I know everyone says this, but studying abroad changed my life. I was fortunate enough to spend summer 2018 (June - July) in the IES Abroad “Amsterdam Summer - Society, Culture & Gender in Amsterdam” program. Since I was about 8 months old, I have been travelling, but the Netherlands was never somewhere that happened to be on my radar of travel. Finding an opportunity to live in a city I had never visited and a program a discipline that wholly fascinated me was pure serendipity. While abroad, I took 2 courses: "Sex and Science: Dutch Medicine & intersexuality" and "Art, gender, sexuality in Dutch seventeenth century". These courses were unlike anything I had taken before. As Creative Arts student at Stetson University, I'm required to take arts courses outside of my discipline (Theatre), but I had never taken any courses in Art History, so I was anxious coming into my course, but Dr. Judith Noorman took all of my worries away. Dr. Noorman, or Judith to her students, is an scholar in seventeenth century Dutch art, and she blessed us with her plethora of knowledge. Taking this class was like no other: every other day we would go to a museum and get to present on a piece of our choice as though we were art historians. Being surrounded by art for an entire summer not only made me appreciate paintings in a complex and nuanced manner, but it recharged my creative battery before the school year. “Sex and Science” was a sort of medical ethics course, and what I enjoyed the most about that course is that Professor Van de Berg (Nina) was learning alongside us. As a self-proclaimed “fellow student”, Nina asked us to delve deeper than surface level with our answers and challenged us to consider our responses from not only from our typical perspective as Americans, but also as citizens of the world. Aside from loving the courses, the IES Abroad Amsterdam program offers trips to places such as Zaans Schans, Delft, and even Berlin. Amsterdam is also a in a perfect location for independent travel. With an easily accessible airport and train system, I travelled over the weekends and even had an opportunity to visit a friend’s hometown who was an exchange student at my home university. If you are interested in studying abroad, I recommend going through IES Abroad: the staff members are helpful; the classes are informative, and the experience is unbelievable.
Would you recommend this program?
Yes, I would