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*Amsterdam, Netherlands: Dutch Criminal Justice (Summer)
Amsterdam, Netherlands
Program Terms: Summer
Budget Sheets Summer
Fact Sheet:
 Minimum GPA:
 Class Standing:
2 - Sophomore
 Courses Offered:
Criminal Justice
 Type of Program:
Faculty Led
 Language of Instruction:
 Language Requirement:
0 - none
 Education Abroad Adviser:
Whitney Strickler
 Internship Available:
 Non-Penn State Students:
 Global Programs Scholarships:
Diversity Grant-in-Aid, Grant-in-Aid
Program Description:

The Netherlands:  Dutch Criminal Justice in Comparative Perspective

June 28–July 25, 2014DSC_0155

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 gay marriage are dealt with. 

This 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. Trips in recent years have included visits to a World War II concentration camp, a police station, a prison, a rehab program for addicts, an international court, and the Red Light District in Amsterdam.


The program is open to all Penn State students with a minimum 2.5 grade-point average.   Students will be required to meet with Dr. Smith for a brief interview before being accepted to the program.

Education Abroad Credits

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.
All students are required to take six credits.  With approval of the instructor, students may also opt to take an additional three credit independent study, which will be completed by the end of the summer semester.

CRIMJ 499 European Criminal Justice (6 credits, required)

CRIMJ 496 Independent Study in Europe (3 credits, optional)

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 of 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.

Students may not fulfill GHA (General Health and Activity) general education requirements abroad.

Students AmsterdamHousing and Meals

Students will be lodged in dormitory rooms which are managed by the University of Amsterdam. Most rooms are single occupancy.  The cost of lodging is included in the program fee.  Most meals are not included in the program fee.
Program Costs 
The program fee of $2,895 covers all lodging, site visits, some groups meals and transportation related to the course work.  Please be sure to review the budget sheet above 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 and 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 see Funding Study Abroad.
For More Information
For more information about this program, please contact Howie Smith in the College of the Liberal Arts.  You may also schedule an appointment with Whitney Strickler, the education abroad adviser for this program.

For passport information, visit

Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Summer 2014 02/01/2014 
02/27/2014 06/28/2014 07/25/2014
 NOTE: Students depart the U.S on June 28, and arrive in Amsterdam on June 29, 2014.

Indicates that deadline has passed