A variety of scholarship programmes exist for international Master’s students. These are the ones most commonly awarded to our students.

Scholarships offered by VU Amsterdam

The VU Fellowship Programme (VUFP) offers talented prospective international students the unique opportunity to pursue a Master’s degree at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam has committed to providing approximately 1 million euro towards attracting highly motivated and excellent students.

All VUFP applications received by 1 February 2017 will be reviewed by the faculty of the Master’s programme applied for. Faculties then nominate applicants to the central scholarship committee, which subsequently awards scholarships to the most talented students. The award is based on the motivation letter, the quality of previous education and the student's academic performance therein. A scholarship offer will be made to successful candidates.

Eligible candidates
The VU Fellowship Programme (VUFP) is a Merit scholarship programme for strongly motivated students with excellent study results. Eligible candidates must be able to prove their academic excellence, and they must be admitted to an English-taught Master’s degree at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. Students with the Dutch nationality and/or a Dutch degree (given that the Dutch degree is used for admission) are not eligible for admission. Students following a one-year Master’s programme may not apply for the VUFP scholarship for a second year. Students already enrolled in a two-year Master’s programme who have not been awarded the VUFP scholarship in 2016/2017 are not eligible to apply for the VUFP scholarship 2017/2018. Only when a student was granted a scholarship from the beginning, then the scholarship can be extended if he/she achieved 100% of the credits of the first year. The Faculty VUFP committee will be asked to demonstrate to the Central VUFP committee that these credits have indeed been achieved.

One VUFP scholarship will be reserved for an applicant who previously completed a semester or full academic year abroad at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam via the Semester in Amsterdam program and is now applying for a full time Master's programme at VU Amsterdam. The application process for Semester in Amsterdam alumni is the same as applying for a VUFP scholarship, but if you are applying as a Semester in Amsterdam alumnus or alumna then you must also email to inform the staff that you applied via VUnet for a VUFP scholarship and indicate in your motivation letter that you previously completed a semester or full academic year at VU Amsterdam via the Semester in Amsterdam program. Students who are not selected for the scholarship reserved for Semester in Amsterdam alumni can still be considered for a normal VUFP scholarship.

Scholarships amounts
The VUFP scholarship is a tuition fee waiver. VUFP scholarship does not provide any additional allowance towards study or living costs.

Application procedure
1. Register for Master’s programme     

Students register for a Master's programme in Studielink and after that in the VUnet portal. Here you can find more information on how to apply for one of our English taught Master's programmes. Please note that you must have applied for the Master programme before you can apply for the VUFP scholarship.
Deadline: 1 February 2017.

2. Submit VUFP application

Submit your VUFP application  in VUnet. 
Deadline: 1 February 2017

For VUFP application 3 documents are required:

            A. Proof of excellence/ GPA
 Students who apply for a VU Fellowship Programme need to have a GPA of at least 80% of the highest possible mark  (calculated over full previous degree). For example, if the highest possible mark is a 10, you need to have an average of at least an 8.
 Excellence in previous education is proven if the grade point average achieved is at least the equivalent of the Dutch grade of an 8.0  on the Dutch grading scale 1 – 10. The VUFP  Scholarship Committee will decide on the local grade equivalents for the Dutch grade of an 8.0 using the grade information included in the NUFFIC country modules.

           B. Motivation Letter
 We would like to know your motivation for the VU Fellowship Programme. Why do you think you deserve to receive a VUFP scholarship?
 Topics that are reviewed in the motivation letter are the following:

• Why do you want to study this specific programme?
• What are your future perspectives?
• Why do you deserve the VUFP scholarship?

Do not hesitate to mention other motivations as well, we like own initiative!

           C. Curriculum Vitae (CV)
 We strongly recommend the use of the Europass format.

3. Decision

The Central VUFP Committee decides which students will be offered a VUFP scholarship. The Committee makes a merit based selection.

