IES Abroad Amsterdam – Social Sciences & Humanities

Video and Photos

Keukenhof gardens - Tulipmania!
Home away from home
Cheering for the Dutch soccer team
Stroopwafel!
Dutch swimmers!

About

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.

Scholarships

IES Abroad Scholarships
IES Abroad Scholarships and Financial Aid

As far as we're concerned, financial limitations shouldn't prevent you from studying abroad with us. That's why we offer more than $5 million in scholarships and aid.

Value
$500 - $5,000

Questions & Answers

It definitely is more business casual on a daily basis. People do not wear leggings and athleisure wear in Amsterdam the way we do in America. Lots of denim and printed pants. Very H&M and Zara vibes.

Reviews

96%
based on 25 reviews
  • Academics 8.4
  • Support 9
  • Fun 9
  • Housing 9
  • Safety 9.7
Showing 16 - 25 of 25
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Lauren
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Awesome Amsterdam Adventure

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.

What would you improve about this program?
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.
Default avatar
Matt
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Amsterdam: Living the Dream

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.

What would you improve about this program?
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.
Default avatar
Ben
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Amazing Amsterdam Experience

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.

What would you improve about this program?
I would change the length of the program. It seemed to drag out.
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Kiki
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

My time abroad (briefly)

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.

What would you improve about this program?
More contact with local students.
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Mark
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Tremendous cultural and academic experience

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.

What would you improve about this program?
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
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Rewarding Music Program

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.

What would you improve about this program?
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
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Study Amsterdam

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.

What would you improve about this program?
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
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

AMAZING Experience

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.

What would you improve about this program?
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
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

IES Study Amsterdam

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.

What would you improve about this program?
I would have liked the choice of classes to be a little bigger and have covered more subjects
Read my full story
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Julia
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

IES Amsterdam

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!

What would you improve about this program?
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.