Netherlands: LGBTQ+ Rights & Dutch Culture

Video and Photos


Begin your journey with a stay in a castle, then travel like locals with a bike tour around Heemskerk before heading to Amsterdam. See the city’s canals, visit cultural landmarks, such as the Anne Frank House and Artis Zoo, and share daily life with a local family during a homestay. Attend workshops on gender and transgender issues, marriage rights, and other topics while visiting organizations and meet with an elderly LGBTQ+ population.

In The Hague, visit the Peace Palace and stop by the Rutgers World Population Foundation, one of the oldest organizations promoting sex education. Continue to Rotterdam, Europe’s largest port city.Meet with LGBTQ+ youth and experience the city’s multicultural vibe.

Participate in a spoken-word poetry workshop and experience how poetry can serve as a tool in the struggle for equality and social justice. Travel to Sneek, a town known for its outdoor activities. Try typical Frisian sports and sail in a traditional sailboat.

  • Leadership
  • Social Change
  • Peace, Politics, and Human Rights
  • Community Service
  • Homestay

Questions & Answers


based on 6 reviews
  • Growth 10
  • Support 9.8
  • Fun 10
  • Housing 9.8
  • Safety 9.8
Showing 1 - 6 of 6
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The Netherlands

My time on this trip was amazing. I met so many different people and learned so much from them. Learning about the rich history of the Netherlands while also emerging myself in LGBTQ+ knowledge was a very great opportunity. While there, I have made so many life long connections that have made me realize a lot of things about myself. By being able to explore Amsterdam, I was exposed to so many different types of people that have changed my life for the better.

Yes, I recommend
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An immersive insight on gender and sexuality

When your trip begins by sleeping in a historic Dutch castle, you can already tell that this will be a truly unforgettable experience. At least, that's the way that I felt during my once-in-a-lifetime journey to the Netherlands through the Experiment's LGBTQ+ Rights and Dutch Culture program! Through this program, we were immersed in the Dutch life (primarily based in Amsterdam) while maintaining a keen focus on human rights and intersectionality in the context of Dutch history, culture, and society. During the day, we participated in activities including a black heritage boat tour and an LGBTQ+ tour of the Artis Zoo, profound lectures discussing topics such as trans* issues and the African diaspora, and excursions to cities such as Utrecht and Rotterdam. In the evening, we had the opportunity to explore Amsterdam's various diverse neighborhoods, try new restaurants, go shopping at local establishments, and converse with locals on the tram ride to our host family. The Netherlands program was structured/organized enough for us to truly learn and get a taste of Dutch culture, while it gave us enough freedom to take risks and explore! Overall, I learned so, so much, both in the classroom and on foot, and would definitely go on an experience like this again. I highly recommend the Experiment, and specifically the Netherlands program -- you will bond with a great group of people and remember this trip for the rest of your life!

How can this program be improved?
Honestly, can this program last forever? Three-and-a-half weeks was not enough at all! More Dutch lessons would have been appreciated as well, but the Netherlands is pretty easy to survive in even with limited Dutch knowledge.
Yes, I recommend
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Once in a Lifetime Opportunity.

The program helped me become more aware of the ever growing issues regarding not only the LGBTQ+ community but also those pertaining to human rights as well. Throughout our three week stay in the Netherlands, we participated in lectures by well-versed instructors about topics that ranged from Black diasporic music and literature to Trans* Issues in Netherlands and visited organizations such as The Hangout, a safe space for LGBTQ+ teens, in Rotterdam. My sole experience does not determine the one you may have, but I know that there will be certain sentiments that will remain the same, such as missing the glistening canals as you make your way through the city, the feeling of bliss as you walk past that one bakery on your way to the office that resembled the ones you saw in Disney cartoons, and understanding that being around individuals with the same sense of motivation to make the community they live in a better place is rare and should be cherished.