4. Results

All students will receive an e-mail/ notification informing them of the Central scholarships  Committee's decision concerning their application.
 Expected date:  1 April 2017 (8 weeks after the deadline).

5. Acceptance of VUFP or HSP offer

Selected candidates  accept/ decline the VUFP offer in VUnet. Deadline: 15 April 2017 (2 weeks after the results are published).

Conditions VUFP Scholarship Programme

Current VUFP scholars
VUFP scholars enrolled in a two years Master’s programme do not need to re-apply for the VUFP scholarship for the second year. The VUFP scholar will be nominated for a second year provided that he or she has obtained at least 80% of all ECTS. VUFP candidates will receive an e-mail from the Central Scholarships Committee on or around 1 July 2017 confirming the extension of the VUFP scholarship. Students who have not achieved sufficient study results will be informed that they will not be offered the VUFP scholarship for the next academic year, unless there are clear reasons why the results were lower than average.

Complaint procedure
An interested party that does not agree with the decision of the scholarship committee, may file a written complaint to Complaints regarding the application procedure (not the results!) should be addressed to the student ombudsman by e-mail and must include:

• Your name and full address.
• Details of the selection procedure that you do not agree with.
• The grounds for complaint: why are you unable to accept the selection procedure?
• Date and signature.

For pressing questions regarding the VUFP scholarship, please email:

HSP logo

The Holland Scholarship Programme (HSP) is financed by the Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science, Dutch research universities, and universities of applied sciences. Students eligible for this scholarship are students from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) who are applying for a Master’s programme in the Netherlands. Students from Suriname and Switzerland are not eligible to apply for the HSP scholarship.

Scholarship amount
The scholarship amounts to € 5,000. You will receive this in the first year of your studies.

Application criteria

  • You hold a non-EEA nationality that is not Surinamese or Swiss.
  • You are applying for a full-time English taught Master’s programme at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.
  • The degree with which you are seeking admission has not been obtained in the Netherlands.
  • You need to have applied for VUFP. We will only award HSP scholarships to recipients of the VU Fellowship Programme.
  • We select excellent students who contribute to the diversity at our campus.

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam embraces diversity as an enrichment to our teaching, research and our contribution to society. Furthermore, we aim to prepare our students for a global and diverse society and workplace. Before applying for the Holland Scholarship Programme (HSP), you need to apply for a Master’s programme at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. You can apply for the scholarship until 1 February 2017. We will contact you about the outcome of the selection procedure no later than 1 April 2017. Please note that you must have applied for the Master’s programme before you can apply for the HSP scholarship. Both applications must be complete and submitted before the deadline of 1 February 2017.

Application procedure
1. Register for Master’s programme    

Students register for a Master's programme in Studielink and after that in the VUnet portal. Here you can find more information on how to applyfor one of our English-taught Master's programmes. Please note that you must have applied for the Master programme before you can apply for the HSP scholarship.
Deadline: 1 February 2017

2. Submit HSP application
Submit your HSP application in VUnet.
Deadline: 1 February 2017

For HSP application 3 documents are required:

    A. Proof of excellence/ GPA       
Students who apply for a HSP scholarship need to have a GPA of at least 80% of the highest possible mark (calculated over full previous degree). For example, if the highest possible mark is a 10, you need to have an average of at least a 8.
Excellence in previous education is proven if the grade point average achieved is at least the equivalent of the Dutch grade of 8.0 on the Dutch grading scale 1 – 10. The HSP  Scholarship Committee will decide on the local grade equivalents for the Dutch grade of 8.0 using  the grade information included in the NUFFIC country modules.

    B. Motivation letter       
Write a personal statement in which you reflect on your own identity. You may refer to your experiences in both international and local settings in the motivation letter. For the purpose of this scholarship, diversity includes (but is not limited to) ethnic, religious, gender, socioeconomic, sexual and cultural diversity. In this statement please reflect on how your identity has contributed to your academic interests and performance, and your involvement with diversity issues. Include how your identity has evolved by going through different experiences with diversity issues and your interaction with diverse groups or individuals (max 500 words).

