Pitt in Amsterdam

Explore Amsterdam in the summer and learn how cities are increasingly designed to be environmentally friendly from one of the most environmentally friendly cities in the world.  As an estimated 4 out of 5 people in developed countries are urban dwellers, this topic is becoming highly relevant and this program will give you an insight into future development  and city planning trends.  
Amsterdam is regarded as a global leader in green urbanism. The city is well known for its alternative transportation model that focus on biking and light rail. But it also on the forefront of many other endeavors, such as green building, a comprehensive park and green space network, water management, and an energy system that is transitioning away from fossil fuel.
You will take classes on theories and concepts of the sustainable cities, and will have an opportunity to do field research of the topic of your interest.
See the sample of the schedule here.
See examples of the students' work from summer 2017 and 2019 cohort here.

What You'll Accomplish: 

As an engaged and active participant in this program, you will have the opportunity:

  • to study urban development in one of the most sustainable cities in thw world
  • to advance your research skills by working on a topic of your choice related to Amsterdam as a sustainable city
  • to explore rich Dutch history and culture through excursions and museum visits

Amsterdam is the capital of the Netherlands. With more than one million inhabitants in its urban area, it is the country's largest city and its financial, cultural, and creative centre.  Amsterdam is one of the most popular destinations in Europe, attracting over 7 million international travellers annually. Amsterdam is colloquially known as Venice of the North because of its lovely canals that criss-cross the city, its impressive architecture and more than 1,500 bridges. There is something for every traveller's taste here; whether you prefer culture and history, serious partying, or just the relaxing charm of an old European city.

Where You'll Live: 

Students will stay in shared quad rooms in a hostel in the city center. Hostel will be equipped with wifi.  There are cafes available in the hostel for students to purchase meals.  Alternatively, it is also quite common to buy your breakfast/lunch/dinner at the grocery store. The most seen grocery store in Amsterdam is called Albert Heijn and there is one very close to the hostel. Here you can find all kinds of food, such as fully prepared salads, sandwiches, fruits etc. 
You can expect the following:

  • Shared bedrooms (4 students/bedroom)
  • Bedding
  • Shared bathroom
  • WiFi
  • Coin operated laundry 

Please note that meals are not included in the program fee.

We do our best to provide the most accurate information about housing and amenities but due to the nature of the locations in which we offer programs and limited availability, these items are subject to change.  Contact your program manager with any questions.

What You'll Study: 

Pitt in Amsterdam will offer two courses, Sustainable Cities I: Theories and Concepts, and Sustainable Cities II: Applied Field Research.  Though viewed as "upper-level" courses they are open to students from all backgrounds and require no prerequisites.  

Sustainable Cities I: Theories and Concepts (URBNST1613)

You may think of cities as engines of pollution and where excessive consumption of scarce resources takes place; however, cities may also be part of the solution to our environmental problems. This undergraduate course is designed to familiarize the student with the concept of sustainability and how it applies in the context of cities; specifically cities in Europe and Amsterdam in particular. The idea of sustainable cities provides a framework for interdisciplinary planning of contemporary cities. We will explore sustainability and urban design in both a global and local context by focusing on the processes that shape the form and function of the built environment. Technological, social, and cultural innovations for sustainable cities will be demonstrated during the course. Through lectures and field visits in Amsterdam, we will explore the theory and practice of urban sustainability, including the history and philosophy of sustainability, ecological footprints, green buildings, alternative energy, innovative transportation solutions, and waste/water management. This constitutes an effort to build better places that are more livable, more equitable, more energy efficient and ecologically sound, and more prosperous for all. 

Sustainable Cities II: Field Research (URBNST1615)

The course Sustainable Cities I: Theories and Concepts explores the idea of sustainable cities as a framework for interdisciplinary planning of contemporary cities. It focused on sustainability and urban design in both a global context and on-the-ground local level in Amsterdam through studying the processes that shape the form and function of the built environment. Sustainable Cities II: Applied Field Research provides an opportunity for the student to build on knowledge from the prerequisite course by developing an independent project which will result in a substantial research paper on a topic relating to Amsterdam as a sustainable city.

Your Pitt Study Abroad Contacts: 

Oksana Stalczynski

Privet! I'm Oksana Stalczynski and I'm a Program Manager at the Study Abroad Office. I was born and raised in St. Petersburg, Russia, was an exchange student and Russian Language Scholar at Reed College in Portland, OR and did a summer language program in Dresden, Germany. A study abroad experience broadens your horizon, grows your circle of friends and improves your career opportunities. That’s why I think everyone should do one!

Feel free to contact me to find out more about study abroad programs at Pitt, and/or to learn/practice some Russian.  Get in touch with me at Oksana.stalczynski@pitt.edu or 412-383-3237!


Chelsea Cavlovic

Hello! My name is Chelsea and I am the program manager for the School of Nursing! My first study abroad experience took me to Warsaw, Poland, where I eventually returned to get my Master's Degree in International Relations & Diplomacy. I also spent a year living in the Czech Republic and another two years living in a small Croatian village. I am really excited to work with you to explore how global experiences fit into your goals as a student, as a professional and for personal development. Please feel free to reach out to me anytime at chelsea.c@pitt.edu to discuss global opportunities. 

Schedule an appointment

Schedule an appointment with me using Pathways!

  • Log in to Pathways or use the Navigate app.
  • Select Appointments > Schedule an Appointment
  • Select Pitt Global as the Care Unit
  • Select School of Nursing as the Location
  • Select Study Abroad General Advising as the service
  • Select my name and find a time that works for you!

Don't see a time that works for you? Just send me an email at nabroad@pitt.edu!

Your In-Country Contacts: 

Dr. Ola Johansson

Dr. Ola Johansson is a Professor of geography who joined the Pitt-Johnstown faculty in 2002, coming from the University of Tennessee. His main teaching and research focus is urban geography, particularly urban governance and policy. He also conducts research in music geography. As a native of Sweden, his regional interest is mainly Europe, and as a former Tennessee Valley Authority employee, energy geography is a secondary interest as well. At Pitt-Johnstown, Dr. Johansson teaches Earth and People, Urban Development, Urban Planning, Economic Geography, Geography of the United States, Geography of Europe, and Energy, Environment and Society.





Visit our Budgeting page for more information.
The amounts above are for the 2019-2020 academic year and should be used as estimates only. Pricing for 2020-2021 will be posted and announced in the fall term.

What's Included: 

As a part of your program fee, the following are included:

  • Tuition for 6 credits
  • Housing in shared quad accommodations
  • Transportation passes for public transportation
  • Cultural events
  • Site visits
When You'll Go: 

Dates for the 2020-2021 academic year will be posted in the fall!