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Would you like to study abroad or get some international experience? You can go on exchange for a semester or summer programme at an AUC partner or through the UvA or VU study abroad networks. Follow the steps below to research your options and apply.

Introduction: student experiences & overview

The options for going abroad, or having an international experience are numerous. If you are ready to put in the work (don't take this lightly) and start planning early, you can make use of this great chance to enrich your AUC curriculum with an experience abroad. 

As an AUC student, you have the following opportunities: 

  1. Semester abroad 
  2. Off-campus (language) courses abroad 
  3. Community project or internship abroad 
  4. Summer programme abroad 

There are different deadlines for each, and different requirements to fulfill, so make sure that you inform yourself before you apply. It is advised to start planning early: inform yourself about possibilities as soon as you can. The best to start preparing for an international experience, is to attend an information session.

Upcoming information sessions

Previous information sessions

Mobility windows

There are possibilities to go abroad for students in each phase of their degree. Who can do what? 

  • 1st year students: can take part in a summer programme, off-campus course or CP/I 
  • 2nd year students: semester abroad (2nd semester), summer programme, off-campus course, CP/I 
  • 3rd year students: semester abroad (1st semester), summer programme, off-campus course, CP/I 

Every first year student is advised to already consider in their first year whether they want to study abroad in their second or in their third year. By planning ahead, you and your tutor can plan your courses accordingly. For a semester-long exchange programme, it is advised that you have as much space for electives as possible, so that you have sufficient free space in your degree to deal with the uncertainty of course availability abroad. A general rule of thumb is that no courses can be guaranteed abroad, so if you are flexible, planning your study abroad period is much less stressful. 

1. Student exchange: spend one semester abroad

If you are interested in spending a semester abroad (exchange), then you as an AUC student have the opportunity to either go on exchange in the second semester of your second year or in the first semester of your third year. Partaking in an exchange programme is the cheapest and easiest way to be enrolled in another university for one semester, as you will only be required to continue to pay your tuition to AUC. You can, however, also opt to study abroad as a free mover. A free mover or independent exchange is self-organised and self-funded. 

AUC students, being both enrolled at both UvA and VU, have the chance to study at three different types of institutions: 

  • AUC’s selected own partner universities. 
  • UvA Global Exchange Programme partner universities. 
  • VU Erasmus European partner universities. 

The internal selection procedure for AUC and UvA partners is different form the selection procedure for VU partners, which will be explained in one of the following sections on this page. Ultimately, the decision to accept you as an exchange student will up to the partner university, but getting selected (sometimes referred to as 'nominated') for a spot in the exchange programme is decided here in Amsterdam. Most nominated students will be accepted by the partner university, so the initial application to AUC/UvA or VU is your biggest step towards an exchange semester. 

1.1 Requirements for studying abroad for one semester

It is important to consider the conditions for being allowed to study abroad. These terms and conditions are made explicit in the AUC Academic Standards and Procedures (section 2.11) and AUC Study Abroad Guidelines. In short, to be allowed to study abroad AUC students must: 

  • (maintain) a 7.0 cumulative GPA or above. The GPA will be checked on the first day after the closing date 
  • of each application round. Your weighted GPA will be rounded to two decimals (i.e. a GPA of 6.99 is not sufficient for the GPA requirement of 7.0). 
  • be studying at nominal pace, meaning that you are on track 
  • to graduate within three years of study. at the time of application. A maximum credit deficiency of 6 ECTS (one AUC course), or 6 ECTS of deficiency currently 
  • in progress plus 6 ECTS remaining shortage is permitted.  
  • at the time of departure, you must have passed 90 or 120 ECTS, meaning no shortage of credits is allowed 
  • not be on social probation at the time of application or departure 
  • receive positive advice from their tutor 
  • you continue to pay to tuition to AUC and stay enrolled in AUC while abroad 

If you meet the selection criteria above, then you can start researching the various opportunities available to you. If you fear that you do not meet the study abroad requirements, or if you are unsure if you will be able to maintain them, then contact your tutor at AUC for an appointment to discuss this. 

