Perfect for pairing with other programs.
Come spend the summer in The Netherlands, the perfect site to examine social challenges the country faces with a critical lens.
Using the dynamic cities of Groningen and Amsterdam as your laboratories, explore the Dutch water management, bike infrastructure, and urban planning. Guided site visits to places like a drug safe house and the prostitution information center provide you with a behind the scenes look at Dutch social policy in practice.
Study abroad in Groningen and Amsterdam with CIEE and you will:
- Study environmental studies in Groningen during Session I and gain a greater understanding of the innovative ways in which the Dutch approach these areas
- Study contemporary Dutch contemporary social policy in the capital of the Netherlands (Amsterdam) during Session II and learn more about Dutch policies concerning subjects like prostitution, drugs, and abortion
- Live in the practical, environmentally-conscious country of the Netherlands
Scholarships & Grants
Scholarships & Grants
We want as many students as possible to benefit from studying abroad. That’s why CIEE awards more than $3 million every year – more than any other international educational organization – to make study abroad affordable.
Applicants to this program are eligible for the following scholarships and grants:
To be considered, simply check the “Scholarships and Grants” box on your program application.
The CIEE Difference
The CIEE Difference
Intercultural Comparative Experience
Travel with fellow CIEE students to a new city to explore history, art, architecture, culture, and social challenges. Part of every short-term program, our three-day Intercultural Comparative Experiences are an ideal way to expand your global perspective and sharpen your cultural awareness.
*Note: Locations are subject to change.
- Session I: Madrid
- Session II: London
Students can explore the Dutch approach to water management and city planning in Groningen during Session I and then choose to stay on for the Contemporary Dutch Social Policy course during Session II in Amsterdam, where you’ll use guided site visits to supplement lectures on Dutch social policies, giving you the opportunity to form you own opinions about the effectiveness of their implementation and practice.
In addition to field visits around the cities of Groningen and Amsterdam, you’ll also venture into the Dutch countryside, offering you insight into typical Dutch rural life as an alternative to the city.
Dates, Deadlines & Fees
Dates, Deadlines & Fees
We want to make sure you get the most out of your experience when you study abroad with CIEE, which is why we offer the most inclusions in our fees.
- Tuition and housing
- Pre-departure advising and optional on-site airport meet and greet
- Full-time program leadership and support
- Field trips and cultural activities
- CIEE iNext travel card which provides insurance and other travel benefits
Please note, program dates are subject to change. Please contact your CIEE Study Abroad Advisor before purchasing airfare. Click the
button to view more detailed information about dates and fees as well as estimated additional costs. Please talk with your University Study Abroad Advisor about additional fees that may be charged by your home institution when participating in a program abroad.
terms to be announced
to be announced
In The Netherlands, all study abroad students take the required course during each session, Society, Environment, Transportation and Space: The Dutch Experience in Groningen during Session I, and if you choose to continue on for Session II, Contemporary Dutch Social Policy in Amsterdam.
About the City
About The City
Amsterdam, with world-renowned museums, art galleries, music, opera, and theater is a truly international and multicultural city. Amsterdam offers the advantages of a cosmopolitan city with a small-town feel. Because it is so compact, bicycles are the most convenient means of transportation; in fact, bicycles outnumber the people in Amsterdam!
Located in the north, Groningen is a lively city offering everything you would expect from a city with many cafes, shops, historic monuments, theaters, parks, and markets. Groningen is the youngest city in the Netherlands with about a fourth of its population being students.
Meet The Staff
Meet The Staff
As the program coordinator for CIEE's Social Sciences program, Jonathan Key is committed to ensuring that students who enroll in this program are afforded every opportunity to pursue their academic interests during their study abroad in the Netherlands. From course selection to grade conversion, Jonathan is there to help students navigate the landscape and academic ethos of Dutch higher education. Jonathan came to this position after serving as the resident coordinator of CIEE's Study Center in Groningen, where he ran the Urban Planning and Society semester program and the Society, Environment, Transportation, and Space summer program.
