Black History and Colonialism in Amsterdam

Key Information


Application Deadline: 06/02/23 at 9:00 am

Opportunity type: Extra-curricular opportunities, Other

Ref: 10007559


Departure Date: 03/07/23

Return Date: 07/07/23


£400: the estimated cost for travel and accommodation (excluding DMU Global funding). Students will also be required to pay for: airport transfers, visits (approx. £60), food and drink, visa (if applicable)


DMU Global Bursary: £300


Accommodation: Shared rooms will be provided in a hostel

Travel: Flights booked by DMU (students travel as a group)


General Enquiries: Global Mobility Office -

Trip Lead: Aamena Meidell -


All DMU students are eligible to participate on this opportunity but it would be particularly relevant for students with a demonstrable interest in black history, colonialism and equality and diversity issues.


There are a maximum of 20 places available, with a minimum of 10 participants required for this opportunity to take place. Students are recommended to check the eligibility criteria before applying.


Using the Dutch Empire and the Netherlands as an example, this trip will allow students to learn about Black history and colonialism and the inextricable and intrinsic link this has with the reality of the world today. How the past is still out there and lives on in people, in the way we look at each other and how we treat each other and how it manifests itself in the present through existing inequalities and racism.

Visiting the Tropenmuseum and its ‘Colonial Inheritance’ permanent exhibition is one way that this will be explored. The museum is housed in a former colonial organisation set up to show off Dutch colonial objects which contributed to the common perception that people from formerly colonised countries were inferior. Students will be able to learn about how the empire profited from its colonies, usurped their wealth and relied on slave labour and how in response to this, enslaved or colonised people resisted, showed resilience, and used their creativity.

Taking a Guided Heritage tour of Black Amsterdam cruising along the Amsterdam canals and UNESCO World Heritage Sites, will give students a chance to explore the city’s ‘hidden history’ of early Black presence, colonial symbols on canal houses, national monuments and museums. Students will learn about a recently revealed Black community that lived in Amsterdam as early as the 16th Century alongside the history of the wealthiest merchants.

Visiting the New Urban Café, part of The Black Archives which are home to more than 3,000 books on race, colonization, feminism, and the legacy of Black Dutch writers and scientists or trying food in Black-owned cafés and restaurants and flavours inspired by countries which were once Dutch colonies will allow student to learn about multiculturalism in Amsterdam and how this has contributed to the richness of cultural life within the city. Parallels will be drawn to understand how colonialism also impacts British History, specifically impacting individuals of Black and South Asian heritage.

Students will be expected to actively participate in pre-trip sessions and discussions whilst overseas, sharing their reflections, perspectives and experiences on these topics and how this can also impact student life at De Montfort University.

DMU Global Funding

Students that successfully apply for this opportunity will qualify for a special DMU Global bursary. The cost to students for this opportunity is just £100!

Learning Objectives

Participating in a DMU Global opportunity can help you develop knowledge, skills, and competencies that enhance your studies. The objectives of this trip to Amsterdam are for students to:

  • Learn about Black History and the colonialist past of the Netherlands as well as the resistance of colonised people
  • Understand the role of colonialism and how it continues to manifest itself in the 21st century
  • Reflect on we can actively decolonise in our daily lives and at De Montfort University
  • Have an increased awareness of equality and diversity
  • Enhance intercultural competency, and understand and appreciate different world views

Cultural Activities

While in the capital of the Netherlands and one of Europe’s most vibrant cities, students will have time to enjoy what Amsterdam has to offer in their free time. Take in more history and learn about how Anne Frank and her family hid from the Nazis for two years after fleeing persecution in Germany during World War II by visiting the Anne Frank House.

Discover world-famous art at Rijksmuseum or visit Vondelpark, which receives 10 million visitors per year and is Amsterdam’s largest park. Cycle around the city, spend some time in Amsterdam’s independent shopping streets or smell the tulips in the heart of the city as bulbs spill out of bouquets at the Bloemenmarkt.

COVID-19 information

Travel to the Netherlands is permitted according to the travel rules for England as listed on UK Government website. Further guidance can be found on the FCDO webpage for the Netherlands.

All students that are offered a place on this DMU Global opportunity will receive further COVID-19 advice and guidance by email and in pre-departure briefing sessions. More details and COVID-19 Travel Information can be found here.