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SIT Netherlands Sexuality and Gender

Fast Facts

Sessions Offered:

Fall, Spring


Amsterdam, Netherlands




2.5 GPA, good academic and disciplinary standing, previous college-level coursework or other preparation in sexuality and/or gender studies, as assessed by SIT.


• Clear Interest and Commitment

• Demonstrated Preparedness/Maturity

• Minimum 2.5 GPA (flexible, depending on circumstances)

• Good academic and disciplinary standing

• Sophomore, Junior, or Senior standing at the time the program begins

• Previous college-level coursework or other preparation in sexuality and/or gender studies

• Approval by UI and SIT

• Attendance at orientations

Application Due:

• September 27 for Spring

• March 4 for Fall

Program Cost:

Check the 'Costs' section under the Application tab.

Amsterdam canal

Program Description

  • Rigorous academic programs through a field-based, experiential approach
  • Undergraduate research through an Independent Study Project
  • Cultural immersion through fieldwork, language classes, and urban and rural homestays with local families
  • A small group of students in each program, supported by SIT faculty and staff, homestay families, in-country experts, and community members
  • Access to SIT's extensive local resources and networks
  • A commitment to reciprocity as the foundation of our educational philosophy

Acquire an intersectional understanding of the complexities and paradoxes that surround issues of gender and sexuality in the Netherlands — commonly believed to be one of the world’s most progressive and tolerant countries.

Famous for its Red Light District, canals, and bicycles, Amsterdam is also an ideal city in which to explore the intersection of gender and sexuality with race, class, and religion. Meet with activists, academics, and professional sex workers and visit key places like the International Gay and Lesbian Archives and Information Center. In Utrecht and other Dutch cities, speak with sex educators, advocacy groups, and community organizers. Get a Muslim perspective on gender and sexuality during a two-week excursion to Morocco.


  • Learn from experts in Amsterdam and other Dutch cities.
  • Choose from a novice or advanced academic track.
  • Volunteer with an NGO or grassroots organization in the Netherlands.
  • Discuss sex workers’ rights at Amsterdam’s the Prostitution Information Center
  • Gender roles and women’s movements in Morocco
  • Visit Moroccan cities of Rabat, Marrakech, and the House of Memory in Essaouira

Academic Program

students discussing

Students have the choice between two tracks of academic study; novice and advanced. Students that major or minor in Women’s Studies, Sexuality, Gender or Queer Studies will take the advanced track. Students attend two thematic seminars: Theory and Application of Feminist, LGBTQI, and Queer Studies (novice track) or Advanced Theory and Application of Feminist, LGBTQI, and Queer Studies (advanced track), and Migration, Gender, and Sexuality (taken by both tracks). Each seminar is led by a professor who provides a strong theoretical basis for the course, and also includes presentations, workshops, and guided site visits from local researchers, practitioners, and activists. This combination of the theoretical with on-the-ground practice provides a broad range of perspectives on sexuality and gender in Dutch and international contexts.

The semester concludes with a month-long individual, in-depth exploration of a topic of particular interest to the student. Some students produce a traditional essay or a creative project, and others perform an intensive internship at a Dutch organization. Recent students have evaluated anti-sex work organizations, produced a photo essay, written a zine, published a podcast, prepped a year’s worth of tweets for a global sex education NGO, and worked with the director of an Amsterdam museum to write a draft of an article on a manuscript in the museum’s collection. Many students find their ISP to be one of the most rewarding experiences of their entire college career.

You can learn more about the courses offered during the upcoming session on SIT's webpage.

Cultural Activities

The Netherlands: International Perspectives on Sexuality and Gender program includes field-based learning opportunities for a broader and deeper understanding of the program’s theme. In addition to shorter, in-country visits, the program travels to Morocco, giving you additional insight on the issues of sexuality, gender, and migration from a different international perspective.

