Amsterdam - Social Sciences & Humanities


Read more about this program on the school's website

Program Description

Earn U.S. Credits Virtually This Summer

Get ahead! Earn extra credit through a globally recognized U.S. education program this summer on our Virtual World DiscoverIES program.

Just picture it: one day you're exploring business ethics with a professor in London and the next it's Japanese pop culture from Tokyo, studying alongside classmates from the U.S.’s highest-ranked colleges and universities. This is what it's like to take a course or two (of your choosing!) from IES Abroad’s most popular centers around the world this summer.

Learn more about how you can discover the world through IES Abroad.


Why Amsterdam?

Are you eager to take an independent, fresh look at the world—and at yourself? Let Amsterdam redefine your perspective. This progressive city is known for its cutting-edge contributions to the arts, business, politics, and social policy, and for its importance in the history of Europe and the world.

Our Social Sciences & Humanities Program takes advantage of the city’s unique balance of history and contemporary culture and lets you structure your studies at the prestigious Universiteit van Amsterdam (UvA) and at the IES Abroad Center. The IES Abroad courses offered in this program are taught by international faculty from diverse backgrounds and disciplines.

What You'll Study

With a strong focus on internationalism, the UvA offers a wide range of courses in many areas of study, including Conflict & Cultural Diversity, Globalization & International

Relations, Migration Studies, and Sociology. You can also choose from IES Abroad’s course offerings in Art History, Studio Art, Gender Studies, Dutch language, and other subjects.

Daily Life

Amsterdam will be your classroom. Many courses include hands-on components to help you explore Amsterdam and its surroundings while learning about the city’s past and present. Study the history of Amsterdam by visiting some of the city’s historic spots, including Anne Frank’s home and the Rembrandt House. Explore the city’s well-known museums, such as the Rijksmuseum, the Van Gogh Museum, and the Stedelijk Museum. Find out more about the diverse local culture by hopping on a bike to tour the city’s historic neighborhoods.

We want you to feel at home in Amsterdam, so we do everything we can to help you integrate into life in the city. From housing to cultural events, our job is to make sure you have the most authentic study abroad experience possible.


Our mission is simple: to provide you with the best study abroad program possible—which includes the highest quality academic and cultural experiences.

We offer unique courses that explore Dutch language, culture, and the arts. The world-class professors and course options at the Universiteit van Amsterdam (UvA) enhance your academic experience and provide you with new perspectives each day in class.

While in Amsterdam, you take 15–18 credits per semester. UvA courses and IES Abroad courses are worth up to 6 credits each.

Create your own academic experience by selecting from the following required and optional components:

  • One or more Universiteit van Amsterdam (UvA) courses (at least one UvA course is required, credits vary)
  • One or more IES Abroad course(s) - (optional, credits vary)


This is a list of planned course offerings. After you are accepted, you will see a list of final course offerings in your MyIESabroad account.

  • Highlights of Dutch Art: From Rembrandt to Mondriaan and Beyond
  • Studio Rietveld: An Introduction to Studio Art in Amsterdam
  • Social Entrepreneurship and Leadership for the 21st Century
  • Dialogues on Difference
  • Dutch Language in Daily Life
  • Sex and Science: Dutch Medicine and Intersexuality
  • Introduction to the Study of Sexuality and Gender in the Context of Amsterdam
  • Translating Race: a Comparative Approach
  • European Union in a Changing World: History, Politics, and Policy-making
  • Cross-Cultural Psychology
  • Social Entrepreneurship and Leadership for the 21st Century
  • Major Issues in Law and Society: A Comparative Context
  • Social Entrepreneurship and Leadership for the 21st Century
  • European Union in a Changing World: History, Politics, and Policy-making
  • Major Issues in Law and Society: A Comparative Context
  • Translating Race: a Comparative Approach
  • Cross-Cultural Psychology
  • Sex and Science: Dutch Medicine and Intersexuality
  • Translating Race: a Comparative Approach
  • Introduction to the Study of Sexuality and Gender in the Context of Amsterdam

Partner Institution(s)

About the Universiteit van Amsterdam

The Universiteit van Amsterdam prides itself on its wide range of multidisciplinary offerings and its strong focus on internationalization. These qualities are reflected in the large number of international and study abroad students at the Universiteit. Rooted in 17th century Amsterdam, the university is known for its rich intellectual, artistic, and commercial history, and for its contributions to contemporary scholarship, business, and politics.

The Social Sciences & Humanities Program is part of the Amsterdam Exchange Program - Social & Behavioral Sciences.


As an IES Abroad student, your course of study falls largely under the Amsterdam Exchange Program - Social & Behavioral Sciences within the College of Social Sciences. Requests to take a course outside of the Social & Behavioral Sciences are handled on a case-by-case basis, as the individual departments at the UvA have the final admission decision to each specific course.

Courses at the UvA are listed in ECTS credits. 2 ECTS credits equal 1 U.S./IES Abroad credit. For example, a course worth 12 ECTS is worth 6 IES Abroad credits.

You can select from courses in:

  • Anthropology
  • Art
  • Conflict and Cultural Diversity
  • Dutch Society
  • Ethnicity, Migration, & Nationalism
  • Geography Planning & Development
  • Gender & Sexuality
  • Globalization & International Relations
  • Media & Communication
  • Politics, Governance, & Democracy
  • Sociology
  • Urban Studies & Global Health

Depending upon availability, you may also be able to take a class in the Faculty of Humanities in one of the following areas. Please note that these opportunities are limited:

  • Arts & Media Studies
  • English & Literature
  • European & American Studies
  • History
  • Philosophy & Discourse

If you qualify and have the right background, you may take up to two courses in the Faculty of Economics and Business whose Amsterdam School of Business (ASB) is EQUIS-accredited. Prerequisites and other requirements apply.

