First, it is important to have a clear picture of where you want to go, with what purpose and what study you would like to do. Start your orientation well in advance. A good start is half the battle. Here a number of tools will help you to make a well-informed choice for one of the universities in the Global Exchange Programme.

List of destinations

Digital World Map

First, it is important to have a clear picture of where you want to go, with what purpose and what study you would like to do. Start your orientation well in advance. A good start is half the battle. Here a number of tools will help you to make a well-informed choice for one of the universities in the Global Exchange Programme.

  • Application open for: the level of study, either bachelor or master courses.
  • Possible Study Areas: the study programme/departments that are open to UvA exchange students as well as restrictions that might apply for certain areas.
  • Academic Calendar: an indication of the semester period at the host university. Please note! Please use the UvA academic calendar indication for your online application. For example, if you apply for an exchange at University of Auckland from July to November (their session 2 or second semester), you should apply for a first semester exchange (i.e. the UvA semester) in our online application system.
  • Credit & Grading: an explanation of a full-time course load. Compare this with the ECTS system to convert the number of credits you should obtain.
  • Language of Instruction: the medium of instruction during courses and the language requirements for exchange students. It is not necessary to sign up for a language test yet. If you will officially be nominated, you will receive instructions to take a language test.
  • Accommodation: the housing options and the possible assistance the host university offers in arranging accommodation.
  • Costs: the estimated expenses as indicated by former exchange students.
  • Important websites: visit the website of the international office for elaborate information about the exchange programme.

Make a choice

Research and compare

Consult the digital world map to explore your options. Below you will find some things you should keep in mind if you want to go on exchange. If you found a suitable destination, you are ready for the next step: starting the online application. Have you read all the information and you still have questions? Please contact the Student Service Desk. In the ‘contact’ menu there is a web form to ask a question and you will find tools for general and complex questions.

Choose courses

Do not contact the partner university

Searching and finding courses can be a difficult task. Until you have been officially nominated for an exchange by International Student Affairs (BIS), you are not supposed to directly contact the host university. All contact with the university should run through BIS.

Finding courses yourself

To find courses you need to search through the website of the partner university by yourself. The Digital World Map will provide a link to the website of the partner university and possible study areas; it may be that some study areas are not open for exchange students.


With the guidelines in the digital world map you can browse the university websites for possible courses. Please note that this is only a wish list of desired courses. The actual course registration will take place after you are indeed nominated for the exchange. Refer to the FAQ for tips on choosing courses, study level, course codes and the recognition of courses.


Studying abroad often costs considerably more than studying in the Netherlands, including travelling costs. Prepare your budget well in time to control your spending. Find the estimated expenses of an exchange in the Digital World Map. Most university websites also provide information about the likely costs of your stay, your visa and so on. Refer to ‘Financial matters’ in the ‘Practical Matters’ menu for information about possibilities to fund your study abroad and preparing a budget.


Since courses abroad are usually offered in English or the language of the host country, it is important to be fluent in this language at an academic level. The Digital World Map specifies the language of instruction and the required proficiency level. Although you may already sign up for a language test, this is not yet necessary. If you will be officially nominated, you will receive instructions how to take a language test.


A number of universities requires students to take an English language proficiency test. However, this is only required after the UvA nominated you for the exchange. Depending on the university you are asked to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS).

  1. TOEFL: This test approximately costs 240 USD and is administered by computer at various locations in the Netherlands. Students are advised to practice, this can be done online.
  2. IELTS: The UvA offers students who are nominated for an exchange the possibility of taking a free IELTS test. The number of places and dates available for this free test is limited. More information about the actual taking of the test will be given after selection.

Spanish, Portuguese

For an exchange in Latin America you are required to have proficiency in the Spanish or Portuguese language at an academic level. English courses are usually not open to exchange students or are very limited. During the selection process it will be assessed what language acquisition you have already obtained and what future activities you will undertake to achieve the Spanish/Portuguese proficiency level needed for exchange. For example:

  • Upload certificates and diplomas of language courses
  • Upload a plan of action (if you do not meet the required language proficiency yet)

 Curious whether you have mastered the required level of Spanish or are you seeking expert advice on learning opportunities to achieve the required level? Please contact the institute for Spanish language and culture, Molinos de Viento, for an intake appointment. The costs for this initial interview are €25.

Exchange Express

The Office of International Student Affairs (BIS) publishes the Exchange Express twice a year; a digital newsletter intended for UvA students who are on exchange and international students studying at the UvA. The newsletter covers several fun stories and photos from students who spend a period abroad. On this page you may download the most recent issues.

Exchange Express - May 2017

Yes, the new Exchange Express has arrived! Read all about The Amsterdam Experience, How to befriend a Dutchie, Lessons from riding a bike, Humans of Amsterdam and much, much more in this brand new May 2017 edition.

And while you're at it, read the other editions as well, all made by Exchange Ambassadors.

Published by  Studenten Services

8 May 2017