IES Abroad Amsterdam - Social Sciences & Humanities
96% Rating
(19 Reviews)

IES Abroad Amsterdam - Social Sciences & Humanities

Study abroad in Amsterdam for the educational adventure of a lifetime. The city’s heritage of world-class institutions and rich culture make it the perfect place to spend your semester abroad.

Our Study in Amsterdam Program takes advantage of the city's unique balance of history and contemporary culture, and lets you structure your studies at the prestigious Universiteit van Amsterdam and at the IES Abroad Center. Several courses include hands-on components to help you explore the city of Amsterdam and its surroundings while learning about the city's past and present.

When you study abroad, Amsterdam becomes your classroom. Study Amsterdam’s past as you explore the city’s historic landmarks, such as Anne Frank’s home, the Rembrandt House, or the Van Gogh museum. You will also have the opportunity to study the future of the Netherlands as you learn about the country’s forward-thinking public policies. All this and more awaits you in Amsterdam.

Locations
Europe » Netherlands » Amsterdam
Europe » Netherlands
Program Type
Provider
Subject Areas
Art History
Cultural Studies
Social Sciences
Sociology
Degree Level
Bachelors
Timeframe
Academic Year
Fall
Spring
Accommodation
Apartment
Language
English
Steps
Online Application
Official Transcripts
Letters of Recommendation
Age Requirement
GPA Requirement
Health Requirement
Starting Price
$0.00
Currency
USD
Price Details
Contact IES Abroad or see website for details: www.IESabroad.org/amsterdam
Other Locations
Amsterdam

Questions & Answers

Program Reviews

  • Academics
    82%
  • Support
    92%
  • Fun
    88%
  • Housing
    93%
  • Safety
    97%

Program Reviews (19)

Default avatar
Tony
Male
Saratoga Springs
Skidmore College

Incredible experience abroad

10/10

I had an incredible time on IES Amsterdam - Study in Amsterdam. The support from the IES staff as well as at the University of Amsterdam was more than helpful. I always felt safe and comfortable during my time abroad, and Amsterdam is a very comfortable and homey city. Housing, although sometimes complicated, was also very good. You have the choice of an apartment with a roommate or can do a single room at the Student Hotel. Location wise and the condition of the apartment was great. The only negative was courses being offered. While I enjoyed the classes I ended up taking, it was difficult (near impossible) to take courses I needed. We didn't know what our schedule would be until days after arriving, which can be a negative for certain students. In the end, Amsterdam was the best city to spend four months in and I appreciated all that IES did for us, including organized field trips and tours.

Default avatar
Caitlin
Female
21 years old
United States
DePauw University

Amsterdam for the Semester

10/10

Looking back, I can't believe I had the privilege to spend 4 months in such an incredible semester. Spending the spring semester of my junior year in Amsterdam was the best decision I've made thus far. The city is vibrant, the culture is rich, and there's always something new to do. I stayed in an apartment with a roommate about 15 minutes outside of the city center, and only a 6 minute bike ride to the IES center. It was nice living in an apartment with students from around the world. My classes gave me insight into Dutch culture and offered me global insight. IES also offered us trips to other cities in the Netherlands, such as Maastricht and Utrecht. It was so wonderful to be able to explore Amsterdam, as well as the whole country of the Netherlands! I wouldn't trade my experience for anything, and if I could go back, I would in a heartbeat!

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Maria
Female
21 years old
Appleton, WI
Lawrence University

