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Netherlands: IES Amsterdam Programs (Music, Social Sciences & Humanities, Psychology and Sciences, Business & Economics)


Todd Heidt

Director, Eleanor Stellyes Center for Global Studies

2 East South Street

Galesburg, IL 61401-4999



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IES Amsterdam offers a number of thematic programs - in music, the arts and humanities, and psychology and the sciences.

Music - As a Music student, you’ll flourish in the thriving arts environment of Amsterdam, a city known for its ability to embrace expressions of the human spirit.

Enrolling in the Conservatorium van Amsterdam, the largest and most diverse music conservatory in the Netherlands, integrates you fully into a specialized institution where you study with other students who are dedicated to the study of music.  The Conservatorium van Amsterdam takes full advantage of Amsterdam’s established reputation in music to offer outstanding instruction in classical and jazz music performance, theory, and composition. The Conservatorium is dedicated to upholding superior standards of teaching, performing, and creating music through a highly-individualized course of study. If you wish to study at the CvA, you should be a strong and independent Performance, Composition, or Theory major with the motivation and intention to become a professional musician, music scholar, or composer.

A member of the Amsterdam School of the Arts, the CvA was originally established as the Amsterdam Conservatorium in 1884. The vast majority of courses at the CvA are taught in English.

Social Sciences & Humanities - Are you eager to take an independent, fresh look at the world—and at yourself? Let Amsterdam redefine your perspective. This progressive city is known for its cutting-edge contributions to the arts, business, politics, and social policy, and for its importance in the history of Europe and the world. The IES Social Sciences & Humanities Program takes advantage of the city’s unique balance of history and contemporary culture, and lets you structure your studies at the prestigious Universiteit van Amsterdam (UvA) and at the IES Abroad Center.  With a strong focus on internationalism, the UvA offers a wide range of courses in many areas of study, including Conflict & Cultural Diversity, Globalization & International Relations, and Sociology. You can also choose from IES Abroad’s course offerings in Studio Art, Gender Studies, Dutch language, and other subjects.

Psychology & Sciences - Study Psychology, Health, Computer Science, or Earth and Life Sciences at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU). Located in the South of Amsterdam and boasting a diverse student population, the VU offers a wide array of courses in Psychology and the sciences taught by professors and researchers who are among the best in their fields. By taking classes with Dutch and international students, you’ll gain a valuable international perspective that only comes with study abroad. Your English-taught courses may have you talking to practitioners and experts in the field, monitoring your heart rate to track first-hand how stress affects your life, diving in to the laboratories, visiting patients at a clinic, or helping to program a robot. You may also choose to expand your studies with an IES Abroad-taught course on Cross-Cultural Psychology, Sexuality and Gender, Studio Art, or Art History. ( Faculty advisors:  Professors Judy Thorn and Frank McAndrew)

Amsterdam will be your classroom. Study the Dutch Golden Age in art at the Rijksmuseum or the famous works at the Van Gogh Museum. And be sure to enjoy one of the many concerts that take place at the prestigious Amsterdam Concertgebouw. Study the history of Amsterdam by visiting some of the city’s historic spots, including Anne Frank’s home and the Rembrandt House. Find out more about the diverse local culture by hopping on a bike to tour the city’s historic neighborhoods. Field trips will take you off the beaten path to places like Rotterdam, Maastricht, Texel Island, and course-related trips in and around Amsterdam will provide insight into what you’re learning in the classroom.

Business & Economics  - Imagine studying international business and global economics in beautiful Amsterdam, one of Europe’s leading cities for business and progressive social and economic policy. It’s also a hub for entrepreneurship and start-ups. With its central location in Europe and full-member status in the European Union, the Netherlands is the perfect place to study abroad and understand not only business and economics in the Netherlands, but across all of Europe—its significant trading partners are Germany, Belgium, France, and the United Kingdom.

By enrolling in this program, you’ll have the unique opportunity to choose from a large variety of Business and Economics courses at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU). Located in Amsterdam’s business district, the School of Economics & Business Administration has applied for AACSB accreditation and offers courses in Business Information Systems, Finance, International Business Law, Global Supply Chain Management, Organization Theory, and many other topics. You can also supplement your studies at the VU with an IES Abroad course taught at the Center in Art History, Art, Cultural Studies, Dutch, or Gender Studies.

Credit: 4.5 credits per semester (fall and spring)

Program advisors: Professor Joan Huguet, Professor Judith Thorn, and Professor John Spittell

Learn more about the IES Amsterdam programs.

Click here for more information about the application process, program selection, and more!

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Printed on Monday, May 23, 2022