There will be an informational meeting on Wednesday, April 30, in Science Building room 103. Please join us to learn more about this course.

Catalog Description

Few countries exist where human activities have exerted a greater influence in the shaping of the land than the Netherlands. With daily field excursions, students will learn about this country's richly varied and historically layered cultural landscapes. Many of the excursions will focus on land reclamation, water management, and environmental preservation technologies which have been used over many centuries. These technologies are each an important part of understanding the complex interrelationships between society, technology, land and water. Students will also learn about Dutch society and culture via visits to museums, churches, and political institutions as well as readings and direct engagement with people of this country.


Students stay in a group accommodation facility about 10 miles north of Amsterdam. Students receive a pre-paid bus card for easy access to Amsterdam. The primary mode of instruction is field excursion to locations throughout the country. These daily trips are guided by briefings the night before, interpretation en route, presentation made by local experts, and study sheet assignments. Course assessment is based on the study sheet assignments. Additionally, each student spends part of one weekend with a Dutch family.
Course dates: January 6 to 30 Integrated through this period are 7 open days for personal travel. Cost: $3650. Prerequisites: none. CCE integral core credit


This course is open to anyone who is interested in the way the Dutch have used technology to shape the geography and environment of their country. Students taking this course in the past include those working on degrees in geography, engineering, environmental studies, Dutch, education, biology, and many more. You do not have to be a Dutch Language or Engineering Major to participate. Open and relevant to all students, this course has no prerequisites.

This course can be used as an elective in the Geography major and minor as well as the Environmental Studies minor. Engineering students pursuing the international designation may use this as course as their required off-campus interim. Dutch language students can use this course as one of their electives toward a major or minor. This course also meets the Cross Cultural Engagement (CCE) core requirement. Dutch Language is not required.


Robert Hoeksema lived in the Netherlands during two Sabbatical leaves. He has taught this course every other year since 1995. Bob has published a book titled "Designed for Dry Feet: Flood Protection and Land Reclamation in the Netherlands".

Herman De Vries holds the Meijer Chair in Dutch Language and Culture. He has studied in the Netherlands and traveled there numerous times for teaching and research. At Calvin he teaches courses in Dutch language and culture and has led Interims to the Netherlands since 1999.


Get a preliminary application form from this link. Complete the form and email it to Professor Hoeksema. Thanks.