Prospective Bachelor's Students

Welcome to the Faculty of Religion and Theology at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam!

On this page you will find all the information you need to know to be well-prepared to start your studies. If you still have any questions, please contact us at contact@vu.nl (Dutch diploma applicants) or bachelors.frt@vu.nl (international diploma applicants).

We look forward to seeing you and wish you a lot of fun and good luck with your study programme!


General information

We can imagine that you have a lot of questions about what studying at the VU looks like during this corona crisis. For the most up-to-date information and answers to frequently asked questions about the coronavirus and VU University Amsterdam, please visit vu.nl/coronavirus. If your question isn't answered here, you can contact the Student Desk

International students can find the most frequently asked questions on www.vu.nl/corona/international. There is also a FAQ webpage. In case your question is not answered there:

  • For General questions: international@vu.nl
  • For housing related questions, please contact our Accommodation Services team via: studentaccommodation@vu.nl.
  • For all questions regarding visa, please contact the Immigration Services team via: studentimmigration@vu.nl.
  • For all questions about your application or admission requirements, you can contact your International Student Advisor Rosa Vijftigschild via e-mail or telephone: bachelors.frt@vu.nl/+31 20 59 85 641.

Education first semester 
During the corona crisis, you can continue to expect high-quality education from VU Amsterdam that you can fully participate in. Teaching will be offered in hybrid form: online and where it is possible and permitted, on campus. The purpose of hybrid education is to take advantage of the best features of both face-to-face and online learning. Even if education on campus is gradually getting started and you are not yet able to come to VU Amsterdam, alternative online opportunities are offered. We advise you to keep an eye on the information provided by your programme. Well before the start of the new academic year, your programme page on our Bachelorsportal will state what education will exactly look like for at least period 1 (September/October).

Track the status of your application in VUnet
Make sure that you have completed your registration for your programme by 31 August at the latest. See your status overview on VUnet for any requirements you still need to meet to complete your registration.

Your registration is only complete once you see the indication ‘registered’ in the ‘my programmes’ field in Studielink. If you change anything in relation to your application or registration in Studielink or VUnet, it will be shown the next day in your status overview.

Once your registration is complete, you will receive a Proof of Registration document within two to four weeks.

Where will you find the status of your registration?

  1. Log in to VUnet.
  2. Under ‘Complete Application’, go to the relevant programme.
  3. Under ‘Status’, click on ‘Check status’.
  4. For each requirement, you can see if you still need to take any action.

Questions?
Do you have questions about the registration process? Please contact the Student Desk or, if you applied with an international diploma, the International Student Advisor (International Office).

Additional information for international students:
Not yet admitted at VU Amsterdam?
If you are still waiting for admission, you are advised to not yet arrange payment. Please wait until you have received a letter of admission.

How can you pay?
If you are a student from a SEPA* country:
You will be able to select the digital authorization option in order to arrange a spread payment option (in 5 instalments), in which case the first payment will be collected from your account around 25 September. Alternatively, you can pay the whole amount in a lump sum.

If you are a student from a non-SEPA country:
You can fill out your country details to stop Studielink from sending out the messages. Studielink will notify you that you cannot arrange payment directly via Studielink. You can either wait until you have opened a Dutch bank account in August, or arrange an international bank transfer.

All payment details can be found on Tuition Fees.

Do you still have questions about tuition fee payments? Please contact the Student Desk.

* Single Euro Payments Area

All students following a Dutch-taught degree programme or specialization, must take a compulsory Dutch language proficiency test in September. Students who follow an English-taught degree programme or specialization take part in the compulsory English language test. Please note: this is a different language test than those international students take for their admission. Due to the corona crisis both language proficiency tests are offered online. Please refer to your timetable for the planned date and time of the test.

If your mark is below the required standard, you will need to take a compulsory refresher course, including a final test.

Students who have previously passed the language proficiency test or who have successfully completed the refresher course, are eligible for an exemption. To request an exemption, please go to VUnet.

Student Desk
Many answers to questions about your degree programme can be found on VUnet. For questions about registration for courses, enrolment, tuition fees, student cards, transcripts, etc. you can contact the Student Desk.
E-mail: studentdesk@vu.nl
Location: Main Building (HG), central hall, VU campus

International Service Desk
The International Service Desk (ISD) deals with general questions of international students.
E-mail: international@vu.nl
Location: Main Building (HG), central hall, VU campus

Academic advisors
You can contact your academic advisor for any questions or advice regarding personal circumstances that are interfering in your studies, a delay in your study progress, or study skills or choices within your degree programme. You can find more information about Academic Advisors on VUnet. Please use the contact form for your question and if you wish to discuss matters by telephone, please indicate so.

Studying with a disability
If you suffer from a disability, a chronic illness, dyslexia, or a mental disability, this does not mean that you will be unable to successfully complete your studies. If you need help with your studies because of your disability, there are a number of people you can turn to. Firstly, you can contact an Academic Advisor.

The Student Counsellors at VU Amsterdam can advise you on matters such as financial support in the event of a delay in your study progress. If you have problems such as performance anxiety or study stress, or if you are experiencing problems that are interfering in your studies or preventing you from completing your degree, then you can get in touch with one of the Student Psychological Counsellors at VU Amsterdam. You can find more information on Studying with a disability on VUnet.

Negative Recommendation on Continuation of Studies (BSA)
The faculty makes every effort to help students to complete their studies successfully. Your study progress will therefore be closely monitored from the very start of your programme.

If your results continue to be below the expected standard during the first year, there is a high probability that these problems will get worse during the rest of the programme. To prevent you wasting your valuable study time, the faculty will issue a Negative Recommendation on Continuation of Studies (BSA) at the end of the first year of your Bachelor's programme based on your results. If you have not made sufficient progress, you may be required to discontinue the programme.

