University of Amsterdam
Currently ranked as one of the top universities in Europe, the University of Amsterdam (UvA) is #57 worldwide, and is known for its English-taught degree programs in Communications, Linguistics, Sociology and the Humanities (QS 2019).
Dating back to 1632, UvA provides an ideal environment for academic study for its 31,000 students. As the capital city of the Netherlands, Amsterdam's population of about 800,000 inhabitants enjoy living amidst the history of its charming grachtenpanden and canal waterways that run through this "Venice of the North". The city's extensive public transport system offers convenient travel options, but it's recommended to explore the city by bike - discovering places no cars, buses or trams can take you.
University-specific additional requirements
One academic reference required - see the Eligibility section below.
Open November 1, 2021
Areas of Study: UVA offers a wide selection of programs including Actuarial Science, Anthropology, Archaeology, Art, Asian Studies, Astronomy, Business, Development Studies, Dutch Studies, Economics, European Studies, Film Studies, Geography, Gender Studies (within Poli Sci), History, International Relations, Journalism, Law, Literature, Media & Communication Studies, Philosophy, Political Science, Religious Studies, Software Engineering, Sports Psychology, Sustainability Studies (Future Planet Studies), Urban Studies, Water Management, and more.
Course listings can be found under each faculty's website. To find courses you should first download the Courses and Faculty Criteria Guide for information before starting your search, as courses primarily must be taken from one faculty.
In Europe, full-time course load is typically 30 ECTS (European credits) per semester, and exchange students at UvA are typically expected to take 30 credits per semester. 6 ECTS = 3 UCalgary units (1 half-course).
The amount of credits each course is worth corresponds to the workload/contact hours, and can vary from 1-30 ECTS per course, so please be mindful of this in your selection.
Please note that in the Netherlands, approx. 75% of your courses should be taken within the same faculty, with the other 25% either within that same faculty or one other faculty, if you meet the prerequisites. Please note which Faculty you plan to take the majority of your courses from in the Course Selection field of your online application. At UvA, only Law students or students that have completed their undergrad are eligible to take Master/Graduate level courses.
For more information on the pre-semester language course and semester language course, please see the FAQs.
Please talk with your academic advisor about which courses work for your degree.
The academic year is divided into 2 semesters. Each semester is comprised of 3 blocks - two 8 week blocks, and a 4 week one.
- First semester runs from late August to late January. It is possible for UCalgary Law students to complete the first semester in December, as well as any students taking a full time course load in the first block of each semester (however housing contracts must be paid through the full semester as they are not able to be reduced/shortened), but all other students must stay through January.
- Second semester runs from early February to late June.
For a list of holidays/days off, please consult: www.uva.nl/exchange > on exchange at UvA > Academic calendar (in sidebar)
Please Note: Dutch visa/permit applications for those not eligible for Dutch Working Holiday Permits may require travel to the Vancouver consulate to submit the documentation and take biometrics as needed within 3 months of departure to the Netherlands, so students may not have access to their passports during that time.
Exchange students pay their tuition and academic fees to the University of Calgary. Other expenses are paid directly to the service provider. Also, remember to include things like visas, insurance, vaccinations, etc. in your budget planning.
It is recommended that students budget around €900-€1400 per month to pay for accommodation and living expenses. Additional financial information can be found online.
Semester Cost (Euros)
Year Cost (Euros)
Permit or Visa
Housing App Fee
Housing Admin Fee
400-500 per month
400-500 per month
75 per month
75 per month
70 per month
70 per month
100 (used, w lock)
100 (used, w lock)
50 per month
50 per month
6195 - 8165
11,355 - 15,025
Price Est. Per Month
Please Note: Dutch visa/permit applications for those not eligible for Dutch Working Holiday Permits may require travel to the Vancouver consulate to submit the documentation and take biometrics as needed. Please check with your host university advisor once accepted regarding study visa/permit options, requirements, timelines, and costs. More info from Study in Holland.
Did you know that you can take your UCalgary funding with you on exchange?
Since you remain a degree seeking student at UCalgary while on exchange you remain eligible for any awards and scholarships you are eligible to receive from the university as well as student loans.
Our office administers the International Study Travel Grant for students travelling on approved UCalgary study programs that are credit bearing. The amount changes year to year as the money is split evenly between qualified applicants. Students may only receive the study travel grant once. Please see the exchange funding page for more information.
For more information on student housing click here. Housing is all off-campus and is typically either shared or private student flats, depending on whether living closer in the city or in the residential outskirts. Room types may include shared rooms, private rooms with shared facilities, and/or private rooms with private facilities.