A Dam Good Time

10/10

I spent my fall semester studying abroad in Amsterdam, Netherlands with IES. Prior to this experience, I had traveled several times with my family, but never alone. I was terrified of being somewhere completely new, not knowing anyone and having the worst navigational skills imaginable. Regardless, I went into the experience with an open mind and about seven GPS apps on my phone. It took me a little while to get adjusted, but my program ensured that we were as prepared as possible. The moment I got my bike, I felt completely in control. I could go wherever I wanted, and I was able to explore the city in the most unique and optimal way. Everyone I met in Amsterdam was absolutely incredible, and I’m still in contact with so many of the friends I made at IES. Getting pushed out of your comfort zone is truly the only way to grow and develop. There were times when I felt uncertain and hesitant, but these were the moments in which I learned the most about myself. I valued every single aspect of my abroad experience, and I could not recommend it more to anyone curious about exploring the world and themselves. Amsterdam is my second home, and I miss it every day. Sure, the touristy components were great, but nothing replaces the feeling of finding an obscure little cafe in the nook of a canal road. Biking around the city and listening to my favorite songs is a feeling that I couldn’t describe, even if I tried. My time abroad was liberating, eye-opening, and indispensable.

Abz
Female
24 years old
Chicago, Illinois

Amsterdam, The Best City in the World

10/10

Studying in Amsterdam with IES wasn't just a life changing experience, it was preparation for life after graduation and acceptance of a new life style and culture. Looking back on it, I wouldn’t have chosen another program or location. I met tons of other study abroad students from various countries who said they loved their program, but Amsterdam was their favorite city they had visited. When I asked them questions, some of those students also mentioned how they wouldn’t live in their host country, and some also said they were happy, but would be ready for a change of pace once home. One of my best friends from study abroad is actually a returned study abroad student who came back to live in Amsterdam! Everyone who I studied with in Amsterdam out of my friend group, Erasmus, etc. all wants to come back and live. None of us found a city better than Amsterdam while traveling either. Most people say Amsterdam is the best city in Europe, but study abroad really showed me how incredible The Netherlands really is. So don’t be discouraged because I chose a program as the only student from my home school, so I didn't know anyone on the program when I arrived. And I ended up finding a home away from home.

The orientation week, along with International Student Network's UvA orientation made me feel right at home while just starting out in The Netherlands. The staff were incredible over the whole semester, so I highly recommend IES. When my wallet was stolen, I was able to replace everything within a week with their help! I will say that this program has staff that are more highly involved, so if you are looking for complete independence you may want to be aware that there will be check-in’s, meetings, etc. over the course of your program with IES.

In terms of course work, studying in Amsterdam at UvA isn’t easy, but it isn’t difficult. It’s just like attending school at your home university, which I really appreciated. I felt challenged in the courses I took, and I felt like I was experiencing new ways of learning. I took a course with IES called Studio Art that allowed me to learn about art in Amsterdam, which helped me to understand the artist scene in the city while integrating into Dutch culture. I made connections with programs and professors that I will use in my professional and graduate school career!

UvA has a great social scene as well. It was easy to make Dutch friends through ISN (their Erasmus). Some people say it’s hard to become part of the Dutch culture, but I didn’t find this was the case. If you spend time learning about the culture, language and people, then you will find integration easier since you will be able to think and act like a local (just a tip). ISN gave me a group of friends, events and weekend trips to attend while on study abroad. It was one of the main reasons I had such an incredible experience. The group of around 400+ students who lived all over the city made me feel at home and made the big city seem small. Every week there was a borrel to attend, or some sort of big weekend event. Then on our own, my group would meet up for potluck dinners, and other events on our own! IES also schedules trips around The Netherlands and to various places in Amsterdam, which I highly suggest.

Beyond school, IES and ISN, Study in Amsterdam had the option to live at The Student Hotel. This was THE BEST decision I made. I paid extra each month to live here: https://www.thestudenthotel.com/amsterdam-city/ It was a whole international student dorm in a central location to the city complete with a free bike, gym, study rooms, restaurants, events, etc. It was like a whole new family of international student. I even had my own studio apartment. It’s right by a Check out the website to see why I loved it so much!

The city of Amsterdam itself has everything you could think of … How I explored the city was by visiting 50 different cafés in Amsterdam over the course of 4 months. I even was able to volunteer and work on two different sustainable/entrepreneurial projects in the city because Amsterdam is a hub for innovation. The city is in prime location to visit most other European countries as well. Name something to do, see or experience and you have it. You can look at this blog and their weekly events newsletters to see a bit of the excitement (http://www.yourlittleblackbook.me/).

