Envision yourself in a bio lab or a psychology lecture. Now look around you—you’re surrounded by Dutch and international students. Your classroom isn’t in one of those old familiar buildings on your home campus; it’s in one of Europe’s most exciting and unique cities—Amsterdam—at an internationally-recognized research university, the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU).

With its strong course offerings in psychology and the sciences, you’ll find English-taught courses at the VU to apply to your major, from Experimental Cell Biology to The History and Philosophy of Psychology. You can dive deep into your major, but you also have the opportunity to expand your studies with IES Abroad course options, such as offerings in Dutch language and culture, sexuality and gender, studio art, and art history.

Amsterdam will be your classroom. Sharpen your independent research skills by getting out and volunteering, observing, or visiting organizations for the IES Abroad Research Seminar. Or practice your new Dutch language skills as you peruse fresh produce with friends at the popular Noordermarkt. If you are adventurous and willing to explore, you will feel what it's like to live as a real Dutch student.

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 best, most authentic study abroad experience possible.

Quick Facts

  • Center: IES Abroad Amsterdam
  • City: Amsterdam
  • Country: Netherlands
  • Program Credits: 15-18 credits
  • Language of Instruction: English, Dutch
  • Language Prerequisites: None

Program Dates

After you are admitted, refer to the Travel Dates section of the Predeparture Information in your MyIESabroad account before booking travel.

Fall 2018

August 17 - December 22

Spring 2019

January 28 - May 31

Upcoming Application Deadlines:

Spring 2019 - September 14, 2018


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 15-18 credits per semester at VU University Amsterdam (VU), known for its strong offerings in psychology and the sciences. Create your own academic experience by selecting from the following required and optional components:

  • Psychology or science courses at VU University Amsterdam (VU) (English-taught, 3 credits each, required)
  • One IES Abroad area studies course (optional, maximum of 6 credits)


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.

Art History

  • AH 315 - Highlights of Dutch Art: From Rembrandt to Mondriaan and Beyond (Fall, Spring)


  • AR 250 - Studio Rietveld: An Introduction to Studio Art in Amsterdam (Fall, Spring)

Cultural Studies

  • CU 101 - Dutch Language and Culture (Fall, Spring)
  • CU 211 - Dialogues on Difference (Fall, Spring)

Dutch Language

  • DU 101 - Dutch Language and Culture (Fall, Spring)

Gender Studies

  • SS/GS 315 - Introduction to the Study of Sexuality and Gender in the Context of Amsterdam (Fall, Spring)

Intercultural Communication

  • IC/PS 311 - Cross Cultural Psychology (Fall, Spring)


  • IC/PS 311 - Cross Cultural Psychology (Fall, Spring)

Social Studies

  • SS/GS 315 - Introduction to the Study of Sexuality and Gender in the Context of Amsterdam (Fall, Spring)

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 studentcentric 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.

Course-Related Excursions

Course-related excursions are academic trips associated with courses. They are organized to complement IES Abroad courses and contribute to a general knowledge of Amsterdam culture and society. Participation is based on course registration. Past examples include:

  • Go to a psychiatric care museum
  • Visit a Dutch sex education NGO
  • Tour contemporary art museums and galleries
  • Take a walking tour of Amsterdam's neighborhoods


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.

Student Apartment Suites

Live in a single room in a mixed gender apartment suite with five-six other students. You share a kitchen, bathroom, and living spaces. Located in Amsterdam South, just five minutes from the VU academic buildings. No meals included.

Student Residence Hall

Live in single room with a private bathroom. You share a kitchen with other students on your floor. No meals are included. The building features 24-hour reception and a gym. Single rooms carry an additional cost.

Student Life


Our orientation introduces you to the IES Abroad Amsterdam staff, your fellow students, and the city of Amsterdam. Topics such as academics, housing, transportation, and health and safety are covered during this time. 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. Additionally, CORE™, IES Abroad’s Comprehensive Orientation & Re-entry Experience, begins during orientation and continues throughout the semester with activities focusing on cultural adjustment, goal achievement, and preparing for the return home. As part of the CORE™ program, you participate in a volunteer activity in the community. This volunteer experience creates a sense of community with your fellow students, offers you deeper insight into life in Amsterdam, and gives you a point of contact if you’d like to continue participating in volunteer projects throughout the semester. Field trips are also organized to introduce you to other parts of the Netherlands and to Dutch pastimes. Past trips have included excursions to the Zaanse Schans and Utrecht.

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 and the Isle of Pampus

Eligibility Requirements

  • 18 years of age
  • In good standing at your home school
  • 3.0 GPA or better on a 4.0 scale
  • Junior or senior standing when program begins
  • Final admissions decision rests with the VU University Amsterdam (VU)
  • Please note: the Psychology & Sciences program will not review applicants with cumulative GPAs below 2.9. Applicants whose GPAs are between 2.9 and 3.0 will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis (additional application materials below are required).

Passport & Visa Requirements

A passport that is valid for at least six months beyond the end date of the program, with at least two blank pages is required. U.S. citizens in possession of a valid passport do not need to obtain a visa predeparture to enter the Netherlands. Upon admission, you will receive more information about obtaining the required residence permit on-site and any related fees. Non-U.S. citizens may be required to obtain a visa prior to arrival.



Fall 2018

Tuition: $14,855

Housing: $4,815

Insurance: $230

Total: $19,900

Academic Year

Tuition: $26,725

Housing: $9,630

Insurance: $455

Total: $36,810Consider 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.

Program taught in:
  • English
  • Dutch
IES Abroad

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This course is Campus based
Start Date
1 - 2 semesters
19,900 USD
Term: Fall 2018
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