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MSASS Netherlands: Integrated Mental Health and Substance Abuse (SASS 375B/575)
Amsterdam, Netherlands; Rotterdam, Netherlands (Outgoing Program)
Program Terms: Spring Break
This program is currently not accepting applications.
Homepage: Click to visit
Restrictions: CWRU applicants only
Dates / Deadlines:
There are currently no active application cycles for this program.
Fact Sheet:
Program Type:
CWRU Short-Term Language of Instruction: English
Language Prerequisite: No Housing Options: Hotel
Minimum GPA: 2.0 Credit Type: Graduate, Professional, Undergraduate
Number of Credits: 3 Program Advisor: Debby Jacobson, MSASS
Courses Offered: Applied Social Sciences Case Credit Type: Engineering Social Sciences Credit, Global and Diversity Credit, Social Work Minor
Deposit: $200
Total Program Cost:
Included in Program Cost: breakfasts, Housing, In-country transportation Not Included in Program Costs: Dinner, Flights, Lunch, Passport Fees, Tuition, Vaccinations, Visa fees
Program Purpose: Study
Program Description:

Netherlands Amsterdam

Mental Health Issues and Practice

In-Country Dates: March 8-15, 2015 (You have a choice to travel on March 6 on same flight as faculty and have an extra hotel evening at no extra cost)

Students can make own flight arrangements or if interested in a payment plan and travel with faculty contact:  Staci Hynd <>

Faculty flights are:  $1233.69 per person.  
USair flight 3885 06MAR15  CLEVELAND        PHILADELPHIA   3:35PM   5:03PM
USair flight 798   06MAR15  PHILADELPHIA   AMSTERDAM     8:50PM  10:30AM 07MAR
USair flight 799   15MAR15  AMSTERDAM     PHILADELPHIA   12:00N   3:45PM
USair flight 3751 15MAR15  PHILADELPHIA  CLEVELAND         6:20PM 8:02PM

Pre and post trip seminars  Saturday January 31, February 21 & April 25

Approved for:

  • Global and Cultural Diversity Credit
  • Social Science credit for engineering students
  • Social Work Minor
  • Elective course

Visit MSASS 3 credit study abroad courses and contact Dr. Debby Jacobson,

Contact Nancy Issa for Financial Aid Eligibility for travel costs.

The course will take students to a range of treatment settings and provide interaction with Dutch clinicians, managers and  people receiving services  Students learn a great deal about similarities and differences between how Americans and the Dutch view mental health and substance use disorders, and, more importantly, how we treat the people we serve. Included are visits to treatment clinics, residential treatment centers, user rooms, prisons as well as universities.  Presentations are given by government officials, practicing social workers, health care providers and many of Holland's most prominent scholars. The experience will challenge students to compare Holland with the United States and help students understand the strengths and weaknesses of social policies and human services in both countries. 


The week will take us to a range of treatment settings and provide interaction with Dutch clinicians, managers, people receiving services, and of course, among ourselves!  Lots of walking is to be anticipated, interspersed with coffee (the real thing!), biscuits, cheese, chocolate, and typical Dutch hospitality. You will make many new friends and learn a great deal about similarities and differences between how Americans and the Dutch view mental health and substance use disorders, and, more importantly, how we treat the people we serve.

On Monday four lectures from Dutch experts at Vrije Universiteit (Free University) in Amsterdam will include Dutch tolerance, euthanasia, substance use and abuse, and sex work (prostitution).

