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The program examines the intersections of gender and sexuality with race, class, and religion, and highlights the experiences of the growing number of postcolonial and post-migration subjects living in these intersections. Apart from looking at theories and applications of gender studies, LGBT studies and sexuality studies in activism, the program interrogates how identity is affected by gender, sexuality, race, religion, and class, both as they are experienced and as they are perceived. During the program, you will make field visits to different NGOs and organizations advocating for gender, LGBT, and sexual rights; an excursion to Morocco provides additional international perspectives on program themes.
Based in Amsterdam, this program offers rich opportunities for you to explore issues of gender and sexuality through international and intersectional lenses. Amsterdam’s wealth of community organizations focused on sexuality and gender issues allows you to get actively involved and learn from professionals, researchers, and activists. Community volunteer opportunities help you develop your learning and communicative skills when working with a local organization or community. This helps you gain access to the research subjects you want to study for your Independent Study Project as well as an inside perspective on Dutch society.
The Netherlands hosts a number of specialized archives and research centers related to the program’s themes. You will visit and make use of the International Gay and Lesbian Archive and Information Center (IHLIA) housed at the Amsterdam Public Library and the library and archive of the women’s movement in the Atria Knowledge Institute for Emancipation and Women’s History. You will also attend lectures and events at the Amsterdam Research Center for Gender and Sexuality (ARS-GS) at the University of Amsterdam. Scholars from the center occasionally lecture for SIT and advise students on their Independent Study Projects. You can also visit the George Mosse lectures — a series of lectures focused on LGBTQ topics — at the University of Amsterdam.
In addition to the program’s major excursion to Morocco, you will experience local excursions that include a trip to The Hague where you will visit the HIVOS international development organization, which supports women’s and LGBT groups around the world. During the visit to the Rutgers World Population Foundation in Utrecht, you will meet with professionals involved in developing sex education curriculum and programs used in the Netherlands and internationally. In Amsterdam, you will visit the Red Light District, where the Prostitution Information Center will address sex workers’ rights, and Mama Cash, the world’s oldest women’s fund that support women’s and transgender rights throughout the world.
You will spend part of the semester developing and refining your Independent Study Project (ISP) proposal. Near the end of the semester, you will devote four weeks to working on the ISP, during which time you will pursue original research on a selected topic of your interest. The ISP is conducted in Amsterdam or another approved location appropriate to the project.
Sample topic areas:
Previous college-level coursework or other preparation in sexuality and/or gender studies, as assessed by SIT.
The program includes two thematic seminars, one on LGBT, feminist, and sexuality studies and one on migration, gender, and sexuality. They are presented by academics, professionals, and grassroots activists. Lecturers represent a variety of disciplines, including women’s and gender studies, LGBT studies, migration and ethnic studies, anthropology, sociology, and sexology. Students may also choose to participate in a community volunteer experience with a Dutch organization or within different communities.
Links to syllabi below are from current and forthcoming courses offered on this program. Because courses develop and change over time to take advantage of dynamic learning opportunities, actual course content will vary from term to term.
The syllabi can be useful for students, faculty, and study abroad offices in assessing credit transfer. Read more about credit transfer.
Please note that in order to take advantage of dynamic learning opportunities, program excursions may occasionally vary.
Please note that in order to take advantage of dynamic learning opportunities, program excursions may occasionally vary.
The Netherlands: International Perspectives on Sexuality and Gender program includes exceptional, field-based learning opportunities for a broader and deeper understanding of course content. In addition to shorter, in-country visits, the program travels to Morocco, giving students additional insight on the issues of sexuality, gender, and migration from a different international perspective.
During this two-week excursion, students engage with Moroccan academics, researchers, and activists to examine the issue of sexuality and gender in a modern and Islamic society. The role of Islamic minorities is a crucial social issue in much of Europe, and issues of gender and sexuality are seen as the most visible fault line of societal tensions. Traveling to Morocco grants students the opportunity to examine these issues from a very different cultural context and perspective. Additionally, as Moroccan immigrants comprise one of the largest migrant communities in the Netherlands, this excursion also focuses on the issue of gender and migration.