    C. Curriculum Vitae (CV)
We strongly recommend the use of the Europass format. The following three points must reflect on your CV to proof that you are an added value for diversity on our campus:

1. Describe your experiences with interacting in an intercultural setting. In your description, point out how you have developed intercultural competences (such as intercultural sensitivity, intercultural communication skills etc.) through these experiences. This can be both in local and international contexts

2. Give an example of how you have been involved with social justice issues. This includes, for example, the empowerment of marginalized groups, diversity education, different forms of activism and advocacy etc. Elaborate on your motivation for this involvement and the results that you have accomplished.

3. Elaborate on your current or previous commitment to service in your community, your motivation for commitment and how this has impacted the persons you work with. Reflect on your personal understanding of community service.

3. Decision
The Central HSP Committee decides which students will be offered a HSP scholarship.

4. Results
All students will receive an e-mail/notification informing them of the Central Scholarships Committee's decision concerning their application.
Expected date: 1 April 2017 (8 weeks after the deadline).

5. Acceptance of HSP offer
Selected candidates accept/decline the HSP offer in VUnet.
Deadline: 15 April 2017 (2 weeks after the results are published).

Conditions Holland Scholarship Programme

For any further questions please contact us through:

The VU Fellowship programme sponsors the Orange Tulip Scholarship programme. It is now possible for excellent students from Brazil, China, Indonesia, South-Korea, and Russia to apply for this highly selective VUFP / OTS scholarship.

OTS scholarship is a tuition fee waiver. This scholarship does not offer any additional allowance towards living costs.

    • Brazil (two scholarships available)
    • China (two scholarships available)
    • Indonesia (two scholarships available)
    • South-Korea (two scholarships available)
    • Russia (two scholarships available)

1 February 2017

Fields of study
Eligible candidates should be admitted to one of English taught Master degree programmes at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.

Application procedure
Students apply for the specific OTS programme (Brasil, China, Indonesia, South-Korea, Russia). Please see the specific NESO website:  

     NESO Brazil 
     NESO China  
     NESO Indonesia
     NESO Russia
     NESO South-Korea

• Students can also apply separately for a ‘regular’ VUFP scholarship. Deadline for the OTS is the same as the regular deadline for VUFP scholarship: 1 February 2017.
• OTS will make the selection for the OTS candidates.
• OTS will send their selection before March 1 to the central VUFP scholarship committee
• The central scholarship committee will confirm the OTS selection
• OTS nominees will be excluded from the ‘regular’ VUFP scholarship

Only students from the U.S. can apply for the Fulbright scholarship. U.S. students currently residing in the Netherlands will not be considered for any awards to The Netherlands. Also, U.S. students with both U.S. and Dutch citizenship are excluded.

Institution profile
Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam is ranked among Europe’s top research universities and provides an internationally oriented community in which students can develop their full potential. A high level of ambition characterizes research and education at this university. Free and open communication of ideas, strongly oriented toward people and society, are encouraged. The university seeks renewal, using the strength of the variety of academic disciplines, nationalities, ideologies and social convictions that exist in the environment.

VU Amsterdam offers a competitive range of research and academic graduate programs, covering all major academic disciplines. The university is located in one of the most dynamic and fast-growing business districts in The Netherlands in which employees with an international background are widely appreciated. Amsterdam is the most culturally diverse city in the world, boasting 179 different nationalities, where English is widely spoken.

Some knowledge of Dutch is useful at the time of arrival in The Netherlands, but not mandatory. The grants are available only for Master’s programmes taught in English.

Grant period
12 months, starting September 1.

Candidate profile
Applicants must have strong motivation and excellent study results. Candidates must be admitted (at the time of application or later during the selection process for the Fulbright grant) to English taught Master’s degree programs at VU Amsterdam.

Grant benefits
The grant will be paid in 12 monthly installments of € 1.100. International travel will be reimbursed to a maximum of € 900. The cost of the residence permit (approximately € 350) will be covered as well. An extra allowance of € 550 will be paid at arrival and can be used to cover the cost of the tuition fee or the costs of settling in. Tuition fees are not waived, but differ per program.

No dependent allowance is available.

Application procedure
Apply for the Fulbright grant by the deadline of 11 October 2016 for the academic year 2017-2018. Here you can find more information on how to apply.

After the application for Fulbright grant the students prepare their application for the VU application and submit this before 15 January at the latest (even though the VU Amsterdam deadline might be later). 

The Fulbright Commission and the VU programs in the Netherlands will make their decision, and once both decisions have been taken, the student will be informed, usually in March or April.

For further information about the Fulbright grant, please contact Ms. Linda Pietersen - For more information about the programs of VU Amsterdam contact

Homepage Fulbright Center (Dutch)   

Homepage Fulbright Student Programme

Other scholarship options

The STUNED Scholarship Programme is open for professionals from Indonesia who have completed a Bachelor's programme (S1). It is aimed in particular at teacher-educators, government officials (central and regional), NGO employees and journalists. The programme gives priority to candidates from outside Java and takes account of gender equality. However, strongly motivated candidates from all other sectors including the private sector are encouraged to apply. PhD students are not eligible for grants under this programme. STUNED Scholarship Programme
Funding for Indonesian students who wish to pursue a master-, or PhD degree through the LPDP programme (Indonesia Endowment Fund of Education). 
Indonesia Endowment Fund of Education (LPDP) 

The aim of the NFP
The Netherlands Fellowship Program (NFP) promote capacity building within organizations in 51 countries by providing fellowships for training and education for professionals. The NFP is initiated and fully funded by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs from the budget for development cooperation.

The NFP aims to help increase both the number and the competencies of skilled staff at a wide range of government and non-government organizations.
Each embassy has its own focus area to support the development goals of the Netherlands in each NFP country. The overall objective is to spend 35% of the budget on grants and study programmes in food security and private sector development.
The fellowships are further prioritized as follows:

    - 50% of the budget is for applications from Sub Saharan Africa. 
    - 50% of fellowships has to be awarded to female applicants

Find all information on the NFP Website.

Overview of NFP Masters.

Application procedure in relation to a Master's programme
Step 1
:    Apply for academic admission directly at by going through the application steps.

Your admission must be unconditional in terms of your education and language proficiency. Conditional admission may be granted only subject to you finding suitable funding for the programme. You are strongly advised to seek academic admission as early as possible to allow the institution to process your application in time (please note the Faculty’s Admission Board needs four to six weeks to decide upon your admission).


Step 2:    Apply for the NFP Master scholarship via Atlas

Deadline for the application via Atlas is 15 March 2017.

Apply for the NFP Master scholarship via Atlas, the online application tool for NFP scholarships.
In Atlas you will have to answer these three questions:
- What is the issue you want to address in your country?
- How will this course enable you to address this issue?
- How will you address this issue with your position in your organization?

You will need to upload the following documents in Atlas. Each uploaded document should be prepared in PDF format and not exceed 2MB:

- Copy passport
- Employer’s statement (hyperlink maken)
- Admission letter from VU Amsterdam
- Government statement that meets the requirements of the country in which the employer is established (if applicable)

Step 3:    Outcome Atlas  
The decision on the NFP Master scholarship application will be communicated via Atlas.

Student Loan Programmes

The William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program of the U.S. Department of Education (ED) offers federal student loans for eligible students from the U.S. to help cover the cost of higher education. Eligible students borrow directly from the ED at participating schools. 

As a foreign school, VU Amsterdam has participated in the Direct Loan Program for several years and will continue its participation in the program as an eligible school for the academic year 2016-2017.

