europe study tour

Sustainability and Resilience in the Netherlands - Spring 2018

LA 593F, 3 Credits, Spring 2018
Professor Jack Ahern, 242 Design Building
Course meeting: Tuesdays 7-9  PM
Study Tour: March 9 - 18, 2018 (Spring Break)

Spring 2018 Semester Seminar

The course will provide an international perspective on theory and best practices in urban sustainability and resilience in The Netherlands. Weekly seminars will engage: urban sustainability policy and planning, urban design, public/open spaces, coastal and urban resilience, urban ecology and alternative transportation.  A Spring Break Study tour will include visits and examples of historical and contemporary projects that relate to, and demonstrate how sustainability and resilience policies are manifest in the built environment.

Weekly homework will include readings, individual research projects and sketching.  Course fee for Study Tour.  

Preliminary Travel Itinerary 

The study tour part of the course will occur from March 9-18, 2018. We will be based in Amsterdam, but will make visits to Rotterdam, Utrecht and Coastal regions of the Netherlands.

  • Amsterdam: The daily itinerary will include visits to Vondel Park, The Canal District, the Jordaan neighborhood, Hoofje Housing neighborhoods, the new brownfield Westergasfabriek Park, the new urban waterfronts of Borneo-Sporenburg and Ijburg.  Amsterdam is known as one of the most bicycle-friendly cities in the world.
  • Rotterdam:  The itinerary will include visit to The Schowerburgplein Square (West 8)  the Museum Park, the Kunsthall (Rem Koolhaus) and the Kop-van-Zuid district.  Planned office visit to the West 8 Design Firm, a leading international Landscape Architecture practice.
  • Utrecht: Now considered the second most bike-friendly city in the world, Utrecht has a rich history and recent examples of innovative large, scale development.  

Course Fees and Expenses

$4000    Total Estimated Cost/student – including course fee, air-travel, and meals/personal expenses. 

  • $2500, International Programs Office Course Fee: covers hotels (2 or 3 persons per room), breakfasts, ground transportation (train, metro passes, bicycle rental, bus), and entrance/admission fees.

  • $1500*, Estimated Airfare + other expenses: to be booked as a group fare and paid separately by students. AIRFARE is Not included in course fee above. Will depart from Boston on Friday March 11 (Arrive Paris Sat AM, March 12) and return  from Amsterdam > Boston  on March 20 (bus back to Amherst Sunday evening, March 20.

Financial Aid

The IPO course fee (minus your $500 deposit) will be added to your UMass Bursars bill and will be due with your Spring 2018 tuition and fee payment (January 2018).  Students who are receiving financial aid MAY be able to add the full participation amount to their student loan. Please speak with IPO for questions about financial aid.

What to do if you are interested in the Course:

1. Register for the class with IPO:

Read the course brochure information, continue to “Register Now” and follow instructions. 3 Course credits will be awarded for SPRING 2018.
If you have questions about registering please contact International Programs Office.  Your registration application will be reviewed by IPO.  

2. Pay the deposit

To reserve a place in the class, a $500 deposit must be paid to the International Programs Office by Dec 15, 2017.  Please pay deposit at the Main Office of IPO.  The maximum enrollment is 20 students. The minimum number is 15. 

Please make your $500 deposit by cash or check, payable to the University of Massachusetts.  Please hand-deliver your payment to the IPO Office - open 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM.

3. December 15 Announcement

Decision on course offering are depending on a minimum enrollment (minimum 15 students).  Students will then be advised about purchasing airfare and billing of remainder of course fee. All deposits will be refunded in full if the course is cancelled for lack of enrollment or other reasons. If a student on the waiting list, who has paid a deposit, is not offered a place in the class, they will be issued a full refund.  

4. Course fee Billed

The course fee will be billed on your Spring semester bursars bill. 

5. Passport and Visa

If you are US citizen you need a passport valid until September 2018. If you are not a US Citizen you may need a visa.  Check with IPO. 
If you have questions about the course content, organization, financial or other concerns, please contact the instructor: Prof. Jack Ahern (