Born and raised in Belgium, Jonathan has been fascinated with the United States for as long as he can remember, and after being an exchange student in Oregon for a year after high school, he knew he wanted to spend the rest of his life in the orbit of the U.S. Without knowing it at the time, he took his first step on the road to becoming an Americophile when he watched his first episode of American TV as a toddler, and television has since then been closely bound up with his understanding of the U.S. He married the two during his undergraduate and graduate studies at the University of Groningen, graduating with a BA and MA degree in American Studies in which he focused principally on unpacking the changing representation of women on the small screen.
Caroline Rotenberg brings her experience as a former CIEE student to her job as the student services coordinator in the CIEE Amsterdam office. Born and raised in the States to a Dutch mother and an American father, her knowledge of and appreciation for both cultures were instilled from a young age and was only further instilled during her semester studying abroad in Amsterdam as a CIEE student in 2009. She received a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Kenyon College and returned to Amsterdam for her master’s degree in Migration in Ethnic Studies at the University of Amsterdam. During her master’s degree, Caroline began working for CIEE where she has continued working after her graduation in 2013.
Growing up in a small town in the north of the Netherlands, Renée decided after high school to move to Amsterdam to study. Although she has great memories of her home town, she was sure she wanted to explore more and go beyond the borders of what she knew. While doing a bachelor’s in Communications she was lucky enough to go abroad twice; one semester at Seneca College in Toronto, Canada, and one semester doing an internship in the tourism industry in Cape Town, South Africa. She loved to be in an international environment, learn new things, and meet new people. When she got back to the Netherlands she went on to earn an international master’s degree in Sociology (with a special focus on Migration and Ethnic Studies) at the University of Amsterdam.
In 2008, she was appointed resident coordinator at CIEE. From 2008 onwards she has seen the Amsterdam Study Center grow from one program in Social Sciences to several semester and summer programs in both Amsterdam and Groningen. During these years she got to know all aspects of the programs; academics, housing, program development and overseeing the office as a whole.
Renée loves working with international students; seeing the excitement on arrival day and the comfort upon departure; She truly believe it’s a fascinating process how one makes a place his or her new home.
Fjaere van der Stok
Fjære was raised in the forests of the Northeast Appalachians and on the shores of the Saint Lawrence River by an American mother and a Dutch father. Fjaere moved to the Netherlands when she was seventeen and fell in love with Groningen. She earned a B.A. in French and is currently working on an M.A. in American Studies at the University of Groningen. She loves reliving her own acquaintance with Dutch culture through the eyes of the students attending the Urban Planning & Society program at the University of Groningen. She collects rings, drinks coffee, is obsessed with puppies, and misses the mountains and autumn leaves of New England.
Cato van Hees
Cato is the program coordinator for the Business and Culture Program In Amsterdam. After high school Cato took part in two language courses abroad, which inspired her to study in an international environment and learn more about foreign cultures. Consequently, she studied International Business and Management at the Hanze University of Applied Sciences in Groningen, which provided Cato with a thorough understanding of economic and business studies and international exchange. During her own experience abroad, Cato studied Economics and Business at the Complutense University of Madrid and completed an internship at the International Office of the Monterrey Institute for Technology and Higher Education in México.
Where You'll Study
Where You'll Study
During the first session in Groningen, students study at the International School of Spatial Policy Studies at the University of Groningen. Students can take part in a rich academic tradition, while enjoying the student-centered city. While in Amsterdam, students study at or nearby the CIEE Study Center, located on the Roetersstraat on the eastern side of the city center, steps from Amsterdam’s Zoo and in close proximity to the University of Amsterdam.
Housing & Meals
Housing & Meals
Housing is included in the study abroad program fee. Students are placed in single rooms in residence halls with shared shower and kitchen facilities (in some cases shower and/or kitchen might be private). Residence halls are within a short commute by foot, bike, or bus to the CIEE Study Center in Amsterdam and to the University of Groningen Meals are not included in the program fee and are the responsibility of the student. Meals may be taken at affordable restaurants, in the University cafeteria, or prepared in the residence’s kitchen facilities.
At the beginning of the program, a mandatory orientation organized by CIEE staff is held to introduce students to Dutch culture and to the academic program, as well as to provide practical information about living in the Netherlands. Ongoing support is provided on a group and individual basis throughout the program.
