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The VU Experience

A two-day sneak peek in the student life of VU Amsterdam – provided for by VU Amsterdam 

We understand that the idea of studying abroad, far away from family and friends, can be daunting for graduating high school students. This is why we started the VU Experience. The goal of the VU Experience is to show counselors and students that studying abroad is actually a thrilling experience, leading to self-development, self-confidence and academic achievements. Besides the social programme, where we share our beautiful city and university with you, we also have a formal programme where we share all the instruments put in place to make sure international students will succeed and feel at home. 

COVID-19 related message:

Due to the pandemic the VU Experience will not take place on 29, 30, 31 October. However, if the situation allows it we will move the VU Experience to coincide with the Bachelor Day in the first weekend of February 2021. For February registrations priority will be given to current October registrations. 

More information about the February programme will be put online in due time.  

What is the VU Experience?

In short; the VU Experience is a unique way for counselors and students to get a peek in the life of a VU Amsterdam student, while at the same time receiving all relevant information regarding admission.  In 2020, the event is organised from Thursday 29 October to Saturday 31 October.

We are inviting Study and Career/UCAS counsellors for a special weekend to experience studying at VU Amsterdam. Most costs for this weekend will be covered by VU Amsterdam*. Each counsellor can bring up to two pupils with them that are interested in a Bachelor’s programme in the Netherlands. This sneak preview experience is the perfect way to help your pupils with their plans for their academic future. The weekend coincides with our Bachelor's Open day and information fair on Saturday 31 October 2020. This means students can visit presentations about their programmes of interest or visit their stands for a one on one talk. 


Disclaimer: this is a provisional programme - changes may occur

Thursday 29 October
19:00 - 20:00 Reception at Hotel Zuid
During this informal first meet-up we will get to know each other and walk around the university housing campus, were we will also have a drink at the campus restaurant.  

Friday 30 October
10.00 - 10.30 Welcome
10.30 - 11.30 Presentation Bachelor's programmes, Services, Amsterdam
11:45 - 12:30 Lunch
12:30 - 13.30 Interactive career coaching session
13.30 - 19.00 Programme for the pupils with VU students - discovering Amsterdam
13:30 - 19:00 Separate programme for the counsellors
19:00               Dinner

Saturday 31 October
Attend workshops at the Bachelor's Open day. The schedule and subscription pages will be available at a later time. 

* Costs covered for by VU Amsterdam:

- Two nights in Hotel Zuid (students share 1 room)
- Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner on Friday
- Breakfast on Saturday
- Extensive social and formal programme
Travel and public transport costs are not included

More information

  • Counsellor support

    As a counsellor, you play an important role in providing your students with information about university study programmes. Find out more about the options VU Amsterdam offers to inform students and help them to make their decision.

  • Registration

    Deadline for registrations is 1 September 2020. Please note that we have a limited amount of spots available. Because of popularity a selection will take place, and selection will be based on:

    1. a short motivation (100 words)
    2. admissibility of the students based on their high school diploma
    3. attendance of a counsellor (attendance of pupils is not a requirement)

    Please register via this link.

  • Questions?

    You can contact us via for any questions you may have about the VU Experience or our admission requirements. 

    It promises to be a great VU Experience! 


  • Phyllis O’Grady | Higher Education Scheme Lead | Norfolk County Council

    "I came to the VU experience as someone who co-ordinates a Higher Education Scheme across Norfolk which encourages students to ‘Aim High’ in their future aspirations. I wanted to acquaint myself with what studying at what in probably our closest European city might be like. The VU Experience absolutely fulfilled this requirement, providing me with an excellent insight - not only into the ‘mechanics’ of how the Higher Education system differs, or is similar to our own, but also what the day to day reality might be for a student choosing to study in Amsterdam.  

    I came away not only with all my questions answered and feeling confident to share this knowledge and experience with students, but also that I would wholeheartedly recommend such a choice to them having experienced the warmth and hospitality of our Dutch hosts. A superb experience which I look forward to sharing with Norfolk students during our Studying Abroad forum next week!"

  • Maddie | Student at King Edward VI college | Stourbridge

    "I think the VU Experience was an excellent way to help me decide about my educational future. I learnt that there are many different things in place to ensure the well-being of international students and that international students do not feel out of place. 

    VU organised an incredibly interesting tour about the history of Amsterdam, which allowed you to see the city from a completely different perspective. VU really helped to introduce the city that you would be studying in in a really pleasant and intriguing way. What surprised me most was how safe I felt; in other cities, especially in England, you always feel slightly uneasy and aware

    I would highly recommend this experience. Although only for a short period of time, I have made some amazing friends and memories that will last a lifetime, and have really gotten to consider whether I’d study in Amsterdam or not."

  • Louise Harper | Careers Adviser | King Edward VI College

    "Our VU Experience 2019 was well organised, enjoyable and massively useful in providing the students and careers counsellors with relevant information about studying both at the University and in Amsterdam itself. After experiencing the various elements of the trip, I felt equipped to come back to the UK and better help students make their decisions about their academic studies abroad. I now feel confident in advising students about what they should consider and what questions they should ask of themselves and VU in order to get the right study programme and the best cultural experience for their future.

    The VU experience allowed students and staff to ask questions of current/former VU students as well as academic and pastoral VU staff. My students had some independent time with former VU students and they enjoyed every bit of their exploration of Amsterdam, whilst myself and other councillors had the opportunity to share best practice and gain further information. We are all still in touch, as are the students!

    The experience was relaxed yet motivational for us all and the friendly nature of VU staff and the people of Amsterdam in general was enjoyable and educational."