Experiment in International Living: The Netherlands – LGBTQ+ Rights and Advocacy

    Experiment in International Living: The Netherlands – LGBTQ+ Rights and Advocacy


    • Listing Type: Summer Programs
    • Destination: Netherlands
    • Program Delivery: Residential
    • Provided By: Independent Provider
    • Session Start: July
    • Session Length: Four Weeks
    • Entering Grade: 10th, 11th, 12th
    • Gender: Coed
    • Category: Academic
    • Sub-Categories: Social Justice
    • Selective: No
    • Ages: 15, 16, 17, 18
    • Minimum Cost: > $3,000
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    Spend a summer abroad learning about social justice movements and LGBTQ and gender issues in the Netherlands during this program for high school students.

    Discover the Netherlands’ longstanding history of upholding and fighting for human rights and social justice while being immersed in Dutch culture. Gain new perspectives on Dutch approaches to gender issues, sexuality, and LGBTQ rights. Together with your group, spend time in The Hague, visiting the Peace Palace and the International Court of Justice (ICJ). You also visit Rotterdam, Europe’s largest port city and the historic site of Dutch emigration to the US. While there, witness the city’s modern architecture, strong working-class roots, and multicultural vibe.

    Deepen your immersion in Dutch culture and share in the daily lives of your homestay family in Amsterdam. Gather new perspectives on Dutch life when you participate in a community service project, such as assisting at an urban farm in Amsterdam, throwing a fundraiser for Dance4Life, or volunteering at a counseling and free HIV-testing center. At different stages of the program, attend workshops on gender and transgender issues, marriage equality, and other social justice topics, while visiting a fascinating array of organizations engaged in these areas. Participate in a spoken word workshop hosted by a Dutch-Moluccan artist, and experience how poetry and spoken word can serve as powerful tools in the struggle for equality and social justice.

    Finally, bask in the wind, water, and nature of Friesland during your rural stay in Sneek, a town beloved for its outdoor activities. During your stay in Sneek, participate in a homestay with an LGBT family. Try your hand at the traditional Frisian sport of Fierljeppen, explore one of the province’s many lakes on a pedalo (paddle boat), or sail on a skûtsje, a traditional Frisian boat. The program begins and concludes in Amsterdam.

    This program is designed for participants who are currently engaged in LGBTQ and allied communities and are comfortable discussing topics related to gender and sexuality.

    Sample Itinerary

    Days 1–3
    Orientation in Amsterdam

    • Learn about the history and culture of the Netherlands from experts
    • Get to know other members of your group during activities
    • Start learning basic Dutch
    • Participate in a community service project at an urban farm

    Thematic Focus

    • Learn about gender and LGBT activism within the Netherlands from activists
    • Visit important sites throughout the city, including the Teens Facts Expo, a unique exhibition on puberty and sexuality designed for teens

    During the orientation period, you and your group will stay in a centrally located youth hostel.

    Days 4–11
    Homestay in Amsterdam

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

    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 CHOICE for Youth and Sexuality, an organization run by young people that contributes to strengthening sexual and reproductive health rights of young people around the world
    • Learn about the Red Light District and what sex workers themselves think of their profession
    • Do community work at Out of the Closet

    Days 12–14
    Excursion to The Hague and Rotterdam

    The Hague:

    • Visit HIVOS, an international development organization supporting developing countries in their struggle for gender and sexual rights
    • 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


    • Visit Europe’s largest port city and enjoy its modern architecture and multicultural atmosphere
    • Visit the Holland-Amerika Lijn (Holland-America Line), where Dutch migrants used to embark for the US
    • Visit the Wereldmuseum (World Museum)
    • Participate in a spoken-word workshop hosted by a Dutch-Moluccan artist and experience how poetry and spoken word can be a strong tool in the struggle for social justice and LGBT rights advocacy
    • Visit the Delta Works and learn how the Dutch fight flooding with dams

    During this period, students will stay with their homestay families from the first week of the program.

    Days 15–17
    Return to Homestay in Amsterdam (Thematic Focus)

    • Attend workshops on gender, transgender, and gay marriage rights, and learn more about the Dutch approach to LGBT rights
    • Meet and exchange with LGBT families and their children and find out about their lives and experiences

    Days 18–19
    Homestay in LGBT Family

    • Participate in the daily lives of LGBT families
    • Do activities with your host family

    During this period, students stay in the home of an LGBT family.

    Days 20–21
    Return to Homestay in Amsterdam

    • Participate in weekend activities with host family

    Days 22–24
    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 25–27
    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 28

    About The Experiment

    The Experiment in International Living is a non-profit organization that has been offering immersive experiential learning programs abroad since 1932. Today, The Experiment offers three-, four-, and five-week summer programs for high school students in more than 20 countries around the world.

    Programs are designed to equip participants not only with essential cultural skills and, in many cases, language skills, but also with a deeper awareness of and sensitivity to critical global issues shaping the diverse communities and regions we visit. Each year, hundreds of Experimenters come away from their summer abroad with invaluable new skills, connections, awareness, and knowledge that help them to thrive—and lead—in diverse, intercultural environments.

    The Experiment is committed to providing participants from diverse socioeconomic backgrounds with access to The Experiment’s immersive cross-cultural programs through its partnerships, scholarships, and other initiatives.

    The Experiment places the highest priority on health, safety, and security. Each program follows a comprehensive structure designed to maximize the well-being of all participants while they engage in dynamic cross-cultural experiences. We have implemented specific risk management strategies that include a 24-hour emergency on-call service and regular safety reviews. We hire and train experienced adult group leaders and maintain longstanding partnerships with in-country offices to support each of our programs.