Amsterdam, Netherlands

Business + Culture

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Information for term Business + Culture

Application deadline, and cost information.

Application Deadline

April 1, 2021

Program Deadlines and Pricing Info

  • Deadline: April 1, 2021
  • Dates: Aug 20 – Dec 25, 2021 (18 weeks)
  • Credit: 15 semester hours / 22.5 quarter hours
  • Eligibility: 3.0 Overall GPA

Application Deadline

The application deadline has passed.

Program Deadlines and Pricing Info

  • Dates: Jan 25 – May 29, 2021 (18 weeks)
  • Credit: 15 semester hours / 22.5 quarter hours
  • Eligibility: 3.0 Overall GPA


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Study abroad in Amsterdam and live and learn in one of the safest and most open-minded cities in the world! Students gain insight into global business and critical economic issues by enrolling at one of CIEE Amsterdam's two partner schools, the University of Amsterdam (UvA) or the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU). Students can also take classes taught at CIEE Amsterdam, which is a quick walk from the UvA and a 30-minute commute from the VU. The UvA is located in the city center of Amsterdam, which is home to the stock exchange, Dutch Central Bank, and Dutch and international companies large and small. The VU is located just outside of the city center of Amsterdam, near the business district in Amsterdam South. Courses are taught by highly qualified CIEE, UvA, and VU faculty and complemented with CIEE co-curricular activities and excursions to enhance classroom learning and provide intercultural understanding.

Unique Experiences

  • Get a multinational perspective

    on how business is done in a comparative perspective by living in one of the most multinational cities in the world.

  • Commute and cruise around by bike

    - it's the Dutch way - and make the most of an up close and personal city experience.

  • Join a Dutch family for a weekend

    for a personal introduction to culture and lifestyle.

  • bicycles

  • annual visitors to the Anne Frank house

  • bridges


Location & Culture

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If you find yourself wondering why it’s so easy to feel at home in Amsterdam, chalk it up to “gezellig.” Roughly translated, it’s Dutch for cozy or home-like – a sensibility commonly associated with this city. Compact and easy to navigate by bike or on foot, Amsterdam houses more than 6,000 buildings from the 16th century forward that are protected for historic importance. It’s loaded with charm and treasures, from the gabled houses that stand shoulder to shoulder along the canals, to glorious masterpieces by Van Gogh, Rembrandt, Matisse, and more.

The Culture


  • Travel overnight to experience life in another Dutch city or slip out of urban life at a coastal preserve.
  • Take day trips that highlight Dutch innovation outside the city rings of Amsterdam.
  • Experience a Dutch theater or dance performance at a historic concert hall.
  • Team up with a student coach from the UvA’s International Student Network (ISN) or join the Dutch Buddy Program through the VU’s Erasmus Student Network (ESN), and enjoy city outings with your own group of international students at the UvA and the VU


  • Get to know Dutch youngsters by volunteering to teach English once a week at a local Amsterdam school.
  • Join one of several weekly activities. From exploring Amsterdam’s multicultural composition, to its status as a global culinary capital or a hub for business innovation, there’s a way to pursue nearly every interest and explore nearly every facet of Amsterdam.
  • Take part in a Power and Privilege workshop to explore the uneven distribution of power and privilege in the Netherlands along gendered, raced, and classed lines.
  • Lend your voice to the Student Representative Council and help shape CIEE Amsterdam’s activities and programming.
  • Sign up for a weekend homestay, and get to meet and spend a weekend with a Dutch family.

Daily Life

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    Homestay: Live with a Dutch host and immerse yourself in the local language and culture. Whether you’re placed with a single person or a family with children, you’ll have daily breakfast and lunch plus one additional meal with your host each week.

    Residence Hall The Student Hotel: The Student Hotel Amsterdam West provides a comfortable housing option that American students may be most familiar with. Students live in single rooms with a private bathroom, and share the common areas with other Dutch and international students. Located about 20 minutes by bike or public transportation from the city center, this is a great option for students who prefer an American dorm style experience abroad. If you are enrolling at the VU, this will be your home away from home.