Internet cafés are available throughout the Netherlands. The residence halls offer Internet access and students are encouraged to bring wireless-enabled laptops.
In addition to field visits around the city of Amsterdam, students also venture into the Dutch countryside, which offers them insight into typical Dutch rural life as an alternative to the city.
In addition to numerous day trips and activities associated with each course, one overnight excursion is offered during each four-week session. Students participating in the Society, Environment, Transportation, and Space: The Dutch Experience program in Groningen visit Amsterdam, the multicultural center of the Netherlands.
The CIEE Study Center in Amsterdam was established in 1993; the summer study abroad program began in 2007. The summer program includes two tfour-week sessions looking at Water management, Infrastructure, and Urban Planning (Groningen) in session one and contemporary Dutch social policy in session two (Amsterdam).
Contemporary Netherlands Studies is ideal for students interested in social policy or environmental studies. It allows students to develop a better understanding of Dutch social policies and the country’s interest in sustainable living. In addition to a classroom component, the study abroad program also involves guided site visits and excursions.
Both courses include a combination of lectures, active participation, guest speakers, and guided site visits. Students visit organizations related to the themes covered in the course and are asked to give a presentation of their findings. Students are evaluated based on active participation, a presentation, and a final 15-page paper on one of the themes discussed in the course.
Nature of Classes
In Groningen students from partner universities of the RUG might join the summer class, while in Amsterdam the class is with CIEE study abroad participants only.
Grades are based on a combination of class participation, oral presentations, and papers. Grades are based on a numerical scale of 1 to 10, rather than on letters. The numerical scale will be translated to American letter grades on the final CIEE grade report.
Language of Instruction
Qualified lecturers from various institutes of higher learning in The Netherlands teach the required CIEE courses.
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.
CIEE Study Center Syllabi
To view the most recent syllabi for courses taught by CIEE at our Study Centers, visit our syllabi site.
Required CIEE Courses
Society, Environment, Transportation, and Space: The Dutch Experience
This course provides students with a solid foundation of the Dutch economy, policies surrounding the environment, and transportation and space. The aim of this course is to help students develop an understanding of the ways that the Netherlands deals with economic, environmental, and settlement challenges. These challenges are placed in the context of increasing levels of globalization, the expected effects of the changing climate on water management and flood protection systems, as well as sustainability concerns related to increasing levels of mobility in general—all of which seem to have an even stronger impact on the population of one of the most densely populated countries of the world. At the same time, the course aims to challenge participants to reflect on economic, environmental, and planning issues in their home country by exposing them to Dutch spatial-economic problems and the Dutch experiences of planning policies implemented to deal with those problems. Students explore “planning” in an economic sense (including regional economic development), spatial planning (including housing, settlement planning, and transportation planning), and environmental planning (including water management). Special attention is devoted to the Dutch history, successes, failures, and future challenges of water management (flood protection and water quality), specifically in the light of the expected consequences of rising sea levels and changing annual precipitation distributions for the Netherlands. A second focus is on intensive land-use planning or the “compact city policy” as a successful instrument to counteract sprawl. This course takes place in Groningen with an overnight excursion to Amsterdam.
NLST 3001 NETU
Contemporary Dutch Social Policy
The goal of this course is to help students gain a greater understanding of the Netherlands and to increase their social awareness of the Amsterdam community in which they are studying. The course seeks to accomplish this through lectures combined with guided site visits within organizations that deal with the social policy topics and issues covered in the lectures. Through an examination of social policy theory and practice, students are challenged to “see” their surroundings from a sociological and anthropological point of view, and to examine where policy and practice are working well and where they may be less successful. In the lectures, social and legal policy is studied as it affects certain groups, e.g., prostitutes, drug addicts, and immigrants. Through the guided site visits, students have the opportunity to form their own opinions about the effectiveness of the implementation and practice of these social policies and to ask staff working in the organization questions about the policies themselves. A general historical overview of the Netherlands is given in order to establish a framework for themes on social policy. This is followed by lectures on tolerance covering such issues as drugs, prostitution policy, abortion, and euthanasia. Multiculturalism is also addressed. This course takes place in Amsterdam.