University of Amsterdam - Practical Information

The University and
Academic Information:

The University
Academic Highlights
Language and Culture


Cost of Living
Health Insurance
Student Visa


UvA Start Magazine - The best way to get started

This Magazine provides an introduction to the University of Amsterdam for new international students. It will tell you what we have to offer, what organizations and facilities are available to you as a UvA student and what we expect of you while you are here. You will also find practical information about studying at our university and life in the city of Amsterdam. (click on UvA Start)


Prior to every semester the International Student Network Amsterdam (ISN) organises an Introduction Period for all new international students. During the introduction period, apart from lots of fun social activities, you also get information about the University, Amsterdam and Dutch culture. For many international students, the introduction period is the basis of social life in Amsterdam.

Usually the Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday before start of the semester the ISN introduction period will be organised.
For more information: The introduction period is the best opportunity to meet many other international students, as well as Dutch students, because the latter are the group leaders during this week.

There is no campus at the Universiteit van Amsterdam. The university buildings are scattered around the downtown area of Amsterdam.


The university residence halls are located in Amsterdam. Some are situated in the centre of Amsterdam; others are around 20 minutes from the centre by public transport. The rent of the rooms varies according to type, size and location.  The UvA will provide EuroScholar students with a single room in a university residence close to the city and the University. These single rooms have shared facilities (bathroom and kitchen) for a maximum of 4 students and are equipped with a high-speed Internet connection.

Cost of Living

A rough estimate of living costs is as follows:
• Living expenses: €450 - 550 per month
• Insurance: €50 - €100 per month
• Books: €800-1,000 per year
• Public transport: €55 per month maximum (unless you live outside of Amsterdam)

Please note that this is only an indication and that the total amount depends also on one’s spending habits.

Health Insurance

Students are required to have appropriate health insurance for the duration of their stay in Amsterdam. It is also recommended to take out appropriate general third-party insurance (liability insurance). Please check -before you come to the Netherlands- whether your insurance will cover the complete period of your stay abroad.

If the total stay is less than a year, regular healthcare agreements for international students apply. However, it must be clear in advance that the total stay and study is less than a year. If not, a basic healthcare insurance must be chosen at the start of the study period in order not to be fined. For more information please visit:

Visa and Residence Permit

Citizens from one of the European Union Member States, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Iceland, Norway, Finland, Sweden, Austria, USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, or Japan do not need a visa to enter the Netherlands. However, students are advised to check with the Dutch embassy or consulate in their home countries to determine the current regulations since these rules often change.

All other students must apply for a visa called Machtiging tot Voorlopig Verblijf (MVV; Authorisation for Temporary Residence) before coming to the Netherlands. Applications must be made - personally - at the Dutch Embassy or consulate in your home country. Pls. refer to for more detailed information.

If the study period will be longer than three months, a temporary residence permit needs to be applied for. At the desk of the Service & Information Centre at the UvA an appointment can be made for the Immigration Office to apply for the residence permit, upon arrival. Application forms will be available at the Service and Information Centre. Pls. refer to for more detailed information.


Theatre and Music

The UvA has its own cultural organisation, CREA. Crea organizes classes and workshops in the field of theatre, music, dance, visual arts, video, photography and literature. CREA also produces theatre and dance performances, concerts and exhibitions by students. CREA has its own theatre and bar, an auditorium for presentations and parties, and a large number of small and large studios for all sorts of activities. Taking a CREA course or workshop is a great way to meet other students. For more information, please visit:


Chaplains from different denominations are united in the University Chaplaincy. They can help you in dealing with any personal challenge you may encounter. The Chaplaincy organizes religious services, group discussions and weekend outings.

Dining Facilities

There are two large University Restaurants, which offer good and reasonably priced meals. Both restaurants (Atrium and Agora) also have a bar for UvA students.

For an overview of all student facilities, including counselling, computer labs and language courses, please visit: (click on 'Facilities').

Student ID-Cards

Upon arrival you need to go to the Service & Information Centre of the UvA. There your registration will be checked and you will be issued your student identity card.

Computer Access and Email account

Students have free access to computers located at the study centres in the city centre of Amsterdam. Each student receives a user name and password enabling them to log on to any computer.
Every student receives an UvA e-mail address and a free mailbox of 25 MB.


The Library of the UvA is located in a range of buildings all over Amsterdam. Apart from the central UvA Library (UB) at the Singel there are the faculty libraries; consisting of around four million volumes and a large collection of manuscripts.

Students can search for library books online. The Library's Digital Library is the entry point to bibliographic databases, library catalogues, electronic journals, text and image databases, electronic dissertations and a selection of quality websites.

Medical and Dental Care

International students enrolled at the UvA are entitled to use the Student Medical Service free of charge if they are properly insured. In other cases access to the Student Medical Service requires an annual fee or payment per consultation. These fees do not cover the cost of prescriptions. Check with your insurance company on how your medical costs are reimbursed.

Dental care is available at the Academic Centre for Dentistry Amsterdam. Treatment is provided by university dental students who are supervised by qualified dentists. This takes slightly more time but ensures better quality at a lower cost (on average, 65% of the normal charge).

Student Psychologists

Should you experience any personal problems, a lack of motivation or concentration, or suffer from depression, anxiety, psychosomatic complaints or culture shock you may consult the University Psychologist. Consulting the psychologist is free of charge. All psychological consultations are, of course, strictly confidential. The psychologist can find you a therapist who speaks your native language.

Sports and Recreational Facilities

The University Sports Centre (USC) has been the sport centre of the UvA for over 25 years. The main building at De Boelelaan covers more than 5,500 square meters and a number of halls for a range of in- and outdoor activities. Students and staff of the UvA get discounted entry.

The USC furthermore offers a wide range of activities at other sports locations such as salsa dancing, swimming, indoor climbing, and horse riding and so on. (> English)

For an overview of all student facilities, including counselling, computer labs and language courses, please visit:

Amsterdam - General Information

About EuroScholars - Program Details - Universities - Request Information - Apply Now

EuroScholars - - 1-800-980-0033
European Office at Leiden University - Gravensteen, Pieterskerkhof 6 - PO Box 9500, 2300 RA - Leiden, the Netherlands
USA Office - c/o GlobaLinks Learning Abroad - 12050 N. Pecos St, Suite 320 - Westminster, CO 80234 - USA