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Free IELTS preparation course for higher education admission for refugees from Ukraine

UAF, the Foundation for Refugee Students, offers support for refugees from Ukraine (Ukrainians and third-country nationals that fled due to the war), to meet admission criteria for universities or universities of applied sciences in The Netherlands. 

Through the British Language Training Centre (BLTC) in Amsterdam, every two weeks an intensive IELTS course will start of approximately 30 hours of online training + 30 hours of homework. During these 60 hours, prospective students will be prepared for the IELTS exam, which will take place after two weeks. Note that this is an intensive course and once you participate we expect full commitment when participating in the classes.

  • Depending on availability, classes take place from 09:00-12:00 or 13:00-16:00 (3 hours a day)
  • Classes are held online via Zoom
  • Approximately 10-12 participants per class


  • Monday 18 July – Friday 29 July; IELTS exam Tuesday 2nd of August
  • Monday 1 August – Friday 12 August; IELTS exam Tuesday 16th of August
  • Monday 15 August – Friday 26 August; IELTS exam Tuesday 30th of August

Depending on class sizes, BLTC will assign you to a class. The above dates are not definitive.

The IELTS exam will take place at BLTC (Oxford House: Prins Hendrikkade 193, 1011 TD Amsterdam). Optionally you can sign up for an extra face-to-face exam training at BLTC on the morning of the exam.

Criteria to participate

  • Proof of (conditional) admission 
    It is sufficient to show correspondence or a document that indicates that you are accepted into a programme by the university if you meet all admission criteria. If you do not have this (yet), contact the Dutch university you have applied for.
  • English level B1+/B2

In case you are not sure of your level, contact BLTC for a level indication.

  • Indication of the required IELTS level to be admitted to a study

On the webpage of your study, the required IELTS level is indicated. In most cases, you need a 6.0 score for a Bachelor's programme and 7.0 for a Master's programme.

  • Proof that you fall under the EU temporary protection regime

For more information see: https://ind.nl/en/ukraine/temporary-protection-directive-ukraine In case you cannot obtain proof of the IND within the given time, please share the document indicating that you have received a BSN number after 24 February 2022.


1. Apply directly at BLTC via bltc@bltc.nl indicating that you want to participate in the IELTS preparation course of UAF for refugee students from Ukraine and provide the following information:

  •  Name and contact details
  • Proof of (conditional) admission
  • Indication of required English level to be admitted
  • Proof of EU temporary protection regime (sticker and/or BSN document)
  • Indication if and in which year you took a language exam before (IELTS/TOEFL/Cambridge).
  • Indicate that you want to participate in the IELTS preparation course of BLTC and UAF for refugee students from Ukraine

2. Criteria to participate (see above) are checked by BLTC.

3. An intake test will be delivered by BLTC (online test + a short Zoom call)

4. Based on the intake you are provided with the following options:

  • IELTS-level ready: Possibility to directly take the IELTS test
  • Sufficient language level of B1+/B2: Participation in preparation course + IELTS test
  • Insufficient language level: Advice for self-study options + contact in September for possible extensive and longer options to prepare for the IELTS exams

Financial coverage

The UAF covers the following costs:

  • IELTS course (30 hours with a teacher + 30 hours of self-study)
  • (online) books and training materials
  • IELTS exam
  • Optionally: IELTS face-to-face training (3 hours)
  • 1-time travel costs to and from Amsterdam for the IELTS exam

Needs to be paid upfront and later reimbursed by UAF.


For now, we offer one-time support for refugee students from Ukraine to be eligible to start studying as we have received many requests to offer financial support to meet admission criteria. In the future, we will see whether we need to extend our services for more admission courses or counselling during the study as well.