Graduate School of Social Sciences

Tailor-made programmes

Graduate School of Social Sciences

Are you interested in bringing a group of students, faculty or professionals to Amsterdam for an educational trip?

The Summer Programmes Office can help create an entire programme from scratch or facilitate a programme based entirely on your wishes. As part of the University of Amsterdam, we have access to all facilities and you have the advantage of working with one of the top research institutions in the world.

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The Summer Programmes Office at the Graduate School of Social Sciences in Amsterdam offers a variety of intensive summer courses and tailor-made programmes (in cooperation with host universities abroad) in a variety of fields. All of our programmes are taught in English.

With over 20 years experience in programme development, the Summer Programmes Office is capable of offering high quality, short-term study abroad programmes at a reasonable cost. With insiders' knowledge of the city of Amsterdam and an impressive list of guest speakers and faculty, we have developed programmes that offer a truly authentic Amsterdam experience.

The possibilities are endless. Here are a few examples of what we can provide:

  • topnotch faculty in all fields
  • community guest lecturers
  • site visits
  • excursions
  • student housing
  • faculty housing or hotel

We organize everything from public transportation cards to onsite-staff to get you from a to b with a stop at that hidden gem. Our Programme Director, Mirjam Schieveld, is an Amsterdam native and makes sure that the international staff benefits from her insider knowledge.

We pride ourselves on providing high quality educational programmes. Students return from our facilitated programmes with not only a understanding of Amsterdam but a deeper intellectual understanding of the subject matter they are exploring and life-long friendships.

If you are interested in exploring the possibility of developing a short-term study abroad programme in Amsterdam for your students, please feel free to contact us at

We have worked with the following universities below to develop and facilitate tailor-made programmes.

Tailor-made Programmes 2017

In this program, students will learn about sex and gender politics and policy in the Netherlands, one of the most sexually liberal countries in the world.  This nation was the first to legalize same sex marriages, grants sex workers legitimate status, and covers sex reassignment surgeries through its government health plan. Yet  tolerance for sexual and gender diversity is counter-balanced by a pervasive social intolerance of Muslim immigrants.  Students will study sexual and gender politics with Dutch scholars and speakers working in organizations relating to sex workers, sex education, transgender advocacy, and LGBTQ rights in order to advance their knowledge of these topics in a comparative context. 

Students will reside in the vibrant city of Amsterdam, where world-famous museums and cafes abound alongside beautiful canals and historic architecture. Students will be housed in dormitories at the University of Amsterdam. Excursions may include a visit to a sex-reassignment clinic, a guided tour of the Red Light District, and a trip to the World Population Fund Center for Sexual Education in Utrecht. Students will also have the opportunity to visit Brussels, where they may meet with LGBTQ refugees and representatives from the International Organization for Lesbian and Gay Rights.

Amsterdam, the country’s capital, with a population just under a million and the probably the most planned city of Europe, it is no wonder the city is appealing to city planners, urban sociologists, architects and others who have interest in a very cultural diverse and vibrant city. With over 5 million international tourists a year and a challenging housing situation, numbers show that Amsterdam is a popular place as well for visiting as for residing.

The city is known for its tolerant character, applauded by many, criticized by others. You only have to mention the Dutch nationality abroad and discussions about drugs and prostitution will find it’s way. But there is more to debate. The city has a lot to offer. So many people, so little space, that makes this city so suitable for a short, but intense urban research project.

These four weeks we will not take our surroundings for granted anymore, but have a closer, more critical look. What is build, why is the city planned this way? And for who is this planned? Who benefits and who doesn’t? What has changed over the years and also, what has to change, in order to keep the city livable? How is the political debate framed?  How is policy developed and what differs from your hometown/city?

Students participate during lectures, collaborate in groups, write assignments and present final findings. Students will explore the following types of topics:

  • Citizen participation
  • Contested public space
  • Migration and Ethnicity
  • Tourism
  • History
  • Gentrification
  • Politics
  • Architecture
  • Sustainability

There are few countries that can boast an art tradition as rich as the Netherlands. Who has not heard of the art of Rembrandt, Vermeer and Van Gogh? This 9-week study abroad opportunity will offer the study of Dutch art in cultural context, from early Netherlandish artists, such as Van Eyck, to the present day, including architecture, urban planning and design. The program will be based in Amsterdam, branch out to different cities in the country (The Hague, Rotterdam, Utrecht, Haarlem, among others), and end with a week in Belgium to study early Netherlandish and Flemish art in Antwerp, Brussels, Bruges and Ghent. We are recruiting students from a variety of disciplines and levels who wish to see the art and culture of the Netherlands come to life by experiencing it first hand.

Lectures will be regularly held on the University of Amsterdam campus to provide training in both the content and methods of art history, but much of the learning and discovering will take place in the museums, along the canals, and in front of the monuments of Amsterdam and other cities of the Netherlands. Students will research and present topics based on their own interests. Guest lectures, bike tours, city walks, and research days will be scheduled during the week, leaving ample free time to explore. Using the rich traditions of Amsterdam and the Low Countries, this program will introduce participants to exciting modes of thinking about and looking at art, architecture, and Dutch culture.

Former programmes

Global Players (GP) is the first ever study abroad program developed by athletes for athletes. We are deeply committed to providing student athletes from all over the world a chance to study and train in a foreign country. The hardest step is always the first, so the GP staff is dedicated to coordinating an unforgettable experience by making international travel a little less intimidating and showing participants the tricks of the trade while helping them to get ahead.

Programs are designed for college students and recent graduates interested in coaching, business or humanities, travel and international sports development. Students from ANY college or university, from ANY major, from ANYWHERE in the world are encouraged to apply. Seventy (70%) percent of athletes regret not being able to study abroad due to their athletic commitment.

The Amsterdam Study Abroad program is is designed to provide students from a wide variety of academic backgrounds with the opportunity to explore the social, political, environmental, and cultural realities of Amsterdam and the Netherlands.

The Netherlands has a long tradition of problem solving through negotiation and progressive socio-economic policies, yet it has also been criticized for some of its permissive social policies. This makes Amsterdam the perfect location to explore both conflict resolution and Dutch policies towards controversial issues. 

The available coursework is particularly suited for, but not necessarily limited to, the following academic interests: Anthropology, Criminal Justice, International Studies, Political Science, and Public Affairs and Administration.

This two-week summer programme introduces students to lectures, excursions and professionals in the fields such as (international) business, trade, and even history.  The program includes lectures on various relevant topics from University of Amsterdam professors.  Excursions also include a visit to the European capitol, Brussels, and training sessions with companies like ING.  

Amsterdam is one of Europe's most progressive and oldest cities. This four-week study abroad opportunity (established in 2006), based on a preparatory spring seminar, is open to all undergraduate students. We are recruiting students from a variety of disciplines. This year's program, summer 2012, will focus on crime, law, and justice in both the Netherlands and the United States. Amsterdam will serve as a laboratory for the study of both formal and informal social control, and the city will be a springboard for excursions to other key sites, such as national prisons.

The Honors in Amsterdam program is organized around student research, taking as its primary task a productive balance between structured research and international engagement on the part of its participants. The components of the program will include course instruction, guest lectures, field research, city walks, museum visits, free time for research, exploration and contemplation, and weekend excursions that will serve to inform student's research projects.

Read about student research from past years: »

This honors programme is organized around student research, taking as its primary task a productive balance between structured research and international engagement. It has been developed in cooperation with The Virtual Knowledge Studio (VKS), Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences and is offered by the University of Washington Undergraduate Honors programme.

Published by  GSSS

Graduate School of Social Sciences

13 January 2017