Multi-Disciplinary Studies with a Fieldwork Component

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Program Overview

Program Overview

  • Program Name

    Multi-Disciplinary Studies with a Fieldwork Component

  • Location


  • Host University

    Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

    Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU) was founded in 1880 and is one of the top research universities in the Netherlands. There are over 23,000 students at VU and hundreds of courses taught entirely in English. There are many international students and faculty, creating a diverse and globally-minded learning environment. Some popular areas of study at VU are earth and life sciences, behavioral sciences, business, economics, social sciences, and humanities.VU was the first university in the Netherlands to be established without ties to the church or the state. This legacy is maintained as it still operates unconventionally, determining its own areas of research as well as creating unique study programs and specialized pedagogical models. VU encourages a student-centered teaching style where you will be given opportunities to develop your opinions through creative and critical thinking. All academic programs are housed at VU's main campus in the Zuid district, Amsterdam's business center. It is a beautiful, modern campus with student housing and many facilities including computer labs, fitness centers, a green office, and even a bike repair shop. The VU campus is well-connected to public transportation; it is only a 15 minute train ride to downtown and an eight minute train ride to Schiphol Airport.

  • Term

    Summer 3 2019

  • Program Dates

    Aug 02, 2019 - Aug 17, 2019

  • Program Length


  • Application Deadline

    Mar 25, 2019

  • Credit

    3 ECTS Credits

  • Eligibility

    3.00 Minimum GPA*

  • Cost


  • Apply Now

Program Description

In this interdisciplinary and academically rigorous program at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU), you will take an intensive, in-depth look into your chosen course of study. All classes are instructed in English with other international students. Course offerings are highly specialized, focusing on research methodology across various disciplines. Each course also has an experiential learning component. You will use Amsterdam as your classroom as labs, field trips, and other activities facilitate deeper engagement with course material.

You will make course selections upon application to the program. This is a tentative selection as admission into all courses is dependent upon approval by the host university; VU will vet your completion of the stated pre-requisites before granting admission to a course.

VU follows a modular academic structure. The summer is divided into three sessions (called blocks) which are each two weeks in length. You will take one course during each block that correspond with the program title. 



Students must have a minimum grade point average of 3.00.


There is no language prerequisite for this program.

  • You must hold at least a Sophomore standing at the time of study.
  • You must submit a recent resume and letter of intent before your application is considered complete. 

What's Included

Comprehensive Advising and Support

24-Hour Emergency

Comprehensive Health, Safety, and Security Support

Airport Reception

Visa Support

Tuition at the Host University


Bridging Cultures Program

Internet Access

ISA Discovery Model

Cultural Activities

Subscription to The New York Times


Official Transcript from the Host University

Professional Development Toolbox

Full-Time Resident Staff

Scholarship Opportunities



ECTS Credits


Contact Hours


Recommended U.S. Semester Credits


Recommended U.S. Quarter Units


Academic Information

Note that if you have completed just one year of university courses before the start of the Summer term you are not eligible to participate in this program. Please consider Summer 1 or Summer 2 instead. Contact ISA with any questions.

Course Availability

  • The courses listed below are based off of last year’s course offerings and ISA will inform students of course updates as they become available.
  • All students are required to indicate course selection upon application to the program. This is a tentative selection as all course eligibility will be determined by VU.
  • Additional upper division courses may be available.
  • Students are expected to complete self-study hours in order to keep up with class material.
  • Requests for detailed course descriptions can be made to the Amsterdam Site Specialist.

Course Selection

  • Eligibility for courses is dependent upon the fulfillment of the posted pre-requisites. Please note that local VU students are on an academic track very different than in the US; they do not take general education courses and are often at a higher level of study than their US counterparts within the same discipline.
  • All course selections are dependent upon approval from VU.
  • The academic structure at VU is different than in the US with exams totaling up to 100% of final grade. Please consider each course’s assessment techniques as you make your course selection.

