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  • Amsterdam, Netherlands

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Amsterdam - Law & Criminology

Why Amsterdam?

Are you considering attending law school after graduation? This program gives you a glimpse of your future in law school and what sort of legal career you may enjoy. Learn about comparative law in an international context while studying abroad with us in the Netherlands, where local students start their law degrees at the Bachelor’s level.

What You'll Study

By enrolling in this program, you add international law and criminology experience to your transcript—a great talking point when interviewing for law school or your first job. Enroll in the IES Abroad-taught core course, Major Issues in Law & Society: A Comparative Context, and four Law- or Criminology-related courses at the renowned Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU). As part of the core course, you will complete a supervised research project. In addition, you will gain experience in writing case briefs, as well as participating in a moot court.

Taking VU classes with Dutch and international students, you gain a valuable international perspective that only comes with study abroad. Past courses that students have taken include Human Rights & Migration, Politics of International Security, and Ethics & Integrity of Governance, among others.

Daily Life

The Netherlands will be your classroom. Observe some of Europe’s most progressive laws in action, and learn from the professionals and experts who can help you put them in context. Imagine visiting the International Court in The Hague, sitting in on arbitrations in a Dutch court, or talking to professionals at NGOs who work on human rights. Field trips will take you off the beaten path to places like Rotterdam, Maastricht, or the Texel Island, and course-related trips in and around Amsterdam will povide valuable insight into what you’re learning in the classroom.

We want you to feel at home in Amsterdam, so we do everything we can to help you integrate into life in the city. From housing with other local and IES Abroad students to cultural events, our job is to make sure you have the most authentic study abroad experience possible.

$5 Million in Scholarships & Aid

We firmly believe that financial limitations should not prevent a qualified student from participating in an IES Abroad Program. This is why we commit $5 million to our scholarship and aid programs.


Our mission is simple: to provide you with the best study abroad program possible—which includes the highest quality academic and cultural experiences.

Delve into law and criminology from a Dutch perspective by enrolling at the Vrije Universiteit (VU). The University’s world class professors and course options enhance your academic experience and provide you with new experiences in and outside the classroom. You take 15-18 credits per semester.

Create your own academic experience by selecting from the following required and optional components:

  • IES Abroad core course on Law (required, 4 credits):
    PO/LW350 Major Issues in Law & Society: A Comparative Context.
    This IES Abroad-taught seminar is an introduction to international and Dutch law, with comparisons to U.S. law, culminating in a supervised research project. The course includes visits to Dutch and international courts.
  • Law- and Criminology-related elective courses at the VU (optional, 3 credits)
  • Dutch language and culture or Dutch History courses at the VU (optional, credits vary)


This is a list of planned course offerings. After you are accepted, you will see a list of final course offerings in your MyIESabroad account.

Cultural Studies
Course Name Term Language Credits
CU/DU 101 - Dutch Language in Daily Life Spring, Fall Dutch 2
Dutch Language
Course Name Term Language Credits
CU/DU 101 - Dutch Language in Daily Life Spring, Fall Dutch 2
Course Name Term Language Credits
PO/LW 350 - Major Issues in Law and Society: A Comparative Context Fall, Spring English 4
Political Science
Course Name Term Language Credits
PO/LW 350 - Major Issues in Law and Society: A Comparative Context Fall, Spring English 4

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU) Courses

You can find more information about the options offered at the VU through the links below: You can find the 2018-2019 VU course information here. Click on Bachelor courses to find course descriptions for individual courses and on Minor programmes for further information on what a minor is. Minors are a series of academically-related courses, in the same disciple, that are specifically scheduled to avoid time conflicts and overlap.

*Please note the following

  • Courses at the VU are listed in ECTS.  2 ECTS=1 U.S. Credit.
  • Fall classes are offered in Periods 1 and 2. Spring courses are offered in Periods 4 and 5
  • Fall students are expected to enroll in a minor for their course of study. Minors are not offered in Spring, so spring students enroll in individual courses. 


Partner Institution(s)

About Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU)
The VU, founded in 1880, enrolls about 25,000 students, and offers courses in eleven faculties covering arts and science fields, and takes pride in a very studentcentric teaching style. The VU is situated on a campus (unlike many European city universities), just outside of central Amsterdam, near the business district in South Amsterdam.

Originally set up as an institution of higher education separate from church or state, the current day VU takes this heritage seriously. Students will feel comfortable on campus, and can access the many resources available, including modern buildings and infrastructure, the Griffioen Cultural Centre, shops, cafés, and an extensive library.

The VU boasts a strong international environment; its goal is to have one in four students in its English-taught programs be an international student.

Field Trips & Events

Even though your adventure starts in Amsterdam, our field trips take you beyond the city to discover the culture and traditions of your host country. You share a portion of the cost with IES Abroad. Here are a few possible destinations:

Ardennes, Belgium
2 Days| Fall
Take a weekend getaway in nature, with campfires and outdoor activities.

1 Day | Fall
Take a guided walking tour of the beautiful city of Gouda in South Holland and make your own stroopwafel (a famous Dutch cookie).

National Park Hoge Veluwe and Kroller Muller Museum
1 Day | Fall
Visit the largest privately managed conservation area in the Netherlands - home to several endangered species, as well as visit the park's museum.

2 Days | Spring
Explore this university city with its beautiful medieval architecture and lively arts and culture. Visit the famous labyrinth caves of Limburg, and take a walk in the spectacular hilly countryside.

1 Day | Spring
See Rotterdam's amazing modern architecture on a guided walking tour through this rebuilt city. In the afternoon, you can explore Rotterdam's many museums.