Amsterdam is the city of dreams, and I am not doing it justice through just a small review! I fell in love with a culture, people and place I will go back to live in one day. Study abroad didn’t just become a life changing experience for me, it helped me find my home.

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Ashani
Female
22 years old
Charleston

IES Amsterdam -- Spring 2016

8/10

During the spring semester of 2016, I spent an amazing semester abroad in Amsterdam. I decided to study in a place where I knew no one, but could easily communicate without being fluent in the native language. Amsterdam was the perfect fit for me. Studying government and gender studies, University of Amsterdam provided a welcoming and intellectually challenging atmosphere and classes. While I was initially overwhelmed with living in a new place for four months, Amsterdam's smaller size and amazing public transportation/biking system made the city less daunting. I soon became attached to my bike, which is still my favorite way to get around. When I missed home, I had the other students and staff in the program for support and as the perfect people to explore with and enjoy the city. I had plenty of chances to travel throughout Europe, but I always looked forward to coming home to Amsterdam. I'm grateful for the opportunity to live and study abroad for the semester and to IES for making the entire process as seamless as possible.

Indira
Female
23 years old
Minneapolis, Minnesota
University of Minnesota

Stroopwafels and Street Canals

10/10

Spending a semester in Amsterdam with the IES Study Abroad program was one of the most culturally enriching and impactful experiences I have had in college so far! Amsterdam is a truly incredible city that has something for nearly anyone to fall in love with, whether it's biking along the canals, sipping fresh mint tea in a cozy cafe, spending time in one of the countless museums, or grabbing a beer with friends at a local brewery. One day that particularly stands out to me was near the end of the semester when my Dutch Art History teacher invited the entire class over for tea and appeltaart after taking the final exam. We all climbed on our bikes and followed her to her quaint apartment where we spent a wonderful afternoon chatting, admiring the various pieces of art she had either collected or created herself, but mostly reminiscing on how incredible our abroad experience had been. My time in Amsterdam with IES Abroad was better than I could have ever anticipated, and I absolutely cannot wait until the day I return.

How can this program be improved?

Though I was able to make a few local Dutch friends, I would have appreciated more opportunities to interact with Amsterdam residents whether through short home stays, organized dinners/parties, or other events meant to integrate study abroad students and Dutch locals.

Carli Snyder
Carli
Female
22 years old
Colorado Springs, CO
Pacific Lutheran University

A Spring in Amsterdam

9/10

When I arrived in Amsterdam for my semester abroad, that was the first time I had ever been outside of the United States. I did not go into this program with any friends from my home university, so I was pretty nervous and overwhelmed the first couple days. I also was missing the second half of my swimming season back at home, so I knew that would be difficult to come to terms with as well. Within the first week of my time in the Netherlands however, I went to four museums, joined a Dutch swim team, and met students from around the world. Throughout the course of the semester, I learned how to adapt to my new surroundings and made many new friends. I was able to travel to Germany, Belgium, France, and Poland. I am a European History major, so all of that was very exciting for me. I learned to view the world through a different perspective and had many valuable conversations that challenged my previous perceptions. I gained so much from my time abroad and I am very grateful for my experience.

How can this program be improved?

I think this program could be improved by spreading orientation out a bit more. I remember the first view days being pretty overwhelming with getting off the plane, meeting so many people, doing different activities, moving into our apartments, and trying to buy groceries and school supplies.

