Study Abroad in Amsterdam


Jessica Pellegrino – General Assignment Reporter

Imagine living in an apartment in Amsterdam while taking classes during the week, and traveling Europe on the weekend.

The Department of Sociology and the Office of International Studies are offering a four-week long study abroad program in Amsterdam, running from July 7 to Aug. 7. Dr. Alan Brown will be the faculty member leading the trip.

“The program is a six unit program,” said Brown. “Students will be taking two special topic courses, Sexuality and Social Control and Comparative and Criminal Justice. They are Sociology courses, but they can count as electives toward virtually any major.”

According to Brown, students will go to classes Monday through Thursday, each led by a guest speaker.

“Students have the opportunity to connect with the guest speakers both in class and outside the class, in the field,” said Brown.

Students will be taking day trips to sites around the city, but Brown believes the city is a bike ride away from the suburbs.

“Amsterdam is one of the safest countries,” he said. “It is very welcoming. Everyone speaks English.”

Student housing for the participants will consist of a full apartment with a private kitchen and bedroom, to be shared between two students. The housing will be private, but units will be shared with other universities and even Dutch students, said Brown.

The program promises to be more hands-on than other programs. Students will do some of their work outside of the classroom including excursions to the International Criminal Court in the Hague and the Red Light District.

Students will spend a day helping workers in the historic Red Light District.

According to the informational pamphlet, “The Netherlands plays an important role in advancing human rights and principles of social justice and students will have a chance to see firsthand how these policies affect both local and global contexts.”

Brown explains that there are two types of coffee shops in Amsterdam. If the shop is spelled “koffee” it will be a Starbucks type shop. If the shop is spelled “coffee,” it is a marijuana dispensary that sells hash and marijuana products.

He said students will be given a museum pass to use at any museum in the country, a transit pass, and access to bike rentals.

“There are more bikes than cars in Amsterdam,” said Brown.

The estimated cost of the trip is $5,450. However, he said he plans to do fundraising for the trip. He also encourages students to tell their friends. The trip requires eight students in order to run, but that is not the cap. Students can also apply for financial aid. The Office of International Studies also offers scholarships to students.

Students do not need to be Sociology majors to join in on this experience. Brown said any student would benefit from being able to see another culture of people.

Photo Credit: Moyan Brenn

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