Course-Related Trips

Course-related trips are academically-focused and are associated with courses. They are organized to complement IES Abroad courses and contribute to a general knowledge of Dutch culture and society. Participation is based on course registration.

Past Examples include:

  • Visits to the Amsterdam criminal court to to compare and contrast the working of a Dutch criminal court vs a U.S. court
  • Visits to the International Court of Justice in The Hague to attend a case
  • Participation in a moot court

Daily Life

Part of making you feel at home in Amsterdam is doing our best to help you feel safe and cared for. Whether it is the orientation program that makes you feel prepared, your housing that is well-located and comfortable, or the field trips that take you to places off the beaten path—we’re all about our student services.


Our orientation introduces you to the IES Abroad Amsterdam staff, your fellow students, and the city of Amsterdam.

Our Comprehensive Orientation & Re-Entry Experience (CORE™) begins right when you arrive and continues through the semester with activities focusing on academic and cultural adjustment. Detailed information about housing, academics, public transportation, culture, health and safety, and other important topics are also covered.

You also participate in a VU-led orientation to get to know the VU staff and facilities, and have the option to join the European Student Network’s (ESN) orientation for international students, led by Dutch students.

Local field trips and activities are also arranged, as well as an overnight orientation trip, where you’ll have the opportunity to further sample elements of Dutch culture and get to know the other students.


We want to make sure that your greatest challenge is deciding which landmarks to see first or discovering the best café—not finding a place to live where you feel comfortable. We do our best to locate housing that is reflective of how the local students are living. Our goal is that when you leave Amsterdam, it will feel like home.

Shared Student Apartment
Live in a single room in a mixed gender apartment suite with five to six other students. You share a kitchen, bathroom, and living spaces. Located in Amsterdam South, just five minutes from the VU academic buildings. No meals included.

Private Student Residence
Live in single room with a private bathroom. You share a kitchen with other students on your floor. The building features 24-hour reception and a gym. This option carries an additional cost. No meals are included.

Extracurricular Activities & Cultural Events

Redefine the way you live and learn in Amsterdam through cultural events, such as:

  • Seeing the windmills in the Zaanse Schans
  • Visiting a cheese market in Alkmaar, followed by canoeing on the Alkmaar canals
  • Touring the Keukenhof tulip garden (spring only)
  • Visiting Hoge Veluwe National Park
  • Bicycling to Volendam and Marken
  • Exploring the medieval castle Muiderslot

Get to Know Your New City

Cycle Everywhere

Rent or buy a cheap bike and get around Amsterdam the way the Dutch do!

Enjoy Traditional Dutch Dishes

From excellent coffee and sweet stroopwafels and poffertjes (tasty little pancakes), to more unusual fare like thick fries with Dutch-Indonesian peanut sauce or stamppot (a hearty dish of potatoes, onions, kale, root vegetables, and sausage), eating in Amsterdam is a real treat.

Shop the Amsterdam Street Markets

Stock up on fresh produce, cheese, and other food, as well as souvenirs and gifts at the Albert Cuypmarkt. Or dig for the perfect find at the I-J Hallen vintage market.

Appreciate Art

Amsterdam is home to so many art museums, from the “big ones,” like the Rijksmuseum and Van Gogh Museum to lesser known gems like the Museum Willet-Hothuysen and the Foam Photography Museum.

Swing Out Over Amsterdam

For a thrill, try riding the swings found on the observation deck on the new A’DAM Tower. Or just marvel at the beautiful 360° views of the city.

Program Cost

Consider these prices as a starting point. We encourage you to contact your study abroad office to determine the actual cost to you when factoring in financial aid, scholarships, your home school policies, and other factors.

Term: Fall 2019
Term Tuition Housing Insurance Total
Fall 2019
Academic Year
Term: Spring 2019
Term Tuition Housing Insurance Total
Spring 2019 $15,230 $4,940 $230 $20,400

Scholarships & Aid

Use our budget worksheet to calculate your costs

$5 Million in Scholarships & Aid

We firmly believe that financial limitations should not prevent a qualified student from participating in an IES Abroad Program. This is why we commit $5 million to our scholarship and aid programs.

Our Center

The IES Abroad Amsterdam Center is housed in the Oranje-Nassau Kazerne, former military barracks that has since been turned into offices and apartments, and located across from the famous Artis Zoo. Features include: a small library, classroom space, staff offices, WiFi access, and space for students to meet and study. Center office hours are Monday - Friday, 9am - 5pm (unless otherwise specified).

Our Staff

Chantal Omloo

Center Director

Chantal Omloo earned an M.A. in the History of International Relations at the University of Utrecht and an MSc in Development Studies at the School for Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London. Her academic focus was centered on economic development in Sub Saharan Africa and she has published a number of articles in this field.

Prior to joining IES Abroad in 2001, Chantal worked for Voluntary Services Overseas (VSO), an NGO based in the United Kingdom. Chantal managed customized programs for IES Abroad out of the London Center before moving back to her native Netherlands to become our Amsterdam Center Director.

IES Abroad Staff

IES Abroad Staff

Chantal Omloo
Center Director

Flor Macias Delgado
Student and Diversity Affairs Specialist

Rosa de Hoog
Senior Academic & Customized Programs Coordinator

Anabelle Goulette
Student Affairs and Housing Manager

Diana Kaekebeke
Academic Programs Manager

Natacha Berbers
Academic Programs Coordinator

Marie Cambridge
Center Administrator



Depending on your program, you will be taught by faculty from the Conservatorium van Amsterdam, Vrije Universiteit, Universiteit van Amsterdam, or the IES Abroad Amsterdam Center.