Discover the Netherlands’ longstanding history of upholding and fighting for human rights and social justice while immersing yourself in Dutch culture. Gain new perspectives on Dutch approaches to gender issues, sexuality and sex education, and LGBTQ rights. Together with your group, spend time in The Hague, visiting the Peace Palace and the International Court of Justice, and stop by Rutgers WPF in Utrecht—one of the oldest organizations promoting sex education in the Netherlands and throughout the world. Also visit Rotterdam, Europe’s largest port city and the historic site of Dutch emigration to the US. While there, witness the city’s modern architecture, strong working-class roots, and multicultural vibe, and meet with LGBTQ youth. Participate in a spoken-word workshop and experience how poetry and spoken word can serve as powerful tools in the struggle for equality and social justice.
Deepen your immersion in Dutch culture and share in the daily lives of your homestay family in Amsterdam. At different stages of the program, attend workshops on gender and transgender issues, marriage rights, and other social justice topics, while visiting a fascinating array of organizations engaged in these areas.
Finally, bask in the wind, water, and nature of Friesland during your rural stay in Sneek, a town beloved for its outdoor activities. Try your hand at the traditional Frisian sport of Fierljeppen and explore one of the province’s many lakes in a skûtsje, a traditional Frisian sailboat. This immersive high school summer abroad program begins and concludes in Amsterdam.
This program is designed for participants who are currently engaged in LGBTQ and allied communities and are comfortable discussing topics related to gender and sexuality.
Orientation: Amsterdam, 5 days
Homestay: Amsterdam,* 16–18 days; Friesland,* 3 days
Other Accommodations: Hostels
* Homestay locations can vary.
Orientation in Heemskerk/Amsterdam
Homestay in Amsterdam
During the orientation period, you and your group will stay in a youth hostel near the North Sea and then move into your homestay in Amsterdam.
Excursion to Rotterdam and The Hague
Excursion to Sneek (Friesland)
Program Reflection and Wrap-up in Amsterdam
Please note: This itinerary is only a sample and is subject to change. Because of factors such as group size and availability of in-country offerings such as festivals, your experience — including sites visited and the number of days spent in each location —may differ somewhat from the one presented above.
Ryan Rockmore was a third-year returning leader for The Experiment in International Living after sharing unforgettable experiences with two groups in the south of Spain. Originally from Albany, New York, he attended New York University (NYU) Steinhardt in 2011, obtaining a degree in Spanish education. After graduating from college, he was awarded a Fulbright research grant to spend a year in Sevilla, Spain, studying the connections between flamenco dance and gender. After a second year in Spain—dancing flamenco and teaching English in Madrid—Ryan completed a master’s degree with an emphasis in dance anthropology at the University of Roehampton, London. He currently teaches high school Spanish at Poly Prep Country Day School in Brooklyn, and serves as the faculty co-advisor for the school’s Gay Straight Alliance.
Ryan’s love for international adventure and cross-cultural learning began in the summer of 2005, when he traveled as an Experimenter to southern Spain—on the very same trip he would later return to lead. Ryan loves cooking, teaching, and embracing new experiences. He was thrilled to spend summer 2015 leading The Experiment’s new Netherlands: Gender Equality and Human Rights program!
Lena Lazar, a Chicago native, is passionate about youth development, social justice, intercultural exchange, and advocacy work. She holds a bachelor's degree in psychology from the University of Colorado and is currently working on her master's degree at Columbia University's School of Social Work with a specialization in family, youth, and children’s services. In addition to her graduate studies, Lena works as a case manager with Teen Parents in Action, supporting pregnant and parenting teenagers in New York City. Lena has worked with youth and in support of youth in a variety of other settings, including as a camp counselor, a cognitive development research assistant, and as an afterschool program coordinator with the Emergency Family Assistance Association (EFAA).
Living and studying in Ecuador piqued Lena’s love for international learning; in addition to gaining proficiency in Spanish and bonding with her host family, Lena had the opportunity to travel throughout Ecuador’s diverse and captivating geographies—from the Mindo Nambillo cloud forest, to the snow-capped Andes, to the Galapagos Islands. While in Ecuador, Lena also interned with the Center for Rights Protection, putting her Spanish language skills to use working with local children and families. Lena is a dedicated traveler and has pursued adventures throughout Canada, Mexico, Morocco, and Western Europe. When not working or traveling, Lena loves to cook, camp, and commute on her bike.