Amsterdam, Netherlands

Queer Life & Activism

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Information for term Queer Life & Activism

Application deadline, and cost information.

Application Deadline

Rolling Admissions

Program Deadlines and Pricing Info

  • Dates: Jun 9 – 29, 2019 (3 weeks)

Application Deadline

Rolling Admissions

Program Deadlines and Pricing Info

  • Dates: Jul 7 – 27, 2019 (3 weeks)


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Live and learn in a city famous for its canals, coffeehouses and liberal politics.

Narrow, winding streets and gabled 17th century rooftops, Rembrandt Square, the Flower Market and the Anne Frank House. Although Amsterdam is known for its rich artistic heritage and important historic landmarks, its mindset is definitely not stuck in the past.

Here you’ll explore issues surrounding queer identity and LGBTQ equal rights in one of the world’s most open-minded societies. Amsterdam makes for a fascinating case study and living laboratory for your summer studies as you delve into LGBTQ news and developments in the here and now – and then compare this with the state of affairs in the U.S.

Outside of class and community activism, you’ll still have time to soak up the culture and summer sun. Live in a hostel with friends, bike along the canals, and take in the sights and sounds of summer. Visit an open-air market, try the legendary Dutch fries with mayonnaise, and get your fill of gooey stroopwafel and puffy poffertjes. Festivals celebrating music, art, dance, theater, film and food offer something for everyone.

Over the month you’ll track your daily takeaways and intercultural connections in a multimedia journal – and then present your final insights in an interactive classroom presentation. Come home with lasting memories and a renewed commitment to social justice in all aspects of life.


  • Portfolio

    Portfolio items including a final multimedia journal project


    Demonstrated knowledge about LGBTQ rights and laws in Amsterdam, the Netherlands and the U.S.


    A certificate of learning in Social Justice

Location & Culture

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Enjoy art, culture and camaraderie in the “gay capital of Europe.”

Did you know? Amsterdam has more canals than Venice and more bicycles than people. With 140 bicycle shops and 400 km of bike paths crisscrossing the city, it’s easy to rent, ride and get around.

Amsterdam also has 40 museums with a range of collections, from quirky to world-renowned. Along with ones focused on cheese, spectacles, hemp, handbags and cat culture, there are major destinations dedicated to Dutch masters and modern art. With your group you’ll tour the three in the Museum Quarter: the Van Gogh Museum; the Rijksmuseum, the national art and history collection with paintings by Rembrandt and Vermeer; and the Stedelijk, containing contemporary photography, mixed media and works by Jackson Pollock, Andy Warhol and Henri Matisse. The Vondelpark, the city’s largest green space, is right next door.

Although Amsterdam has nearly 800 years of history to explore, most people associate the city with progressive politics.

The Netherlands is globally recognized as one of the most liberal and socially progressive countries in the world, a reputation which was cemented by becoming the first country in the world to legalize same-sex marriage in 2001. This historic advancement in LGBTQ rights was in large part spearheaded by the city of Amsterdam, which has always been the epicenter of the LGBTQ movement in the Netherlands, as well as the self-declared “gay capital of Europe.” What this short history of LGBTQ rights in the Netherlands leaves out, however, is the many ways in which the struggle for equal rights for all members of the broad LGBTQ community is still an unfinished project, which profoundly impacts the reality of being LGBTQ in the Netherlands – even and especially in the city of Amsterdam.


Daily Life

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Daily Life

"After my trip with CIEE I have definitely grown in ways I never could if I had stayed in the US."

Learn more about daily life on a high school study abroad program by reading our blogs.

  • Housing

    Hostel in Amsterdam

  • Local Support

    24/7 Support from your CIEE program leader and in-country CIEE staff members


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Activities & Excursions

Sample Activities

  • Bike around the Hoge Veluwe, one of the Netherlands’ biggest national parks.
  • Take an interactive LGBTQ walking tour of the city of Amsterdam.
  • View famous paintings by Rembrandt, Vincent van Gogh, and other Dutch masters and focus on a variety of queer art on a guided tour of the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam’s premier art museum.
  • Check out the oldest gay bar in Amsterdam – now an official historical landmark and mini-museum.
  • Prep for Amsterdam Gay Pride activities and work with local Gay-Straight Alliances to improve the lives of local high school students.
  • Take a multi-day excursion to Rotterdam, the Netherlands’ second-biggest city, and study the city’s iconic modern architecture and multicultural composition.

Dates & Fees

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Dates & Fees


  • Program open to all current high school students: Freshmen, Sophomores, Juniors, and Seniors. 
  • For scholarship eligibility requirements, please check our Scholarship page.



Program scholarships and tuition include iNext Travel Insureance, but do not cover the cost of flights. More details about tuition inclusions can be found here.


Application Due

Start Date

End Date


Summer Session I 2019 3 weeks Rolling Admissions Jun 9, 2019 Jun 29, 2019


Summer Session II 2019 3 weeks Rolling Admissions Jul 7, 2019 Jul 27, 2019


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