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 Core Course
University of Groningen Required Core Course
Spatial Problems and Spatial Policies: The Dutch Experience
The core course uses the Dutch experience of defining spatial problems and devising, implementing, and monitoring spatial policies to investigate more widely applicable aspects of national, urban, and regional planning. It is taught by specialized staff from the Department of Spatial Sciences and coordinated through weekly tutorials and seminars. Lecture topics include Population Dynamics, Cultural Geography of the Netherlands, Physical Geography of the Netherlands, Dutch Water Management Policies, Transportation and Mobility, International Position of the Netherlands, Spatial Planning, Environmental Planning, Energ,y and Space, Death and Space, Rural Areas and Agriculture in the Netherlands, and Regional Economic Policies. The core course meets during the first block of the semester or “semester a” which lasts 10 weeks and delivers the historical, cultural, and environmental context and foundations for the research project that follows. Contact hours: 65. Credit: 5 semester / 7.5 quarter hours. Fall and spring.
Department of Spatial Sciences Electives
Spatial Planning Group Project
The Group Research Project on Planning takes place during the second block of the semester or “semester b” and lasts six weeks in the Fall, and eight weeks in the spring. The Group Research Project includes the theoretical and practical underpinnings of social science research, research design, and methods via lectures and targeted group tutorials before and during fieldwork. The group project provides students with the opportunity to do an in-depth and focused study on a specific urban/transportation/environmental/demographic topic in the Netherlands. Research groups integrate U.S. and international students from various disciplines allowing for an impressive synergy of approaches and ideas. Contact hours: 140 study hours (26 in classroom and 114 in group meetings). Credit: 3 semester / 4.5 quarter hours. Fall and spring.
Urbanism and Planning
Urbanism and Planning introduces learners to theories, concepts and key examples to understand the social, economic, political and environmental characteristics of cities and the planning of them. This course will look at (among other things) the latest thinking in key disciplinary areas included and understand the evolution of urban governance and planning interventions in a historical perspective ranging from ancient and pre-modern models to the negotiation of competing interests in plural, globalizing societies. Furthermore, it will discuss the historical development of the Dutch landscape and its spatial patterns and relate these developments to challenges regarding in particular housing, water management, infrastructure and the environment. At the end of the course, students will be able to explain planning as an argumentative scientific and practice oriented activity where next to factual knowledge also opinions and diverging interpretations are crucial, and will be able to express this using the right scientific and theoretical terminology. Fall
Migration and Development
Migration is a powerful mechanism in the social and economic dynamics both of migrants themselves and of the places that are involved in migration. At the regional level, for example, we observe that human capital is an increasingly important determinant of economic development. Migration of skilled employees therefore importantly shapes regional differences in economic growth. At the other end, we see places that lose people as a result of migration and suffer the social and economic consequences. At the individual level, migration may be a means to improve your socio-economic position, for example when searching for a new job, or perhaps when running from harsh political circumstances. Migration thus plays a key-role in the lives of people as well as for the regions people live and work. Understanding process of migration is therefore key in understanding the socio-economic development of people and places. Fall.
Philosophies of Social Science, Human Geography, and Planning
This course introduces and engages learners who will not have encountered university philosophy before with key ideas in the philosophy of social science critically relates these ideas to debates and examples of human geography and planning. The aim is to teach students how to use a new methodology, and how to apply this theory in practice. They will read philosophical works and learn how to critically relate newly-found insights to international discussions in human geography and planning Spring.
Geography, Planning and the European Union
In this course, students will learn about geographic and planning phenomena in the European Union. There will be a focus on the legal framework of the European Union and what the EU does in terms of spatial development and spatial planning, as well as what it may hold in store for future plans. Spring
This course deals with population trends, demographic behavior and their inseparable link to place and culture. Socio-spatial questions (mainly in the Netherlands and Europe) will be studied in the context of localization, globalization and (post)modernization. Students will learn about theories explaining demographic changes, trends, and challenges, and their relation to place and the perception of place, looking at both content and methodology. Spring
People, Place, and Culture
Syllabus not available yet. Spring
Dutch Studies Electives
Communication In and About the Netherlands
This course deals with aspects of Dutch culture and communication within the Netherlands and across its borders. The Netherlands has always been a pluralistic society with different cultural and religious groups. In addition, as a seafaring nation, the Netherlands has always had contacts with foreigners. The book central to this course describes Dutch culture and mentality and its roots. Additional literature covers topics such as ethnic minorities in Dutch society and Dutch as a second language, and the image of the Netherlands abroad. Spring.
Dutch Language Course Electives
Dutch is offered at all levels each semester. Dutch language takes place throughout the semester, with two sessions of two hours each per week, ending before Christmas in the fall. Fall and Spring. Contact hours: 45. Credit: 2.5 semester / 3.75 quarter hours.
Dutch Contemporary History in an International Perspective
In this course we will learn about Dutch political history in general, including the pecularities of the Dutch political party system (“pillarization”),the origins and nature of political parties, the history and impact of the Second World War and the onset of multicultural society. There will be a field trip to transit concentration camp Westerbork from where over 100,000 Dutch Jews were deported to death camps in Poland. Spring.
