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Culture and Society of the Netherlands: An Inside View


Admission requirements

Open to all international students except regular Dutch Studies students.


When you choose to study in the Netherlands, this course will definitely be an enrichment of your Dutch experience. This series of lectures will give you a broad overview of Dutch history and contemporary society. Topics (amongst others): geography, history, government and politics, the people, the language, and art. A boat trip and a film will also be part of the program. To stimulate students to see more of the Netherlands than just Leiden and Amsterdam, an individual fieldtrip to a Dutch town is part of the course. This assignment is done in pairs and rounded off with a City Report (2000 words).
To extend your knowledge of the Dutch Culture, combine this course with the Introduction to the History of the Netherlands, the Highlights of the Literature of the Netherlands (both in the 2nd semester) or Dutch Painting (in the 1st semester).

Course objectives

This course aims at giving a broad overview of today’s culture and society of the Netherlands, and its historical backgrounds.


Consult the Dutch Studies timetable (available from June on).

Mode of instruction

  • Lecture

  • Excursion

Study Load

Total study load for this class is 140 hrs.
Class meetings 20 hrs
Field Trips 12 hrs
Film Evening 3 hrs
Class Preparation 40 hrs
City Report 20 hrs
Novel 20 hrs
Test preparation 25 hrs

Assessment method

City Report 25%
Written examination on class materials and required readings 75%
Students with a result for this exam lower than 5, may resit the exam in June.


Blackboard > courses > search for ‘Inside View’
The Blackboard site provides the complete program, texts, slideshows, quizzes that help to prepare for the test, and links to interesting pages on the internet. Please enroll. This site will be available as of two weeks before the start of the semester.

Reading list

  • Emmeline Besamusca en Jaap Verheul (eds.), Discovering the Dutch: On Culture and Society of the Netherlands. Amsterdam University Press, 2014.

  • Harry Mulisch: The Assault. Translated from the Dutch by Claire Nicolas White. Pantheon Books, New York. Also translated in many other languages.


Students should register through uSis. If you have any questions or problems, please contact the departmental office, tel. 071 5272233 or mail: Exchange and Study Abroad students, please see
this website for information on how to apply

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Registration Studeren à la carte
Registration Contractonderwijs


Secretary’s office Dutch Studies, P.N. van Eyckhof 4, room 102C. Tel. 071 5272233; mail:
Student advisor: Mw. I. Zagar, P.N. van Eyckhof 3, room 305B; mail: