The Netherlands

LGBTQ+ Rights & Advocacy

Discover the Netherlands’ progressive approach to LGBTQ+ rights, gender issues, and sex education. Develop college and professional skills as you learn how to become a better advocate for the community.

  • College Credit

  • Leadership

  • Peace, Politics, & Human Rights

WHY EXPLORE LGBTQ+ RIGHTS IN THE NETHERLANDS?

In 2015, The Experiment launched the first-ever LGBTQ+ focused abroad program for high school students. In this program, you’ll explore the Netherlands’ longstanding progressive history of international human rights advocacy through workshops and lectures by Dutch academics and LGBTQ+ activists. Visit organizations engaged in gender, sexuality and transgenderand other social justice topics. 

Engage with Dutch culture as you share daily life with a local family during your homestay. You will also have an opportunity to reciprocate through community service with an elderly LGBTQ+ population. Participate in course lectures, reflection sessions, round table discussions with local youth, field visits to museums and local organizations working in gender and sexuality. Enhance your understanding of the way issues such as immigration, race, ethnicity, religion, and gender intersect and influence modern Dutch identity, including how the history of slavery has shaped black identity in the Netherlands. 

Upon successful completion of this program, students will earn three college credits through The Experiment’s accredited partner institution, School for International Training.

LEARN BY DOING

The Experiment’s programs are designed to build skills that will help you succeed. In the Netherlands, you will learn: 

TECHNICAL SKILLS

  • Basic Dutch language
  • College prep
  • Writing 
  • Presentation 

INTERPERSONAL SKILLS

  • Resourcefulness 
  • Intercultural communication and understanding 
  • Problem-solving
  • Adaptability 
  • Relationship-building 
  • Critical thinking 

KNOW BEFORE YOU GO

  • Be prepared to be intellectually challenged by the course content and your learning community. Participants will be expected to complete required readings, assignments, exercises, and actively participate in course discussions.
  • Weather can be unpredictable. While summer temperatures tend to be mild, rain and wind are strong possibilities, which make for hot and muggy to cold and rainy days.  
  • Explore urban life on foot and by bicycle (lots of walking and biking!). 
  • Learn to independently navigate the public transit system.  
  • Bread and cheese are staples of the Dutch diet. With forethought, patience, and flexibility different dietary needs may be accommodated.  
  • Access to the internet is limited and internet speeds and connectivity vary. 
  • The diverse personal and social identities of participants may, in part, shape their experience abroad. In-country partners will discuss cultural norms and the local context during orientation. Please read our approach to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion for further information. All students will have a safe space within the program spaces and with the local staff and group leaders. 

AT A GLANCE

Program Availability

Filling

Program Date

Jul 1 - Jul 30

Prerequisite

None

Program Fee*

$6,520.00

(does not include airfare)
Group Airfare Cost

TBD

*Program fees may increase by
$500 -$1000 to account for changes
to lodging accommodations.

WHAT'S INCLUDED
  • College credit
  • Lodging
  • Meals
  • All program activities
  • In-country transportation
  • Health insurance
  • Experienced group leaders
All my life I have had to hide who I was, what I felt, why I do what I do, but this experience has changed all of that completely. The Experiment has allowed me to see that there is a whole world out there.

Sample Itinerary

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 below.

View Itinerary Details

Days 1-4

Orientation in Heemskerk/Amsterdam

  • Learn about the history and culture of the Netherlands from experts.
  • Get to know other members of your group during activities.
  • Try out the Dutch way of living on a bike excursion to the Dutch coast.
  • Start learning basic Dutch.
  • Learn how to navigate the city.

Days 5-12

Thematic Focus

  • Participate in workshops on sexuality and sex education and learn more about the Dutch approach to sexuality.
  • Go on an excursion to Utrecht and visit Rutgers/WPF, the oldest organization in the Netherlands working on sexual health and sex education.
  • Visit Amsterdam Bijlmer and visit PROFOR, an organization that aims to strengthen sexual and reproductive rights of people of Afro-Caribbean descent living in the Bijlmer. Meet with black youth in the Bijlmer through New Urban Collective (NUC).
  • Learn about the Red Light District and what sex workers themselves think of their profession.

