Short Term Exchange Programme: Bridging Gaps

Are you working on your Bachelor or Master thesis or doing a PhD, and looking to expand your horizons? Or are you studying and looking for a valuable way to connect with another culture in your free time? Our exposure programme might be just the thing for you. Bridging Gaps allows you to come to PThU / Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam in the Netherlands for three months of study and research. The programme is open to students from all around the world.

What is Bridging Gaps?

Culture and context have a big influence on theology. Understanding your own context and that of others is key to being an exceptional theologian. The Bridging Gaps exposure programme is designed to connect theology students from different parts of the world, so that they can experience their contextual differences. You will be staying in Amsterdam and join in personal research and lectures with students from the Netherlands, Asia, Africa, Latin America and Eastern Europe. During the programme, you will focus primarily on text interpretation and on the correlation between theology and context. Aside from your study, you will also participate in Dutch church life, society and culture.

In de media:

Contents of the programme

During the three-month Bridging Gaps programme:

  • You will be conducting personal research under the guidance of one of our academic professors. At the end of your research you are required to write a paper.
  • You will enroll in three separate classes: Class and Context, Usage of the Bible and an elective that matches your research area.
  • You will be introduced to two to four different Dutch churches and participate in Dutch church life.
  • You will be exposed to Dutch society and culture through living in Amsterdam and joining various excursions.

Time frame

Applications for next year’s programme can be submitted from October to January 1st. Bridging Gaps is a three-month programme, which yearly takes place from September to November.

Scholarships options

Worried about finances? We can offer you a full or partial scholarship that covers flight, accommodation, study and living expenses. Our scholarships are mainly provided by Kerk in Actie and VU-Vereniging.

Nadiia, participant 2010

Bridging Gaps - Quote - Nadiia"The Bridging Gaps group was mostly Protestant. It was interesting for me to see how the others practiced their faith. Also, some of the local people I met were agnostic. The conversations with them were very important to me, because they were the first people who ever asked me why I am a Christian. This forced me to think about questions such as “what is my faith?” and “what do I believe in?” These questions were provocative, but very crucial to ask myself."

Darío, participant 2000

Bridging Gaps - Quote - Dario"Getting the opportunity of being a student in an intercultural setting is quite enriching. At that time, I did not have any responsibility for others, even though I am a person who tries to take care of everyone. But that was a time for me to learn, to be a student. I did not have to provide answers. It was just a learning experience. Because it is a learning experience, you allow yourself to live with many questions. You are more open to new things."

Erin, participant 2019

Bridging Gaps - Quote - Erin"At Jakarta Theological Seminary we learned predominantly from books, but Bridging Gaps gave me the opportunity to find out how my theological view translates to real life. Through the Bridging Gaps program I got to know people with other perspectives. At the VU we had classes about the use of the Bible. After these classes, we were with a small group of fellow participants in the kitchen of the Student Hotel. I learned how to tolerate other people’s views and how to express my own view. This was not always easy, but it also taught me a lot."

More information

Do you have questions? Feel free to contact the coordinator of the programme, Kirsten van der Ham, at

Logo Kerk in Actie     Logo VUvereniging