Experience the Netherlands’ progressive approach to LGBTQ rights, gender issues, and sex education.
Peace, Politics, & Human Rights
Step into the Middle Ages as you begin your journey with an overnight stay in a castle, then learn to travel like modern-day locals with a bike tour around Heemskerk before setting off for Amsterdam. There, you will wind around the city’s canals, visit important cultural landmarks, such as the Anne Frank House and Artis Zoo, and deepen your immersion in the Dutch culture by sharing daily life with your host family during a homestay. At different stages of the program, you will attend workshops on gender and transgender issues, marriage rights, and other social justice topics while visiting an illuminating array of organizations engaged in these areas. You’ll complete community service hours while you meet with an elderly LGBTQ population.
In The Hague, you will visit the Peace Palace and the International Court of Justice, and stop by the Rutgers World Population Foundation in Utrecht, one of the oldest organizations promoting sex education in the Netherlands and throughout the world. Your program will continue in Rotterdam, Europe’s largest port city and the historic site of Dutch emigration to the U.S. While there, you will meet with LGBTQ youth and experience the city’s multicultural vibe. You will have the chance to participate in a spoken-word poetry workshop and experience how poetry can serve as a powerful tool in the struggle for equality and social justice for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer communities.
Finally, you’ll travel to Sneek, a town beloved for its outdoor activities, where you will bask in the wind, water, and nature of the Friesland province. You can try your hand at traditional Frisian sports and sail one of the province’s many lakes in a skûtsje, a traditional sailboat. The program concludes in Amsterdam for final workshops and reflection.
This program is designed for participants who are engaged in LGBTQ and allied communities and/or are comfortable discussing topics related to gender and sexuality.
TBD - TBD (3 weeks)
Heemskerk, 3 days
Amsterdam*, 13-15 days
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.
Congratulations on your upcoming Experiment summer on The Netherlands: LGBTQ Rights & Dutch Culture program. Please download these important pre-departure documents about your host country and program by clicking on the links below. Visit our pre-departure page for information about our expectations, communications, and travel planning.