    Residence Halls De Key: Housing agency De Key provides studio apartments in a modern building, which is shared with Dutch and other international students. Students live in single rooms with a private bathroom and kitchenette. Located in Amsterdam West about 20 minutes by bike or public transportation from the city center, this is a great option for a student wanting to live as Dutch students do during their semester abroad. If you are enrolling at the UvA, this will be your base of operations.

    Transportation: Students are responsible for paying their own travel costs in and around Amsterdam. The best way to travel around the city is by bike. Through rain or shine, the Dutch will steadfastly cycle to work, school, and back home – and you can too! CIEE staff will recommend how to get a bike once you arrive on site.


    Students in residence halls are responsible for their own meals. Students in homestays are responsible for dinner, six days a week; at a minimum, they will share a meal with their host one evening per week.

Amsterdam, Netherlands

Where You'll Study

  • A


    Just across the street from the University’s Faculty of Economics and Business.

  • B



  • C

    Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU)

    Founded in 1880, VU is ranked among the world's top 150 universities.


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The Business and Culture program invites students to immerse themselves in university life through coursework at the University of Amsterdam (UvA ) or Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU) and CIEE Amsterdam.  Semesters at UvA and VU consist of three 8-week blocks and CIEE students are only present for the first two blocks of the semester. Courses at the host institutions may run for one or two blocks. Students with some Dutch language experience can take Dutch language classes at the Dutch Language Institute of the University of Amsterdam (INTT).

University of Amsterdam (UvA) offers intensive courses across business studies, economics, and finance. UvA is one of the largest broad-based research universities in Amsterdam, one of the top 15 universities in Europe, and is AACSB accredited.

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU) boasts a strong international environment and with almost 50 Bachelor’s degree programs and over 150 Master’s degree programs, the VU offers a wide and varied range of study options for both Dutch and international students.

CIEE Amsterdam is conveniently located across the street from the University of Amsterdam and is only a 30-minute commute from the VU campus by tram or subway.



Language Prerequisites

There are no specific language requirements for this program.

Additional Requirements

  • Students must be juniors or seniors when the program starts. 

    University of Amsterdam (UvA)
    The University of Amsterdam admits students to specific tracks of courses. The course tracks and their pre-requisites/entry requirements are detailed below: 

    • Business – 3 business courses (such as marketing, human relations management), 1 course in mathematics, and 1 course in statistics.
    • Economics – 1 intermediate (upper division) course in macroeconomics and microeconomics; 1 course in mathematics, and 1 course in statistics.
    • Accounting, Finance, and Econometrics – required economics courses (listed above), 2 background courses in these topics.

    Acceptance depends on review by University of Amsterdam faculty; please note that Advanced Placement (AP) courses and test credits are not considered pre-requisites.

    Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU)
    Students are admitted to any Business and Economics courses for which they meet the background and prerequisite requirements. These requirements are listed in the course catalog. 

    Enrollment is based on a review by CIEE and VU staff to verify student eligibility.


Program Requirements

If students enroll  at the UvA, they must take at least 3 business or economics courses through the University of Amsterdam (UvA) (based on the Study Track the student has been assigned). Students who enroll at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU) must take 3 courses at the VU of which at least two courses must be with the School of Business and Economics. All students must take 2 CIEE courses in order to reach a total of 15 U.S. credits. 

Program Credit

Total credit: 15 U.S. semester/22.5 quarter credits.

Course Credit

  • CIEE courses: 3 U.S. semester/4.5 quarter credits; 45 contact hours
  • University of Amsterdam courses: 3 U.S. semester/4.5 quarter credits; 30 contact hours 
  • Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU): 3 U.S. semester/4.5 quarter credits; 30 contact hours 

Academic Culture

Classes are held Monday through Friday. Students should be ready to take initiative and approach coursework more independently than they may be accustomed to in the U.S.

Class Format

Students take CIEE classes only with other CIEE students. Courses at the UvA and Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam are attended mostly by Dutch and international students. Lectures typically include around 50-100 students; tutorials have smaller sizes and range from 25-40 students.


