SIT Netherlands: Perspectives on Sexuality

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About

Acquire an intersectional understanding of the complexities and paradoxes that surround issues of gender and sexuality in the Netherlands — commonly believed to be one of the world’s most progressive and tolerant countries.

Major topics of study include:

Queer and LGBT activism in the Netherlands
Paradoxes surrounding same-sex marriage rights
Feminist and sex-positive activism in the Netherlands
Sex and gender education in the Netherlands
Sex work and sex workers’ rights in the Netherlands
Attitudes toward gender, sexuality, race, class, and religion within postcolonial communities coming from the former Dutch colonies and post-migration communities

You can choose to complete an internship during the last four weeks of this program. For this internship, you will be placed with a local Dutch organization where you will gain real work experience related to the program’s theme and develop professional skills you can use in your career.

Questions & Answers

Reviews

8.5 Rating
based on 4 reviews
  • Academics 7
  • Support 8.5
  • Fun 9.8
  • Housing 9
  • Safety 9.3
Showing 1 - 4 of 4
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Annie
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Exploring Gender & Sexuality in Amsterdam & Morocco

This study abroad program takes you to Amsterdam, Utrecht, Rabat, Marrakech, Essaouira, and other Dutch & Moroccan cities. The professors expect students to be fully engaged, to do the work and to participate in small classes. The program center is very close to the center of Amsterdam and the commute to class every day was actually quite enjoyable because of the city's great public transit. Students stay in homestays with friendly Dutch families and fully immerse themselves in their neighborhoods.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
It's windy and rainy, so bring warm layers and good gloves!
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Grace
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

SIT Netherlands

Without a doubt, choosing the SIT Netherlands program was the best decision I could have made. As a Sociology major and a Women, Gender, and Sexuality studies minor, I was incredibly excited about the coursework, excursions, and independent study project. I had high expectations going into this program, but was still completely blown away by the experience. Although there is an emphasis on gender and sexuality, all of the professors make a committed effort to also discuss other intersections including, but not limited to, race, immigration and citizenship status, ableness, and religion. The various excursions, guest lecturers, and independent work also all helped in creating an incredibly positive, inclusive, and vast learning environment. I never felt as though we were missing out on learning opportunities and greatly appreciate all of the work done by the professors and staff to make sure that we explored a range of topics.
It is definitely unique in the way that classes are conducted- SIT brings in guest lecturers/professors to teach the different classes. I personally really liked this style of teaching/learning. I felt like it gave us the chance to hear many different perspectives and I was never bored.
Amsterdam itself is also an unbelievable city to live and study in. I have never felt safer in a city and loved being able to explore everything by bike. There is always something to do, whether you just want to sit in a cafe, go to a park, or go out at night. And, although everyone has different homestay experiences, I have to say that mine was nearly perfect. The SIT homestay coordinator did a wonderful job matching students with families and keeping in touch to help sort out any problems. I would highly recommend this program to anyone interested in learning more about the interplay of gender, sex, sexuality, race, and migration in the Netherlands!

What was the most nerve-racking moment and how did you overcome it?
At the way beginning of the program, there was a bit of confusion with regards to how to get a Dutch SIM card/how to correctly program it. Because of this, a lot of us did not have the ability to use the maps on our phone for the first two weeks (it was all sorted out after this). After one of our excursions to a nonprofit in the city, my bike tire popped on a piece of glass. It was just me and my friend from the program, in the middle of the city at night, with no data to figure out how to get to Swapfiets/home. We ended up going to a cafe to get a cup of coffee, used their wifi to plan out where we had to go, and from there it all worked out! Because Amsterdam is genuinely the safest city I have ever lived in, I was never remotely concerned about our safety. We were mostly both stressed out about being unable to contact our homestay parents to warn them that we would be late, were okay, etc.
Violet
7/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Excellent Experience with a Touch of False Advertising

It was three months of seminars and guest speakers and one month of independent research. The guest speakers were the lecturers and were very informative, knowledgeable, and engaging in class- however since they are not actually professors they were essentially unavailable if you wanted to reach out outside of class about paper expectations or class topics. The staff was very helpful and kind although somewhat disorganized. I personally didn't feel the academic portion was as rigorous as advertised by SIT on their website and they didn't have as many resources and assistance when it came around to the research. Make sure you are very responsible and have excellent time management because no one is making sure you're on schedule or checking in on you during the independent research period.
Morocco was easily the most amazing part of the trip as it was such a different experience than most people will ever have and the food/people/culture was spectacular.
Personally I recommend going abroad through a University program and not a private program like SIT because the academic portion was not strong enough to miss out on the amazing social experiences and connections we could've had if we had been exposed to more young Dutch people (we just had classes with the same 20 or so American students every day).

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Alexandra
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

SIT Netherlands - an amazing, yet flawed experience (but what isn't?)

Went to school for several hours, kicked it with classmates, went on awesome trips to Morocco and Croatia. That was truly the highlight, because I never would have arranged to go to those countries on my own but going with my program was eye-opening and helped me understand how unique the Netherlands is as a country. Also, the speakers we had in class were enlightening. We had ample time to explore the city and make friends. The academics could have been more challenging, but that's okay. We got a genuine cultural experience since we were in homestays across the city and we took Dutch. That was a real added benefit compared to the other American abroad program in town. I definitely felt more integrated in the city of Amsterdam that I expected.

What would you improve about this program?
Perhaps it could be made more academically rigorous. Maybe they could actually follow through on their promise to have documentary filmmaking as part of the program. Besides that, they really provided a lot for us. We were so lucky to be living in one of the chillest cities in the world, contextualized by school-led trips to Morocco and Croatia (which was by far the highlight).