• Netherlands
    • Amsterdam
Academic Year, Fall, Spring
Subject Areas
Anthropology Art History Arts Business Criminal Justice Cultural Studies Economics Law Music Social Sciences Sociology +1
Need-based funding, Merit-based funding, General grants/scholarships, BIPOC funding
Health & Safety

Program Details

Program Type
Degree Level
Apartment Dormitory


Price Details
See site for pricing inquiries.
What's Included
Accommodation Some Activities Classes Wifi
What's Not Included
Airfare Visa
Nov 27, 2023
Mar 26, 2024
20 travelers are looking at this program

About Program

Study abroad in Amsterdam for the educational adventure of a lifetime. The city’s heritage of world-class institutions and rich culture make it the perfect place to spend your semester abroad.

Imagine learning not only while you’re sitting in class, but also while exploring the Van Gogh Museum, trying your first Stroopwafel, or on a bike ride for daily errands. This is what it's like to study abroad in the Netherlands!

With IES Abroad, you'll take learning outside the classroom as you visit world-famous sites and immerse yourself in the relaxed and progressive culture of the Netherlands. To top it all off, our excursions take you throughout the region to explore sites such as the vibrant countryside tulip fields and the stately streets of The Hague.

Video and Photos

Diversity & Inclusion

LGBTQIA+ Support

Today, and every day, we celebrate who you are and who you will become. We take pride in simply getting to know you, and look forward to adventuring through this incredible world with you.

Studying abroad as part of the LGBTQIA+ community can present unique opportunities and challenges in exploring a new culture, so we have compiled resources on sexual orientation, gender identity, and allyship to help prepare you and support you along the way.

Neurodivergent Support

Going abroad, whether this is your first time or your umpteenth, can be a trip both literally and figuratively. Seeing something new or being someplace unfamiliar has its own challenges, especially when it comes to mental health and physical accessibility. With IES Abroad, you won't handle these concerns on your own.

We have not only compiled resources on mental health, physical health, and self-care to help prepare you and support you along the way, but we also have a dedicated Student Affairs staff that are available for you to contact from the United States and once in your host country.

Accessibility Support

Going abroad, whether this is your first time or your umpteenth, can be a trip both literally and figuratively. Seeing something new or being someplace unfamiliar has its own challenges, especially when it comes to mental health and physical accessibility. With IES Abroad, you won't handle these concerns on your own.

We have not only compiled resources on mental health, physical health, and self-care to help prepare you and support you along the way, but we also have a dedicated Student Affairs staff that are available for you to contact from the United States and once in your host country.



As part of IES Abroad's Global Good Commitment, IES Abroad employs sustainability measures in the following ways:
-Moving toward more sustainable Headquarters and Centers abroad
-Producing printed materials mindfully
-Hosting events and conferences in LEED-certified buildings
-Purchasing carbon offsets for staff air travel
-The formation of the IES Abroad Sustainability Team - a dedicated group of volunteers responsible for implementing sustainable practices across our organization. The team comprises of members across our Centers, departments, teams. It is truly a global effort, and we are better for it.

Program Highlights

  • Participate in field trips to Maastricht, Rotterdam, and more.
  • To help you feel at home and safe in the Netherlands, we offer well-located, comfortable housing for all students because we know securing housing independently can be challenging.
  • Choose an experience that fits your needs, either by directly enrolling at a university in Amsterdam or studying at our IES Abroad Amsterdam Center with students from across the U.S.
  • You’ll have an individual IES Abroad Program Advisor to guide you before your study abroad adventure. From visa requirements to travel details, they are your #1 resource for preparing to study abroad.
  • IES Abroad gives $5 million in scholarships and aid

Popular Programs

canal filled with boats in Amsterdam

Choose from a variety of Business and Economics courses at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU). Located in Amsterdam’s business district, the School of Economics & Business Administration offers courses in Business Information Systems, Finance, International Business Law, Global Supply Chain Management, Organization Theory, and many other topics. You can supplement your studies at VU with an IES Abroad course taught at the Center in Art History, Art, Cultural Studies, Dutch, or Gender Studies.

Outside of the University of Amsterdam Law building

Hosted at the VU University Amsterdam (VU), you'll enroll in a core course on law and three to four law or criminology-related courses and live on the VU campus. Observe some of Europe’s most progressive laws in action, and speak with experts who can put them in context. And from field trips to places like Rotterdam, Maastricht, or the Island of Texel to field study visits in and around Amsterdam, you’ll gain valuable insight into what you’re learning in the classroom.

Orange tinted sky reflecting off of the water of a canal in Amsterdam at sunset

With strong course offerings in psychology and the sciences, you’ll find a variety of English-taught courses at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU) to apply to your major. From Experimental Cell Biology to The History and Philosophy of Psychology, you can dive further into your major. You'll also have the option to supplement your studies beyond psychology and the sciences with IES Abroad courses, such as Dutch language and culture, sexuality and gender, studio art, art history, and research.

group of students standing in front of a tiny red windmill and in front of large yellow Dutch clogs

Take advantage of Amsterdam's unique balance of history and contemporary culture, and structure your studies at the prestigious Universiteit van Amsterdam and at the IES Abroad Center. Study Amsterdam’s past as you explore the city’s historic landmarks, such as Anne Frank’s home, the Rembrandt House, or the Van Gogh museum. You will also have the opportunity to study the future of the Netherlands as you learn about the country’s forward-thinking public policies.