Course Credit and Transcripts

  • Credits earned vary according to the policies of the students' home institutions. According to ISA policy and possible visa requirements, students must maintain full-time enrollment status, as determined by their home institutions, for the duration of the program.
  • ISA recommends 3 U.S. semester credits/4.5 quarter units per 45 contact hours. Credit transfer is ultimately determined by the student's home university. 
  • Upon program completion, students will receive an official transcript issued by VU.  The transcript will reflect ECTS credits for all courses taken.


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Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
Session 3

Support & Funding

U.S. Team

Phoebe Scott

Program Advisor, The Netherlands

Laura Archambault

Program Manager, The Netherlands

Jenna Tantillo

Site Specialist, The Netherlands


Marina Lopez Duarte

Resident Director, The Netherlands

Funding Your ISA Program

As an ISA participant, you will have the opportunity to apply for scholarships and grants that can be applied directly to assist with your study abroad programs. ISA offers over $1,000,000 in scholarships and grants each year. To see what opportunities are available, please visit the Funding Your Program page. 

View all Funding Options


Living in ISA housing will allow you the opportunity to experience aspects of the local lifestyle that are inaccessible to the average visitor. Regardless of your housing option, you will have a short commute to your university. Travel times to the various university buildings generally range between 15 and 40 minutes depending on housing and class locations. With an open and adaptable mind, the experience of living in another culture can be highly rewarding.

We strive to match your housing preferences with our available accommodations, however, housing preference requests cannot be guaranteed.


You will live on-campus in the De Boelelaan residence halls, primarily with other visiting international students. These dorms are just a five minute walk from the center of the VU campus and a ten minute walk from Station Zuid, one of Amsterdam's major transport centers. You will have an individual room in a mixed-gender suite with up to six other students. All dorms are furnished and have two full bathrooms as well as a kitchen with two stovetops, two refrigerators, a microwave, utensils, and cooking supplies. Please note that the dorms do not have an oven, as is common in many European dorms and apartments. Laundry facilities are included and there is one washer and dryer per dorm. Housing in the De Boelelaan dorms is available on a first-come, first-served basis. If the dorms have filled, students will be placed into alternate accommodations. Note: Internet is included in the dorms. However, students will need to rent or purchase an ethernet cable or a router to connect to wifi.

Independent Housing

You may elect to secure housing independently. If you select this option, you will receive a discount equal to the housing portion of the program price.



Kröller-Muller National Park & Museum

Nature lovers will be enchanted by the Kröller-Muller National Park & Museum. You will take a bike tour around the beautiful park and the whimsical sculpture garden. You will also visit the art museum, which contains a famous collection from the 19th and 20th centuries and includes the world's largest privately owned collection by Vincent Van Gogh. This excursion is facilitated by VU.

The Hague

The Hague is a cultural hub of the Netherlands and home to the Dutch courts and royal family. This charming city sits along the North Sea and is home to many international organizations and entities. On this excursion you will learn more about local and international legal systems with guided tours of the Dutch parliament and the International Court of Justice. A visit to the Mauritshuis museum will offer a deeper look into the Golden Age of Dutch art through the expansive, world-renowned collection of paintings by Dutch artists including Johannes Vermeer's Girl with a Pearl Earring. During the summer session, this excursion is facilitated by VU.


A short train ride away from Amsterdam, Haarlem is a quintessentially Dutch city not to be missed. For centuries it has been known as a market town, and this can still be felt today when walking around the city's famed "Grote Markt" (Market Square). Brewmasters in Haarlem were concocting craft beers long before cities such as Amsterdam and Rotterdam, and you can experience this taste of history at Jopen Brewery. This excursion is facilitated by VU.


Kinderdijk is a village in the province of South Holland and boasts the largest concentration of windmills in the country. It is a UNESCO World Heritage site and offers visitors picturesque landscapes, interesting museums, and insight into the area's centuries-old battle against rising water.


Utrecht is a small, medieval city in central Netherlands and is often considered the most beautiful canal town in Europe. The city center is a small, pedestrian-only space with the Domtoren (Dom) tower at the center, visible from anywhere in the city. You will tour the iconic Dom tower and learn more about the De Stijl artistic movement at the Rietveld Shröeder House. This excursion also includes a canal tour and an underground archeology tour to discover the split-level canals that are unique to Utrecht.