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Meghna
Female
22 years old
Grinnell
Grinnell College

A Semester in Amsterdam

10/10

The program I was enrolled in allowed me to take some classes at the University of Amsterdam as well as with professors teaching at the IES centre. (Classes I took: Gender and Sexuality in the Context of Amsterdam, Dutch Language and Culture, Conflict Studies, Global and Local Complexity of Prostitution) The classes were very interesting and diverse, allowing me to understand the culture and surroundings of Amsterdam and Europe better. They were not as challenging as my classes at my home school, and they required a lot less time than I was used to.
The city itself was a wonderful classroom. There is so much to do and see, from museums to galleries to cafes to canals. IES was helpful in getting me settled in to the city. The newsletters they sent out usually recommended different places and events around the city that I probably would not have heard about otherwise. They also had some great field trips that provided opportunities to see new places around the Netherlands. The people I met through this program became my support system through the semester and still are great friends.
Overall, though my time in Amsterdam was short, it was packed full of inspiration and eye opening experiences. I definitely recommend it!

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Charlotte
Female
22 years old
Charlotte, North Carolina
North Carolina State University

Adventures in Amsterdam

9/10

The Study in Amsterdam program through IES gave me one of the greatest adventures of my life so far. I experienced more in four short months than I had in both my freshman and sophomore years of college. While the classes I took at the University of Amsterdam were not nearly as challenging or time consuming as my classes at my home university, I still found them to be engaging and they allowed me to interact with not only the Dutch students attending the school, but the students from all over the world as well. Because I only had classes three days a week, I had plenty of time to explore the city of Amsterdam, and to take weekends to travel Europe with new friends. I also took advantage of some of the field trip excursions offered through IES, which were fun ways to hang out with the other American students in my program. The IES administration was very supportive, always ready to help with whatever I needed, and shared information frequently regarding happenings and events around Amsterdam. IES also had a few casual, "check in" group hang outs throughout the semester, in which we discussed our feelings toward topics like initial adjustments, homesickness, and upon leaving, "reverse culture shock." Overall, my study abroad experience was a growing experience, a chance to discover new places, an opportunity to establish friendships internationally, and to fall in love with the city of Amsterdam. My time with IES has left me excited to return to Amsterdam, and I can't wait for that day!

How can this program be improved?

I think more could have been done in terms of group bonding. My program was quite small, and I left feeling like I only really got to know a few of the other people in it. We had just one week toward the beginning of the program, involving mundane orientation activities that I did not feel like allowed for friendships to be established. That said, I cannot say this is the fault of the the program, however I do think more time should have been invested, at the start of the semester, in the program group interaction.

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Lauren
Female
22 years old
St. Paul, Minnesota
Macalester College

Awesome Amsterdam Adventure

9/10

IES Abroad Study in Amsterdam provided an opportunity to engage with the city of Amsterdam while also meeting Dutch and fellow international students through the enrollment option at the University of Amsterdam. The program encouraged cultural engagement via trips outside of Amsterdam and worked hard to give students the know-how to really enjoy their time abroad. That being said, this program provided a lot of independence which allowed for individual exploration but sometimes allowed participants (myself included) to not explore and learn as much as we could have. The living situation of studio apartments allowed for interactions with program members while also meeting new people from a variety of different backgrounds. Amsterdam is a very international city and IES Abroad definitely encouraged participants to engage with the city and the Netherlands as much as possible. Biking in the city was an amazing experience and I would highly recommend this program to anyone who wants to meet people from a variety of backgrounds while also having the opportunity to travel both within the Netherlands and to other countries as well. As far as abroad experiences go, I think this one was fantastic.

How can this program be improved?

Personally did not take any classes through the IES classroom so often felt very separate from the program itself. That being said, program worked hard to create a solid foundation and I met a ton of wonderful and amazing people. I very much enjoyed my time in Amsterdam and I would recommend it to anyone who wants an opportunity to engage with Dutch culture and also travel around Europe.

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Matt
Male
Merrick, New York
Pennsylvania State University

Amsterdam: Living the Dream

10/10

The IES program in Amsterdam was the most incredible thing I could have ever imagined. I know that always sounds cheesy to say, but there is no other way to describe it. I made some of the greatest friends I could have ever asked for, I was immersed in the culture, and I even learned some Dutch. But one of the most valuable things I gained from this experience was broadening my views of people, culture, and the world. The Dutch way of life made me appreciate every walk of life, every detail of every activity I did, and opened my mind to so many different ideas and lifestyles.

