Is this program right for you?
This program is designed for students seeking a structured study abroad program where U.S. university students focus on the academic theme of International Perspectives on Sexuality and Gender. Students should be interested in the theory and practical applications of a variety of sexuality and gender related issues. Students who participate in this program should anticipate a busy semester where each week is different. Students should also be interested and prepared to dive into their own independent research project.
The School for International Training (SIT) offers this interdisciplinary program, which integrates classroom lectures and multiple theoretical models with field excursions to sites in Amsterdam, throughout the Netherlands, and to key locations elsewhere in Europe to provide a comprehensive view of the impact of legislation on the daily life of various communities and minorities. Opportunities to interact with community outreach organizations add to your understanding of the study of sexuality and gender.
Coursework begins with a strong foundation in critical theory of sexuality and gender. All students have access to staff and follow two guest lecture series, which are presented by academics, service professionals and grassroots activists. The range of disciplines includes political science, anthropology, migration and ethnic studies, women's studies, sexuality studies, sociology, gender identity, media studies, and sexology. Amsterdam's wealth of community organizations focused on sexuality and gender issues allows students to get actively involved and learn from people who are on the front-lines. A Field Study Practicum helps focus student learning and analytical skills when volunteering with a local organization. Based in Amsterdam, this program explores the intersections of Dutch and international perspectives related to sexuality and gender. Units of study include queer, LGBT, and feminist movements; migration, gender, and sexuality; sex education; same-sex marriage rights; sex work; and transgender issues.
The following section explains how the semester breaks down into distinct courses that all students take.
Course descriptions and syllabi are found here.
* Theory and Application of Feminist, Lesbigay, and Queer Studies (GEND 3000/ 3 credits)- Required
* Migration, Gender, and Sexuality (GEND 3005 / 3 credits)- Required
* Introduction to Dutch Language (DUTC 1000/ 3 credits)- Required
* Research Methods and Ethics (ANTH 3500/ 3 credits)- Required
* Independent Study Project (ISPR 3000/ 4 credits)- Required
Students follow sexuality and gender identity across borders and learn to apply theory cross-culturally when learning from academics and professionals in the Netherlands and a two week excursion to Morocco.
In addition to international excursions, students participate in field visits and local excursions, individually or as a group, including a tour of the Red Light District, visits to the Rutgers/NISSO archive (Netherlands Institute for Social Sexual Research), IHLIA (International Homo/Lesbian Info Center and Archive), Gender Clinic at the Vrije Universiteit Medical Center and others.
The Netherlands is known for its atmosphere of tolerance and progressive social thinking. Its liberal laws concerning gay and lesbian rights, sexuality education, birth control, and euthanasia set it apart from the United States as well as from many of its European neighbors. However, while progressive, this country still struggles with issues inevitable in a multifaceted society. In general, students experience a more structured program at the beginning and gradually transition to less structure as the semester progresses. Students do have time to take advantage of Amsterdam and its neighboring communities as part of the academic component as well as in their homestay and during other times.
Housing and Meals
After the initial orientation period, students will participate in a homestay during their semester in Amsterdam. Through a homestay, students become a member of a family and share in its daily life. This opportunity facilitates cultural immersion, helps develop further language skills and provides a context for academic learning. Students frequently cite the homestay as an educational highlight of the semester.
Homestay placements are arranged by a local coordinator who screens and approves each family's suitability. These families represent a variety of occupational, educational and economic levels and live in diverse neighborhoods, towns and rural settings. Families include one or more adults and may or may not include children. The success of the homestay experience depends largely on your willingness to adapt as an active family member.
When traveling with the program, you stay in lodgings chosen under the guidance of the academic director. Accommodations may include guest houses, educational institutions, hostels or small hotels, depending on local conditions and customs.
Students are responsible for contacting the Dutch Embassy or Consulate to find out which additional documents are needed to obtain a Student Visa.