The program also includes excursions within the Netherlands. Highlights include:
Notice: Students attending this program will travel on a 90-day Schengen Tourist Visa. US citizens are permitted to remain in the Schengen zone on a tourist visa for only 90 days within a 180-day period.
The Schengen zone is a group of European countries, including the Netherlands, with a mutual immigration agreement. Schengen countries are listed here:
The SIT Netherlands program will take the entire 90 days. This means that students cannot travel in the Schengen area 180 days prior to the start of the program, or 180 days after the end of the program. Students planning to participate in another program in Europe either before or after their SIT Netherlands program should inform their admissions counselor immediately.
Garjan Sterk holds a degree in Dutch literature and an additional master’s degree in ethnic studies. She is a PhD candidate in gender studies and is working on research into the way specific positions and categories impact meaning-giving processes. She has worked for the last 30 years in the fields of gender, ethnicity, and media, specializing in representations, journalism, and popular culture. She has held several positions as a media researcher and as a project manager in various nonprofit organizations.
Her last position was as a lecturer at the Amsterdam University of Applied Science, Department of Media, Information, and Communication. She taught and instructed students, ages 18–24, in various courses. Her main responsibility was research methodology, but she also taught popular culture, gender and ethnic diversity, media and society, and media research. She supervised and coached students during their final thesis research. Garjan is deeply committed to student education in the area of research methodology and likes to explore with students how to tackle a research question.
Yvette Kopijn began working with the program in January 2008. She has held different positions within the organization and is currently working with SIT Amsterdam as academic advisor and community volunteer experience coordinator. She also provides the field study sessions within the Research Methods and Ethics seminar.
Yvette holds a degree in gender and ethnic studies. She is a PhD candidate within the School of Social Science Research and is a member of the Amsterdam Research Center for Gender and Sexuality at the University of Amsterdam. Her research focuses on the intersection of gendered survival strategies and constructions of female identity among Javanese women coming from the former Dutch colony Suriname. As an oral historian, Yvette worked with several cultural heritage organizations and conducted different oral history projects, including Haar Geschiedenis ("Her history"), an online collection of life stories of migrant women in the Netherlands. She provides oral history training and hosts storytelling workshops, most notably for (postcolonial) migrants and their offspring. Yvette comes from a postcolonial migrant family with diverse sexual identities. She was born in Aruba (Dutch Antilles) and is part of a Moroccan-Dutch-Indies household.
Bastiaan Franse’s task is to find host families who will welcome students into their homes for the program’s time in Amsterdam and to manage all issues related to the homestays. The students check in with the homestay coordinator on a regular basis and the homestay coordinator stays in touch with the host families. Besides working for SIT, Bastiaan works as a social worker with trans* youth and their families, facilitates youth groups for trans* youth, and educates high school students and professionals in education and healthcare on gender diversity. Bastiaan was on the founding board of Transgender Netwerk Nederland and has been working in youth care since 2001.
Natascha Minnebo previously worked as a social worker helping people with mental disabilities. As a group leader, she supervised students and coached colleagues with work-related goals like learning how to deal with time management. In 2011, she began business studies and, after completing her degree, began working for local municipalities as an employee and project manager, helping to create a human rights agenda for Amsterdam. She has written a novel based on her experience as an exchange student in the United States that will be published within the year.
Paul Marlisa assists with administrative tasks, primarily finances, travel arrangements, and IT/communications. In addition to his work with SIT Netherlands, Paul works as a nurse in the neurologic ward of the AMC, the largest academic hospital in Amsterdam.
Eduard Verbree is the director of Mercuurtaal, an independent language institute. He is a gifted teacher and tailors the Nederlandse les (Dutch class) to the themes of the SIT program. He also coordinates additional classes and activities on aspects of Dutch culture.