How can this program be improved?

I lived in a studio apartment with a roommate on my trip, which was fine, but I would have loved it even more if I had a full apartment setting.

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Ben
Male
24 years old
Long Valley, New Jersey
Pennsylvania State University

Amazing Amsterdam Experience

10/10

It is difficult to summarize how amazing of experience studying abroad in Amsterdam was. From exciting canal boat rides, to hectic rush hour bike rides, to studying in a cozy Dutch cafe, Amsterdam is a city that offers so much. The IES Amsterdam staff allowed me to get so much out of my abroad adventures and they made sure I was always satisfied and safe. I can't thank them enough. When it comes to my studies abroad, my classes were so interesting and allowed me to experience a different learning structure then US classes. It really challenged me and allowed me to step outside of my comfort zone. The Dutch culture is ultimately a welcoming one. Everyone is willing to give a helping hand, and is warm and kind while doing so. It was also great to be in a culture where English is the second language. I was able to enhance my interpersonal skills and engage in awkward interactions, but ultimately progressive and positive ones. I can't wait to go back because of such the positive experience I had the first time around.

How can this program be improved?

I would change the length of the program. It seemed to drag out.

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Kiki
Female
24 years old
Ann Arbor, Michigan
University of Michigan

My time abroad (briefly)

10/10

The four months that I spent in Amsterdam were, for a lack of a better word, amazing. I got to know the city in a way that I didn't think I ever would, and got to meet great people. It was a cool balance between doing my daily things there and feeling at home and exploring the city, which made me feel like a tourist. It was also nice that our program all lived in the same building, which made us all very close. This experience was special for me because I have family that lives in the Netherlands, so it was nice being able to see them more often than I usually do. Additionally, the IES staff did a great job organizing trips and other activities to see other parts of the Netherlands that many visitors don't think of visiting or seeing.

How can this program be improved?

More contact with local students.

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Mark
Male
24 years old
United States
Tufts University

Tremendous cultural and academic experience

10/10

The IES Amsterdam program offered great academics and support

I took two art history courses and introductory course on gender and sexuality studies. The professors did a fantastic job of engaging the class through excursions and guest lecturers. I learned a great deal from the courses and at no point felt overworked.

In terms of support, the staff was very responsive to emails. They helped me make sure that my academic schedule worked out and that I could take the courses that I needed to. Additionally, the office was very close to our apartment building and, thus, the staff was incredibly accessible.

How can this program be improved?

The program could try and improve the connection between students in the program and students at the University of Amsterdam.

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Stephen
Male
24 years old
Evanston, IL
Northwestern University

Rewarding Music Program

10/10

In Amsterdam, I was enrolled as a jazz trumpet student at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam. This is truly a great school to study your interests in the area of jazz and explore new styles and/or curiosities. My course schedule allowed me plenty of time for practice (nice rooms), attending jam sessions, and some more touristy activities. I got a strong impression that my instructors sincerely cared about my musical development. The helped me to become more fluent in technique, expression, and adapting to new situations. Amsterdam is a musician-friendly city and there is a great culture of musical excellence.
The living situation is only a 5-10 minute bike ride to the CvA, which is situated not far from the center of Amsterdam. I had one roommate in a room with a bathroom, kitchen, and extra storage space. Compared to a typical dorm, the room is quite spacious. I found out shortly after arriving that many conservatory students ride their bikes 30-40 mins to and from their living placement, so I felt really fortunate with housing.
The IES office staff were delightful to work with. They communicate, via email newsletters, upcoming activities in Amsterdam and The Netherlands, as well as pieces of Dutch history and other tid-bits about the people and culture. There are also opportunites to go on some great field trips sponsored by IES. I participated in the overnight trip to the island Texel and attended a soccer match.
Overall, I would highly recommend this program to anyone interested in studying at one of Europe's and the World's finest music schools.

How can this program be improved?

