Experiential Learning in Amsterdam

Programs for this blog post

Social Sciences + Humanities

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CIEE Amsterdam

If there's one thing you'll come to realize after studying abroad (and specifically in Amsterdam), it's that difference matters.  

When one pictures the Netherlands, it's hard not to immediately think of vast tulip fields, wooden clogs, yards of stacked gouda cheese wheels and a nuclear family in milkmaid hats. No one can hardly be blamed for this- these stereotyped images are what are most often depicted in the media, and the same can be said of Dutch culture and political structures-- many people see Amsterdam as a tolerant city boasting a long history as a haven to persecuted groups throughout Europe, a city which enforces progressive social policies and looks out for the underdogs. 

At CIEE Amsterdam, we want to show you that there is so much more than what meets the eye, and to especially be mindful of the frames which control what narratives are able to meet the eye.  

Participating in any CIEE Study Abroad program means that you'll be able to join many all-inclusive activities, day and overnight trips to orient you around an unfamiliar country when you first arrive, get to do things you normally wouldn't think of when you're settled and see all that your multifaceted new home has to offer.  

CIEE Amsterdam's extracurricular activity program is a special one, and one that is designed with a simple question in mind: what do we define as culture, and what lived realities exist in Amsterdam? 

By embedding the intercultural component into every activity, each visit, trip and excursion will make you critically question things which otherwise might seem natural, dissect pre-conceived notions and make you reflect on your own culture and society in a life-changing way.  

All the while having a great, fun time, of course! In the past, we've boarded a refugee boat to hear funny, heartwarming migrant stories of the Netherlands while cruising along the canals, explored Amsterdam city center's dark side through the eyes of the formerly addicted and homeless and checked out world renowned art exhibitions, film festivals and dance or theater performances spotlighting key social issues. We've seen spectacular drag shows in Amsterdam's LGBTQ+ district, been on exclusive tours of parliament in the Hague, had productive discussions about class difference in Haarlem and understand how the social climate informs architecture in Rotterdam.  

Don’t just take it from us, check out past student reviews! 

“It's interesting to get to see parts of the Netherlands that we would not usually see.” 

“The activities have been great so far! I really appreciate the focus on alternative and social justice perspectives in all of the activities so far. It is clear in the activity choices that you all care about providing a more thought-provoking and real Amsterdam experience, and it has very much impressed me.” 

“I like getting to know Amsterdam through different lenses, I think it's really valuable.” 

“I like how many of the trips have had a focus on social justice and centered local voices in Amsterdam.” 

“I think they have been a great way to explore different parts of Amsterdam/Netherlands, learn about the Dutch culture and history, and have educational conversations as well as fun!”

In short, CIEE Amsterdam's hands-on activities will provide you with valuable learning opportunities unattainable elsewhere.  They'll allow you to see perspectives of Amsterdam from all over, from identities and communities which you otherwise would probably not see, but in essence are what make Amsterdam to be the beautiful multicultural city that it is. We celebrate difference at CIEE Amsterdam, and sharing this with you is our favorite thing to do!