Grades are based on a range of assessment methods, including presentations, papers, and oral or written exams, along with class participation. Grades are awarded on a scale of 1-10. CIEE will convert grades to a U.S. letter-based scale.

Language of Instruction



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Course Information

Course Notes

  • The UvA and VU semester runs on a block system and CIEE students are present only for the first two of the three semester blocks. The fall semester is the 1st semester of the academic year and therefore starts with block 1. The spring semester is the 2nd semester of the academic year and therefore starts with block 4.
  • Most CIEE courses run during the first two blocks of the semester.
  • The University of Amsterdam offers courses in different subjects (Business Studies, Economics, Finance, Econometrics, Statistics, and Accounting), referred to as Study Tracks. The courses are for 2nd and 3rd year students and require a solid background; since the U.S. education system is different, a CIEE student will not always have a background of two years for a certain study program. For that reason, student’s transcript has to be reviewed by the UvA faculty to decide which Study Track(s) the students are allowed (or possibly not allowed) to take courses from. Detailed information is provided to students upon acceptance into the program.

​Fall 2021 Courses and syllabi will be available here in January 2021.

Spring 2021 CIEE Courses

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Business, Economics, Management, and Marketing

Semester Credit

Communication, Journalism, and Media

Semester Credit

Health Professions and Related Programs

Semester Credit

Languages and Cultural Studies

Semester Credit


Semester Credit

Social Sciences

Semester Credit

Visual and Performing Arts

Semester Credit

Host Institution Courses

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Acceptance to the program does not guarantee course availability. Typically, students are admitted to either the Business and/or Economics track, which allows them to choose 3-5 courses from the respective track. Please contact CIEE for further information.  

Business Studies courses

  • E-Business
  • Marketing Management
  • Information and Data Management
  • Innovation Management
  • Strategy and Organization

Economics courses

  • Environmental Economics
  • Game Theory
  • Macroeconomics
  • Microeconomics
  • Development Economics
  • Labor Economics
  • Transition Economics
  • Behavioral Economics
  • Political Economy: Dialectical Methodology

Finance courses

  • Finance 2
  • Investment and Portfolio Theory 1
  • Investment and Portfolio Theory 2
  • Financial Statement Analysis

Mathematics courses

  • Mathematics 2 for Economics

Accounting courses

  • Management Accounting 1 for Economics


  • Corporate Law

For more information about these courses, go to the University of Amsterdam online catalogue of courses for international students:


Students who enroll at the VU may choose Business and Economics courses from the complete VU course catalog for exchange students, provided they meet the background and eligibility requirements. 
Some of the course titles on offer include:

  • Cross-Cultural Marketing
  • Business Information Systems
  • Consumer Science for Online Commerce
  • Inclusive Growth and Sustainability
  • Foundations of Business Administration
  • Health Economics
  • Risk Management in Financial Institutions
  • Corporate Governance and Accountability
  • Sustainable Supply Chain Management
  • Financial Markets and Institutions

The full course catalog can be found here:


For those who understand some Dutch but are incapable, or almost incapable, of making themselves understood in Dutch. The main objectives of the course are to help participants acquire a basic vocabulary of Dutch, enable them to understand simple spoken and written Dutch, and teach them how to make themselves understood in elementary spoken and written Dutch.

For those who have a global understanding of simple, everyday Dutch, and can make themselves understood in simple, everyday Dutch that is still full of mistakes. The aim of the course is to help participants extend a basic vocabulary of Dutch, enable them to understand simple spoken and written Dutch, and teach them how to make themselves understood in simple spoken and written Dutch.

For those who have a reasonable understanding of everyday Dutch and of Dutch used in the media and can make themselves understood in simple everyday Dutch but still make many mistakes. The aim of the course is to help participants extend a basic vocabulary of Dutch, enable them to understand spoken and written Dutch in a variety of familiar contexts, and teach them how to make themselves understood in both spoken and written Dutch.

