How to apply

The first step of the application process is to choose whether you will come as an individual applicant or via a provider. If you have already chosen a provider, please apply directly through your provider. If you wish to apply as an individual applicant, please consult the eligibility and entry requirements and proceed to the application form found below.

The VU Amsterdam Gap Year Experience is organised for recent international high school graduates who wish to take a gap year before enrolling in a full degree program. Students should not have previously completed a Bachelor's or Master's degree programme. Students who will have already completed 48 ECTS or more at university-level should instead apply to the Semester in Amsterdam Programme.

All applicants need a diploma equivalent to the Dutch pre-university VWO diploma. You can find a list of diploma requirements by country here. Please note that you can start your application even if you have not yet obtained your diploma.

In addition to the general admission requirements, students must meet the general rules and requirements outlined below to take courses from each faculty.

Business and Economics

After you apply to the programme and upload the required documents in our student portal, your International Student Advisor will determine whether your diploma is equivalent to the Dutch VWO-diploma and whether your mathematics level is sufficient.

These examples of diplomas demonstrate sufficient proficiency in the subject Mathematics:

  • International Baccalaureate: mathematics SL or HL, Applications & Interpretation HL, Analysis & Approaches SL/HL
  • United Kingdom/GCE A-levels: A-level in mathematics completed with a grade A, B or C
  • Germany: Zeugnis der allgemeinen Hochschulreife, including Mathematics Grundkurs as Prüfungsfach or Mathematics erhöhtem Anforderungsniveau (eA)/Leistungsfach 

If your diploma is not considered to be at the right level and/or if your proficiency in mathematics is considered to be insufficient, your International Student Advisor will inform you if it is possible to meet the requirements with an additional certificate. If participation in the exam is necessary this will be communicated to you in the offer letter.

When advised to sit an entrance exam, the following certificates are deemed equivalent to the required Dutch VWO Mathematics A level:

Mathematics Exams (available in English and accepted by Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam):

  • Boswell-Bèta(English): Boswell-Bèta in Utrecht (the Netherlands) provides a mathematics course mathematics A in English with exams in December, May and July.
  • CCVX(Dutch and English): CCVX offers mathematics exams in the Netherlands equivalent to the Dutch VWO subject mathematics A for Dutch-speaking and English-speaking applicants.
  • Online Mathematics Placement Test. The Online Mathematics Placement Test-A (OMPT-A ) offered by SOWISO is an online mathematics test that you can take from home by means of online proctoring.

A positive result for the mathematics examination (5,5/10 in the mathematics A exam or 65% in the OMPT-A online exam) is compulsory.

Social Science

Proof of sufficient proficiency in Mathematics

After you apply to the programme and upload the required documents in our student portal, your International Student Advisor will determine whether your diploma is equivalent to the Dutch VWO-diploma and whether your mathematics level is sufficient.

These examples of diplomas demonstrate sufficient proficiency in the subject Mathematics:

  • International Baccalaureate: All IB Mathematics subjects.
  • British GCE A-Levels: A-levels or AS-level in Mathematics with a grade A, B or C.
  • Germany: Zeugnis der allgemeinen Hochschulreife.
  • European Baccalaureate: Mathematics; written or oral examination, at least 3 hours during the Orientation Cycle.

If your diploma is not considered to be at the right level and/or if your proficiency in mathematics is considered to be insufficient, your International Student Advisor will inform you if it is possible to meet the requirements with an additional certificate. 

When advised to sit an entrance exam, the following certificates are deemed equivalent to the required Dutch VWO Mathematics C level:

Mathematics Exams (available in English and accepted by Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam):

  • Boswell-Bèta (English): Boswell-Bèta in Utrecht (the Netherlands) provides a VWO Mathematics C exam in May, July and August.
  • Online Mathematics Placement Test. The Online Mathematics Placement Test-E (OMPT-E ) offered by SOWISO is an online mathematics test that you can take from home by means of online proctoring.

A positive result for the mathematics examination (5,5/10 in the mathematics C exam or 60% in the OMPT-E online exam) is compulsory.

Computer Science

Proof of sufficient proficiency in Mathematics

After you apply to the programme and upload the required documents in our student portal, your International Student Advisor will have a look at your transcripts to determine whether your diploma is equivalent to the Dutch VWO-diploma and whether your Mathematics level is sufficient. These examples of diplomas demonstrate sufficient proficiency in the subject Mathematics:

  • International Baccalaureate: Mathematics HL, Analysis & Approaches HL
  • British GCE A-Levels: A-level in Mathematics, at least grade A, B or C
  • Germany: Zeugnis der allgemeinen Hochschulreife, including Mathematics on erhöhtem Anforderungsniveau (eA) or as Leistungsfach 
  • European Baccalaureate:  Mathematics; written or oral examination, at least 5 hours during the Orientation Cycle
  • If your proficiency in this subject is considered to be insufficient, your International Student Advisor will inform you about the possibilities how to meet the requirements with additional certificates.

