The Netherlands Study Abroad Spring Break (Course J)

A bridge in Amsterdam with lights on it.

BETH 315J/415J
Drugs, Detention, and Decriminalization


Spring Break 2024 or May Abroad 2024*- timeline not finalized

This course is open to undergraduate, graduate, and post-graduate students from any discipline. This is a Spring 2024 semester registration.

Approved for Global and Cultural Diversity Credit, College of Arts and Sciences; Approved for Humanities Credit, School of Engineering.


Course Description

This 3-credit hour intensive course will be held mostly in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, with potential day trips to The Hague and Rotterdam. It will offer students the opportunity to compare and contrast the ways in which the Netherlands and the United States approach health care, drug use, detention, and physician-aid-in-dying. In particular, students will be asked to carefully examine the ethical dimensions of health care systems, harm reduction programs, policies regarding the decriminalization of drugs and physician-aid-in-dying, and the medical care of those in detention facilities. In addition to exploring the ethics of public health initiatives and social programs aimed at drug users in both countries, including those designed for particular populations such as immigrants and older users, students will analyze the ethical issues that arise in detainment, physician-assisted suicide, and euthanasia.

Prior to the trip, students will attend three class sessions at CWRU, during which students will learn about U.S. policy and practice regarding the topics noted above. In The Netherlands, students will attend site visits, lectures, and discussion sessions. Following the intensive course week in country, students will attend three final sessions to debrief on the experience, address questions or concerns, and prepare for the final assignment. 


Course Dates

Pre-travel class sessions: TBA

In-country course dates: TBA

Lodging dates: TBA

Post-travel class sessions: TBA


Approximate Cost

Cost for Spring 2023 (to be updated for 2024):

  • Program fee is $2500 (including deposit)
  • $250 deposit due with study abroad application
  • Remaining program fee billed to CWRU student bill

Program fees cover lodging, breakfast, course-related transportation, speaker fees, etc. Program fees do not cover flight, tuition, additional meals, passport or VISA fees, and activities or transportation outside of course.

Email Questions to


*Courses are subject to cancellation due to low student enrollment, health and safety concerns, or other extenuating circumstances. Director of Bioethics Study Aboard will communicate with students regarding changes in courses.