Students who do not meet the requirements above are advised to request special permission from the Board of Examiners to be granted a waiver/exception to the rules of the Academic Standards & Procedures. Your tutor can help you write a request to the BoE.  

1.2 Option 1: Exchange at AUC partner universities

AUC’s own partner network consists of a small number of universities that specifically have been attracted for their diverse regional spread, and specific particularities in their programme that could be of interest to AUC students. You will find universities mostly spread across Europe, but there are also four universities located in Hong Kong, Morocco and the US.

  • European partner universities
    • Bard College Berlin (all areas, mainly humanities and social sciences courses)  
    • Bilkent University (all areas) 
    • Boğaziçi University (all areas in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences)* 
    • Universitat Pompeu Fabra (Global Studies, Political Science, Humanities and Biology) 
    • University College Dublin (all areas) 
    • University College Freiburg (all areas)  (not available in 2024-2025)
    • University College London (only Anthropology, you must take 50% of your courses in anthropology)**  
    • University of Warwick (arts and humanities, interdisciplinary programmes, law. Students must take 75% of their courses in the department of Liberal Arts and Interdisciplinary Programmes)  
    • University of Zurich (all areas) 
  • Non-European partner universities
    • Chinese University of Hong Kong (all areas) 
    • Mohammed VI Polytechnic University,  School of Governance, Economics & Social Sciences in Rabat, Morocco (mainly social  sciences) 
    • Reed College in Portland, Oregon, USA (Liberal Arts & Sciences college, all areas)***  

You can find more information about the AUC Partners as well as the number of spots available for each partner university for the upcoming exchange period on the on the UvA World Map.

*Students nominated for Boğaziçi University will have to register for one main department (history, philosophy, psychology, sociology, western languages & literatures,  chemistry, physics, biology, physics or math). Boğaziçi requires that students take a minimum of two courses from the department by which they are accepted, but are welcome to register for courses from other departments, with the approval of their academic advisor. 
**UCL has a GPA requirement of 3.3/7.5 for incoming exchange students.  You will need to meet this GPA requirement when applying internally and before departure.  
*** For Reed College, the GPA requirement is 3.3/7.5. You will need to meet this GPA requirement when applying internally and before departure.  

1.3 Option 2: Exchange at UvA-wide partner universities (within the UvA Global Exchange Programme)

The University of Amsterdam has a large number of university-wide exchange agreements with some of the best universities in the world. Within these university-wide agreements it is possible to study in many subject areas, so there is often ample opportunity for Liberal Arts & Sciences students to find interesting fields of study. It must be noted though that not every university will offer every field of study, or not every field of study will be equally accessible for undergraduate students. Some programmes, such as Medicine and Law, will be postgraduate degrees abroad, so be careful when looking for a very specific field of study abroad. A general rule of thumb is that the more flexible you are in terms of your course preferences, the easier it will be for you to find an interesting exchange destination. 

You can find all the UvA Global Exchange partners on the UvA World Map. After you have selected your study programme, you will be able to see which destinations are available to you as an AUC student. Per destination, you will be able to view which potential study areas the university offers, and some general information about the language of instruction, housing, costs and workload. 

What’s especially interesting for AUC students, is the fact that at some universities there are especially reserved spots for AUC students. The UvA calls these “earmarked spots” and AUC students often refer to these places as “AUC Quota spots”. The benefit of these spots can be that you get access to a specific honours college, and you would only be competing with other AUC students for those spots. Another benefit of these special spots is that you can study at these institutions with only 90 EC of completed coursework (thus in your second year!). 

In the UvA Worldmap as well as in the application form, you will be able to see and apply for both ‘UvA Wide’ and ‘AUC’ spots for Quota partners. For example, for City University of Hong Kong, there is the option ‘City University of Hong Kong – UvA Wide’ as well as the option ‘City University of Hong Kong – AUC’. This means that this university has both general spots available for all UvA students, as well as spots reserved for AUC students. You area allowed to include both options in your application.

'Earmarked'/Quota spots

  • Boston College 
  • City University of Hong Kong 
  • National University of Singapore (NUS College, honours) 
  • Stellenbosch University
  • Tecnológico de Monterrey 
  • University of Maryland (Honours College) 
  • University of Melbourne 
  • Yonsei University 

When you can go on exchange: 120 or 90 credits? Second or third year exchange? 

