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Netherlands Belgium
Berkeley Summer Abroad

Netherlands and Belgium: History, Art, and Identity in Europe - SUSPENDED

  • Summary


    Trace important cultural, historical, and political developments throughout European history in the “Low Countries”- the Netherlands and Belgium.

    This course is open to students in all departments who are interested in exploring the art, history, culture, and society of Europe. This is an immersive program, with field trips across the Netherlands and Belgium to world-famous art museums, churches, and historical sites.

    • Explore Amsterdam, the world's most liberal city, with two weeks in the Netherlands, studying the 17th century (Golden Age) to present-day society

    • Travel to Ghent, one of Europe’s best-preserved medieval cities, and explore cities like Bruges, Ghent, Antwerp, and Brussels, the capital of Belgium and the European Union.

    • Visit the Dutch House of Representatives in The Hague and the European Parliament in Brussels.

    "The Low Countries offer an opportunity to learn about an incredible history, political systems of three countries and the European Union, and an amazing sense of culture is in everything you do."

    —Jenneke Olson, participant


    Dates: June 21-July 18, 2020
    All dates are subject to change.

    Units: 6 units

    Language of Instruction: English


    DUTCH 177: The Amsterdam-Brussels Connection: History, Art, and Identity in the Heart of Europe (6 units)

    Please note: Students should not take other online courses concurrent with this program.


    • Students will live in a hostel and will share rooms with other program participants only.
    • Breakfast will be provided daily in the hostel.
    • Students will share rooms with other program participants. There are 4-6 students per room. Please note that at this residence, due to in-country policies, students will be paired with roommates based on the gender listed on their passports. If you have clarifying questions, please feel free to reach out to the program staff.


    • At least one year of college coursework completed by the start of the program
    • 2.0 GPA or higher


    • Application opens February 3, 2020
    • Space is limited and applications are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis
    • Deadline to apply is March 15, 2020

  • Courses

    Course: Dutch 177
    Title: The Amsterdam-Brussels Connection: History, Art, and Identity in the Heart of Europe
    Instructor: Esmée van der Hoeven
    Units: 6 units
    Prerequisites: None

    Introduce yourself to the cultural and political identity of the Low Countries: the Netherlands and Belgium. The course begins in Amsterdam, the world’s most liberal city, from where we explore the Netherlands. After spending two weeks in the Netherlands, we will continue our journey in Belgium, where we will be based in the city of Ghent, one of Europe’s best preserved medieval cities. On our way, we trace important cultural, historical and political developments in European history, art, politics, and culture from medieval Flanders, the Dutch Golden Age, Anne Frank, and the Holocaust up to the contemporary multicultural identity of Belgium, the Netherlands and the European Union. Daily field trips take us to The Hague, Utrecht, Delft, Rotterdam, Brussels, Antwerp, Bruges and many other places, where we will visit a range of world-famous art museums, churches, and historical sites. Guided visits to the Dutch House of Representatives and the European Parliament in Brussels are also included. 

    The Travel/Study Course Dutch 177 is open to students from all departments on the Berkeley campus as well as students from other universities, also outside the United States. It satisfies the UC Berkeley International Studies or Arts & Literature or Historical Studies L&S Breadth Requirement, and it is part of the Dutch Studies Minor or Major. Students from other departments are encouraged to consult with their advisor to see which other major/minor this program may fulfill. Visiting students are encouraged to talk to their advisor about the transfer of credit to their home institutions. This course has no requirements. No language teaching is involved and no knowledge of any language other than English is required.

    This course satisfies the L&S Arts & Literature, Historical Studies, or International Studies breadth requirement. It is also part of the Dutch Studies major. Please note that academic requirements may change. Consult with your college/major advisor to see which degree requirements this course may fulfill.

    Summer Abroad staff will enroll you in courses after your acceptance to the program. Please make sure there are no active blocks on your student account that may impact your course enrollment.

