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Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Haarlem, Utrecht, The Netherlands

Program Description

This study abroad program is based in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, with excursions in Rotterdam, Haarlem and Utrecht. Dutch art, design, and culture are central to the core of the program. We'll explore the rich past of Amsterdam from the 17th century to the present. For Art, this starts with the Golden Age of Dutch painting and ends with iconic imagery that challenges conventions. Dutch design is known for use of contrast, wit, and reduction. Experiencing Amsterdam by examining modernity's arts and humanities grounds the trip. The course will feature excursions to world-renowned museums and institutions, visits to several Dutch design firms, and encounters with engaging cultural experiences. An overnight trip will also feature an experience in Rotterdam, a city filled with modern architecture and design. Day trips to Haarlem and Utrecht round out the experience.

COURSES OFFERED (two selections required)
ART 392: Special Topics in Art: Dutch Art & Culture
GRPH 392: Special Topics in Graphic Design: Dutch Form, Style, and Context
HUM 251: Modern Perspectives: Dutch Modernity in The Humanities (17th century - present)


July 14 - August 4, 2021

Art and Design students will use digital journals to document and contextualize art, graphics, architectural details, and experiences in Amsterdam. Journals will be delivered via and serve as a design research portfolio component. Humanities students will complete a literary essay and engage with digital journals. An ArtWorks gallery exhibition in Fall 2021 showcases student work to the JMU community.

David Hardy | School of Art, Design, and Art History

Molly O’Donnell | Department of English

Dymph DeWild | School of Art, Design, and Art History

Check out the program video here!

Location Description

One hundred sixty-five canals give Amsterdam its unique charm. The Dutch capital is full of life, day and night, with world-renowned museums, art galleries, music clubs, and theaters. It is a truly international and multicultural city; with 180 different nationalities represented, Amsterdam boasts one of the most diverse populations in the world. Locals are easy-going and welcoming to foreigners, and English is the unofficial second language. With over 830,000 inhabitants, Amsterdam offers the advantages of a cosmopolitan center with a small-town feel. Because the city is so compact, it’s easily navigable via foot or bike. 


David L Hardy | | Graphic Design

Molly O'Donnell | | English


Student accommodations within Amsterdam include kitchens, WIFI, gym, sauna, and laundry facilities. Rooms are double occupancy, and are near a major transportation hub with access to rail, bus, and tram service. A flexible workspace directly across the street provides the opportunity to work on projects with fast WIFI and a cafe. 

Daily meal stipends cover one meal for every day of the program.

There is also an included group meal every week, at various restaurants.

Additional Items to Consider

  • Since English is widely spoken in the Netherlands, no foreign language experience is necessary. 

  • Amsterdam is a member of the European Union (EU). Students must possess a valid passport prior to the trip.

  • Visas, immunizations, or background checks are NOT required for US passport holders.

  • Laptop and smartphone or camera required (projects will require basic photography and access to the internet).

COVID-19 Location Information:

Each country has different requirements upon entry with regard to COVID-19. Please check this website for the most up-to-date information on what is required for the country (or countries) that are part of this program. Please note that this changes often, so we encourage you to check back frequently.

Applicant Criteria

Applicants must have a GPA minimum of 2.0

Open to all majors and academic levels

Application Process

This list serves as an application preview. To apply, students will need to complete the following:

  • Study Abroad Online Application ($40 fee)
  • Short essay 
  • Attendance at an information session
    (signup for emails at
  • Official transcript required for non-JMU students

Further details and instructions about these application requirements will be available upon log-in. 

Application Deadline


All dates are tentative and subject to change


ART 392: Special Topics in Art: Dutch Design & Culture (3 credits)

GRPH 392: Special Topics in Graphic Design: Dutch Form, Style, and Context (3 credits)

HUM 251: Modern Perspectives: Dutch Modernity in The Humanities: 17th century – present (3 credits)

Courses listed here are to be used as a general guideline for program curriculum. *All courses are considered pending until approved by the Academic Department, Program, and/or College.


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