IES Abroad Amsterdam Summer – Society, Culture & Gender

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About Program

Amsterdam, a city long associated with notions of tolerance and openness, is the perfect backdrop against which to study Art History, Literature, and Sociology through the lens of Gender Studies. We invite you to explore Amsterdam's history and present, and to consider how these notions are—or are not—changing. Amsterdam is your classroom, with field study visits to world-class museums and noteable Amsterdam sites playing a major role in each course. This program also includes a field study trip to Berlin, to further investigate your topics of study.


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Program Reviews

9.6 Rating
based on 5 reviews
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  • Academics 8.6
  • Support 9.6
  • Fun 9.6
  • Housing 8.8
  • Safety 9.8
Showing 1 - 5 of 5
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Yes, I recommend this program

A Surplus of New Experiences

I didn’t want to be that person who said study abroad changed my life, but now that I’ve studied abroad......

This summer (2019) I had the incredible opportunity to travel abroad with IES to Amsterdam. Making it to Europe has always been a dream of mine, and when I saw the immerse and customizable curriculum that IES has to offer, including a course on Intersexuality and its history in Dutch medicine as well as a gendered approach looking at 17th century art history, I knew this program was right for me.

Since pre-departure, the IES Staff made the process incredibly easy — consistent emails and working alongside the study abroad office kept me ahead of schedule and prepared for in advance of boarding my flight.

This communication remained if not flourished as the program began and I was starting my summer in a new country. The summer went by quick (sad), but by the end I can say that I left with a completely new cultural perspective, an expansive amount of knowledge, a ton of new experiences (and photos!), and of course 20 new friends.

I thank the IES Abroad Faculty for the incredible experiences I got to live out this summer, and hope that the many prospective students of the program have an amazing time in the upcoming semesters!

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
1. Bring a deck of cards for long train rides / travel when you won’t have signal
2. Bring a debit card to get money out of the ATM. VISA and MasterCard are not accepted in many places (i.e. grocery stores, restaurants).
2 people found this review helpful.
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Yes, I recommend this program

Life-changing time in Amsterdam!

Studying abroad with IES was amazing! I had never traveled out of the United States before, and IES did a great job of introducing me to a new country and getting me acclimated to a new environment. They facilitated trips for the group around the Netherlands and to Berlin and helped us avoid staying stuck in our comfort zone in Amsterdam. Our classes were so informative; I had never studied Dutch culture at all, and learning about it while exploring important and historic sites in the Netherlands allowed me to make much more salient connections that I can bring back to my home university. If I could study abroad again I would definitely choose an IES program, and I would recommend it to anyone who wants a life-changing time abroad!

3 people found this review helpful.
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Yes, I recommend this program

An American Girl Abroad

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.

2 people found this review helpful.
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Yes, I recommend this program

Amazing summer in Amsterdam

This program was such a great experience for me, and I am so happy that I chose it! The staff and teachers were very friendly, helpful, and welcoming, and the classes (I took the art history and literature courses that focused on gender studies) were interesting and incredibly relevant to Dutch culture. I learned things specific to Amsterdam and Dutch history by reading Dutch works and visiting countless museums. I enjoyed how many of our class sessions involved some sort of field trip, either to a museum, park, or other place.

We went on some fun day trips throughout my six weeks, as well as a weekend trip to Berlin, and we had lots of other time to travel on the weekends. I was lucky to study abroad with a great, kind, open-minded group of students and made some great friendships. We had lots of free time to explore the city however we liked, and IES Abroad always helped us find places to go if we asked for help or advice. They made sure we knew the neighborhood's grocery stories, pharmacies, and home goods places so that we could feel comfortable right away.

The housing was nice - a studio apartment with a small kitchen and bathroom - and located very close to the study abroad center. It was a bit farther from the city center, but we could take public transportation, bike, or if we had a bit more time, walk to nearly anywhere in the city. I felt safe in the city, and loved the entire vibe of Amsterdam. We didn't have much interaction with local students or residents, however, but if I'd had more time, maybe I would have ventured out more past the friends I'd made with IES.

What would you improve about this program?
Providing reliable wifi in the apartments would be good (I had a few friends struggle with that throughout the trip), as well as interaction with locals.
2 people found this review helpful.
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Yes, I recommend this program

Biking in Amsterdam

Being in Amsterdam was amazing, but what made it even better was the program itself. The IES center staff was wonderful, and was always there to help if we needed it. They helped us rent bikes during the first few days in the city, which to me, was an essential part of the experience. I loved my bike, and biking helped foster a relationship between me and the other girls in the program, especially my roommate. My roommate did not know how to ride a bike, so for the first two weeks, she and I took my bike out into the pathways around the apartment complex that we lived in, and I helped her learn. Now she can always say that she learned how to ride a bike in Amsterdam. Biking was also an essential part of the classroom experience to me. I took two classes in the program, a literature course and an art history course. Both instructors brought us to places around the city (or occasionally, around the country) about once a week. Whenever we were going to somewhere in the city for class, a group of my friends and I would bike there, occasionally with the instructors. It brought us closer together and closer to the city itself.

2 people found this review helpful.

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