If you are applying for an exchange in the Autumn semester of your third year, then you can apply at all of the above institutions (AUC, UvA and UvA Quota) as you then have passed 120 credits at the time of departure (which is the UvA’s minimum prerequisite). 

Should you be interested in studying abroad in the spring semester, and you only have 90 credits upon the time of departure, then you may only apply for exchange at AUC destinations and at all UvA Quota spots during the June deadline. Only students wishing to apply for the spring semester are included in this deadline and the chances of placement are usually excellent. At each of the AUC and UvA Quota institutions we will reserve a number of spots for spring applicants. In some years, there may also be general spots available at other UvA Global Exchange partners for the spring semester (application round 3). Note that these spots are subject to availability and keep in mind that there is more competition, since these spots are open to all UvA students. 

1.4 Option 3:  Exchange at VU partner universities (European destinations only)

The VU has an excellent network of European exchange partners, to which AUC students have access. Combined with the AUC European exchange partners, you have a wide range of opportunities to go on an exchange semester in Europe, which is often referred to as “Erasmus exchange”. 

As a result of continuously increasing collaboration in the EU, the European Commission made regulations that caused  exchange programmes within Europe to become standardised in what is now called the “Erasmus+” exchange scheme. This system made exchanges between EU countries very easy, and another immediate benefit of is that all students who go on an Erasmus exchange, qualify for a financial grant from the EU, called the “Erasmus+ Scholarship”. Amounts vary per destination, but the scholarship is guaranteed if you follow the rules of the programme. This combined with cheaper travel costs, and no visa fees for EU students, make Erasmus exchanges very attractive! 

Being an AUC student, you have direct access to AUC’s own European partners, and for the VU you have access to each partner university that offers your field of study. The Erasmus regulations stipulate that exchange programmes take place at the programme level (and not university level), for example meaning that exchanges happen from one traditional study field (e.g. Chemistry) to the same traditional field at another university. This is of course tremendously useful for traditional academic departments, but for Liberal Arts and Sciences students this does complicate things somewhat. 

Even though the VU has one central international office who maintains all the different Erasmus agreements, you still have to check for yourself if the universities that you can find on the VU worldmap of destinations, are actually of interest to you. You, being a Liberal Arts & Sciences student, may opt to study abroad at any of the VU’s European/Erasmus partner universities if you can show through your major/courses that you (roughly) fit within a traditional field. If you have for example taken courses in Political Science at AUC, and you are a Social Sciences major, then you may apply for partners of the VU that offer Political Science. 

You can find an overview of all VU exchange partner universities via the VU Worldmap

1.5 Option 4: Study abroad as a free-mover: find your own destination 

Additionally, there is the option to do a ‘free mover’ study abroad semester, which means finding your own host university and arranging the exchange independently. Each of the opportunities above have their own pro’s and con’s, but it is worth mentioning that in all cases you will be required to continue to pay tuition at AUC while you are abroad. UvA, VU or AUC partner universities will never charge tuition for exchange students, free mover exchange often leads to double tuition fees. If you are interested in becoming a free mover, then the same AUC application deadlines apply, meaning you have to complete the AUC application form in order to be permitted to study abroad. Additionally, you will be responsible for applying to the university of choice yourself through their respective free mover application procedure. 

1.6 Destinations open for the upcoming application round

Information about open destinations and available spots for the upcoming application round can be found on the UvA World Map and VU Worldmap.

1.7 Application process

The application process consists of multiple steps, and varies depending on whether you choose to apply for the UvA/AUC exchange programme or VU exchange programme. In principle you first have to make sure that you meet the requirements for studying abroad, then you can apply for a spot (this is done internally).Once you have been pre-selected for a spot, then you apply to the university abroad. This last step is the final step that only takes place a few months before departure. Ultimately, the most important step is to get selected for a spot in an exchange programme!  

