Location: The Netherlands
The tiny, densely populated nation of the Netherlands, also known as Holland, can by almost any measure be said to have made an outsized contribution to world history. Since the 16th century the Dutch have been exploring the world, and today they retain a strong leadership role in international initiatives. The Holland excursion allows students to learn more about the role the Dutch play internationally, admire the fascinating technology and aesthetics of windmills, gain familiarity with William of Orange (Guess how the Dutch soccer team got its uniform color!), and visit any of several other worthwhile sites, which may include the Escher in het Paleis, Kinderdijk Windmills (a UNESCO heritage site), and the country's famed tulip fields.
Through this excursion, students will come to appreciate and discuss pros and cons of the Dutch tendency to extreme tolerance and open-mindedness about controversial issues. At the end, students should have a basic understanding of some Dutch contributions to history and world civilization, including navigation of the globe during the age of discovery, and significant contributions to the invention of modern banking.