Days 13-15

Excursion to Rotterdam and The Hague

Rotterdam:

  • Visit Europe’s largest port city and enjoy its modern architecture and multicultural atmosphere.
  • Go on an LGBTQ+ walking tour and meet with LGBTQ+ youth from Rotterdam
  • Participate in a spoken-word workshop hosted by a Dutch-Moluccan queer artist and experience how poetry and spoken word can be a strong tool in the struggle for social justice and LGBTQ+ rights advocacy

The Hague:

  • Visit the Humanity House and get a glimpse of what life is like for refugees coming to Europe,
  • Visit the Peace Palace, the International Court of Justice, and the Permanent Court of Arbitration and learn about the Netherlands’ longstanding tradition of fighting for human rights and social justice,

Days 16-22

Thematic Focus

  • Participate in presentations, workshops, and guided site visits from local faculty, researchers, practitioners, and activists.
  • Meet LGBTQ+ youth of Jong & Out and learn about LGBTQ+ activism.
  • Meet and exchange with LGBTQ+ families and their children and find out about their lives and experiences.

 

Days 22-24

Excursion to Middleburg, Zeeland

    • Visit the city of Middleburg.
    • Have lunch in the town of Cadzand.
    • Visit a local beach for swimming and shark tooth hunting.

Days 24-27

Program Reflection and Wrap-up in Amsterdam

  • Reflect with your group on your experiences during the program.
  • Participate in a group photo exhibition on your perceptions of gender and sexuality in the Netherlands.

Day 28

Departure

Experienced Group Leaders

The Experiment’s group leaders go through a rigorous selection process and have extensive experience with youth education, local expertise in the country or region of their program, language abilities, knowledge in their program theme, travel logistics and management know-how, and experience with health, safety and risk management.

LEADER HIGHLIGHT

Peter Seilheimer

Hometown: Houston, Texas
Education: Middlebury Institute of International Studies
Experience in: The Netherlands, Germany

View Full Bio

Peter’s wanderlust and interest in international education stems directly from a desire to satisfy his “utter loquaciousness.” Inquisitive, affable, and collaborative from a young age, he began studying German at the age of 12. Language, and the connections it enables one to make with others, was the catalyst that propelled Peter to leave Houston, Texas in search of other horizons, perspectives, and syntax structures. Peter’s first abroad experience was in the Northern Woods of Minnesota at Waldsee, an immersive German-language summer camp, where he later became a counselor and teacher. During college, Peter lived and learned for an academic year in Munich, Germany. After receiving his bachelor’s degree in German, Russian, and gender studies, Peter taught English with the Fulbright Commission in rural Austria, where he reveled in the subtle nuances of the many regional dialects. Peter returned to Portland to teach pre-k and elementary-aged learners at the German International School for three years before pursuing his MA in International Education Management with a concentration in Teaching Foreign Languages at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies in Monterey, California.

Program experts

College credit-bearing programs are led by accomplished and experienced faculty approved by the School for International Training (SIT). Faculty of record typically live in the country of study and are responsible for instructional content, classroom and field experiences, and daily program operations. They work in close consultation with SIT’s Dean of Faculty and The Experiment staff team and group leaders to craft an engaging, college-level curriculum and design field and internship experiences that match student needs and interests.

Jana Byars, PhD

Jana is the Academic Director for SIT’s study abroad programs in the Netherlands. She holds a PhD in history from Penn State University. She also attended Western Michigan University and Hope College. She is the author of Informal Marriages in Early Modern Venice (Routledge, 2018), the editor of Monsters and Borders in the Early Modern Imagination (Routledge, 2018), and the translator of Girolamo Benzoni’s 1565 travel narrative History of the New World (Penn State Press, 2017). She has also written several reviews and articles about sexuality and gender in Europe. She comes to SIT after twenty years in American higher education, teaching at Iowa State, Whitman College, Marquette, Penn State, and Western Michigan. Her current research centers on sex work, rape, and questions of consent in a modern European and American context. Jana is a native Michigander happily living in Amsterdam. She loves yoga, is learning to cycle fearlessly, and cherishes every moment she can spend with Alice, the world’s sweetest basset hound.