Tuesday has often been the day for a "Mentrum/Arkin" Meet the Expert symposium (Patrick Boyle). This is Amsterdam's primary integrated (mental health and substance use) care organization, the result of three organizational mergers, a process that has also begun in America. Their website is: ( Arkin serves 25,000 clients annually with 3,100 professionals in 43 locations. It has a larger website within which you will find the two recently merged organizations at:|en&tbb=1&ie=utf-8

 We will likely meet with about 30 people invited to the symposium who represent Integrated Dual Diagnosis Treatment (IDDT) sites. Topics have varied from year to year and include: a) an update on new initiatives in Amsterdam related to integrated care; b) a presentation by me on a topic "to be determined". Last year I demonstrated the principles of the IDDT model by interviewing one of their clients and her case manager using Motivational Interviewing strategies. I hope to interview the same client again this year to learn how she has navigated her multiple disorders (depression, cocaine addiction, HIV Aids) and how the team has supported her recovery.  The visit included a tour of one of their residential facilities. In the afternoon we visited a treatment program for children/adolescents and heard from their program manager about clinical approaches being used with that client population.

On Wednesday we typically have travelled to Rotterdam and visited with Erasmus University researchers Dr. Niels Mulder and Andre Wiersma. We then have toured a residential program, namely Mackay, for homeless people with drug problems. I am attaching their website ( and as also translated into English:|en&tbb=1&ie=utf-8

Erasmus researchers have provided us with data from progressive research projects. Last year we heard two such presentations, one looking at cultural differences for people being involuntarily hospitalized and another on assertive outreach with people having serious mental illness.  I have included their Dutch website to introduce you to some of their work ( and as translated into English:|en&tbb=1&ie=utf-8.

On Thursday The Dampkring coffee shop is visited ( where you will converse with a local expert about the history of coffee shops in Amsterdam as well as see the products they sell. An obvious cultural difference from America, the Dutch allow the use of marijuana in a "coffee shop" setting and sell small amounts of the product as well. Though the schedule is still in the planning stage, an afternoon visit to Altrecht, an inpatient psychiatric hospital for forensic patients, has exposed us to how the Dutch treat people convicted of crimes and that have mental health disorders:

Friday often takes us to Blacka Watra, a drop-in center where people can find access to a number of services including showers, employment, social services, food, laundry and a "User Room", i.e., a safe place to use drugs: The afternoon is usually reserved for the "great debate" where you have an opportunity to make persuasive arguments for or against various Dutch practices or social policies as they apply here at home (or "not").

Travel Considerations: The Netherlands can be cold and rainy (sometimes snowy) with the day time temperature often in the 40-50 degree range. We do a lot of walking and take public transportation (tram access will be provided for the course) so wear comfortable shoes and consider layered clothing. It can feel colder than the actual temperature since it is below sea level. The streets of Amsterdam are crowded with people and bicycles. Though the hotel may not be of the same standard with which you are accustomed, it is quite nice. The trip over will be tiring because of jet lag and during the week because of evening activities on your personal time. English is spoken everywhere, the water is okay to drink everywhere (though often you must pay for it in a restaurant), and it often costs to use public restrooms. The course begins with a brief orientation on late Saturday afternoon and your Saturday evening will be open to see the city! Sunday is also an open day but in the evening is a walking tour with Dutch and Case faculty of the Red Light District. You will also have some unstructured free time on the weekend after the course. 

 Hotel: All students and faculty will be staying at Leidse Square Hotel Amsterdam. The website is: located on a quiet side street off Leidseplein, near museums, the City Theatre, Casino, cinemas, and with countless restaurants, bars and disco's close by. The historical city centre with its canals, the Leidsestraat with numerous shops and famous museums are all within walking distance, as is the Vondelpark. The hotel has a wake-up call service, a safe in most rooms, bathroom, phone, TV, radio, soap, shampoo, hair dryer & shower cap with a full breakfast starting at 7:00am every day. It does not provide a wash cloth or lotion, exercise facilities or pool. All day  wireless is available for free and a computer is available in the lobby.

 Expectations: Smoking is not allowed in the hotel rooms.  You may not bring prohibited items back to the United States.  All students are expected to follow the laws of the United States while in the  Netherlands. Your behavior in the Netherlands should conform to behavior appropriate for students in the U.S. Most importantly, you are to behave as representatives of Case Western Reserve University while guests in the Netherlands.



This program is currently not accepting applications.