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Frequently asked questions about the study year 2020-2021

For students starting or continuing their bachelor program in Communication Science in 2020-2021

Because of the coronavirus outbreak, many students have questions concerning the application and admission process to our programmes. We understand that given the circumstances you may not be entirely sure yet if you can attend your studies in September. On this page, we answer frequently asked questions.

On-campus courses

  • What can you expect when you come to the campus?
    • If you come to campus, please follow the signage. Enter the building via REC ABC. 
    • There are scanners at the entrances and exits of each of the REC buidlings. Employees and students scan their employee pass/student card with these scanners that continuously monitor how many people are present in the buildings. The system only registers the first three digits on the pass to determine whether it concerns an employee or student. This only concerns the number of people in the buildings and this data cannot be traced back to an individual. 
    • Up to the 6th floor you always take the stairs (higher stairs are also allowed).
    • There is a maximum of 2 persons per elevator, people with a physical disability always have priority.
    • There are walking routes marked in the buildings. You must follow these walking routes.
    • From the 1st of September there is a limited/adapted catering available on campus.
    • Most coffee machines will be available again, otherwise there will be references to other machines.
    • All toilet groups are open. Please give each other space when passing. 
    • Follow the instructions to exit the building. The exit is next to CREA. 
  • What is expected from me in class?
    • Please clean you place in the classroom before and after your class takes place. Equipment for this can be found in the classroom
    • You are not meant to leave the classroom during the two hour tutorial meeting (except toilet breaks). Everyone is allowed to eat and drink inside the room. Trash cans are provided. 
    • Please leave the building as soon as the class ends. 
    • Follow all the instructions in the building. 
  • Are classes mandatory?

    Study success and a lively group dynamic depend mostly on your active participation and engagement throughout the programme. Therefore (online) class attendance is mandatory for all courses within the Communication Science department and we expect you to actively participate in all scheduled classes, both online and on-campus.

    This means that when you have an online class, you should log in the online classroom on time and have your video modus on. When you have registered to attend the on-campus class meetings, you are indeed expected to attend all class meetings, colds & coughs and other illness of course exempted. Of course you should notify your teacher beforehand if you miss a class due to unforeseen circumstances.

  • What to do when I cannot come to class due to self-quarantine?

    Travellers arriving in the Netherlands from certain countries and regions are strongly advised to self-quarantine for 10 days from the day of arrival. You need to check whether you are required to self-quarantine yourself on this website. The University of Amsterdam expects students to act responsibly and to self-isolate in accordance with the recommendations from the Government of the Netherlands.

    There might be a chance that you will have to miss on-campus activities due to the self-quarantine period. When so, please notify your teachers in advance, so they can invite and instruct you to join the online classes. If you only have online meetings, no further action is necessary. You already have been registered for the online groups and you can attend your time table.

General questions

  • Will education continue in the new academic year?

    Yes, the academic year will start in September 2020. We will make sure that you can start your studies as planned once you have been officially accepted into our programme.

    Given the very limited number of students that is allowed in the building per hour, we had to make the tough decision to give priority to first-year students who we can offer 2 hours on-campus education per week, combined with online teaching. As academic studying is entirely new to first-year students, we feel it is most important for them to have face-to-face contact with their teachers. We also think that they are most in need of some on-campus contact with other students, as for first-year students community building is even more important than for older students.

    Much to our regret, second- and third year teaching will continue to stay online during the first semester of the 2020-2021 academic year.

    The Graduation Project will partly take place on campus. 

    We hope to be able to come back on-campus entirely in the second semester, but – of course - this depends on how the corona situation develops.

    If it was entirely up to us, we would offer on-campus education for all our students, however, due to government restrictions and the 1.5 meter society, this is not possible yet: (1) the government doesn’t allow large groups of students to use public transportation, (2) the number of students that is allowed in the building is limited per room; (3) the number of people that is allowed to enter and leave the building per hour is even more restricted.

