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Programs : Brochure

This page is the brochure for your selected program. You can view the provided information for this program on this page and click on the available buttons for additional options.
  • Locations: Amsterdam, Netherlands; Rotterdam, Netherlands; Veenhuizen, Netherlands
  • Program Terms: Summer
  • Budget Sheets: Summer
  • Dates / Deadlines
Fact Sheet:
Program Description:
The Netherlands: Dutch Criminal Justice in Comparative Perspective_Bridge and water view in Amsterda

Program Overview

This program is designed to introduce students to concepts of crime and punishment in the Netherlands and to provide an opportunity for direct exposure to a system very different from our own. The students will observe Dutch ideology and practice in the design, rationale, and implementation of criminal justice. The Dutch society has a long-standing tradition of tolerance, diversity, and consensus-based politics. This translates into a specific approach toward crime and justice issues that is known around the world. Examples of this approach can be seen in various fields, such as the legalization of prostitution, the legalization of soft drugs, the medical instead of criminal justice approach toward hard drugs, and the way in which issues like juvenile crime, euthanasia, and same-sex marriage are dealt with. 

Amsterdam HousesThis four-week program, based in Amsterdam, will deal with issues of criminal justice from a Dutch perspective and will explore such issues as the history of this approach, its rationale, and the way it works out in daily practice. We will also take a look at recent changes, such as in the globalization of the economy and the threat of international terrorism, which changed the "crime landscape" in The Netherlands.

More specifically, the program will deal with Dutch criminal law and the functioning of the Dutch criminal justice system (police, courts, prisons, etc.). Many of these issues will be covered from a comparative perspective. Comparisons will refer to the United States but also to other European countries. 

The lecturers in this program will come from different backgrounds and will include academics, policy makers, and professionals in the field. Students will attend class and participate in field trips during the week and will have free time to travel on weekends. In recent years, trips have included visits to the Anne Frank House, the International Criminal Court, Dutch Parliament, the Red Light District, Rotterdam Harbor, police stations, prisons, domestic courts, and coffeeshops.

Experience a first-hand view of what it's like to study on Amsterdam, Netherlands: Dutch Criminal Justice. Created in cooperation with the 2013 participants, the YouTube clip titled, "Deep Down Under",  delves deep into the nitty-gritty topics students study in Amsterdam.


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Education Abroad Credits

Sudents in front of Amsterdam sign

CRIMJ 499 European Criminal Justice (6 credits, required)

All students are required to take six credits. 

Students receive credit for all academic courses taken on this program, and all grades from abroad will count toward their Penn State cumulative GPA. Students may not take any courses overseas on a Pass/Fail basis.To learn how the courses on this program can work into their individual degree audit, students should meet with their academic adviser.

Howie Smith is the faculty leader for the program.

Students may not take sport or physical activity courses (e.g. sailing, bowling, yoga, etc.) abroad. These courses will not be credited at Penn State.


Successful applicants will satisfy the pre-requisites established by the program leader.

  • 2.5 Cumulative GPA.
  • Sophomore class standing or higher at time of study

Housing and Meals

Students will be lodged, double occupancy, in a hostel in Amsterdam.  The cost of lodging is included in the program fee.  Meals are not provided.

Program Costs

Netherland Tulips

Please be sure to review the Summer budget sheet for complete information regarding costs and penalties for cancellation. Costs vary by program, so it is important to view this information.  

Please note that tuition rates may vary depending on major and class standing.  

Financial Aid & Scholarships

Penn State students studying through Education Abroad can use most components of their existing financial aid packages toward the cost of study abroad. This may include federal and state grants, VA educational benefits, federal student loans, and University scholarships and grants. Notable exceptions include work-study awards and some athletic scholarships.

The University Office of Global Programs also administers a number of grants and scholarships. Eligibility is based on academic excellence and/or financial need. There is also funding available for study abroad programs in diverse locations and for students from diverse backgrounds. In most cases, applicants should have a current year FAFSA on file with the Office of Student Aid. Funding opportunities may also be available through Penn State academic departments. For detailed information on financial aid and scholarship opportunities and application procedures, please visit the Cost and Funding section of the Global Penn State website.

For More Information

For more information about programs and education abroad at Penn State, we encourage you to meet with or contact our Peer Advisers. These study abroad returnees can explain program options, give an overview of the education abroad process, as well as provide information about his/her program. If you are not at University Park, contact your Campus Global Representative

For more information about this program, please contact Howie Smith in the College of the Liberal Arts.  You may also schedule an appointment with the education abroad adviser for this program.

For the inside scoop on life in a foreign country, be sure to check out the Student Spotlights of Penn State students currently studying abroad.

How to Apply

If you would like to participate on this study abroad program, you will need to apply to Penn State Education Abroad by clicking the "Apply Now" button on this page. You must complete the following materials in your application:

  •  Education Abroad Questionnaire
  •  One academic recommendation
  •  Signature Documents
Visit the How to Apply section of our website for more information.

Application deadline: February 1, 2019

Studying Abroad with a Disability

Many students with disabilities successfully study abroad each year. Please note that other cultures may have different attitudes and available accommodations regarding disabilities. While we cannot guarantee the accessibility of all program sites and locations, specific accommodations may be arranged in consultation with our office, the Student Disability Resources office, and our partners abroad. To prepare for success, students are strongly encouraged to research the country and program location to consider if and how they will manage their disabilities abroad in advance of selecting a program. Students with disabilities and other diverse backgrounds can begin their research on our Diversity Awareness Abroad page.

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Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Summer 2019 02/01/2019 02/13/2019 06/30/2019 07/26/2019
NOTE: Start date marks arrival in host country. End date marks departure from program housing.