US Loans Guide
In the information guide for US loans you can find information about the following topics:

    - General information about direct loans
    - Applying for financial aid
    - Application procedures
    - Financial information
    - Procedures at VU Amsterdam
    - SAP, brief description
    - Exit counseling
    - In School Deferment Request
    - Refund policy
    - Alcohol and drugs

US Loans Guide

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)
All students applying for or receiving US Federal Aid (subsidized, unsubsidized and PLUS) must progress satisfactory towards completion of the study programme at VU Amsterdam to remain eligible for federal financial aid. You can find detailed information in the following document.

SAP document

Questionnaire VU
To start the loan application, please complete the questionnaire and mail the form to

Step 1: Questionnaire

NB: Vrije Universiteit does not receive any automatic messages from the United States telling us that you have applied or re-applied for a Direct Loan. If you would like to take out a loan, you therefore have to mail us the questionnaire after making your loan application in the FAFSA system. Only then can we start the origination process of the loan on our side.

The deadline for students who would like to apply for a Direct Loan for the academic year 2016-2017 is 1 July, 2016.

VU Amsterdam
International Office / US Loan Team
De Boelelaan 1105
NL-1081 HV Amsterdam

For additional information on U.S. federal loans, please visit the Direct Loans website of the U.S. Department of Education.

SallieMae is a loan provider in the US, who offers private loans to US students to cover their costs for their study period abroad. Only students with the American nationality will be eligible for this type of loan. The loan is meant to finance your stay at VU Amsterdam (VU) and could cover your tuition fee, room and board, etc.

All degree programmes offered at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (Bachelor, Master, LL.M, Research Master).

Application procedure VU
Step 1: apply online for the study programme:
Step 2: Only if you are (conditionally) admitted to the study programme: send an email to and indicate that you want to apply / have applied for a SallieMae loan so that we can finalize the loan procedure.

Deadlines VU
Deadline for submitting the application for the study programme: 1 April
Deadline for informing the International Office by email of application to SallyMae: 1 July

Application procedure SallieMae
Apply online for the loan:
Our School code for this programme is: 008376-00

Contact person VU: Henny Smit:

Important notes
• Please read the procedure of VU Amsterdam carefully.
• Students are always fully responsible for the repayment of their loans to SallieMae.
• The loan period only covers for 1 year, which means that if you are participating in a study programme which takes longer than 1 academic year, you will have to submit a loan application for the following year. 

• The loan will be disbursed in 1 – 4 terms (depending on the length of the study programme and amount certified). 

• SallieMae has the final decision on the approval / denial of your loan application. One of the requirements for being granted a residence permit in the Netherlands is that students must submit proof that they have sufficient financial means to finance their study period in the Netherlands. VU advises a budget, not including the tuition fee, of approx. €10,000 to €15,000 per year to cover the costs for rent, insurance, living expenses, course books and local transportation. How much money students actually spend will of course depend on their life style and spending habits
• Private loan applications with Sallie Mae must not exceed 180 days between the application date and disbursement date. Therefore for loan applications for the new academic year (which will normally have an earliest disbursement date of 1 October), do not make an application to Sallie Mae any earlier than 1 May.
• If your private loan is approved before September, you can expect the check to arrive in the first weeks of October. Students are therefore strongly advised to have extra funding to cover for their costs for at least the period mid-August - October. Also, if you have applied for accommodation via VU, you must pay the rent of three months before you arrive in Amsterdam.
• You are kindly advised to set up an installment agreement for the payment of the tuition fee. For information see:

The student is responsible for submitting a complete application, according to the steps described above before the aforementioned deadline. VU Amsterdam cannot be held responsible for late and/or incomplete applications.

Scholarship search tips

  • The Netherlands Student Grantfinder website is a search engine for students who want to study in the Netherlands and are looking for sources of funding for their studies. Grantfinder is easy to use and contains information on a range of Dutch scholarships for foreign students.
  • The Study in Holland website also contains information on grant possibilities.
  • Scholarships to obtain a PhD degree.