Amsterdam & Brussels:
Collaborative Program in Economics and Sociology
Explore European business and social environments in Amsterdam and Brussels. Earn 3-credit hours in either Social Deviance--Amsterdam(Sociology 489) or Efficient Markets in the Low Countries: Sex, Drugs, Rocks, and Flowers (Economics 410).
The Program Leaders may determine other eligibility requirements, but at a minimum, all applicants shall meet these requirements:
- Cumulative GPA of 2.0
- Permission of instructor(s)
- Current WKU student eligible to register for WKU courses
- Good academic standing (Undergraduate Catalog p.27; Graduate Catalog p.30)
- 18 years of age or older at time of departure
- Eligible to obtain a visa for destinations and through all transit points (if needed) as determined by US State Department and host country
- Possess passport valid for at least six (6) months after return date
- No current disciplinary sanctions as verified by Judicial Affairs
- Full payment (or signed payment agreement) prior to departure
- Completion of all pre-departure orientation
- Economics 202 prerequisite (for Econ 410 only)
This Faculty-Led Study Abroad program is a collaborative venture between economics and sociology that includes two separate courses are joined together on one program.
Economics 410 Efficient Markets in the Low Countries - This course will focus on economic markets. The Low Countries (The Netherlands, Belgium, and Luxembourg) offer a unique opportunity to study the diamond and flower markets, both of which are centered in the Netherlands and Belgium. The diamond market is largely oligopolistic, and the flower market is competitive. In addition, we will study prostitution and drugs -- markets that, due to social legislation, do not function openly in the United States and due to regulation in the Netherlands operate in markets of imperfect competition. We will also explore the workings of the European Union as a social and an economic institution.
Students completing the course will (1) have a heightened awareness of markets and how they work; (2) better understand social legislation in the economic markets; (3) better understand how cultural difference affect international business; and (4) have a better understanding of the EU and how common currency and the free flow of labor affects the economies of Europe and the individual member countries.
Sociology 489 Social Deviance--Amsterdam - Courses in social deviance examine how groups define certain behaviors, beliefs, and conditions as violations of group norms. Those who violate group norms are considered deviants or outsiders and are subject to both stigmatization and negative sanctions. Norms however vary overtime, cross-culturally, and among subcultures within a given society. Thus the nature of deviance is dynamic rather than static. Amsterdam, a cosmopolitan, world-class city has a long history of tolerance toward many behaviors and lifestyles that are considered deviant by many social groups. With its red light district, coffee shops, Anne Frank House, and heroin clinic, Amsterdam provides a unique, natural setting to study social deviance.
Planned field trips and excursions.
- The Van Gogh museum. See original paintings of Van Gogh, Gauguin, Manet, Monet, Toulouse La-Lautrec, others.
- The Rijksmuseum. Contains twenty Rembrandts and works of other Dutch Masters.
- The Anne Frank House. Visit the house where the Frank family hid from the Nazis during World War II. Special tour and lecture.
- Rembrandt House Museum. Housed in the home of Rembrandt van Rijn, the Rembrandt House Museum recently celebrated the 400th birthday of the noted painter. The museum contains an extensive collection of Rembrandt's etchings along with the works of many of his contemporaries.
- Canal Tour of Amsterdam
- Bike Tour of Amsterdam, including highlights on the history of Amsterdam, and important sociological and economic facts.
- Prostitution Information Center. Founded in 1994 by a former prostitute, the PIC provides information and advice about prostitution to anyone who has questions. The visit will include a lecture and guided tour of the red light district.
- Heroin clinic and lecture.
- Hash, Marijuana, and Hemp Museum.
- European Union Headquarters. A trip, including an overnight stay, is planned to Brussels, Belgium, the home of the European Union. A lecture is planned by the staff of the EU.
- Bloemen Veiling Aalsmeer. The Aalsmeer Flower Auction accounts for over forty-four percent of the world's flower and plant sales and sets the price of flowers and plants daily. The auction is housed in the largest commercial building in the world. The visit includes a guided tour of the flower auction and a lecture.
- Diamond Factory Tour. Amsterdam is the home of many diamond cutting and mounting enterprises.
- Our Lord in the Attic Museum - a former "hidden church" and marks the period in Dutch history when Catholics could not worship openly.
Note: All field trips are included in program costs and will be confirmed when on-site.
- Letter of Recommendation from college professor.
- Complete the Study Abroad & Global Learning application process on TopNet prior to being registered in this course. We suggest you start this application process immediately and respond to all emails promptly.
- The course includes a group flight that originates and returns to Nashville.
- Study Abroad courses are not eligible for employee tuition waiver.
- Independent travel (before and/or after the programs start and end date) is permitted with prior notification to the WKU Representatives leading the program. There may be medical insurance issues to deal with, as well as changes to the airline reservations (with possible additional cost to participant), so advanced notice is required.
- Travel opportunities are available on two weekends, and students may extend their stay beyond the end of the class (with additional expense not included in program cost). Classes will end no later than noon on Friday, allowing independent student travel. Locations easily reached by train or low cost air include Paris, London and Brussels.
- US Citizens are currently not required to obtain a visa for travel to these destinations. Citizens of other countries may face additional visa requirements. Please see http://www.rsonac.org/schengen-visa.
- Includes 3-credit hour tuition ($1,062 estimated value), round-trip airfare, accommodations, group excursions, and medical insurance.
- Not included in program fee: all meals, transportation from home to the U.S. departure airport /return from airport to your home, personal spending money, and costs for independent travel.
- Final program fee subject to change due to travel arrangements.
- Link here for WKU WorldTopper Scholarship and other funding options
You may contact Student Financial Assistance to determine your funding options if needed. You will need to provide the course number, name, your name and WKU ID (800#), and the Study Away course fee as stated above, in the email you send to financial aid.
- ECON 410
- SOCL 489
- Dr. Dan Myers (Economics)
- Dr. Matt Pruitt (Sociology)
- Amsterdam, The Netherlands
- Brussels, Belgium
- Summer 2013
- $3,600 - $3,900 (est.)
- Itinerary (tentative)
- Syllabi (coming soon)
- July 10 - Depart for Amsterdam *
- July 10 - Depart for Amsterdam *
- August 2 - Program ends *
- August 14 - Post-program assessment
* subject to change