The Language Situation in the Low Countries
This course provides an overview of the development of the Dutch language and its current position. Furthermore, students look at the similarities and differences between Dutch and English, German,and Friesian, and where the phonetics, morphology, and syntax are examined. Students explore the relationship between Dutch in the Netherlands versus in Flanders, the position of the Friesian language, and the relationship between Dutch and Afrikaans. Spring
Dutch 17th Century Art in a Global Context
The Netherlands was one of the most important sites of global encounter and exchange in seventeenth-century Europe. It was also a major center of artistic production and innovation. This course explores connections between Dutch art of the Golden Age and the Netherlands’ role as an international hub of cultural, commercial, and scientific activity. Topics to be considered include: the changing art market and its impact on new audiences and novel types of art; the dissemination of images and ideas through print culture; the representation of global encounters; the formation and representation of new national, civic, political, religious, and social identities; and artistic exchanges between the Netherlands and other cultures. Readings and discussions will examine the art of well-known masters such as Rembrandt, Hals, and Vermeer, as well as less familiar but equally fascinating works by their contemporaries. Although paintings and prints will be a main focus, we will consider the larger context of Dutch material and visual culture and also investigate textiles, sculpture, metalwork, furniture, jewelry, ceramics, and embellished natural specimensSpring.
Migration and Minorities: from the Dutch Golden Age to the Present
Syllabus not available yet. Spring
Syllabus not available yet. Spring
Dutch Studies Lecture Series
The lecture series on Dutch Culture and Society is a course aiming not only at foreign students, but also at visiting faculty members or employees of international business companies. Every Wednesday evening, a lecture is given on a broad range of topics—Rembrandt, water management, language in the low lands, political culture, land reclamation, Dutch economy, and the former Dutch colonies are examples. Fall and Spring.
Dutch Literature: 1870s-1960s
This literature course introduces students to Dutch literature from the 1870s to the 1960s. The course offers a survey of the highlights of Dutch nineteenth and twentieth century literature in relationship to the society and (cultural) history of the Low Countries. Students will learn to analyze the relationship between text and context, practice the cultural historical approach of literature and discuss the use of literature as a historical source. Students will also learn to analyze study the mechanisms of canonization and (literary) history writing. Primary texts include Multatuli’s Max Havelaar, Couperus’ The hidden force and Two Women, by Harry Mulisch. Fall
Visual & Textual Culture of the Dutch Golden Age
The Dutch Republic’s Golden Age was characterized by a flourishing of the arts and sciences, by a dominant position in world-wide trade, by massive migration, and by religious conflicts as well as religious tolerance. This course will explore cultural representations in textual and visual arts. How do they inform us about life, society, attitudes and values in the Dutch Republic? And how significant might they be for our understanding of Dutch society today? Fall
Dutch Identity (and Difference) in Historical Perspective
In this class we will examine different aspects of Dutch national identity in a historical perspective, and with a keen eye for differences: gender, ethnicity, “race,” class, and - fundamental for Dutch history - religion. We will discuss the anxieties about national identity in the nineteenth-century, that led to the foundation of the Rijksmuseum as a “shrine of Dutch artistic values,” the Dutch scenes of farmers and fishermen and women by the world famous painter Jozef Israëls, or the uses of folklore in political contexts, such as the women’s suffrage movement. All this comes down to an important issue: what is collective identity, how is it constructed, negotiated and denied? Fall
Dutch Society in a Comparative Perspective (1000-2016)
This course deals with the history of the Netherlands from the end of the middle ages to the second half of the twentieth century from an international and national perspective. Developments in social structure, economics and economic and social policy will be emphasized. In the lectures focus will be put on typical elements of the Dutch society in this period, such as: the Golden Age, international trade, late industrialization, the strong position of agro-industry and colonial industry, pillarization and rural developments. Furthermore, attention will be paid to the Dutch colonial empire in the Caribbean and Asia. Fall
Dutch Folktales in an International Context
During the transmission of folktales, stories tend to vary; the tales get adjusted to time, place, narrator, audience, as well as the political and social situation. In many respects, studying folktales like fairy tales, legends, jokes, riddles etc. can tell us a lot about folk life, folk fantasy, their fears and dreams, folk belief and mentality. However, oral tradition appears to be influenced by written tradition as well. Written tradition allows us to remember folktales, so we can keep retelling them. This course is about everything you want to know about folktales: Where do they come from? What do they mean? How and why do they change? And how do they need to be interpreted? The focus will be on the Netherlands, but in an international context. Fall
International Human Action: Dutch Approaches
The Netherlands is one of the most fervent supporters of (inter)governmental action to alleviate suffering worldwide. Consequently, through financing operations and staffing organizations, The Netherlands exert great influence. Dutch civil society has given birth to a multitude of non-governmental humanitarian organizations, recognized globally for professionalism, zeal and tenacity. This introductory course to humanitarian action aims to provide students from various academic backgrounds an appreciation of contemporary challenges faced in supporting the most vulnerable populations in societies around the globe. Be it man-made or natural disasters, the politicization of aid, the militarization of aid, the impact of the financial crisis, security concerns, gender awareness, growing demands for accountability and transparency, all issues shape present day humanitarianism. The Netherlands play a key role in dealing with these challenges, because of past performance and current involvement. The Dutch perspective will be dealt with in all classes. Fall