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On 20 April, a decision was made to cancel all physical exchange programmes in the first semester of the 2021-2022 academic year. This decision was based on the advice against travelling worldwide and to give students time to explore alternatives.

The cancellation of all physical programmes was a huge disappointment and, with hindsight, too much of a blanket decision. We have been asked to look into whether tailor-made solutions might be possible, and are happy to oblige. In this regard, there is a possibility that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will change the travel advice colour code to yellow for a number of countries in the very near future. That is why we have decided to allow physical exchange programmes to go ahead in the first semester of the 2021-2022 academic year, subject to several conditions:

  1. for outbound exchanges, a yellow or green travel advice colour code must apply to the destination (country or region);
  2. the partner university concerned agrees with this policy and gives a cut-off date for final registration; on that date, the travel advice from foreign affairs should be green or yellow;
  3. should students decide to go ahead with their exchange programme, they do so at their own risk – in other words, the UvA will not be liable for any costs incurred for visas, travel or anything else in the case of cancellation or repatriation.

Consequently, we would advise students to refrain from spending any money on anything (such as booking a flight) that is not strictly necessary at the present juncture.


Countries for which physical exchanges have already been explicitly cancelled either by the government or by decisions made by partner universities are not included. This includes Australia, New Zealand and Singapore. If partner universities proceed to cancel physical exchanges over the next few weeks, these cannot go ahead either. The affected students will be informed in person.

Registering for courses in June: do it!

Travel advice is subject to change and a country may impose conditions, such as full vaccination, which may make it impossible to travel after all. It is therefore still important that students register in June for UvA courses that start in September. We are calling on everyone to do so, just to be sure.

Work placements and individual graduation projects

The aforementioned decision made on 20 April stated that work placements, individual graduation projects and hybrid exchange programmes that met certain conditions could go ahead, which remains the case.

This amended decision leaves room for a tailor-made solution for each country and for each partner university. We hope that some of our students will still be able to take part in an exchange and gain valuable experience abroad.