Field Trips & Events

Even though your adventure starts in Amsterdam, our field trips take you beyond the city to discover the culture and traditions of your host country. You share a portion of the cost with IES Abroad. Here are a few possible destinations:

Antwerp, Belgium

2 Days| Fall & Spring

Enjoy a weekend away in Netherland’s neighboring country, Belgium! Come sample the local cuisine, and learn a bit more about what makes Belgium special.

National Park Hoge Veluwe & Kröller-Müller Museum

2 Days | Fall

Visit the largest privately managed conservation area in the Netherlands - home to several endangered species, as well as visit the park's museum. Also visit the Open Air Museum, which allows you to see the historical past of Dutch life.


2 Days | Spring

Explore this university city with its beautiful medieval architecture and lively arts and culture. Visit the famous labyrinth caves of Limburg, and take a walk in the spectacular hilly countryside.

Zaanse Schans

1 Day | Fall & Spring

Enjoy a cycling trip from Amsterdam to Zaanse Schans, a quintessential Dutch town, famous for its windmills.

IES Abroad field trip destinations, activities, and lengths of stay may vary according to term and availability.

Course-Related Trips

Course-related trips are academically excursions and associated with courses. They are organized to complement IES Abroad courses and contribute to a general knowledge of Dutch culture and society. Participation is based on course registration.

Examples could include:

  • Tours of contemporary art museums and galleries
  • Walking tour of Amsterdam's neighborhoods
  • Trip to Haarlem and the Hague

Daily Life

Part of making you feel at home in Amsterdam is doing our best to help you feel safe and cared for. Whether it is the orientation program that makes you feel prepared, your housing that is well-located and comfortable, or the field trips that take you to places off the beaten path—we’re all about our student services.


The program begins with an orientation that introduces you to the IES Abroad Amsterdam staff, your fellow students, and the city of Amsterdam.

Our Comprehensive Orientation & Re-Entry Experience (CORE™) begins right when you arrive and continues through the semester with activities focusing on academic and cultural adjustment. Detailed information about housing, public transportation, academics, culture, health and safety, and other important topics are also covered.

You have the option to join the International Student Network’s (ISN) orientation at the University of Amsterdam, which is led by Dutch students.

Local field trips and activities are also arranged, as well as an overnight orientation trip, where you’ll have the opportunity to learn more about the Netherlands and Dutch Culture.


We want to make sure that your greatest challenge is deciding which landmarks to see first or discovering the best café—not finding a place to live where you feel comfortable. We do our best to locate housing that is reflective of how the local students are living. Our goal is that when you leave Amsterdam, it will feel like home.

Residence Hall - Depending on the location, you will live in a single room with either a shared or private bathroom. You will either have a shared kitchen with other students on your floor or have a private kitchenette.

Deluxe Residence Hall - You will live in a single room with a private bathroom. You share a kitchen with other students on your floor. The building features a 24-hour reception and a gym. This option carries an additional cost.

Extracurricular Activities & Cultural Events

Redefine the way you live and learn in Amsterdam through cultural events, such as:

  • Seeing the windmills in the Zaanse Schans
  • Attending a local soccer match
  • Touring the Keukenhof tulip garden (spring only)
  • Visiting Hoge Veluwe National Park
  • Bicycling to Volendam and Marken
  • Exploring the medieval castle Muiderslot and the Isle of Pampus


Consider these prices as a starting point. We encourage you to contact your study abroad office to determine the actual cost to you when factoring in financial aid, scholarships, your home school policies, and other factors.

Spring 2020

Term Tuition Housing Insurance Total
Spring 2020 $15,660 $5,060 $230 $20,950

Academic year

Term Tuition Housing Insurance Total
Academic Year $27,740 $10,000 $455 $38,495

Scholarships & Aid

Program-Specific Scholarships

Dr. William Louis Gaines Need-Based History or International Relations Scholarship

Up to $1,875; awarded to 4-6 students each year.

This scholarship is named in honor of Dr. William Louis Gaines, President of IES Abroad from 1974-1992. Dr. Gaines was dedicated to strengthening IES Abroad's academic framework, broadening the scope of IES Abroad locations, and securing the financial foundation of the organization.

Open to students majoring in History or International Relations.

Adelyn Dougherty Leander Need-Based Urban Issues Scholarship

Up to $3,000; awarded to 4-6 students each year.

Open to students who have an interest in urban studies (a major in urban studies is not required).

Our Center

The IES Abroad Amsterdam Center is housed in the Oranje-Nassau Kazerne, former military barracks that has since been turned into offices and apartments, and located across from the famous Artis Zoo. Features include a small library, classroom space, staff offices, WiFi access, and space for students to meet and study. Center office hours are Monday - Friday, 9 am - 5 pm (unless otherwise specified).

Last updated May 2020

About the School

Everything we do is about the IES Abroad student. Our profoundly passionate team of study abroad professionals believes in creating once-in-a-lifetime educational adventures that transcend expectation ... Read More

Everything we do is about the IES Abroad student. Our profoundly passionate team of study abroad professionals believes in creating once-in-a-lifetime educational adventures that transcend expectations. Our goal is to rock the world of some 6,000 study abroad students every year. Read less
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