    We can imagine that continuation of online-studying does not have your preference. We are doing our utmost to find the right balance in this situation and are offering our teachers support to further improve the quality of online teaching.

  • Should I move to Amsterdam in September?

    We invite you to come to Amsterdam. If you decide to stay in your home country for the first semester, we understand, and for you all education will be made available online. We hope to be able to welcome you on campus in Amsterdam for the second semester. If you decide to come to Amsterdam for the start of the semester, realize that there will be limited events at the UvA, and limited access to study halls. We also ask you to keep the travel limitation, installed by the Dutch government and the government of you home country, in mind.

  • Can I do an internship in September?

    We received questions whether it is possible to do an internship in countries other than the Netherlands. 

    Are you currently staying in your home country and are you planning to do an internship there in semester 1 2020-2021? If your country is marked as green or yellow by the Dutch Ministery of Foreign Affairs you can go ahead with your plans. If your country is orange or red, please contact the study advisers. The policy on the latter changed slightly, so they would like to inform you about the (new) possibilities.

  • Will there be the possibility for exchange in September?

    All UvA exchange programmes in the first semester of the academic year 2020-2021 have been cancelled. This applies to both incoming and outgoing students in programmes such as Global Exchange and Erasmus+, including internship programmes. We expect the exchange programmes scheduled for the second semester will be able to go ahead.

Application and admission

If you are starting your study Communication Science in September, please find the answer to frequently asked questions below.

  • Am I obliged to enrol if I accept my offer?

    We understand that given the circumstances you may not be entirely sure yet if you can attend your studies in September. Accepting your offer, however, does not finalise your enrolment and does not force you to pay the tuition fees. You can cancel your enrolment at any time before the start of the first semester.

    However, we do need you to accept your offer in order to start the mandatory procedures to complete your registration. If you do not accept your offer, we cannot start these procedures and this might lead to you not being able to arrange your visa or housing on time, or not being able to register for courses. Therefore, we highly encourage you to accept your offer at your earliest convenience, but at least before the deadline as mentioned in your provisional acceptance letter. If you later decide you want to cancel your enrolment after all, please contact us via

    Please note that if the coronavirus measures in the Netherlands will not allow for teaching on location, the faculty intends to continue online teaching activities and assessments from September onwards for as long as needed. This way, teaching will be made accessible to international students, too, if they are not able to travel to Amsterdam by the start of the academic year.

  • Can I defer my conditional offer?

    The faculty aims to continue online teaching activities and assessments from September onwards for as long as needed, if conditions surrounding the corona crisis will not allow for teaching on location. This way, teaching will be accessible and you can start your studies, even if you are not able to travel to Amsterdam by the start of the academic year. Nevertheless, we completely understand your concerns with regards to being able to start your studies in September. Many of you have enquired about the possibility to defer. This is possible, but if you want to start your Bachelor's in September 2021, you have to go through the entire application process again. 

  • Can I take an English language test online?

    Yes. Now that many test centers are closed or fully booked, it is possible to take the online version of existing language tests.

    ETS offers international students affected by the coronavirus measures the option to take the TOEFL iBT® test from home until the test centers open again. More information can be found on the TOEFL website

    Deadlines for submitting proof of English proficiency:

    • Non-EU students: 18 May*
    • EU students: 1 August

    * Unfortunately we are not able to extend the deadline beyond 18 May due to visa regulations. We have tried to look for alternative solutions for non-EU students, but unfortunately the deadline of 18 May 2020 is strict and cannot be extended further, as students would not be able to apply for and arrange their visa on time.

    If you are unable to send us the required documents in time, we sincerely hope to receive your application again next year.

  • What if I have questions about housing or visa?

    As an international student you may have many questions about housing or visa in the current situation. On this page we try to answer as many questions as possible. Do you have a specific question about your situation, please contact the education office of your faculty or the Central Student Service Desk.

Do you have any questions to which you cannot find an answer on this page? Have a look at the FAQ's provided by the UvA here. If you have a question regarding admission, you can contact