Netherlands: LGBTQ+ Rights & Advocacy

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About

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.

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

Questions & Answers

Reviews

100%
based on 12 reviews
  • Growth 10
  • Support 9.9
  • Fun 10
  • Housing 9.2
  • Safety 9.8
Showing 1 - 12 of 12
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Terry
10/10

Netherlands Program- Terry

My experience in the Netherlands has to be like none other. It was my first time out of the country and is one of the best times I have ever had in my life. I was able to find my own identity while being surrounded by other straight and LGBTQ community members all working together to create more of a progressive society. I am absolutely in love with the Dutch Culture and obsessed with their fries (delicious). My highlight would have to be my time with my host mother, Vaje, who has to be the most sweetest person I have ever met. We still keep in contact and wish everybody is able to have the experience I was fortunate enough to have. PS. I have made long life programs.

How can this program be improved?
I would just do more of thorough home-stay check because I know some of my friends did not have the best home stay mothers. But other then that, I have nothing to complain about.
Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Bradie
10/10

I never knew I always wanted:

A large family. Dutch pancakes. Public transportation. The sound of the canal as I walked to school.
I never knew how much I wanted to travel abroad until I did with the experiment. My program was breathtaking, captivating, and utterly resonates with anyone identifying in and around the LGBTQ+ community. I was the only cis-straight gendered person in attendance of the program, but that made it all the more special to me. The trip was fantastic, educating, and breathtaking at every turn. I can't pick a best part. There was absolutely too many to choose from. The friends I made, the connections I created with our group leaders will stay with me forever.
You not only get a rich education, but also a cultural immersion that will leave a lasting impact on you. You get freedom, you get family, you get everything you could have ever wanted in a study abroad trip.

How can this program be improved?
We had a few hiccups with the housing issue and host parents being closed minded. My particular experience was amazing, I was in a house by myself with my host mom who was absolutely wonderful. But others I know had a hard time and many had to be transferred.
Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Cresaria
10/10

The Best Experience

When I first signed up for this trip I didn't know what to expect. Everyone would tell me how unforgettable it would be. After going on it for myself I say the same thing to others. I wouldn't trade this experience for anything else. I will remember my trip and the people I was with forever and use what I learned on it for the rest of my life. This is something that is once in a lifetime and if you have the opportunity to do something like it, always take that chance to do it. This was one of the best experiences I’ve ever had and would 100% recommend this trip to anyone who asked me about it.

Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Neftali
10/10

My Growth

This summer I went to The Netherlands for LGBTQ+ rights, human rights, and dutch culture. Although most of the trip was exciting, it was during the most challenging parts that I found out what my strengths and weaknesses are. I already knew that I wasn’t a perfect person coming into this trip, but coming out, I knew how I wanted to improve as a person, although the goal is now not to be perfect. Interculturally, coming into Amsterdam, I thought I was going to be disrespected because of my race, but I learned how to immerse myself into their culture. I needed them to know about my culture and it’s difficulties concerning my race before I learned how dutch people act. Yes, Amsterdam did inspire me to become more active, politically, in my community, but it also changed things about me that I thought were going to be permanent.
When I went to Amsterdam, I knew that the only strength about me was hiding my emotions from other people so that they felt safe. I immediately showed this strength on the plane ride over there. During the flight, there was an extreme amount of turbulence. My partner on my flight was nervous, as was I, but asked to hold my hand during the “scary parts.” Reluctantly, I gave her my hand so that she could feel better, even if it made me feel worse. I wanted her to feel comfortable and relaxed as we went there so that she could start off the trip strong. I consider this a strength of mine because it gives other people the chance to see a warm face when they’re feeling down, like a sense of calmness. I always want the best for people and if a smile could make them feel more welcome to the new country, then I knew I was doing my best to keep them feeling like home. I know that this strength makes it seem like I didn’t pay attention to my own well being, but in the times that I couldn’t hide it, I looked for the first smile in the room to make me feel like I was okay. This is part of the reason I decided to develop this strength. With my own struggles, I personally knew how it felt to be alone from home, and seeing people be okay with it, made me feel like I could also be home without actually being there. I wanted to be that person for someone else. With this strength, I practiced leadership because I knew that people could look up to me and rely on me to tell me how their day was going. Part of being a leader is guiding them to a place where they felt safe. I always wanted to make sure that they comfortable in my bubble. I knew that I’d try my best to cheer them up as best as I could.
Although people could open up to me, I would never be so open with them in return. During the trip, we got asked to share our viewpoints on topics varying from race to sexual harassment. Because my life has been surrounded, heavily, by these subjects, it took a lot of out me. I didn’t want to share out because I thought letting people in would make me look weak and that all my life experiences would categorize me in a different way. However, as the weeks progressed, I was almost forced to come out of my shell. When I did, it felt relieving to tell someone my story. My story had consisted of sexual harassment, emotional manipulation, mentally abusive relationships, and racists encounters. To everyone who heard my story, they made me feel empowered because of the experiences that I went through and to overcome the current fears I have. Even when one of my fears was showing my shoulders again, they encouraged me to have pride in what my body means and to not see myself as a sexual object anymore. Thanks to them, I am currently working on my realistic self appraisal. I know that in the past I haven’t had much confidence and before school ended last year, I hit my lowest point. Amsterdam was a time where I was able to explore how confident I was with myself, with strangers, and then my family. I cannot overcome these intense battles within a couple months, but I know that with the strong support system I developed in Amsterdam, I can always have people cheering me on.
Before I left to the Netherlands, my dad told me one thing. “Be careful about your surroundings because you’re Mexican.” Until then, I had never cautiously been aware of the position I was in because I was brown. I’ve grown up in Houston, Texas, all my life, so diversity was always around me. When I arrived in the Netherlands, I had never felt so much like an outcast. I could never relate to the stories of those around me because they weren’t as stigmatized as I was. However, that’s not to say I never had a racist experience in the past. My defense was to guard up and protect myself regarding the possibility of someone trying to harm me. This caused me to become a very worrisome traveler. As time progressed, I learned to relax myself by talking to my host mom. Through our conversations, I saw how much we had the same political and social understandings. From topics of race to sexual harrasment to education, we were able to see how alike we were, rather than how different we were. In the end, I was able to come to the understanding that everyone is human. This sounds very obvious, but it has become a super complex issue in America. I have learned to see myself only as brown through our current political situation, and nothing else. I had forgotten my value as a human and that I was worth just as much as a white person. Soon after recognizing this, I comfortably went walking in Amsterdam. I stopped comparing myself to other people thinking that they were better than me because of the color of their skin.
Coming back to America after learning my lesson was disappointing. The way people treated others with disrespect showed the complete contrast between American culture and Dutch culture. Although the dutch have Zwarte Piet, they are generally concerned with the well being of others, and most importantly their acceptances. American people, on the other hand, focus more on the differences between people and tend to pay more attention to race than the person as a whole. The dutch experience made me realize the impact stereotypes had on my life and how prominent they were in the american culture. Since then, I have tried to decipher opinions between facts and prejudices to make sure I’m getting the most accurate information about another person/party.

Yes, I recommend this program
Santana
10/10

DON'T MISS THIS OPPORTUNITY

I did this program this past summer and learned so much about queer activism and about myself as a person. I learned how to navigate Amsterdam and it's complex transportation system very easily. I actually came out as transgender non-binary for the first time on this trip because I realized what gender meant to me. Also the Netherlands is beautiful, and people are very nice. And the bond you will form with your group mates will last you for a very long time. YOU WILL NOT REGRET THIS.

How can this program be improved?
I heard that the program is potentially adding a fourth week, which is the best improvement because there just was not enough time to be in the country.
Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Yaneth
10/10

LGBTQ+ rights and dutch culture

It was honestly one of the best experiences a person could have. Not only do you get to know yourself a lot better, but you get to learn about other people who you might not ever get to meet again. I come from a town that's about an hour away from Chicago and there's not much that happens here. Being able to be there and meet dutch and american people who become family is something I would never give back. The food was great, the weather was lovely (they said it was rare but honestly it wouldn't even matter if it was raining all the time), we were able to travel in our groups of 3 to explore Amsterdam and make memories with each other. The 16 people I went with could not have been more perfect. We were all so different and similar and I fell in love with each of them a little bit. If I could go back I would.

How can this program be improved?
Definitely needs to be at least another week longer
Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Danielle
10/10

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 this program
Default avatar
Andre
10/10

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 this program
Default avatar
Dominick
10/10

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 this program
Ky
10/10

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 this program
Default avatar
Paola
10/10

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 this program
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Sydney
10/10

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 this program

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