Procedures for UvA and AUC exchange destinations 

AUC students have to choose between (and limit themselves to) applying for an exchange via UvA (AUC's own partner universities and UvA partners within the UvA Global Exchange Programme) or VU. It is not allowed to apply to both the UvA/AUC exchange programme and VU exchange programme. 

Application and placement procedures 

If you choose for an exchange via UvA, you will be able to choose from various AUC partners (mostly in Europe, some outside of Europe) and UvA partners in the Global Exchange Programme network (all outside of Europe, except for a few destinations in the UK and Switzerland).  

Application rounds 

For exchanges in Autumn (first semester of your 3rd year), you have two chances to get selected for a spot, through two consecutive application rounds. In each application round, you can register for up to 5 destinations. If your choices are rejected in the first round, you may apply again in the second round. Note that there will be less options left to choose from in round 2 as destinations that were filled in round 1 will not be available anymore. 

For AUC students interested in an exchange in Spring (second semester of your 2nd year) there is only one application round, which UvA/AUC calls round 3.   

Important dates 

There are 4 important dates per round. The first is the starting date of the application period. The second is the closing date of the application period. After that, we'll make you an offer of an exchange destination. The last date is the deadline for accepting or rejecting the offer. 





Accept or reject

Round 1

7 December 2023

10 January 2024

25 January 2024

28 January 2024

Round 2

15 February 2024

28 February 2024

14 March 2024

17 March 2024

Round 3

23 May 2024

5 June 2024

20 June 2024

23 June 2024

How to apply? 

First, choose the 5 destinations for the first round of your application. Then, be sure to check the entry requirements and possible language requirements for all destinations. Also, check the courses you'd be interested in taking and make sure to read information about course restrictions. The last step is to fill out the online application form. 

If you are unsure about whether you meet the requirements for one of the destinations you are interested in, please contact the AUC International Office for verification.

  • Application form

    The third application round for an exchange in the second semester of the academic year 2024-2025 opens on 23 May 2023. You can apply through the UvA Worldmap.

  • Approval

    Once you've applied, the AUC International Office will check if you meet the general entry requirements, as well as the requirements per destination you selected. The reference date for checking GPAs (if applicable) is the day after the closing date. The first working day after closing of the application round, your weighted SIS GPA of obtained courses and obtained ECTS will be assessed for all candidates who have submitted an application. Based on this check, your application will either be approved or declined per destination. All approved destinations will be considered for the draw. 

  • Draw

    To make sure the process is fair, we use a draw to allocate destinations to students who meet the entry requirements. You'll be entered into the draw for all of your approved destinations. 

    • We carry out the draw by allotting numbers randomly to all students that have entered with at least one approved destination. 
    • The order of the draw is also the order in which we allocate destinations. We'll start with the entrant who draws number one. 
    • First, we'll check what the first available destination is out of the maximum of 5 entered destinations. If it is indeed available, we allocate it to entrant number one. 
    • Next, we'll repeat this process for each following entrant, starting with number two, then number three, and so on. 
  • Accepting or rejecting the offer

    Keep the important dates in mind to see when you need to accept or reject the offer for your exchange destination. 

    • You can accept the offer only once; this will be your exchange destination. Once you've accepted, you can't enter a subsequent round. 
    • If you reject the offer, you can enter the next round. 
    • Always respond to an offer. If you don't respond, you cannot enter the next rounds.

Procedures for VU exchange destinations

If you choose the VU exchange programme, then you will be able to choose from the various VU partners in their network, but only to those within Europe. Also note that VU destination are only available for Autumn exchanges. There is just one main application round, and you can apply for five destinations simultaneously. You will be mostly considered for your top choice first, and then also for your second and third choice if you don't get into your top choice.  
More detailed information about the exchange programme and how to apply is available on this website. 

How to apply? 

Applications should be submitted via the VU Mobility Tool. You can log in with your VUnetID. All AUC students should have received their VUnetID via their personal email address upon registration at the VU. In case you have forgotten your password, you should contact the VU UC-IT Service Desk.   

TIP! For your application at VU you might need to upload an official copy of your transcript. As it usually takes a few days collect this document, it is wise to request it in time through the AUC Digital Servicedesk. 