Specific cultural activities vary by session. You can learn more about the cultural activities offered during the upcoming session under the Excursions heading on SIT's webpage

For more information

Steps to Studying Abroad

  1. Before initiating an application with IES Abroad, students must complete a Discover Study Abroad session at the University of Iowa.
  2. After completing the Discover Abroad session, students must call the Study Abroad office at 319-335-0353 to be assigned to the appropriate study abroad advisor.
  3. Once assigned, students must meet with their study abroad advisor to receive program application instructions.

Study Abroad
1111 University Capitol Centre
Iowa City, IA 52242

Phone: 319-335-0353

Where You Will Study

The Netherlands

Amsterdam canals at night

The Netherlands today is one of the world's most prosperous countries, thanks to its advanced industries and agriculture, its role in world trade and its large reserve of natural gas. A highly developed system of social welfare is meant to ensure that everybody in the Netherlands can share in this prosperity.

The Netherlands is one of the most densely populated countries in the world. About 16 million people live in an area of approximately 37,000 square km. Sixty per cent of the population lives in the western part of the country, which is called Holland. This name is often used to refer to the Netherlands as a whole.

Though the country may be tiny in size, its friendly people, fascinating culture and charming cities make it one of the most grandly charismatic places in all of Europe. Hope on a bike and explore the country's many picturesque windmills, canal cities and breathtaking garden. The Netherlands' central location in Europe makes it an ideal place to begin one's journey to other nearby countries.


This program in based in Amsterdam, capital city of the Netherlands and commonly known as “Venice of the North." It's easy to feel at home with the more than 750,000 easy-going and welcoming residents of this cosmopolitan center, which still manages to retain its small-town feel. Study abroad in Amsterdam and you’ll experience a city that is full of life both day and night with world-renowned museums, art galleries, music, opera, theater, and dance, not to mention some of the most forward and liberal social ideas.

US Department of State Country Information

The US Department of State provides safety and security information for every country of the world to help you assess for yourself the risks of travel. Each country information page contains a Travel Advisory, Alerts, and other important details specific to that country that could affect you.

Pay close attention to the entry and exit requirements, local laws and customs, health conditions, and other details to help decide whether traveling to any given country is right for you. Non-US citizen travelers may also wish to seek guidance from the embassy of their country of citizenship. The UI International Travel Policy for Students addresses restrictions on student travel to high-risk locations and engagement in high-risk activities abroad.

Living Arrangements

Typical Amsterdam house

Living Arrangements

After a brief orientation, you will live with a local family in the greater Amsterdam area for the whole of the program. Commute times may vary, taking up to 45 minutes. Your homestay family can help you understand and navigate life in this thriving city of canals. You’ll stay with real Amsterdammers who come from a variety of ethnic backgrounds and include LGBT households, single parents, young professionals, traditional families, and retirees. The homestay experience is often described as one of the program’s highlights, and one of the most rewarding experiences of the semester. All families offer unique insights into sexuality and gender from a Dutch perspective.

Your host family will help you navigate the city, culture, and language. Think of them as your insider’s guide and private Dutch tutor who will help you integrate into your new host country. They can introduce you to the best of their neighborhoods – outdoor markets, the perfect café, a local shop – and advise you on the small towns and big cities you ought to visit while you are in the country.

Other accommodations during the program include hostels and modest hotels.

You can find more information about the living arrangements for the upcoming session under the section of SIT's webpage.


All students need a valid passport to participate in this program. You can find details about applying for a passport on the UI Study Abroad Travel Documentation website.

Travel Arrangements (Flights)

Students will work with their program provider to make travel arrangements to their program site. The cost of travel is not included in the course fee. UI Study Abroad will not arrange a group flight to your study abroad destination.

Do not purchase plane tickets until you have received instructions on how to do so from your program provider.


