The Netherlands (Holland) and the Flemish region of Belgium make up the core of the Dutch speaking people of the Low Countries in Europe. This relatively small geographic area boasts a rich and vibrant history that has contributed beautiful art and literature, scientific accomplishments, political and economic developments, and many other unique and diverse traditions to the world.
Participants of this program will travel to the Netherlands and Belgium and learn not only about Dutch culture, but also about how this culture has changed throughout its history and via its interactions with other cultures and peoples.
Benjamin Forsyth, Department Head & Associate Professor
Department: Educational Psychology, Foundations, & Leadership Studies
Campus Address: SEC 525
Fall 2019 Office Hours: Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays 11 am - 3 pm; email Dr. Forsyth in advance in order to ensure availability or to schedule an appointment outside of office hours.
Dr. Forsyth is excited to take students to the Netherlands and Belgium, where he lived for two years and has been back multiple times since. A fluent Dutch speaker and former Dutch language teacher, Dr. Forsyth is looking forward to sharing his passion for all things Dutch with his students.
CAP 3550: Constructing Cross-Cultural Bridges (3 credit hours)
The interdisciplinary nature of the course incorporates a variety of learning experiences that will follow three phases.
The first phase will include preparatory work in which students will be exposed to selections of Dutch art and literature and other materials via presentations, class discussions and several short assignments that help students begin to understand historical, artistic, politico-economic, and techno-scientific aspects of Dutch culture. The second “on-site” phase will occur in the Netherlands and Belgium where students be exposed to the people, places and various artifacts of Dutch culture and to consider more deeply how culture shapes and modifies personal views about reality and perception. The final phase of the course will occur after the trip with a debriefing meeting in which students will present final projects about what they learned while abroad. To view the course syllabus, click HERE.
Participation in this program requires several class meetings throughout the spring semester, although the capstone course is scheduled as a summer course. The Study Abroad Center will direct enroll participants in the capstone course during the spring semester. Please contact the program's course leader for more information on academic requirements.
- In order to receive Capstone credit, program participants must have completed 60 credits hours prior to the program's course start date (i.e. be of Junior standing). Students who participate in capstone programs without meeting the credit hour prerequisite will receive elective credit. In this instance, students should consult with their academic advisor(s) regarding how the elective credit fits into their specific plans of study.
- Students planning to participate in the spring commencement ceremony in May can enroll in this summer term program, however, their degree will not be conferred until the end of the summer term and is contingent on the successful completion of the program and all required coursework.
- Students attending colleges and universities other than UNI are welcome to participate in this program. If you are not currently a UNI student, but would like to participate in this program, please contact the UNI Study Abroad Center prior to starting your program application.
- Capstone courses cannot be repeated. If you have previously taken this capstone course, please contact the UNI Study Abroad Center prior to starting your program application.
Tentative Program Dates: Sunday, July 12, 2020 (depart US) to Saturday, July 25, 2020 (return to US)
Sample itinerary is subject to change. Click on the purple text to see a photo from the 2018 program of that activity!
Day 1: Arrival in Amsterdam, the capital city of the Netherlands
Day 2: Canal tour, then explore the heart of the city: Damrak Avenue, historic Begijnhof, and the National Monument
Day 3: Day trip to Haarlem, a city just outside of Amsterdam; tour the Ten Boom Huis, where Jews were hidden by a Dutch family during WWII; visit Teylers Museum and Frans Hals Museum
Day 4: Day trip to Gouda, the home of Gouda cheese! Explore the cheese market before departing for a bike tour of the beautiful Reeuwijkse Plassen (lake district), where cars are not allowed. Later, take a canal tour and visit the Goudse Waag Museum, a cheese and crafts museum.
Day 5: Travel to Rotterdam; port cruise and Delta Works Tour. The Delta Works are considered one of the Seven Wonders of the World and includes the world's biggest storm surge barrier. See first-hand how a country that is primarily at or below sea level keeps the sea at bay.