Chandra Frank holds an MPhil in African studies from the University of Cape Town and is currently a PhD candidate at Goldsmiths College in London. Her research focuses on the embodiment of resistance within the black feminist movement in the Netherlands. Together with Sarah Klerks, she runs Gerilja Kurating (G/K), an online magazine that explores the meaning and presence of black visual arts today. For Framed Framed, she is currently working toward an exhibition that critically explores the relationship between South Africa and the Netherlands. The module she coordinates for SIT focuses on the history of feminism in the Netherlands, with a particular focus on the black feminist movement, transnational feminism, and the shift to material feminism with its focus on the body. Her module includes a field visit to Mama Cash, the world’s oldest women’s fund that supports about 100 women’s rights groups and organizations that are led by women, girls, and trans people.
Laurens Buijs is a social scientist working at the University of Amsterdam. In his work, he explores the concepts of identity and sexuality with a focus on Dutch culture. In his study of the perpetrators of antigay violence (2009), he argues that dominant conceptualizations of both gay acceptance and homophobia — as “assets” of ethnic, religious, or cultural traditions — are inaccurate and contribute to nationalistic myths of a progressive Dutch nation confronted with external intolerant threats. Instead, he proposes to see incidents of violence as “rites of passage,” in which masculinity, societal status, and peer recognition are at stake. Other themes in his work are the rise of the new right-wing anti-Islam parties after 9/11, the development of emancipation movements since the 1960s, and the making of “typically Dutch” policy measures, such as gay marriage, legalization of prostitution, and drug policies. For SIT, he coordinates the module on LGBT studies and activism, where he discusses LGBT history in Amsterdam, gay marriage rights, LGBT sexual health, gender diversity, and transgender issues.
Marije Janssen studied at Utrecht University within the fields of gender studies and (new) media and digital culture. In the past nine years, she has been active within the field of gender and sexuality in the Netherlands. As an activist, she focuses on sex worker rights but is also the initiator of different events around sexuality, ranging from underground multidisciplinary festivals to workshops around positive sexual education for professionals. All of her work is rooted in the belief that sexuality is part of our essence as human beings and that it is important to create spaces where sexuality can be safely and openly discussed and explored. In this light, Marije initiated the Get a Room! film series, a bimonthly film and discussion event focusing on all aspects of sexuality (www.get-a-room.nl). After being successful in both Amsterdam and Utrecht, Get a Room! is currently taking place in Rotterdam and Eindhoven. Within SIT, she is responsible for the Sexualities Studies module, where she focuses on sex positivism, sex work, sex education, and feminist pornography. Part of her module is an excursion to the Red Light District in Amsterdam and a visit to Rutgers/WPF in Utrecht, the oldest organization in the Netherlands working on the enhancement of sexual education.
Nancy Jouwe studied women’s studies and cultural history at the University of Utrecht and York and is a feminist and a cultural historian. Over the past 21 years, she has worked as a manager / managing director of the NGO Mama Cash and cultural organization Kosmopolis. As an activist, Nancy has been involved from the mid-80s onwards with the squatters’ movement, the queer movement, the indigenous peoples’ movement, and the women’s movement, especially in the Asia/Oceania region. Nancy currently works as a curator and researcher at the crossroads of art, cultural heritage, and postcolonial history and is affiliated with the Humanistic University in Utrecht. Within SIT, she is responsible for the module on gender, sexuality, and postcolonial communities, where she focuses on the gendered and racialized history of migrants coming from the Netherlands’ former colonies and the instability of postcolonial citizenship. Together with Jennifer Tosh, she takes students on the Amsterdam Black Heritage Tour and provides a theory class on intersectionality.