This program is open to University of Iowa students who fulfill the following requirements:

  • Clear interest and commitment- Students must demonstrate a clear academic or personal interest in the program’s subject matter, and a commitment to engage responsibly in coursework abroad.
  • Demonstrated preparedness and maturity- Students must demonstrate preparedness to take on the heightened responsibilities associated with international study and travel. Students must demonstrate a commitment to behave responsibly abroad while respecting cultural differences. Students are expected to obey both local laws and program directives conveyed to participants before and during the program. The University of Iowa Code of Student Life applies to all program participants while abroad.
  • Minimum 2.5 GPA- Students must have at minimum 2.5 GPA to participate in this program. Applications from students who have a GPA below 2.5 will be considered on a case-by-case basis. 
  • Good academic and disciplinary standing- Students must be in good academic and disciplinary standing at the University of Iowa. Students placed on either academic or disciplinary probation for any period of time overlapping with the study abroad program dates are ineligible to study abroad on a University of Iowa program. Academic and disciplinary history will also be considered when determining whether a student is prepared to represent the University of Iowa as part of this program. Students who are not in good standing at any point overlapping with the program dates will have their acceptance revoked, and will be responsible for the associated late withdrawal fees.
  • Completion of at least one year of college level study prior to the start of the program- Applicants must have completed one year of college level study in order to participate in this program.
  • Experience in Sexuality and/or Gender Studies- Applicants must have previous college-level coursework or other preparation in sexuality and/or gender studies, as assessed by SIT.
  • Approval by SIT and UI Study Abroad- Applications will be reviewed by UI Study Abroad, and by SIT, and students will be accepted based on their review of their application materials.
  • Attendance at mandatory orientation programming- Students must attend all in-person and online pre-departure orientation programing presented by UI Study Abroad and SIT. 


Students will be responsible for paying many of their program costs through their University of Iowa U-Bill, while other costs will be out-of-pocket costs paid by the student directly to vendors before and after going abroad. Refer to the cost sheets below for details on the costs associated with this program.

The cost sheets outline the total estimated costs associated with participating in this program and can be used for financial aid purposes. They include fees charged on students’ U-Bill as well as out-of-pocket expenses. Actual out-of-pocket expenses will vary from individual to individual. Quoted estimates are conservatively high, yet realistic.

Costs for future sessions are usually similar to the current session, however students can expect a modest increase in overall costs each session. Final cost sheets for future sessions are typically available early in the semester before the session begins.

Cost Sheets

A cost sheet for the Fall 2021 session will be available by mid-spring 2021.

Calculating Fees

The cost sheets are based on the fees described below:

Cost sheets do not include the following optional additional costs:

Personal Travel Costs

Costs for personal travel are not included in the cost estimates provided on the cost sheet. If you plan to travel outside of your host city or country during or after your study abroad program, you will need to budget for additional funds to cover the cost of your personal travel.

The cost of personal travel depends entirely on each student’s individual travel plans and spending habits. Estimates for personal travel costs provided by past students on this program vary significantly from $1,500 to as much as $9,000 or more per session.

More Information about Optional Additional Costs

Students should budget additional funds to cover the costs not described on the program cost sheet. Contact SIT for more information about these optional additional costs.

Financial Aid & Scholarships

You can find information about options for funding your study abroad experience, including financial aid, scholarships, grants, etc, on UI Study Abroad’s Funding Website.

In addition, take a look at SIT’s Scholarships & Grants website for information about funding opportunities offered directly through your program provider.

Note that Pell Grant Recipients will have their SIT application fee waived by SIT, are eligible for additional SIT scholarships, and are competitive candidates for the Department of State's Gilman Scholarship. Talk to your UI study abroad advisor for more information!

How to Apply

  • Meet with the appropriate study abroad advisor to discuss your study abroad plans well ahead of the application deadline. Your application will not be approved until you've completed this step. You can set up an appointment by calling UI Study Abroad at 319-335-0353 or through the Advising Appointment section of your MyUI account.
  • Meet with your academic advisor to review your program and ensure that it is a good match for your academic and personal goals.
  • If you and your academic advisor agree that the program is a good match for you, complete the UI Study Abroad application. Note that the non-refundable $50 application fee will be charged to your U-Bill as part of this online application.
  • Please note that for study abroad programs through Spring 2022, students will not be charged the $50 application fee until travel is assured. If a student chooses to withdraw prior to the application fee being billed, it will not be charged.
  • Complete an application for your desired program on the SIT website.
  • Complete the online application.
  • Select the Study Abroad advisor that corresponds with your program location (listed above) to complete the Approval of Participation. Your UI advisor will receive an email prompting them to complete this and you will be able to log into MySIT and see when this step is completed.
  • Semester applicants must submit an academic reference using SIT’s academic reference form (found in the application).
  • Submit any additional program-specific requirements listed in the application packet (ex. Independent Study Project Proposal, Oral Language Evaluation, etc.).
  • Submit an official transcript from all post-secondary institutions attended. You can email SIT a pdf copy of your UI transcript through MyUI. Please address transcript to
  • If you are applying for SIT Scholarships, you will need to provide SIT with the name and email address of a financial aid officer here at UI. Please use the following information: Office of Student Financial Aid, and

Acceptance and Post-Acceptance

  • Acceptance into your chosen study abroad program is made by SIT directly via an email to you, which will refer you to additional documents and steps you will need to complete prior to departure in MySIT.
  • Note: UI Students do not need to pay the $400 deposit when submitting your Confirmation materials. Please check “I have verified with my home school study abroad office that my school will pay the deposit”. However, if you decide to withdraw from the program after this point, you will be responsible for paying the $400 deposit.
  • You will be working with both UI and SIT directly. Your UI study abroad advisor will contact you regarding orientation sessions, registration, and other required UI procedures and documentation.
  • Students conducting Independent Study Projects (ISPs) will need to receive IRB approval at Iowa. Please visit Hawk IRB website for more information about this process.
  • You will provide scans of the information page of your passport to both UI and SIT. If you do not have a valid passport when you apply to study abroad, please provide the scan as soon as you receive your passport.

Application Deadline

Applications for the Fall 2021 session are due on February 24, 2021.

Applications for the Spring 2022 session are due on September 27, 2021.

Applications for Spring 2022 will be available by early Fall 2021.

Confirmation of Participation

Confirmation materials will be posted after the program application deadline.

Health & Safety Planning

All students preparing to study abroad should review the following:

Iowa Regents CISI Health Insurance Information

Students are also encouraged to complete the Health Preparation Guide for International Travelform with their medical practitioner. This document is intended to help you plan for your medical needs abroad. Please DO NOT turn this form in to UI Study Abroad.


All program participants are required to complete immigration requirements to enter and study in your host country. UI Study Abroad and your program provider/host institution abroad will provide you with immigration instructions prior to departure.

Note that permission to enter and study in your host country is provided exclusively by the host country’s government based on that country's immigration requirements. Your host country’s immigration requirements may include considerations related to specific national origin, national heritage, criminal background status, and similar issues that can make it impossible to receive permission to enter the country in some cases. Contact your UI study abroad advisor for more information.

It is essential that you thoroughly review all of your immigration materials before you leave for your host country to ensure that they are absolutely complete and accurate. It is entirely your responsibility to ensure that all of your immigration materials are in order and fully accurate before you leave for your host country. If any of your immigration materials contain inaccurate information of any kind, contact your UI study abroad advisor immediately to discuss your options.

Do not take steps to complete your host country’s immigration requirements until you receive more information from UI Study Abroad.

Review the UI Study Abroad Travel Documentation website for further guidance on the immigration/visa process.


In order to prepare for your time abroad, you are required by the University of Iowa to complete two orientations. These may be in addition to orientations provided by your on-site provider. See below for more information.

Online Education Abroad Pre-Departure Orientation

You are required to complete the International Programs online ‘Education Abroad Pre-Departure Orientation’ course distributed through ICON prior to departure. This orientation is mandatory for all students going abroad under the auspices of the University of Iowa. It covers many practical matters about living overseas, such as health and safety, communication, money, goals and much more. You will be enrolled in this course by International Programs and an email will be sent to you once enrolled. If you have any questions you can email

Program-Specific Orientation

This orientation will be facilitated by your study abroad advisor and will cover content specific to your program and host country. It could be conducted in a group setting or one-on-one depending on your type of planned activity abroad. Your study abroad advisor will send you more information about this mandatory in-person session.