Day 6: The Hague and Scheveningen. See the Peace Palace, the home of the International Court of Justice, the Permanent Court of Arbitration, The Hague Academy of International Law, and the Peace Palace Library. Afterward, see the Maurits Huis, home to the some of the best Dutch paintings from the Golden Age. Masterpieces such as Vermeer's Girl with a Pearl Earring, The Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Nicolaes Tulp by Rembrandt, The Goldfinch by Fabritius and The Bull by Potter are on permanent display. Later on, see Binnenhof, home to the meeting place of both houses of the States General of the Netherlands as well as the Ministry of General Affairs and the office of the Prime Minister of the Netherlands. Finish the day at Scheveningen Beach.
Day 7: Exploring Amsterdam 1. After returning to Amsterdam this morning, start your day at the Rijksmuseum, home to a grand collection of iconic art and artifacts that reflect over 800 years of Dutch and global history. Nearby, visit the Van Gogh Museum to take a journey through the artist’s paintings, sculptures, and even works from his contemporaries. Later on, explore Vondelpark, the city's largest and most famous park.
Day 8: Day trip to the Hoge Veluwe National Park. Occupying an area of 13,750 acres, this huge park is the largest continuous nature reserve in the country and is notable for its diversity of scenery, which includes everything from dense forests to high sand dunes Later on, see the Kröller-Müller Museum, which boasts the second-largest Van Gogh collection in the world and one of Europe’s largest sculpture gardens.
Day 9: Exploring Amsterdam 2. Visit the Tropenmuseum, a museum of world cultures, housed in one of the most impressive museum buildings in the Netherlands. Afterward, visit the National Holocaust Museum in the Jewish Cultural Quarter. This museum building was once a training college used by resistance workers during WWII to smuggle 600 children out of captivity. Later on, see the Rembrandt House Museum, located in the house where Rembrandt lived between 1639 and 1656. Finish your day at the Resistance Museum which tells the story of the Dutch people during WWII.
Day 10: Travel to Antwerp, Belgium. Spend the day at Pantin-Moretis, the home of the artist Peter Paul Rubens, and exploring the city center
Day 11: Visit the Cathedral of our Lady before splitting up to explore locations such as Rockoxhuis, Red Star Line, Antwerpen Zoo, and the Museum of Contemporary Art. Return to Amsterdam in the evening.
Day 12: Day trip to the Dutch countryside with a visit to Zaanse Schans, a traditional village lined with iconic windmills. Go inside an antique working windmill.
Later on, enjoy an optional windmill cruise and visit to Windmill de Zoeker. Finish the program with a farewell dinner.
Day 13: Departure for USA
Housing & Meals
Students will stay in a hotels and hostels arranged by the Study Abroad Center and paid for before departure. Most meals will be paid for by students out-of-pocket while abroad. Only a few meals are built into the cost of the program. Students are encouraged to try the local foods.
Capstone in the Netherlands
Estimated Program Cost:
* estimated total cost of participation, actual amount depends on type of housing accommodation selected, actual airfare purchase price, personal spending habits, and other factors
Cost of studying on-campus*
*per semester, estimated, will vary per person
Tuition & Fees:
Room & Board:
Dates & Deadlines
The Study Abroad Center reserves the right to determine participants' eligibility to Study Abroad. Students must meet all of the following in order to be eligible to Study Abroad:
- Have a cumulative 2.5 GPA or higher at the time of application and maintain this cumulative GPA prior to departure and throughout the study abroad process
- If your cumulative GPA is lower than 2.5, submit the following to the Study Abroad Center (103 East Bartlett):
- Letters of reference from two academic contacts (e.g. academic advisor and former or current professor) supporting your pursuit of study abroad. If you are attending a faculty-led study abroad program, one of the letters must be from a course leader. However, if the program has two course leaders, only one of the letters can be from one of the course leaders.
- Must be over the age of 18 years old
- Must meet the course prerequisites (participation in the program is dependent upon meeting these)
- Must be in good standing with the University
- UNI's partner institutions may require additional eligibility requirements to be met, these vary from institution to institution. Please consult with the Study Abroad Center staff to discuss these additional requirements if applicable.
- Applicants traveling to a region of a country or a country with an overall Travel Advisory Level 3 (Reconsider Travel) or 4 (Do Not Travel) will not be eligible.
- All study abroad applicants must pass the Study Abroad Applicant Assessment with a score of 70% or greater.
- Applicants may be selected for an in-person interview before being accepted. Selection for an interview does not guarantee acceptance into the program. You will be contacted directly by the Study Abroad Center if selected for an interview.