University of Southern Indiana

The Netherlands

This course is an introduction to cross-national policy research and to the fascinating and challenging issues of comparative research. Students travel to The Netherlands for two weeks and earn three credits studying comparative public policy. The Netherlands take a progressive and innovative approach to solving social problems such as housing, drug laws, transportation, architecture, urban planning and design, prostitution, and crime. Amsterdam, often known as the “Venice of the North” and referred to by some scholars as an “ideal” city, along with the Netherlands, is a laboratory of innovation that provides a model for the United States and rest of the world.

The goal of this course goal is to expose students to public policy, particularly urban policy and planning, from a comparative perspective. This course will examine the Dutch solutions to policy and planning through a sociological, economic, political, historical, and policy perspective. Comparative policy studies allow countries to learn from each other’s successes and failures and to better understand how cultural factors influence policy adoption and implementation.

Tentative activities include: 

  • Meeting with Amsterdam city officials to diThe Netherlands 2scuss Dutch municipal policy and European public policy.
  • Visiting a brownfield in western Amsterdam to learn about urban regeneration.
  • Visit the Amsterdam Centre for Architecture (ARCAM) and Amsterdam’s Urban Planning and Sustainability office to learn about Dutch planning and architecture.
  • Understanding Dutch social policy, including tolerance freedom, and creativity, in the Red Light District in Amsterdam
  • Doing a city bike tour in Amsterdam and Rotterdam, and a country bike tour outside Amsterdam.
  • Visit The Hague (Den Haag) and learn about the International Court of Justice and the International Criminal Court (ICC).
  • Free time to explore and meet with Dutch students.

Students who are interested in applying should contact  or at 812-461-5204 for more information. Applications will be available in the fall through the University of Southern Indiana Center for International Programs (/international/studyabroad/). For more information about study abroad and its personal and professional benefits, see /international/study-abroad/why/reasons.

Contact Dr. Oana Armeanu


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