Netherlands Belgium
Berkeley Summer Abroad

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

  • Summary

    Introduce yourself to the cultural and political identity of the Low Countries—the Netherlands and Belgium, two contrasting monarchies in the heart of Europe. This program will trace important cultural, historical, and political developments in European history and culture.

    Begin in Amsterdam, the world's most liberal city, with two weeks of exploration in the Netherlands, from 17th century (Golden Age) to present-day society.
    Travel to Antwerp and visit Flanders, Belgium's Dutch-speaking region, exploring medieval cities, the traces of World War I and II, and the EU capital.


    "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: July 2 – July 29, 2017
    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)



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



    • Application opens February 1, 2017
    • Space is limited and applications are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis
    • Deadline to apply is March 10, 2017


  • Courses

    During the program, you will take one course for a total of 6 Berkeley units.

    Course: Dutch 177
    Title: The Amsterdam-Brussels Connection: History, Art, and Identity in the Heart of Europe
    Dates: July 2 – July 29, 2017
    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 more than two weeks in the Netherlands, we will continue our journey in Flanders, the Dutch-speaking region of Belgium, where we will be based in the city of Antwerp. On our way, we will trace important cultural, historical and political developments in European history and culture from medieval Flanders, the Dutch Golden Age, World War I and II up to contemporary multilingual, social and European identity of Belgium and the Netherlands. Daily fieldtrips take us to The Hague, Utrecht, Delft, Rotterdam, Middelburg, Brussels, Ghent, Leuven, 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 in The Hague and the European Parliament in Brussels are also included.

    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:

    2017 Fees UC Students Visiting Students
    Tuition $2,460 $3,120
    Program Fee $1,832 $1,832
    Total Cost $4,292 $4,952
    Fees are subject to change. All non-Berkeley students must pay an additional Document Management Fee of $55.


    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.

    Estimated Expenses Amount
    International Airfare and Transportation $1,600
    Additional Meals $688
    Books $312
    Personal Expenses (i.e., phone, passport, visas, etc.) $622
    Total Estimated Out-Of-Pocket Expenses $3,222


    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 $410 per unit
    • The visiting student rate for all non-UC participants is $520 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.
    • Onsite 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 1, 2017
    Application closes March 10, 2017
    Applicants notified of selection March 22, 2017
    Deadline to confirm participation or cancel for a refund of all program-related fees, minus $400 deposit April 3, 2017
    Attend pre-departure orientation* Late April-May
    Arrive in Netherlands July 2, 2017
    Last day of program July 29, 2017

    * 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.

    All dates are subject to change.

  • Instructors

    Esmée van der Hoeven
    Program Director

    Esmée van der Hoeven is lecturer in the Dutch Studies Program at the Department of German. She has an MA degree in Language and Culture Studies from Utrecht University (2004), and obtained a certificate in teaching Dutch as a Foreign Language from VU University Amsterdam (2006). She is experienced in teaching Dutch language courses on all levels and has a special focus on conversation practice and writing skills. Before she came to Berkeley, she has taught Dutch language and culture at Utrecht University, Palack‎‎ý University in Olomouc, Czech Republic, Delft University of Technology, and Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences.