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VU Jumpstart

The VU Jumpstart programme is specifically designed for students starting an international Master's programme at VU Amsterdam this fall.

The path to your academic success

For many of you, the decision to complete your Master's degree abroad and travel to Amsterdam is already a huge step. Through the Jumpstart programme, we aim to provide you with the tools you will need to create a smooth and enjoyable start to your studies as well as provide you with opportunities to meet and interact with other Master's students. Jumpstart offers opportunities to improve your academic writing alongside your English language and research skills via several tailor-made online workshops as well as an interactive, recurring language café!

The Jumpstart programme will be offered completely online during the Fall 2020 semester, so you can join from anywhere! You can find detailed information and a complete schedule below. Please be aware that all times listed are Central European Standard Time (CET).

More information

  • Jumpstart Workshops

    Academic Writing
    Covering all the bases, this short English writing workshop includes practice with vocabulary, grammar, structure, style and the Writing Pie™ concept, providing you with all the tools you need to become well-rounded and proficient writers in academic English. This workshop will include offline individual assignments as well as online assignments in small groups and will include access to an online interactive language database through which you will receive personalized feedback from your instructors.

    Please attend all three session if possible.  If you cannot attend all three sessions, the sessions will be recorded and posted online for you to watch later; however, there will be some interactive portions, so it is better to attend each session live during the original time slot if possible.

    Wednesday, 23 September: 13:30-15:30 
    Friday, 25 September: 13:30-15:30 
    Monday, 28 September: 13:30-15:30

    Academic Literature and Referencing
    This short online workshop, taught by the VU Amsterdam University Library staff, will help you gain your bearings in the Dutch academic setting. Through this workshop, you can refresh your academic skills in literature and proper reference and citation styles as well as fine-tune your ability to identify reliable sources and discard unreliable information.  This workshop will also provide detailed clarification about VU Amsterdam's rules regarding plagiarism and help you to avoid unnecessary mistakes which can hurt your grade and cost you extra time.

    We have added an extra session due to popularity!  You are not required to attend both.  We will send you an e-mail during the week of 7 September asking you to confirm which session you will attend.

    Thursday, 24 September: 13:30-15:30 
    Tuesday, 29 September: 13:30-15:30

  • Jumpstart Language Café

    Practice and improve your English speaking skills in the VU Amsterdam Jumpstart Language Café! This language café offers informal yet structured opportunities to develop and refine your English speaking skills which will help you gain the confidence to speak up in class. This event will take place regularly on an ongoing basis and will be run by an English language facilitator. While events will begin online for now, we hope to host them in person soon!


    First Session: Wednesday, 30 September: 16:00 - 18:00

    *If you cannot join the first session, don't worry!  Subsequent sessions will follow. 

  • MOOC Academic English in a Global World

    This is a separate optional course which is free for all students.  A premium option with extra benefits is available for an extra fee.  

    Advance your communication skills in English by joining VU Amsterdam’s MOOC English Pronunciation in a Global World! Highly rated with 4.8 out of 5 stars, this course is a great way to prepare yourself for the highly interactive Dutch way of teaching. It will help you to understand different English accents with ease and allow you to enhance the intelligibility of your own accent while appreciating the diversity of spoken English. Through various exercises and videos, you will discover the pronunciation features which are integral to successful communication and mutual understanding. This course is designed to help you feel more comfortable speaking English with your peers and instructors and will help you to participate in class discussions with confidence and ease.

    You can find more information about this course here on their website.

  • Who should join?

    All incoming VU Amsterdam Master's students are encouraged to join!  Please be aware that you must first be accepted and enrolled in a Master's programme at VU Amsterdam in order to take part in the programme.  Please don't hesitate to contact us for more information.

  • Programme costs

    VU Amsterdam Jumpstart is sponsored by VU Amsterdam!  This allows us to keep participation fees at a minimum.  The cost for the entire Jumpstart package is €30.00 and includes:

    • Academic writing workshop
    • Academic literature and referencing workshop
    • English language café
    • MOOC Academic English in a Global World (free version)
    • Official certificate of attendance
  • Application Form and Deadline

    Here you can find our online application form.  

    Please be aware that you are required to submit payment with your programme application.  Once you have completed the application, you will be redirected to a payment link.  By submitting an application form, you indicate that you have read and understand the Jumpstart Terms and Conditions.

    Application Deadline: Sunday, 6 September

Contact the Jumpstart Team

Still have questions? Please don't hesitate to contact us via email: Amu Shrestha, Sandra van Daalen, Jasper Oosterveld and Rachel Bornstein

Want more? Join the VU Amsterdam Jumpstart 2020 Facebook Group or follow us on Instagram!