The Netherlands: LGBTQ+ Rights & Dutch Culture

Peace, Politics, and Human Rights

Experience the Netherlands’ progressive approach to LGBTQ rights, gender issues, and sex education.


July 2, 2018



Peace, Politics, & Human Rights


Community Service

Physical Activity


Program Description

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.





July 2, 2018 - July 25, 2018 (3 weeks)

Program Fee:


(does not include airfare)
Group Airfare Cost:


Depart/Return City:

New York


Heemskerk, 3 days


Amsterdam*, 13-15 days

Other Accommodations:


Sample Itinerary

    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

    Homestay in Amsterdam

    • Get to know your homestay family and participate in their daily activities
    • Explore your homestay neighborhood

    Thematic Focus

    • Learn about gender and LGBT activism within the Netherlands from activists
    • Visit important sites throughout the city

    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.

    Days 5-9

    Thematic Focus

    • Participate in workshops on sexuality and sex education and learn more about the Dutch approach to sexuality
    • Go on 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 10-12

    Thematic Focus

    • Participate in workshops on gender and sexual diversity and learn more about Dutch approaches to advocacy of LGBT rights
    • Learn more about Transgender issues in the Dutch context
    • Learn about the longstanding Dutch history of international human rights advocacy, most notably on refugee support
    • Do community work for a local refugee support organization
    Days 13-14

    Excursion to Rotterdam and The Hague


    • Visit Europe’s largest port city and enjoy its modern architecture and multicultural atmosphere
    • Go on a 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 refugee 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 15-16

    Thematic Focus

    • 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 17-19

    Excursion to Sneek (Friesland)

    • Participate in traditional Frisian activities such as pedalo (paddle boat) riding and fierljeppen
    • Explore one of the many lakes in Friesland while sailing on a skûtsje, a traditional Frisian (wooden or steel) cargo boat
    • Visit the Zuiderzeemuseum
    Days 20-23

    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
    • Spend a final day with your homestay family doing family activities
    Day 24


    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.

Itinerary is subject to change.

Past Group Leaders

  • Ryan Rockmore

    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

    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.

Pre-departure Documents

Summer 2018

Congratulations on your upcoming Experiment summer on the Netherlands: LGBTQ+ Rights & Dutch Culture program. Visit our pre-departure page for information about our expectations, communications, and travel planning. In early 2018, our summer international information will be published in a secure page, found in the Parent Portal.

In early spring 2018, the following program-specific documents will be linked to this page:

  • Participant Handbook
  • Parent Handbook
  • Health Guidelines
  • Personal Funds Abroad
  • Accident and Sickness Insurance
  • Packing List

Many questions can be answered by reviewing these materials, but please do not hesitate to contact us if further information is required. To submit or update your domestic travel and emergency contact information, please login in to the Parent Portal.

Important Passport and Medical Information

If you do not yet have a passport, or if you have not applied for one, you should do so immediately.

If you have not had a physical with your doctor since June 2017, make an appointment as quickly as possible, as your health form must be filled out based on a current physical.

Please bookmark this web page for easy use in the future.