When advised to sit an entry exam, the following certificates are deemed equivalent to Dutch VWO Mathematics B.

Mathematics Exams (available in English and accepted by Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam): 

A positive result for the mathematics examination (5,5/10 in the mathematics B exam or 70% in the OMPT-B online exam) is compulsory.

Humanities:

Please see the general admission and language requirements.  There are no additional requirements.

VU Amsterdam requires all international applicants to take an English language proficiency test. Applicants who have completed their (English-taught) education in Canada, the USA, the UK, New Zealand, Ireland, or Australia are exempted from this requirement, as are those who have obtained an International Baccalaureate, European Baccalaureate diploma (English-taught programmes only), or Surinam VWO diploma.

Please note that you can apply to your programme of choice before taking this test and/or submitting your results. 

Deadline for English language test submissions: 

  •      1 June for students who require a study visa
  •     31 August for students with the EU/EEA nationality and other student who do not require a study visa

Please be aware that it may take longer than expected to receive your English language test results. It is therefore best to take the test far in advance. We accept the following tests and minimum scores:

  •     IELTS: 6.5 (only the Academic IELTS test is accepted)
  •     TOEFL internet-based test: 92
  •     VU TOEFL ITP: 580 (only the TOEFL ITP test from VU Amsterdam is accepted)
  •     Cambridge Advanced English (CAE): grade A, B or C/ minimum score of 176
  •     Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE): grade A, B or C/ minimum score of 176

Tests must have been completed no more than two years before 1 September of the current academic year.

If you will be participating in the VU Amsterdam Gap Year Experience through a provider, please apply directly through your provider.

Our staff will check the following:

    1. Your application is complete and includes all required documents

    2. You meet our standard admission criteria

    3. You meet all of the entry requirements for your chosen courses

Note:

  • During the application phase you will be pre-approved for your course selection based on entry requirements, target audience, and recommended background knowledge.
  • Courses are finalised after the course lists and timetables for the current academic year are posted online. The course lists for each academic year are posted in July and the timetables are posted a few months before the start of each semester, meaning that students applying for the fall semester will apply using courses from the previous academic year.
  • Until the course lists and timetables for the current academic year are posted online, your course choices are considered provisional and subject to change. Once the course lists and timetables for the current academic year are posted online, we will send instructions for how to check if your pre-approved selections are still on offer and if they overlap in the timetable. In some cases you may need to use a back-up course or choose new course(s) if your pre-approved selection(s) are no longer on offer or if they overlap.

The 2021/2022 costs for the VU Amsterdam Gap Year Experience can be found below. Please be aware that the Gap Year Experience is a non-government funded study abroad programme. **For this reason, there is no EU tuition fee. All fees are standardized and cannot be modified. 

Programme Fee: Fall 2021 Semester€6.995
Programme Fee: Spring 2022 Semester€6.995
Programme Fee: 2021-2022 Academic Year€13.490
Housing Fee per Month: Our Domain/Our Campus€875 - €975 *Costs are approximate.  You can find more information here.
Visa Fees:€275

The VU Amsterdam Gap Year Experience offers three scholarships in the amount of €2.500 each which is subtracted from tuition costs. Please note the scholarships do not cover all expenses and scholarships cannot be combined. You can choose to apply for more than one scholarship but can only receive one.

Blogger Scholarship

We offer one scholarship to a talented and motivated student blogger! Need some ideas? Check out our current VU Amsterdam student bloggers! Please e-mail gapyear@vu.nl for the required application materials and requirements for scholarship winners. 

Photographer and Videographer Scholarship

More into video and photography? We offer one scholarship to a talented and motivated student videographer and photographer! Need some ideas? Check out this photographer/videographer on Instagram! Please e-mail gapyear@vu.nl for the required application materials and requirements for scholarship winners.

Academic Excellence Scholarship

The VU Amsterdam Gap Year Experience will offer one scholarship to a motivated student who has a minimum grade point average of 85% and has demonstrated academic excellence. For example, if the highest possible mark is a 10, you must have a GPA of at least an 8.5. We will take into account the differences in grading cultures. While no official language certificate is required, applicants must have mastered aproximately B2 level English. Please e-mail gapyear@vu.nl for the required application materials.

You can find the official programme application here 

*Please keep in mind that you are required to submit course selections with your programme application, therefore we strongly advise you to first consult the information provided about Programme Specific requirements via the drop-down menus above.

If you have questions about the application requirements, please contact us at gapyear@vu.nl.

Fall 2021 Semester: 1 April 

Cancellation Deadline: 1 June

Spring 2022 Semester: 1 October

Cancellation Deadline: 1 December