SIT Study Abroad offers a field-based, experiential approach to learning. Each program has a small group of students (typically 10–35). On an SIT program, students gain high levels of access to many different stakeholders and experts relevant to the issues the program is examining. While some learning will be conducted at the SIT program center, extensive learning is done outside the classroom — in host communities, field stations, NGO headquarters, ecological sites, health clinics, and art studios.Many students go on to use their Independent Study Projects as a basis for senior theses on their home campuses. Others use their undergraduate research and overall study abroad experience to successfully apply for fellowships such as Fulbrights and Watsons.
Students will earn 16 credit hours for this semester program. Classes will be taught in English, but students will also be taking a Dutch language course. The set courses for the program cover topics related to:
LGBT+ and queer activism in the Netherlands
Paradoxes surrounding homosexuality and nationalism
Feminist and sex-positive activism in the Netherlands
Sex and gender education in the Netherlands
Sex work and sex workers’ rights in the Netherlands
Attitudes toward gender, sexuality, race, class, and religion within postcolonial communities coming from the former Dutch colonies (Indonesia, Suriname, the Dutch Caribbean) and post-migration communities (Morocco and Turkey) and the gendered and sexualized perceptions of these communities
How identity is affected by gender, sexuality, race, religion, and class, both as experienced and as perceived
Please visit the SIT Study Abroad website for details on the program courses (including syllabi), educational excursions, and housing.
There is no "typical day"on an SIT program. Activities may take place on any day of the week and at any time of day to be in accordance with according to local norms and to take advantage of once-in-a-lifetime learning opportunities. Thus, the schedule and structure of the program are likely very different from what students are used to on their home campuses. The semester progresses in phases:
The program begins with a thorough orientation.
During the first two and a half months of the program, students are engaged in foundational coursework, including:
thematic seminars, including education excursions
language instruction focused on improving practical communication skills
a field research methods and ethics course that prepares students to conduct independent research.
For the last month of the program, students conduct an Independent Study Project (ISP) on an approved topic of their choosing. Students may also choose to complete an internship for this last month. Finally, students present their project, participate in program evaluations, and prepare to return home.
Accommodations The homestay is an integral part of the SIT experience. During the homestay, students become a member of a local family, sharing meals with them, joining them for special occasions, talking with them in their language, and experiencing the host country through their eyes. Homestay placements are arranged by a local coordinator who carefully screens and approves each family. Students frequently cite the homestay as the highlight of their program.
During the semester students will live with a homestay family in Amsterdam for 12 weeks. Hosts are of different ethnic backgrounds and include LGBT households, single parents, and traditional families. They all offer unique insights into issues of sexuality and gender within a Dutch and multicultural context.
Other accommodations during the program include hostels and modest hotels.
Excursions The Netherlands: International Perspectives on Sexuality and Gender program includes field-based learning opportunities for a broader and deeper understanding of the program’s theme. In addition to shorter, in-country visits, the program travels to Morocco, giving students additional insight on the issues of sexuality, gender, and migration from a different international perspective.
During this two-week excursion, students will engage with Moroccan academics, researchers, and activists to examine sexuality and gender in a modern Islamic society. The role of Islamic minorities is a crucial social issue in much of Europe, and issues of gender and sexuality are seen as the most visible demarcation of societal tensions. As Moroccan immigrants comprise one of the largest migrant communities in the Netherlands, this excursion also focuses on the issue of gender and sexuality in countries of origin. The excursion challenges students to reflect on how their own positionality may affect their perception of Morocco.
In the first week in Morocco, students will hear lectures on gender and sexuality in a Moroccan context. In the second week students will travel to a few cities and explore the diversity of Morocco and their perception of the Orient. While here, they will visit Rabat, Morocco’s capital, a garden city founded in the 12th century; Casablanca, an economic hub; and Fes and Marrakech, imperial cities founded in the 9th and 11th centuries.
SIT Scholarships SIT awards nearly $1.3 million in needs-based scholarships and grants annually. Awards generally range from $500 to $5,000. The SIT Pell Grant Match provides matching grants to all students receiving Federal Pell Grant funding when it is applied to an SIT Study Abroad semester program. Additionally, any Binghamton/SUNY student who is accepted to an SIT program that is approved by Binghamton University for a fall or spring semester will automatically be granted a $1,500 reduction in program cost!
Financial Aid Students who are eligible for financial aid may apply it. The amount of financial aid that you may be eligible to receive is of an individual nature. All students should print out this Estimate of Costs Sheet, bring it to the Financial Aid office, and consult with a counselor there about what the implications of this cost would be for them individually. Federal and New York State financial aid is generally applicable to study abroad programs. The Binghamton Financial Aid Services Office is able to consider only the application of students matriculated at Binghamton for degree study.