You must earn at least 42 credits in your first year of study. If you are ill or if there are exceptional circumstances and you are unable to achieve 42 credits, the advice is to contact your academic advisor as soon as possible.

You can register for courses in period 1 starting on 20 July up to the first week of the teaching period (no later than 7 September). Please note: for the remaining periods, registration closes three weeks prior to the start of each teaching period.

You can plan your courses by adding them to your schedule in the registration module in VUnet even before the course is open for registration. Please note: planning is not the same as registering! If you have planned courses, you must still register for them, the related teaching activities, and exams. Registration is not automatic. Further information about Registration for Courses and Exams is available on VUnet.

Resit
Once you register for a course, you are also automatically registered for the first exam opportunity for that course, but not for a resit, should that become necessary. If you need to take a written resit, you must register for this separately. You can take care of the registration up to 14 days prior to the resit.

Tip!
Set the deadlines in your calendar or as a reminder in your phone so that you are on time. If you don't sign up in time for courses and exams, you won't be able to participate!

VUnet-ID and VUnet
The VUnet-ID is your username and password that gives you access to all kinds of digital services such as VUnet and Canvas.

VUnet will be an important source of information during your studies at the university. Through this portal you will find all relevant information such as your e-mail, your personal schedule, exam grades, important announcements and a link to the study guide. The VUnet homepage provides news from the university and the world of academia. Log in using your VUnet-ID, which you should already have received. If you have lost your VUnet-ID, please visit the Student Desk. Take your university registration card or other form of identification for identification purposes.

VU Amsterdam e-mail
Each student is assigned a personal VU Amsterdam e-mail address, with the following format: studentnumber@student.vu.nl. You can read and send e-mails by logging in to VUnet with your VUnet-ID. The university uses this e-mail address exclusively when corresponding with you about your studies. It is essential that you check your inbox regularly to ensure that you do not miss any important information about your degree programme. If you would like to avoid having to log in to check your e-mails, you can have your VU Amsterdam e-mail automatically forwarded to your personal e-mail address.

Canvas
Canvas is the digital learning environment of VU Amsterdam. Each course also has a course in Canvas, to which you automatically have access when you have signed up for the course. Because of the corona crisis a large part of the education takes place online via Canvas. On Canvas you will find the course's study manual and examples of exam questions, the teacher will keep you informed about your progress and you will sometimes have to submit assignments via Canvas. Also, after a lecture, teachers often put the lecture sheets on Canvas, so that you can study them again at home.

Study guide and timetable
In the online study guide you will find information about the content of your courses, method of assessment and which literature you need. Here you will also find the Teaching and Examination Regulations of your study programme. The timetable of your study programme can be found at rooster.vu.nl.

Useful app
On the VU Student app you'll find a link to the timetable, the study guide, your VU email and all sorts of other handy shortcuts. Download the app for iPhone or Android.

Books
In the course descriptions in the Study Guide you will find the literature you need for the first courses of the year. You will receive more information about the other literature you need during the first lecture and in Canvas. You can buy all the literature you need online at the VU Bookstore.

Exemptions
If you think you might be eligible for one or more exemptions, based, for example, on your prior education, please submit a request well in advance of commencing the course in question to the Examination Board for your programme. You can do this via VUnet.

Good marks
Earning good marks is perhaps the most useful way of distinguishing yourself. It will not only help you to develop academically, but will also bring you additional opportunities. Students with good grades are allowed to take part in the Honours Programme, for example. If you complete the programme successfully (by earning 30 credits), your achievement will be indicated on your degree certificate. Research Master's programmes often select applicants on the basis of the grades they obtain during the Bachelor’s programme.

Dutch Grading System
International students may find that the Dutch grading system is different from their own. To help set your expectations of the Dutch system, here you'll find a short explanation.

Extra courses
If you want to take additional courses alongside your required courses, you can register for ‘extra-curricular courses’. Naturally, you must meet the entry requirements for the course. Please see the course descriptions in the study guide for specifics.

If you take an extra course that is not part of your programme and you wish to add it to your own programme, then you apply to the Examination Board for permission. If you take that extra course at another educational institution, you are responsible for ensuring that the results and credits are forwarded to VU Amsterdam, so that the results can be entered into your file.

High-level athletes and forms of outstanding performance
If you participate in top-level sports or other high-level activities, you may have difficulty combining these with a busy degree programme. For that reason, VU Amsterdam has a High Achievers Scheme (in Dutch) for students who are involved with these kinds of extra-curricular activities in the areas of sports or culture. The scheme includes financial assistance in the event of delays to study progress and features that can help to reduce such delays.

In addition to your studies, you can become a member of our study association Voetius (in Dutch) or enjoy the cultural, sporting and social activities offered by VU Amsterdam. More information can be found on the page Extracurricular activities.

Your opinion matters
Would you like to have a say in matters relating to education? Then joining a committee is something for you. More information can be found on the page of the Faculty Student Council (in Dutch).

The International Office will inform all international students by e-mail how to arrange practical matters after you arrive in Amsterdam.

VU Introduction Days
All students can sign up for the VU Introduction Days from Monday 24 to Wednesday 26 August! Participation this year is free and highly recommended! This year's introduction is online. A number of activities, such as the welcome by your study programme and the provision of information by our Academic Advisors (on Monday 24 and Tuesday 25 August) are indispensable for a good start to your study programme! It is very important that you don’t miss this, so keep these days free and write them down in your agenda! 

This year's introduction is via Canvas. Don't forget to sign up for the VU introduction days! Then you will have access to all parts of the programme.

Opening Academic Year
The opening of the faculty academic year will take place on Monday morning 31 August. This event is organized together with the Protestantse Theologische Universiteit (PThU). Put this date in your agenda!