NETHERLANDS: Sustainable Urban Transportation *Closed*

Delft, Netherlands

Program website not available Type:   |  Minimum GPA:
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  • Summer 2 Semester - June 29 - August 1, 2014 (dates subject to change)

Application Deadline

  • Summer 2 Semester - Priority Deadline: November 15, 2013

Priority deadline is November 15th with a final deadline of January 26th. Program accepting applications until filled and is subject to close at any time.


Faculty Leader: Prof. Peter Furth (

Study Abroad Coordinator: Colleen Boyle (

Information Session: November 12, 2013, 5:15 pm, 158 RY

Term: Summer II


  • CIVE 4566 Design for Sustainable Urban Transportation: European and U.S. Perspectives
  • INTL 4944 Dialogue of Civilizations - Regional Engagement


While the Netherlands is as affluent a country as the US, the Dutch drive cars half as much as we Americans do, ride trains 10 times as much, and ride bikes 40 times as much as Americans. They also have the world’s best traffic safety record, killing only 1/3 as many people (per capita) as we do on US roads. Dutch bicycling infrastructure makes it safe for everyone – children and elderly as well – to ride bikes anywhere, and is a major reason that more than 25% of trip nationwide, and more than 40% in cities like Delft and Amsterdam, are made by bike. The goal of this course is learn Dutch principles for planning cities and designing bikeways, roads, and transit networks that make ABC (all-but-car) transportation so attractive.


Students will stay at a hostel in the center of historic Delft, hold classes at Delft University, and will ride bicycles daily for commuting and for field trips. About 1/3 of the time will be spent in classrooms, 1/3 on field trips, and 1/3 working on projects. Lecture speakers include experts and local officials responsible for urban planning, bikeway design, and transit planning. Field trips, almost all done by bicycle, are visits to cities to see good examples of urban planning, bicycling infrastructure, and high quality transit, often including meetings with city officials. Field trips to more distant cities (e.g., Amsterdam, Rotterdam)  involve train travel as well. Students do two kinds of projects. One kind is documenting Dutch practices and examples, contributing to a web site intended to introduce an American audience to new ideas about sustainable transportation planning. The other kind is design projects in which students apply Dutch principles and practices to redesigning a Boston-area street or area. To see projects completed in 2011 and 2012, see


  • CIVE 4566 Design for Sustainable Urban Transportation: European and U.S. Perspectives
  • INTL 4944 Dialogue of Civilizations - Regional Engagement

Host University

Delft University of Technology

Eligibility Requirements

  • Minimum 2.5 GPA
  • Students from all majors are welcome.
  • Students will be expected to walk and ride a bicycle at a relaxed pace for several hours at a time.
  • Qualifications considered for selection include grade point average, demonstrated interest in urban planning, demonstrated interest in transportation planning and engineering, and participation in people-serving volunteer activities. Students entering their final year at NU will get preference over those who, if not accepted, will have the chance to go another year.

Application Procedure

    • Online Dialogue of Civilizations application (available on OISP website and myNEU)
    • $500 non-refundable program deposit paid through NUPay.* Be sure to select the appropriate summer term.**
    • One copy of passport ID page – to be given directly to your faculty leader after acceptance.
    • 2-3 page essay answering the following questions (copy and pasted into online application):
    1. What are your personal and academic reasons for wishing to participate in this Dialogue of Civilizations program?
    2. How will the program further your academic and career goals?
    3. What is your previous travel and language experience, if any?
    4. What courses have you taken which are directly relevant to the program?

    *If you are not accepted into your Dialogue program, the $500 deposit will be credited to your student account.

    **Applications are not considered complete until deposit is received. This deposit will be applied to the full cost of the program.

    **Faculty may require additional information and/or interview (after application deadline)

Schedule Appointment →


Tuition: $10,195

DOC Fee: $2,000

Tuition and DOC Fee cover 8 Northeastern credits, round-trip airfare from Boston, housing for program duration, International SOS assistance, as well as some local transport, excursions and group meals.


Students stay in Hostel Jorplace on a canal street in the center of old Delft, within 100 meters of the main market square and the Vermeer Center. Ten minute bike ride to the university. Buy food at a nearby supermarket and use the hostel kitchen. Hostel also offers breakfast at a low price. Buy lunch at the university cafeteria or bring a bag lunch. Walk to laundry service with reasonable prices. Free wifi at the university, the University, and the city library. A ten minute bike ride gets you to a large city park with swimming lake and countryside bike paths with canals and windmills. The centers of Rotterdam and The Hague are a 12 minute train ride away.


The only overnight location is Delft, which is part of the metropolitan area including The Hague and Rotterdam. There will be many day trips to parts of this metropolitan area. There will also be day trips to Amsterdam, Utrecht, and Houten.