How can this program be improved?
More time! Rather than three, I wish we had least four weeks on the trip.
Yes, I recommend

I felt like I had found a second family

I went into the program not knowing what to expect and I came out with experiences that will shape my life forever. In this program I was pushed to view my American sexual education in a different light when comparing it to the education in the Netherlands. From an exhibit about sex in the Amsterdam Children's Museum to the sexual education that begins in kindergarten, I fell in love with the open attitudes people have about sex. We had amazing speakers in the classroom who were all so knowledgable in their field. But really the best part of the trip for me was the people I went with. The group leaders were so good about making sure we safe and having fun. And the other students were some of the most open minded and inclusive people you could ever meet. By the end of the three weeks I felt like I had created a family with them. I will never forget the late night talks with my roommates about everything from gay hookup culture to police brutality. Before lessons in the morning those early to the office would have coffee together and talk about activism and queer* culture and sexual education. That is the kind of environment that this program fosters. This program was full of learning both inside and outside of the classroom. The ability to really get close to the other participants in the hostels was probably my favorite part. Although we didn't get much sleep, I learned so much about other people's perspectives on the word. Because everyone had such diverse backgrounds, we we all able to come at topics with a different perspective. My favorite memory was the last hostel stay where we all stayed up just talking about life, death, body image, activism, queer* culture, kink, sex, private schools, institutional racism, and so much more. The people that want to be having these conversations are the ones that go on this trip. Be prepared to share your perspective and have it pushed by others.

The title of this trip was LGBTQ+ Rights & Dutch Culture, but I would say it leans much more heavily on LGBTQ+ rights and human rights. We spent very little time on Dutch culture (not including our own explorations of the city which were amazing but more of a self learning) and had only one lesson in Dutch. However, I do not think that this negatively impacted my trip an any way. We learned about the African Diaspora though music, and got to visit an interactive museum about the challenges and hardships of immigration, and have a tour of everything queer* at the zoo (fun fact pretty much every animal has gay sex). And those experiences I would not trade for a lesson in Dutch that I wouldn't be able to remember after a few weeks.

How can this program be improved?
One of the few improvements that I would really like to see for this program would be more time! This program was so meaningful to my growth but it felt so short. There were so many conversations that we never got to have. I wish we could have spent more days exploring the country in hostels, but I also loved being at home with my host family. So the obvious answer would be for this program to be extended another week.

The one (and only) negative aspect of this trip was that my host mother did not understand that I was genderqueer. She was a wonderful person and took great care of me. But I wish the program would have had some sort of training for the host families-- especially for a program centered on LGBTQ+ rights.
No, I don't recommend
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Netherlands: Opening up the door to talk about gender and sexual studies

I really enjoyed my experience at SIT, and would definitely recommend the program to anyone interested in studying human rights from the perspective of a different country. The program opened my eyes to the different problems the LGBTQ+ community faces all around the world, and the different work being done to eradicate the prejudice the individuals in this community face every day. I would say this program helped me be a better ally to my LGBTQ+ friends and family which I will be eternally grateful for. This program not only allows you to learn more about human rights, but also allows you to travel the beautiful country of The Netherlands, and learn about its complicated history. Overall, it was a special and enlightening experience.

How can this program be improved?
This program could be improved by adding more time to the itinerary. I think we got the amazing opportunity to travel to many different cities, and meet a lot of different people, but many times this all felt rushed. I wish we would have had more time to relax and enjoy all these opportunities.
Yes, I recommend
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Life Changing

This trip was one of the most influential and life changing experiences I have ever had the opportunity to participate in. Our group consisted of approximately 14 like-minded students from around the world. All participants were eager to learn, engage, and bring what they learned back to their communities and offer insight from where they are from. Our group leaders were fantastic and more than qualified to lead. We were taught about various subjects including activism, feminism, sex education, sex work, and women's rights. We were in interactive classes being taught by people who are professionals in their field of study. Although the classes were a large part of the program, we had excursions to surrounding cities. This was easily the best thing I have ever been apart of and strongly encourage anyone even considering this program to go ahead and take the leap. You won't regret it.

How can this program be improved?
More time with host family
more time to rest after flight
Yes, I recommend


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About The Experiment in International Living

The Experiment in International Living provides 3-, 4-, and 5-week summer programs for high school students who want to connect deeply and engage meaningfully with the richness and complexities of another country.

Programs equip students not only...