Exterior of a mostly glass Conservatorium van Amsterdam building

As a Music student, you’ll flourish in the thriving arts environment of Amsterdam. Enrolling in the Conservatorium van Amsterdam, the largest music conservatory in the Netherlands, integrates you fully into a specialized institution where you study with other students who are dedicated to the study of music. If you wish to study at the CvA, you should be a strong Performance, Composition, or Theory major with the intention to become a professional musician, music scholar, or composer.

Program Reviews

4.92 Rating
based on 48 reviews
  • 5 rating 91.67%
  • 4 rating 8.33%
  • 3 rating 0%
  • 2 rating 0%
  • 1 rating 0%
  • Academics 4.25
  • Support 4.7
  • Fun 4.7
  • Housing 4.7
  • Safety 4.95
Showing 1 - 8 of 48 reviews
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Find your home away from home in the Netherlands!!!

I would not change my study abroad experience for the world. When I first chose Amsterdam, I was hesitant if I made the right choice or not. It's stressful because you are going to be living in this new place for a whole semester. Even though I was scared, I am so incredibly happy that I chose Amsterdam to be my home away from home. Even though the city is small, there is so much to do. From the museums to the boat tours, I never got bored. My friends and I would always try new restaurants as well.

What was the most nerve-racking moment and how did you overcome it?
The classes at the University of Amsterdam were definitely tougher than I imagined. Most of my classes' grades were based off of one exam, so I had to study extremely hard to ensure I passed the class. I am not the best test taker, so I prepared myself weeks in advance.
  • Friendly people
  • Super safe
  • So many things to do
  • Classes are hard at the University of Amsterdam
  • Not the best food selection
  • Weather
12 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Finding a New Home Abroad

One fear I had was not making friends with classes being online, but I had many group projects with friendly students that were eager to help me with anything and everything. Balancing schoolwork and fun was difficult at times, but I was surrounded by amazing resources. My experience was entirely shaped by my own ability to create opportunities for myself and make time to travel independently. What helped me the most was setting goals before I went abroad to orient myself and provide direction.

  • World-class academics that challenged my worldview
  • I got to be independent, but know I always had a support system
  • I got to meet students from all over the world who made me reflect on my privileges and life experiences
  • Biggest complaint I hear from people is that good food is difficult to find
  • Navigating the grading system was hard and there were times I felt I wasn't as successful as I could be even though I was working incredibly hard.
  • imposter syndrome at times
92 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

An Unforgettable Semester!

Amsterdam is an incredible city to live in. I lived right outside the city center near Vondelpark, and I felt at home very quickly. Naturally, it took me a little while to adjust, but before I knew it I felt very comfortable going about life in Amsterdam! Dutch culture and life in Amsterdam is very unique and something that is easy to appreciate. Even though I have only been back in the United States for 1.5 months, I am already looking forward to my next visit!

I loved living in Amsterdam, and the IES Abroad staff really added to my experience. During our orientation, they educated us on Dutch culture and customs and took us on various field trips around the Netherlands. Even after orientation, the staff were extremely accessible and made sure to check in with us periodically. I had a great experience with IES Abroad and I would highly recommend spending your time abroad with them!

What would you improve about this program?
There really isn't anything I would improve about the program!
98 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

IES Amsterdam Encourages Exploration

IES Abroad Amsterdam is a great hybrid between a direct enrollment option and an American study abroad parent program. I was fortunate enough to take classes at the University of Amsterdam and with guest professors at the IES Center. The IES liasons to the university were very helpful and accessible, but as a whole I wish I'd spent more time at the university itself, and some people on my program didn't have any classes there at all. The IES workers planned free social gatherings in the city for us, as well as mental health breaks like yoga classes and paid field trips, like to see the Dutch National Football Team and spending a weekend in Belgium, to help us get to know the area. They were always available in case of emergency and helped those who needed medical support.

Amsterdam is a great place to go for a semester abroad because it's very easy to travel around Europe from the city by bus, train, or plane, and the Netherlands is a wonderful country to explore. Amsterdam itself is huge, but IES made sure to place me in an apartment close to my university and was willing to help me acquire a bike to travel the city, which is by far the most-used means of transportation. Dutch adults are usually fluent in English, so even if you don't take a Dutch course, you'll be able to get around fine – though I strongly suggest trying to pick up some Dutch, which will require a lot of effort because of the prevalence of English.

Grading in the Netherlands is very harsh, and students don't have GPAs at the universities, so be prepared for a very different academic sphere. Many classes base the overwhelming majority of their final grades on a single final exam or project, which is very intimidating. I enjoyed all of my classes and professors, both in and out of the university.