Rent will vary but can be expected to fall around €2000 to €3200 per semester, depending on room type. Housing application fees vary but for 1 semester: €265 (early birds) / €315 (regular), and for full year exchanges: €450 (early birds) / €525 (regular).
Contract periods for student housing are fixed for the duration of the signed lease agreement and run for almost the entire semester. In rare cases students will be asked to move out before the end of the semester (due to cleaning purposes for the next semester). If needed, students will be offered appropriate accommodation. Please note that it is not possible to shorten the contract if you decide to arrive late, or leave early before the end of the term.
UvA also provides advice for students who want to arrange their own housing on the private market.
This exchange is open to regular, full-time students in any faculty at UCalgary, who have completed at least 2 full years (20 courses) at the post-secondary level, with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 (B). They must also have a relevant academic background in the proposed field of study (explained in the Courses and Faculty criteria).
An academic reference is required for a complete application.
Do I have to speak Dutch?
UvA offers many courses in English and so no prior knowledge of Dutch is required for this exchange.
Is there a pre-semester Dutch language program?
Each semester the Institute for Dutch Language Education (INTT) at the UvA offers intensive Dutch courses (non‐credit bearing) at a variety of levels, from absolute beginner to more advanced courses. While the course is not required, it is strongly recommended, and thus exchange students may apply for a reimbursement of the full €290 program cost upon completion of the course. Applications for the course go through the Office of International Student Affairs. The application form can be found on the INTT website.
Additionally, each semester the Faculty of Humanities and INTT offer a combined course (Netherlands 1 or 2), consisting of a Dutch language component and a culture and society component. The combined course is worth 12 ECTS (European Credits - 2 UCalgary half courses). The Dutch language component is not offered without the culture and society component. However, the Dutch Culture and Society component is offered separately in a 6 ECTS course. Registration for these two courses is handled by the academic advisor of your UvA host department once you have been admitted to UvA (not using the INTT application form).
What resources are available to new students?
UVA publishes an online magazine called "Start" with plenty of information on Dutch life for incoming students.
The local International Student Network, ISN Amsterdam, organizes a range of events and trips throughout the semester, including an introduction week, Dutch buddies, cultural sharing activities, and more.
What supports or services are available at Amsterdam?
UVA provides comprehensive support to students with disabilities. For information on accessibility of campuses across Europe, ESN has created "MappEd!" which allows you to check the accessibility of universities and cities across Europe. For city-specific services and places in Europe, the Jaccede interactive platform (website and/or smartphone app - both Android and iOS) also provides a searchable user-built database to identify important accessibility information of public places and locations.
Global Learning 101
Please watch this short YouTube playlist before reaching out or booking an appointment.
Before applying to study abroad, you should ask your academic advisor how an exchange might align with your degree (e.g. best time to go, what courses you need).
After you are accepted, you should ask your academic advisor more specific questions about courses/transfer credits. It’s also recommended to follow up with your advisor again once you return to Calgary.
Study Abroad Advising
If you have questions about this exchange program, you can meet with the specific advisor for this program by booking an appointment through the link below. Appointments are currently on zoom.
1. Select “Book an Appointment”
2. Select “Study Abroad Appointments”
3. Select “Book by Appointment Type”
4. Read through the list of appointment types to select the most appropriate type and view available times.
How to Apply
Download the application guide
This PDF contains information on how to complete your application and what to do after you have applied.
Identify three programs of interest
We recommend applying for your top three programs for the priority application deadline, as placement may be competitive. We will assess your applications in ranked order.
Check requirements and deadlines
These may vary by program, so check the individual program pages and make sure that you are aware of any different application deadlines or eligibility requirements.
Start your application
Once you have gathered everything you need, you can begin your application!
Please note: Applications will not be considered complete until all required documents are submitted in full.
International travel presents challenges that may not be found when attending classes on campus. There may be a lack of resources, emergency services, hospitals, accessibility issues and/or demands on the physical and the mental self, all of which can challenge individuals when away from their usual support systems and structures. Adequate preparation is essential.
For this reason, it is imperative that you evaluate all aspects of your own physical, psychological, emotional and spiritual condition against the rigors of the particular study abroad program you are selecting. If you are unsure of whether or not this program is a good fit for you and/or if you have any circumstances that could impede your enjoyment of the program, please contact us. Our Study Abroad Team will be happy to assist in finding the best options for you and arrange any supports or accommodations necessary to ensure your success.
Please note if you have or are seeking a certificate from Student Accessibility Services, you should provide this early to your Study Abroad Advisor to ensure that the option that you are seeking can support your needs.