For those who have a good understanding of everyday Dutch and of Dutch used in the media, and who can make themselves understood in everyday Dutch but still make quite a few mistakes. The aim of the course is to help participants to extend their vocabulary of Dutch, enable them to understand spoken and written Dutch in a variety of contexts, and improve their basic writing and speaking skills.

Even those who have a thorough understanding of everyday Dutch and a good understanding of Dutch at an academic level still make systematic mistakes. Therefore, the advanced course can help those students who have a Dutch language background but are still looking to improve. Objectives of the advanced level are to improve participants’ writing and speaking skills. Some attention is paid to reading, listening, and extending vocabulary.

Note: This course listing is for informational purposes only and does not constitute a contract between CIEE and any applicant, student, institution, or other party. The courses, as described, may be subject to change as a result of ongoing curricular revisions, assignment of lecturers and teaching staff, and program development. Courses may be canceled due to insufficient enrollment.


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Scholarships & Grants

CIEE offers more than $8 million in scholarships and grants annually to help students like you make your study abroad dream a reality.

Students who apply to this program are eligible for the following scholarships and grants:

  • Ping Scholarships for Academic Excellence
  • Global Access Initiative (GAIN) Grants
  • CIEE Gilman Go Global Grant

To be considered, submit the CIEE Scholarships & Grants application within your CIEE program application. Learn more at the Scholarships & Grants section of our website.

See more scholarship info

Dates & Fees

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Dates & Fees

You get more for every dollar when you study abroad with CIEE, because our high-quality programs include everything from excursions to insurance. There are no hidden charges, and no disappointing surprises when you arrive.


Application Due

Start Date

End Date

Fees & Housing

Spring 2021 18 weeks Deadline Passed Jan 25, 2021 May 29, 2021
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Program Fees

CIEE offers the most student support of any provider in its program fee, including an airport greeting, full-time leadership and support, orientation, cultural activities, local excursions, pre-departure advising, and CIEE iNext travel insurance with benefits.

Participation Confirmation = $300 *

Educational Costs = $14,733 **

Housing = $5,250 ***

Insurance = $167

Total Fees = $20,450

Estimated Costs

Students are responsible and manage costs related to travel, meals, books, and personal expenses. Below are estimates for consideration.

Meals not included in program fee = $2,600

International Airfare = $1,250 ††

Local Transportation = $125

Books & Supplies = $450

Visa Fees = $200

Personal expenses = $2,750

Other = $359 †††

Total Estimated Costs = $7,734

Financial Aid

CIEE offers the most grants and scholarships of any study abroad organization, including $8 million/year in travel grants, merit-based scholarships, institutional and MSI grants, and Gilman Go Global Grants.

See Scholarships

This breakdown has been prepared from the program budget for the purpose of calculating eligibility for financial aid. During the course of program operations, actual figures may vary. It should not, therefore, be used as a basis for calculation of refunds. CIEE reserves the right to adjust fees at any time.

Students required by their US home institution to study abroad via CIEE's School of Record will be charged a $500 administrative fee in addition to the Program Fees listed.

* non-refundable

** direct cost of education charged uniformly to all students

*** breakfast and one other meal per week are included in the homestay option; no meals are included in the residence hall option

for students in the residence hall; homestay students should budget $1600 per semester for meals not included in fees

†† round-trip based on U.S. East Coast departure

††† onsite visa fee

Fall 2021 18 weeks Apr 1, 2021 Aug 20, 2021 Dec 25, 2021

To help you budget, keep in mind that students are responsible for the cost of international airfare, local transportation, books and supplies, visas, and personal expenses. In addition, your college or university may charge additional fees for study abroad, or may require you to receive a transcript via CIEE's School of Record, which carries an additional fee of $500.

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What's Included

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What's Included

Pre-departure Advising
Advising before you depart to set goals and answer questions
Optional on-site airport meet-and-greet
Introduction to your program plus practical information about living in your host city
On-site Staff
Full-time program leadership and support in your city
Cultural and/or Co-curricular Activities
Excursions and/or Study Tours
Travel Protection
CIEE iNext and a local liability insurance
24/7 emergency on-site support

Our Staff

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