Our hot water went out in our room a couple times, but this was quickly taken care of by our helpful RAs.

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Caitlin
Female
24 years old
Grinnell, Iowa
Grinnell College

Study Amsterdam

9/10

Amsterdam is one of the best cities to study abroad in in Europe. The people are friendly (and almost all speak English) and it is a city with rich international history. It is easy to be a foreigner in the city and explore another culture. Amsterdam is incredibly easy to navigate by bike-museums, restaurants, and nightlife are all just a short ride away. The city provides many varying opportunities, while still being a relatively small European city. After 4 months I still feel as if there are a million things I never had time to experience. However, while I loved my time in Amsterdam and learned a lot, I do not feel as if I really experienced Dutch culture. As a result of living with so many other American students it is easy to interact only with them and not get out and become immersed in the Dutch culture. Additionally, taking classes through IES and participating in activities at the center encourages spending time only with other American students on the program. Meeting Dutch students and really immersing yourself in the culture requires a great deal of effort. While classes at the University of Amsterdam are available, the classes tend to consist of mainly international students and few Dutch students. At the beginning of the semester my coursework was extremely easy but toward the end it became more challenging. If you are looking for an academic challenge while studying abroad, IES Amsterdam is likely not the best choice. However, if you want to travel to other European countries like I did, the easy academics leave a lot of free time for travel and exploring the city.

How can this program be improved?

More contact with Dutch people would be ideal. I do not feel as if I got the full experience of Dutch culture because my contact with Dutch people was limited.

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Jessie
Female
24 years old
New London, Connecticut
Connecticut College

AMAZING Experience

9/10

This past semester, I had the pleasure of studying abroad in Amsterdam. Overall, it was truly an amazing experience. Amsterdam is a city full of life and culture, and to get to explore such an enriched city was an opportunity I will never forget. There is so much to do in Amsterdam that I really never felt bored. Sometimes the weather made it difficult to explore, but the Dutch do not stop their routines because of rain, so that definitely added to my authentic experience. I was underwhelmed with the academics. I only had class three days a week the first half of the semester, and two days of the week the second half of the semester. This gave me lots of time to explore and travel, but also made it much easier to get lonely and homesick. Also, I was interested in enhancing my academic resume, and don't feel like I succeeded in that sense. However, I did learn a lot about Dutch history... Nonetheless, I don't regret my choice of studying abroad in Amsterdam through IES at all. Overall, my experience was unforgettable. I cannot wait to travel back to Amsterdam to visit the beautiful canals, the amazing shops, the delicious food, and the overall alluring atmosphere.

How can this program be improved?

At times, I felt like the program could've been better organized. I felt like there was confusion about what was expected of us as students and program participants. Also, the program offered very little opportunities for interactions with Dutch students or other international students outside of our program.

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Sarah
Female
24 years old
New York, NY
University of Rochester

IES Study Amsterdam

10/10

Amsterdam almost immediately felt like home. There is always something to do, but the city doesn't feel overwhelming. It's very walkable and there are tons of amazing bakeries, shops, cafes, and book stores pretty much anywhere you go. There is so much diversity and culture that there is truly something here for everyone.

How can this program be improved?

I would have liked the choice of classes to be a little bigger and have covered more subjects

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Julia
Female
24 years old
State College, PA
Pennsylvania State University

IES Amsterdam

10/10

Amsterdam is one of the best cities in the world! It is beautiful and definitely unique. There is so much to do during the day and at night. Whether your biking around enjoying the view, boating down the canals or exploring one of the million museums, the city has so much to offer. The nightlife is great and there's different scenes to cater to everyone!

How can this program be improved?

The program was small, as expected, but it would've been nice to have them arrange some bigger trips within the program to other countries outside the Netherlands.

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IES Abroad offers 140 programs worldwide for college students. We are a highly charged force of study abroad enthusiasts. Every day we have the privilege of witnessing how study abroad changes our students’ lives. We also believe that every student should have the opportunity to

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