Interdisciplinary Studies Available Sessions
Get a Flight Credit worth up to $500 when you apply with code* by May 5, 2023
About the Program
If you are undecided about your major or career path or if you are interested in exploring a totally new subject from multiple perspectives, the Interdisciplinary Studies program is for you! All courses are taught in English at VU Amsterdam and use interdisciplinary perspectives, welcoming students from any academic background. Many courses incorporate experiential learning activities that enhance your study program as they take you into the city. Fall semester students will enroll in a specific Program Track of 4 courses related to one theme, or ‘Minor Programme’ as it is called by VU Amsterdam. Summer students take one themed course at a time.
- 8/19/23 - 12/23/23
- 12 - 15
- Apply by:
- Withdraw by:
- Application Requirements
- Transcript - Unofficial
- $95 Online Application Fee
- Complete Application
- Education Completed:
- 1 Year of College completed prior to program start
- Minimum GPA:
- Course Prerequisites:
- Some courses may have prerequisites.
You’ll enroll in one thematic Program Track from the offerings in Interdisciplinary Studies. The semester is divided into block periods. Block periods are each 8 weeks, with 7 weeks of classes and 1 week of exams. You will take two pre-determined classes during Period 1 and two pre-determined classes during Period 2. Be sure to check pre-requisite requirements listed in the course descriptions to check you are eligible for the program you wish to join. See the program tracks available in the drop-down below.
You will receive a transcript with 4 courses, equal to 12 US credits. You may also choose to add on a Dutch Culture course, for 3 US credits, which runs during the evenings and wont conflict with your other classes. If you choose to add the Dutch Culture elective you will take 5 courses for 15 credits. Courses are generally awarded 6 ECTS credits, which transfer to 3 US Credits per course.
Classes generally meet Monday – Friday. Active learning components required by courses may be scheduled any day of the week. Classes are not necessarily offered on the same day each week.
Prior to departure, you will indicate your preferred thematic Program Track and one alternative Program Track should the first be unavailable. It is in your best interest to have another alternative Track approved by your home university prior to your departure due to course availabilities. Please consult with your academic advisor at your home university on credit pre-approval guidelines. Registration for all classes will take place before you arrive on campus, so you will have your finalized schedule in place early.
Academic accommodations are available at VU Amsterdam for students who provide documentation from a psychologist or health care provider. Policies at VU may differ from those available at your home university. Please contact CEA directly if you will be applying for academic accommodation so that we can connect you with the correct application procedures.
American Studies Track Course Structure
The host institution has offered the following courses in the past. Please note that course listings may not be finalized until the start of the term; we’ll post an updated list when the host institution finalizes its offerings.
*Courses with an asterisk indicate that the course has been associated with multiple subject areas.
Please click on the course title to view additional subject areas and detailed course information.
Get out and explore! Excursions are offered for most semester, year, and summer programs*. Semester students are typically offered between two to three excursions and summer study students are typically offered between one to two excursions. You'll receive a calendar of excursions during orientation; here are a few day and overnight excursions we've offered in the past.
Located in the center of the Netherlands, Utrecht is the capital city of the country’s second smallest province. As a long-time religious center, this is the perfect place to explore a medieval town, canals, cathedrals, museums of religious art, and a monastery. Waiting outside the city center is a fantastical castle with an actual moat and extensive landscaped grounds just waiting to be explored.
You can’t visit the Netherlands without taking a trip just outside Amsterdam to the city of Haarlem. While it used to be a major trading port, this city remains famous as the center of the flower-growing district. Feast your eyes on the fields upon fields of tulips, the incredible art museums, and the old defensive city wall. Music lovers can’t miss visiting an organ played by Handel and Mozart, and history buffs will need to check out a museum which preserves a hiding place for Jews in World War II.
This city situated in the Dutch province of South Holland is known for the oldest university in the country. Leiden University was founded in 1575, and is home to the famous Leiden Botanical Garden, where the tulip was first introduced to Western Europe. This city has a wealth of museums, classic windmills, gothic Churches, and an old fort from the 11th century to experience.
Travel down to the southernmost tip of the Netherlands to explore the city of Maastricht. Walk down the cobblestone streets of this medieval town and take in the vibrant, student-centric cultural scene. From boutique shops to incredible restaurants, from imposing gothic architecture to an 18th century military fort and World War II era network of caves, this city has a lot to offer. With fascinating influences from neighboring Germany and Belgium, this city will give you a broader European experience.
This budget contains costs that you can take to your financial aid office. Please note that amounts may fluctuate; we’ve included a range of costs.
Federal law allows the use of financial aid to cover “reasonable” costs of study abroad including round-trip transportation, tuition and fees for the program, living costs, passport and visa fees, health insurance, and more.
Please note that all costs and charges listed below are subject to change without notice. With the exception of Program Price, all costs are estimates and may vary.
Below is a tentative itinerary for your program. Please note, dates and events below may change without prior notification. Contact CEA before purchasing airline tickets.
You will receive a finalized itinerary once you arrive onsite.
Note: Additional cultural activities/excursions or required course-related activities may be incorporated into your final itinerary. You are advised not to make personal travel arrangements until you have the final dates.