Paul Mepschen is a social anthropologist working at the University of Amsterdam. His work focuses on populism and the politics of belonging in postcolonial and post-Fordist Europe. Paul is currently working on a PhD concentrating on the culturalization of citizenship and the construction of “autochthony” in the Netherlands. The study takes an ethnographic approach, focusing on a particular neighborhood in Amsterdam, and looks at the intersections of cultural, class, and urban politics and struggles over power and representation. Another focus of Mepschen’s work has been the role of sexuality in the politics of culturalization and in Dutch racism and Islamophobia. He has analyzed the entanglements of “homonormative” representations of gay rights politics with Dutch neo-nationalist populism and anti-Islam discourses. As an activist, Mepschen has been involved in various progressive social movements, including labor and anti-racism activism. He has co-founded the leftist think tank TENK. Within SIT, he is responsible for the module on post-migration communities, in which he discusses multicultural sexual politics, sex education classes and multi-ethnic kids, and the experiences of queer Muslims. His module also includes a meet and greet with Chris Belloni, director of the documentary I Am Gay and Muslim (2012).
Guno Jones is an interdisciplinary scholar who received his PhD at the VU University in Amsterdam, where he is affiliated with the Faculty of Social Sciences. He held several research positions at the University of Amsterdam and the VU University Amsterdam. As a lecturer, he taught on a variety of subjects at both universities. His main research interests are on citizenship, postcolonial migration, and the nation in the Netherlands, Belgium, and the UK; the heritage of World War II; and the heritage of colonialism and slavery in the Netherlands and its former colonies. He has participated in many post-doc research projects. Among others, he was a member of the research program The Dynamics of War Heritage, Memory, and Remembrance and was part of the research program Inclusive Thinking: The Policy and Practice of Diversity in the Netherlands in Historical Context. Guno has published many articles and books, including an article on the instability of postcolonial citizenship in the anthology Dutch Racism by Philomena Essed and Isabel Hoving. He also has worked as a manuscript reviewer for the journals Ethnic and Racial Studies and Women's Studies. Within SIT, Guno coordinates the module on Research Methods and Ethics.
You will live with a homestay family in Amsterdam for 12 weeks. Hosts are of different ethnic backgrounds and include LGBT households, single parents, and traditional families, all of whom offer unique insights into issues of sexuality and gender within a Dutch and multicultural context.
Other accommodations during the program include hostels and modest hotels.
A diversity of students representing different colleges, universities, and majors study abroad on this program. Many of them have gone on to do amazing things that connect back to their experience abroad with SIT. Learn what some of them are now doing.
Program Arrival Date: Aug 29, 2016
Program Departure Date: Dec 9, 2016
The dates listed above are subject to change. Please note that travel to and from the program site may span a period of more than one day.
Student applications to this program will be reviewed on a rolling basis between the opening date and the deadline.
Application Deadline: Jun 1, 2016
SIT Pell Grant Match Award. SIT Study Abroad provides matching grants to all students receiving Federal Pell Grant funding; this award can be applied to any SIT semester program. View all SIT Study Abroad scholarships.
The tuition fee covers the following program components:
The room and board fee covers the following program components:
International Airfare to Program Launch Site
International airline pricing can vary greatly due to the volatility of airline industry pricing, flight availability, and specific flexibility/restrictions on the type of ticket purchased. Students may choose to take advantage of frequent flyer or other airline awards available to them, which could significantly lower their travel costs.
Books & Supplies: $ 200
International Phone: Each student must have a phone in each country. Cost varies according to personal preferences, phone plans, data plans, etc.
Personal expenses during the program vary based on individual spending habits and budgets. While all meals and accommodations are covered in the room and board fee, incidentals and personal transportation costs differ depending on the non-program-related interests and pursuits of each student. To learn more about personal budgeting, we recommend speaking with alumni who participated in a program in your region. See a full list of our alumni contacts. Please note that free time to pursue non-program-related activities is limited.
Please Note: Fees and additional expenses are based on all known circumstances at the time of calculation. Due to the unique nature of our programs and the economics of host countries, SIT reserves the right to change its fees or additional expenses without notice.