Amsterdam is an expensive city, especially near the center. Groceries are a good price, but going out to eat or grab a cup of coffee can be costly. Bring your own cold medicine and pain medications, because you will have trouble finding those things in the Netherlands. I wish more advice like that was given to me pre-departure, but after the first couple weeks I figured everything out. IES makes sure to send a newsletter with events around the city every two weeks so we have plenty to explore. Overall, a very well-organized, well-run, kind program.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Be open with your questions, and be excited to learn more about the country you're living in. Don't just stay in Amsterdam – explore the Netherlands, Europe, and yourself. If you do stay in Amsterdam, see ALL of the city, because it's absolutely huge. It's meant to be biked and walked all over, and exists for learners – go to the museums!
108 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

A Surplus of New Experiences

I didn’t want to be that person who said study abroad changed my life, but now that I’ve studied abroad......

This summer (2019) I had the incredible opportunity to travel abroad with IES to Amsterdam. Making it to Europe has always been a dream of mine, and when I saw the immerse and customizable curriculum that IES has to offer, including a course on Intersexuality and its history in Dutch medicine as well as a gendered approach looking at 17th century art history, I knew this program was right for me.

Since pre-departure, the IES Staff made the process incredibly easy — consistent emails and working alongside the study abroad office kept me ahead of schedule and prepared for in advance of boarding my flight.

This communication remained if not flourished as the program began and I was starting my summer in a new country. The summer went by quick (sad), but by the end I can say that I left with a completely new cultural perspective, an expansive amount of knowledge, a ton of new experiences (and photos!), and of course 20 new friends.

I thank the IES Abroad Faculty for the incredible experiences I got to live out this summer, and hope that the many prospective students of the program have an amazing time in the upcoming semesters!

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
1. Bring a deck of cards for long train rides / travel when you won’t have signal
2. Bring a debit card to get money out of the ATM. VISA and MasterCard are not accepted in many places (i.e. grocery stores, restaurants).
109 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Study Abroad in Amsterdam- You Won't Regret It!

Spending a semester abroad in Amsterdam was an experience that I have absolutely zero regrets about. Not only did I meet amazing people in the program, I got to live in the business district of the city and experience so many different things about Dutch culture. The food especially- wow! The living accommodations were great and I was able to survive off of my savings comfortably and travel quite a bit. Not to mention the school system in the Netherlands allowed me to have a lot of extra time and learning outside of the classroom. I visited world class museums and saw masterpieces. The program was very supportive and I really enjoyed my time abroad. They even organized a trip to Poland that was quite possibly my favorite trip when abroad. The history of World War II is so much more ingrained in the culture of Europe and I definitely felt like my eyes were opened very much during my experience abroad.

What was the most nerve-racking moment and how did you overcome it?
Grocery shopping for the first time! Everything is in Dutch and while some things are easily translated, others are not. Also, the eggs are not refrigerated. You pick it up quite quickly though! My highlight of every week is going to Albert Heijn and doing my shopping.
112 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

I stepped out of my comfort zone

This is experience was an incredible way to try something new. I really pushed myself to explore things I had never done before. With the support there to catch me when I would fall and stumble, I was given the unique opportunity to do what I wanted without the fear of being on my own if I needed help. I made life-long friends, travelled to places I had never even heard of and tried to make the most of 4 short months in a new environment. I especially liked feeling more and more like a local as the days and weeks went on. Arriving as a total tourist in Amsterdam, I began to learn more about the parts of the city that one does when you have the time to explore. I particularly loved how easy it was to get around in Amsterdam and the rest of Europe. Cycling is a must when living in Amsterdam. You really get to appreciate the gorgeous scenery so much more on a bike. There are cheap flights to all the capitals of Europe that you can visit. The main struggle is trying to appreciate studying in Amsterdam and at the same time, make the most of travelling Europe. As long as you try to push yourself to try new things and get out of your comfort zone, you are guaranteed to have an amazing time abroad.

105 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Opportunities around every canal!

IES Amsterdam was the most incredible time of my life. This city provided unlimited amounts of opportunities to get involved in the community and explore the in's and out's of this city! The staff was extremely helpful in providing us with the knowledge of what was going on every week and providing options of all different interests and costs. They facilitated our academics, housing and periodic events in new parts of the city to keep us engaged. Amsterdam is unique in that it doesn't look like any other city in the world with the canals and the architecture. Considering how small Amsterdam is, there are so many different pockets to explore and each area has a different vibe to it! Its incredible to be in such a historically significant city and I had an amazing time in Amsterdam and everyday I wish I could go back.

What would you improve about this program?
A more concise packing list and maybe some written expectations of dress code and weather patterns to be better prepared!
103 people found this review helpful.

Questions & Answers

It definitely is more business casual on a daily basis. People do not wear leggings and athleisure wear in Amsterdam the way we do in America. Lots of denim and printed pants. Very H&M and Zara vibes.

I went there with no knowledge of Dutch and everything was fine; in Amsterdam, almost everyone speaks English. I would learn how to say the basic words like hello, thank you, goodbye, etc. I did take a basic Dutch class over there just for fun, and even if you do learn a little Dutch, most people will still recognize you speak English and they’ll talk to you in English.