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SASS Netherlands: Social Justice - Health and Violence Prevention (SASS 325/575)
Amsterdam, Netherlands; Rotterdam, Netherlands (Outgoing Program)
Program Terms:
Program Terms: Spring Break
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This program is currently not accepting applications.
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Restrictions: CWRU applicants only
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Language of Instruction: English Language Prerequisite: No
Housing Options: Hotel Minimum GPA: 2
Courses Offered: Applied Social Sciences, Social Work Program Director/Assistant Director: Valerie Rambin, MSASS (
Credit Type: Undergraduate Case Credit Type: Engineering Social Sciences Credit, Global and Diversity Credit, Social Work Minor
Number of Credits: 3 Deposit: $300
Included in Program Cost: Admission fees, breakfasts, Housing, In-country transportation Not Included in Program Cost: Dinner, Flights, Lunch, Passport Fees, Tuition
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Program Description:


Social Justice: Health and Violence Prevention (SASS 325)

In-Country Dates: March 10-16, 2018 (second weekend free to travel)
Pre and post trip seminars: January 27, February 24, and April 7 (Saturdays)
Faculty leader: Dean Gilmore (SASS 325) and Dr. Mark Singer (SASS 575)

Course description: This is an experiential and hands-on 3-credit course during spring break is designed to familiarize students with Dutch social policies and practices for social justice systems. Students will have the opportunity to compare the United States and the Netherlands policies and practices by engaging with experts on prostitution, drug use, substance abuse, child welfare, mental health, violence prevention, homelessness, euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide. The trip includes guided tours of neighborhoods and social institutions such as hospitals, clinics, user rooms, and prisons.  Presentations are given by government officials, practicing social workers, health care providers, and prominent Dutch 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. Students will be able to have direct access to both agency personnel and clients, which affords them an understanding and exposure that cannot be derived from text books.
There are two Saturday sessions held at CWRU prior to travel to the Netherlands.  These classes and assigned readings will prepare students to critically analyze the social policies and practices they will experience first-hand in the Netherlands.
In Amsterdam the course begins with a brief orientation on late Saturday afternoon and Saturday evening is free to explore the city! Sunday is also an open day, but Sunday evening is reserved for a guided tour of the Red Light District by a Dutch expert. Students will have unstructured free time on the weekend after the course to travel. Students and faculty stay at the Leonardo Hotel Amsterdam City Center, a comfortable and well-located hotel used by the Mandel School for over 10 years.
Possible Site Visits (subject to change)

  • Attend lectures from Dutch experts at Vrije Universiteit (Free University) in Amsterdam on Dutch tolerance, euthanasia, substance use and abuse, and sex work (prostitution)
  • Visit the Dampkring coffee shop and converse with a local expert about the history of coffee shops in Amsterdam as well as see the products they sell
  • Visit the Academic Medical Center in Amsterdam, the largest tertiary care hospital in the country and meet with the medical director of the hospital to discuss how differently they manage their health care system than we do in the U.S.
  • Visit an inpatient psychiatric hospital for forensic patients and experience how the Dutch treat people convicted of crimes and that have mental health disorders
  • Travel to Rotterdam to meet with staff and clients at S Gravenhof, a halfway house for hard drugs users
  • Visit Horizon, a residential treatment center for severely physically and emotionally abused children ages 8-12
  • Attend a lecture by COSA Netherlands,  a community reintegration program for sexual offenders with a  network of volunteers that befriend the clients and help them feel more socially connected to the community while also being on alert for signs of potential problems to decrease the incidence of re-offending
  • Observe a trial and visit the main courthouse in Amsterdam to meet with Dutch prosecutors
  • Participate in 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 
Program Fee $2,295 (billed to student account minus $300 deposit) includes in-country travel/transportation, breakfasts, hotel lodging (March 10-18), agency visits, guest lectures, and insurance abroad.
Out of Pocket Expenses: airfare, lunch, dinner, personal spending money, etc.
Visit and contact Valerie Rambin (, Assistant Director International Education Programs, for more information on this or other Mandel School study abroad programs. Contact Nancy Issa ( for Financial Aid eligibility.



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This program is currently not accepting applications.