Applications University

Dutch Universities: Application Tips

Applying to Dutch universities? We’re here to help! Seung-Jean at New York University: Abu Dhabi takes you through the application process. This advice was initially given at the August 2020 Global Virtual Summit. It has been written up by IBlieve Editor Bianca R.


  • Admissions process may differ by university
  • Check if they provide your major in English
  • Consider the atmosphere of the school – can you see yourself living there?
  • Check your eligibility for scholarships/financial aid
  • Apply through the university-specific portal
  • Check the subject prerequisites
  • Make sure you have the required level of English

Amsterdam University College: Admissions

  • Research the school thoroughly – history, mission, faculty, location
  • See if the liberal arts curriculum suits you – can you see yourself enjoying it?
  • Highlight the subject prerequisites for your field
  • Start your application early
  • Collect all documents necessary (certificates, transcripts, ID, etc.)

Amsterdam University College: Application

  • 4 essays:
    • Interest in AUC: why study this program at AUC? Why is this the best fit for you? Max 500 words.
    • Personal study plan: balanced learning, while concentrating on your major
    • Self-assessment: overcoming your weaknesses, showcasing your strengths. Max. 500 words.
    • Optional: If you don’t meet the prerequisites – why, & how will you make up for it?
  • Concentration prerequisites for Sciences, Humanities, & Social Sciences
  • Academic transcripts starting from age 14
  • Minimum of 2 recommendation letters – 1 from a teacher, 1 from the Head of School
    • Optional: another letter from another teacher (Max. 3 letters total)

*Note: In research universities you focus more on the major you declare. But in liberal arts schools, it’s similar to IB! You can take multiple courses that cross between subject areas (like Humanities and Sciences). Seung-Jean took Algebra and Media Studies at the same time!

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1 comment

  1. This whole post was very useful and I would love to learn more about the application process to Dutch universities. Thanks a lot. Right now I’m trying to figure out the ”studielink” platform and I’m having some problems with that. Do you have any experience with it?

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