Regardless of whether you to choose to apply for UvA/AUC or VU destinations - it will always be important to choose your first choice wisely. 

Please note that AUC students with (duplicate) applications at more than one institution (UvA/AUC or VU) will be disqualified from the selection process. 

Please note that AUC students with (duplicate) applications at more than one institution (UvA/AUC or VU) will be disqualified from the selection process.

Procedures for freemover exchange

AUC students interested in a free mover/independent exchange need to request permission with the AUC International Office first before they proceed with their application at the university abroad. 

A complete application for a free mover destination consists of:  

  1. AUC Study Abroad Application Form (Freemover)
  2. Motivation Letter (max. 1 A4) 
  3. Curriculum Vitae (max. 2 A4) 

A list of grades is not necessary, AUC will be able to take these from SIS directly. All the application files should be submitted digitally to the AUC international office, via AUC's Digital Service Desk.

1.8 Overview of deadlines

Type of application


Exchange in semester 1, 2024 (Autumn), and you are a second-year student now

VU exchange programme (round 1)*

1 December 2023 - 8 January 2024

    Outcome VU round 1

Early February 2024

UvA/AUC exchange pogramme (round 1)

7 December 2023 - 10 January 2024

Freemover application

10 January 2024

    Outcome UvA/AUC and freemover round 1

25 January 2024

VU exchange programme (round 2)

19 February 2024

    Outcome VU round 2

Early March 2024

UvA/AUC exchange pogramme (round 2)

15 - 28 February 2024

    Outcome UvA/AUC round 2

14 March 2024

Type of application


Exchange in semester 2, 2025 (Spring), and you are a second-year student now

UvA/AUC exchange pogramme (round 3)

23 May – 5 June 2024

 Outcome UvA/AUC round 3

20 June 2024

*Make sure to contact with your preferred destination(s) in Europe before mid-December to discuss your possibilities!

2.  Off-campus courses/language courses abroad

Some students find courses abroad on their own term and wish to have these recognized as AUC courses. Most commonly, there are AUC students who prefer to take a language course abroad in January or June. Should be you interested in taking a course abroad in either period, or during the summer, then it is advised to request permission to take an off-campus course through the Board of Examiners. Naturally, you are also free to simply partake in off-campus courses without having the converted to AUC credits. 

Mind that there will be additional costs involved in taking an off-campus course, and you have to make sure that you will be able to provide the BoE with a transcript of records or proof of results, a course manual and a grade upon completion. 

You can make a request for an off-campus course to be approved through the Digital Service Desk AUC. More information about off-campus courses is available on the Off-Campus Courses page. 

3.  Community Projects & Internships abroad

There is an option to do your community project or internship abroad. You could do this in January, June or during the summer holiday. Of course, do keep in mind that there will be certain requirements towards the project, so not all placements may be accepted. Make sure to hand in your proposal in time with the CPI department, as they will have to approve your plans. Check the CPI page and CPI Opportunities page for more information.

4.  Summer schools and short-term programmes abroad

Summer school or summer programmes are short programmes during the summer break, which provide students with the opportunity to broaden or deepen their knowledge in an interesting and dynamic environment abroad. Most students who consider partaking in summer school or short-term programme abroad are proactive students who wish to expand their learning experience by studying broadening or very specialized topics in a different environment over summer. Studying abroad in summer is not only for the few very keen students, it is actually a great opportunity for students who simply can't study abroad for an entire semester due to time, financial or other constraints. For more information about summer schools and alternative programmes, visit the Study Abroad (summer and short-term programmes) page.  

5. AUC Student exchange testimonials

All AUC students are required to write a testimonial after completing their exchange semester. The majority of these testimonials have been collected in the following PDF booklets, which may be very useful for your orientation on destinations: 

Universities in AFRICA
Universities in ASIA 
Universities in EUROPE
Universities in LATIN AMERICA
Universities in NORTH AMERICA
Universities in OCEANIA

6. Important documents

7. Contact details of AUC's International Office

For questions about studying abroad you stop by during our digital office hours every Wednesday from 12:00-13:00 via Zoom or contact us via AUC's Digital Service Desk.