering arts and science fields, and takes pride in a very student-centric teaching style. The VU is situated on a campus (unlike many European city universities), just outside of central Amsterdam, near the business district in South Amsterdam.

Originally set up as an institution of higher education separate from church or state, the current day VU takes this heritage seriously. Students will feel comfortable on campus and can access the many resources available, including modern buildings and infrastructure, the Griffioen Cultural Centre, shops, cafés, and an extensive library.

The VU boasts a strong international environment; its goal is to have one in four students in its English-taught programs be an international student.

Field Trips & Events

Even though your adventure starts in Amsterdam, our field trips take you beyond the city to discover the culture and traditions of your host country. You share a portion of the cost with IES Abroad. Here are a few possible destinations:

Antwerp, Belgium

2 Days| Fall & Spring

Enjoy a weekend away in Netherland’s neighboring country, Belgium! Come sample the local cuisine, and learn a bit more about what makes Belgium special.

National Park Hoge Veluwe & Kröller-Müller Museum

2 Days | Fall

Visit the largest privately managed conservation area in the Netherlands - home to several endangered species, as well as visit the park's museum. Also visit the Open Air Museum, which allows you to see the historical past of Dutch life.


2 Days | Spring

Explore this university city with its beautiful medieval architecture and lively arts and culture. Visit the famous labyrinth caves of Limburg, and take a walk in the spectacular hilly countryside.

Zaanse Schans

1 Day | Fall & Spring

Enjoy a cycling trip from Amsterdam to Zaanse Schans, a quintessential Dutch town, famous for its windmills.

IES Abroad field trip destinations, activities, and lengths of stay may vary according to term and availability.

Course-Related Trips

Course-related trips are academically excursions associated with courses. They are organized to complement IES Abroad courses and contribute to a general knowledge of Dutch culture and society. Participation is based on course registration.

Examples could include:

  • Walking tours of Amsterdam’s neighborhoods
  • Tours of contemporary art museums and galleries
  • Trip to The Hague
  • Visit the Black Archives

Daily Life

Part of making you feel at home in Amsterdam is doing our best to help you feel safe and cared for. Whether it is the orientation program that makes you feel prepared, your housing that is well-located and comfortable, or the field trips and walking tours that take you to places off the beaten path—we’re all about our student services.


Our orientation introduces you to the IES Abroad Amsterdam staff, your fellow students, and the city of Amsterdam.

Our Comprehensive Orientation & Re-Entry Experience (CORE™) begins right when you arrive and continues through the semester with activities focusing on academic and cultural adjustment. Detailed information about housing, public transportation, culture, health and safety, and other important topics are also covered.

You also participate in a VU-led orientation to get to know the VU staff and facilities and have the option to join the European Student Network’s (ESN) orientation for international students, led by Dutch students.

Local field trips and activities are also arranged, as well as an overnight orientation trip, where you’ll have the opportunity to further sample elements of Dutch culture and get to know the other students.


We want to make sure that your greatest challenge is deciding which landmarks to see first or discovering the best café—not finding a place to live where you feel comfortable. We do our best to locate housing that is reflective of how the local students are living. Our goal is that when you leave Amsterdam, it will feel like home.

Residence Hall - Depending on the location, you will live in a single room with either a shared or private bathroom. You will either have a shared kitchen with other students on your floor or have a private kitchenette.

Deluxe Residence Hall - You will live in a single room with a private bathroom. You share a kitchen with other students on your floor. The building features a 24-hour reception and a gym. This option carries an additional cost.

Extracurricular Activities & Cultural Events

Redefine the way you live and learn in Amsterdam through cultural events, such as:

  • Seeing the windmills in the Zaanse Schans
  • Visiting a cheese market in Alkmaar, followed by canoeing on the Alkmaar canals
  • Touring the Keukenhof tulip garden (spring only)
  • Visiting Hoge Veluwe National Park
  • Bicycling to Volendam and Marken
  • Exploring the medieval castle Muiderslot


Consider these prices as a starting point. We encourage you to contact your study abroad office to determine the actual cost to you when factoring in financial aid, scholarships, your home school policies, and other factors.

Spring 2020

Term Tuition Housing Insurance Total
Spring 2020 $15,660 $5,060 $230 $20,950

Academic year

Term Tuition Housing Insurance Total
Academic Year $27,740 $10,000 $455 $38,195

Scholarships & Aid

Program-Specific Scholarships

Robert McNeill Need-Based International Business Scholarship

Up to $3,000; awarded to 2 students each year.

This scholarship is named in honor of Robert McNeill, a member of the IES Abroad Board of Directors for 25 years (6 years as Chairman). Open to students who have an interest in international business. Majors might include management, marketing, economics, finance, international relations, and social and behavioral sciences.

Our Center

The IES Abroad Amsterdam Center is housed in the Oranje-Nassau Kazerne, former military barracks that has since been turned into offices and apartments, and located across from the famous Artis Zoo. Features include a small library, classroom space, staff offices, WiFi access, and space for students to meet and study. Center office hours are Monday - Friday, 9 am - 5 pm (unless otherwise specified).

Last updated May 2020

About the School

Everything we do is about the IES Abroad student. Our profoundly passionate team of study abroad professionals believes in creating once-in-a-lifetime educational adventures that transcend expectation ... Read More

Everything we do is about the IES Abroad student. Our profoundly passionate team of study abroad professionals believes in creating once-in-a-lifetime educational adventures that transcend expectations. Our goal is to rock the world of some 6,000 study abroad students every year. Read less
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