  • Costs

    Tuition and Program Fee

    The fees to participate in this program are broken down into 1) tuition and 2) program fees, which are applied to your student billing account as follows:

    2020 Fees UC Students Visiting Students
    Tuition $2,514 $3,300
    Program Fee $2,454 $2,454
    Total Cost $4,968 $5,754

    Fees are subject to change. All non-Berkeley students must pay an additional Document Management Fee of $60.


    Estimated Out-of-Pocket Expenses

    In addition to the fees outlined above, Berkeley Study Abroad has estimated costs for out-of-pocket expenses. These amounts are used to calculate financial aid packages for eligible students. Actual expenses will vary depending on your lifestyle and spending habits.

    2020 Estimated Expenses Amount
    International Airfare and Transportation $1,862
    Additional Meals $734
    Books $218
    Personal Expenses (i.e., phone, passport, visas, etc.) $446
    Total Estimated Out-Of-Pocket Expenses $3,260


    Financial Aid

    Financial aid is available for Berkeley students who are enrolled in at least 6 units during the summer. All other students should contact the financial aid office at their home institution for more information.


    Explanation of Fees

    Tuition is based on a per-unit cost:

    • The UC undergraduate student rate is $419 per unit
    • The visiting student rate for all non-UC participants is $550 per unit

    The program fee* includes the following items:

    • Student housing in hostels in Amsterdam, Brussels, Ostend, and Leuven
    • Excursions such as a guided tour of the Dutch House of Representatives and the European Parliament, and more.
    • On-site orientation activities including an introduction to all the various cities on the itinerary, etc.
    • Travel insurance to cover accident/sickness medical coverage, emergency medical evacuation, security extraction, and other travel assistance services
    • Other program-related costs including fees for museum admissions, group transportation, local guides, etc.
    • The initial non-refundable deposit of $400, which is due at the time of application and is applied to the program fee

    *Please note that the list of items included in the program fee is not all-inclusive and is subject to change.

    The following items are excluded from the program fee:

    • International airfare
    • Personal expenses (souvenirs, routine medical expenses, toiletries, etc.)
    • Course materials (textbooks and readers)
    • Other travel expenses (passport, visa, etc.)
    • Additional meals
    • Commuting costs for daily travel to and from classes

  • Timeline
    Application opens February 3, 2020
    Application closes March 15, 2020
    Applicants notified of selection March 20, 2020
    Deadline to confirm participation or cancel for a refund of all program-related fees, minus $400 deposit April 3, 2020
    Attend pre-departure orientation* Late April-May
    Arrive in Netherlands June 21, 2020
    Last day of program July 18, 2020

    * These events take place on the Berkeley campus. If you are not on campus during this time, we will schedule a meeting via phone or Skype.

    † Students are expected to check into program housing in Amsterdam on June 21, 2020, and will be expected to check out of program housing in Ghent on July 18, 2020. Ghent is a one-hour train to Brussels International Airport and a four-hour train to Amsterdam International Airport. Students who arrive in-country early or depart after the last day may do so, but they are responsible for arranging their own accommodations outside of the program dates. All dates are subject to change.

    All dates are subject to change.

  • Instructors

    Esmée van der Hoeven
    Program Director

    Esmée van der Hoeven is a native of the Netherlands and works since 2015 as Lecturer Dutch in the Department of German & Dutch Studies at UC Berkeley, where she teaches Dutch language courses on all levels. Since 2016 she teaches the long-standing Travel/Study Summer Abroad course The Amsterdam-Brussels Connection: History, Art, and Identity in the Heart of Europe. She holds an M.A. degree in Language and Culture Studies from Utrecht University as well as a degree in teaching Dutch as a foreign language from VU University Amsterdam.

    Jeroen Dewulf
    Program Director

    Jeroen Dewulf is a native of Belgium and is since 2007 director of the Dutch Studies Program at UC Berkeley. He is also the director of UC Berkeley’s Institute of European Studies. Since 2008, he has been teaching the Travel/Study Summer Abroad course The Amsterdam-Brussels Connection: History, Art, and Identity in the Heart of Europe. He holds a BA degree from Ghent University in Belgium and a Ph.D. from the University of Bern in Switzerland.