This summer, come probe a number of Europe’s most pressing social issues in two of its most dynamic cities. You’ll begin in Barcelona, looking at the political, social, and cultural changes Spain has undergone over the past 35 years since the country’s return to democracy. The study abroad program’s second session brings you to Amsterdam where you’ll examine Dutch social policy and evaluate where these practices are working well and where they may be less successful.
Study abroad in Barcelona and Amsterdam and you will:
- Develop insight into the politics, social theory and practice of both countries
- Enjoy site visits to organizations that put you into conversation with both policy makers and those affected by those policies
- Increase your social awareness of your new host communities
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
Expand your global perspective. Choose to spend your three-day intercultural weekend in one of these European cities:
- Barcelona, Spain
- Berlin, Germany
- London, England
- Paris, France
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.
The program fee includes:
- 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.
Program Date Notes
In addition to the items outlined below, the CIEE program fee includes an optional on-site airport meet and greet, full-time leadership and support, orientation, cultural activities, local excursions, field trips, pre-departure advising, and a CIEE iNext travel card which provides insurance and other travel benefits.
Participation Confirmation *
Educational Costs **
This breakdown has been prepared from the program budget for the purpose of calculating eligibility for financial aid. During the course of program operations, actual figures may vary. It should not, therefore, be used as a basis for calculation of refunds. CIEE reserves the right to adjust fees at any time.
Students required to study on CIEE programs through a School of Record will be charged a $340 administrative fee in addition to the Program Fees listed.
** direct cost of education charged uniformly to all students
*** No meals are included while in Amsterdam, nor in the Residencia option in Barcelona. Students selecting the homestay option in Barcelona have two meals per day included while in Barcelona.
Estimated Additional Costs
Meals not included in program fee *
International Airfare **
The estimated additional costs indicated are intended to assist students and parents in budgeting for those additional living and discretionary expenses not included in the program fee. Actual expenses will vary according to student interests and spending habits.
* Estimated amount for all meals for students staying in apartments in Amsterdam plus Residencia in Barcelona. Total estimated meals cost for students living in homestays in Barcelona (for lunches), in addition to all meals while in Amsterdam, is $1150.
** round-trip based on U.S. East Coast departure; note that students will require a multi-destination ticket
Contact hours for all courses are 45 and recommended credit is 6 semester/9 quarter hours, unless otherwise indicated.
All study abroad students take the one course during each session. In Barcelona: Spain Today: Politics and Society, and in Amsterdam: Contemporary Dutch Social Policy.
About the City
About The City
Barcelona is the capital of Catalonia, a region in northeastern Spain with its own distinctive history, culture, and language. Set between mountains and the Mediterranean sea, the city's population is 1.6 million, with a total of 4.5 million in the greater metropolitan area. Walking though the city, one can observe 2,000 years of architectural history—Roman remains, the network of narrow streets in the Old Town, the 19th century Eixample district with its original examples of Modernista architecture—contrasting with the ultramodern showpieces that continue to redesign its skyline.
Amsterdam is full of life, day and night, with world-renowned museums, art galleries, music, opera, theater, and dance. It is a truly international and multicultural city. Amsterdammers are easy-going and welcoming to foreigners, and English is the unofficial second language. With over 750,000 inhabitants, Amsterdam offers the advantages of a cosmopolitan center with a small-town feel. Because the city is so compact, bicycles are the most convenient means of transportation; in fact, bicycles outnumber the people in Amsterdam!
Meet The Staff
Meet The Staff
Marilena De Chiara
Marilena De Chiara supervises and administers the Language and Culture Program and the summer Language and Culture program in Barcelona. She also assists students with academic, administrative and day-to-day matters. Marilena, a native of Naples (Italy), holds a Ph.D. in comparative literature from Universidad Pompeu Fabra and a M.A. in literary criticism. As part of her doctoral studies, she spent a year and a half at Yale University. Her research interests are focused on performance studies and the role of cultural icons in the representation of creative cities like Barcelona. She is also trained in translation studies in Spanish language.
You are about to depart for one of Europe’s most beautiful, dynamic, and cosmopolitan cities. Barcelona is not only a seaside city near spectacular mountains, but it is also a city of artists, architects, and designers. From the audacious heights of Antoni Gaudí’s Sagrada Família church to Salvador Dalí’s surrealist fancies, the city has played host to many artistic movements.
No matter what side of the Catalan character fits your personality best, be prepared for a challenging academic program that will bring many rewards in the future., Barcelona will be the highlight of your undergraduate career.
— Marilena De Chiara, Resident Director
Growing up in a small town in the north of the Netherlands, after high school Renée decided 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 taking part in a PR program 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.
Where You'll Study
Where You'll Study
The CIEE Study Center in Barcelona, Spain, is located in two adjoining historic buildings on Passatge Permanyer, near Passeig de Gràcia and Plaza Catalunya, Barcelona’s main square. This historic passageway provides a quiet haven in the city center and houses CIEE classrooms, a computer lab, and student lounges.
The University of Amsterdam (UvA) dates from Amsterdam’s heyday in the 17th century when the city was one of the world’s most important ports and trading centers. The Athenaeum Illustre, which later became the University of Amsterdam, was founded in 1632. The University is spread out over various parts of the city center and is situated in old buildings and in modern high rises. UvA has an enrollment of more than 25,000 students and a strong commitment to international education, as reflected in its international student body and curriculum.
Housing & Meals
Housing & Meals
Housing is included in the study abroad program fee. Students live in a residence hall or homestay in Barcelona, and a residence hall in Amsterdam.
The size of the classes in Barcelona varies, but there are never more than 15 students. All classes meet Monday through Friday. Study abroad students from the U.S. may notice a substantial difference between the educational style employed in their own countries and that used in the European system. The European educational system allows students a high level of individual responsibility and initiative, and developing an independent and critical way of thinking is strongly encouraged. This academic environment will be part of the challenge for visiting students at the University of Amsterdam.
Nature of Classes
Participants take classes with other CIEE study abroad students only.
In Barcelona, students are graded on the basis of class participation, in-class activities, homework assignments, examinations, papers, and oral presentations, similar to standards in the U.S. Grades are given on a 10-point scale.
In Amsterdam, the credit system is based on a student’s overall workload, including lectures, seminars, and independent study. In general, grades are based on a combination of class participation, oral presentations, papers, and/ or written or oral examinations. Unlike in the U.S>, grades are based on a numerical scale of one to 10, rather than letters. All CIEE participants receive a University of Amsterdam transcript listing course titles, final grades, and credits earned, as well as the CIEE Academic Record which converts the grades to a U.S. grading scale.
Language of Instruction
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 cancelled 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.
Spain Today: Politics and Society
This course focuses on the transition years from 1975 until the present. Spain’s return to democracy and its implications are analyzed in detail. Topics such as the 1978 constitutional system, the creation of a decentralized political system, and an analysis of the different political parties are covered. The course also addresses important sociological aspects, such as the dramatic change undergone by the traditional Spanish family in this period, and the role of the mass media in Spanish society.
Contemporary Dutch Social Policy
The goal of this course is to help study abroad 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, study abroad 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.