Birth and Women’s Issues in the Netherlands

Ref: 10003671


First Year Midwifery students enrolled on Communication and Contextual Issues for Childbearing (MIDW1001) and Scientific Underpinnings of Midwifery Care (MIDW1002) are eligible to participate in this opportunity. The maximum places on this opportunity is 20 and the minimum the trip will go ahead with is 10. DMU staff will be accompanying the group.

DMU students are only eligible to receive one academic-trip bursary per year. Please check our eligibility criteria.


Historically the Netherlands have presented an outstanding model of midwifery care, demonstrating high home birth rates and a model of midwifery care centred largely around caseholding and independent midwives. This model has afforded the Netherlands some of the lowest rates of maternal and neonatal mortality in Europe, certainly lower than in the UK. In addition, women’s issues are at the forefront in the Netherlands and interesting opportunities are offered to midwifery students to explore issues around gender, sexuality, consent, women’s bodies and sex work.

This visit is aligned to first year Midwifery students including Modules MIDW 1001 and MIDW 1002 which have a focus on foundational women’s issues including marginalised women, conent and autonomy of the body and anatomy and physiology. The range of proposed visits (health-related services and museums) will explore topics such as anatomy and physiology, physical and mental health, the Dutch Birth Model and sex work in the Netherlands. Planned activities include:

  • Visit to KNOV, Utrecht -The KNOV is the Dutch equivalent of the NMC. Following our successful trip to the Netherlands last we have excellent links with this organisation who are looking forward to hosting us again this year. Students will meet key Dutch midwives and receive a lecture on the unique Dutch birth model.
  • Guided tour of The Vrolik Museum – The Museum Vrolik van het AMC Amsterdam is most famous for its collection of anatomical specimens, including a large number which are stored in formaldehyde jars. There are over 10,000 specimens in the collection. The specimens in the museum cover approximately 150 years of medical history, and include both “normal” and “abnormal” specimens. One display shows examples of fetal development during various stages of a normal pregnancy, whilst other areas of the museum show rare examples of babies born with severe defects, including conjoined twins, dwarfism, cyclopia, sironomelia (Mermaid Syndrome) and fetus’ with severe spina bifida.
  • Body Worlds Museum – Let Body Worlds take you on a miraculous journey through the human body; search for the things that will make us happy and the effects of that on our health. The 200 anatomical specimens of real human bodies show the complexity, resilience and vulnerability of the body. They show how our organs work, and the effect of common diseases and habits like smoking.
  • Red Light Secrets: The Museum of Prostitution – Step into a world that remains hidden for most and discover the secrets of the Red Light District, one of the world’s most unique and infamous neighbourhoods. Take a look behind the scenes of the oldest profession and experience what it feels like to sit behind one of the famous windows. Discover the secrets of the prostitutes and visit the rooms they work in.
  • Lecture at the Prostitution Information Centre – Two very different views of sex work are presented during the trip allowing the students to develop critical thinking and discussion on this important topic. Distinct from the Museum of prostitution, the PIC presents a more sex positive, feminist view of the profession and students will have the opportunity to receive a lecture from a young sex worker who was also a student when she began working. A fascinating, positive and alternative view point. The highlight of last years trip according to many of the students who attended.


Outside of scheduled activity, students will have free time where they are encouraged to explore this canal-lined city, with the many cultural highlights that can be found in the Dutch capital. You can enjoy the city by foot by joining one of the many free walking tours, whilst an abundance of bike-rental shops allows tourists to explore on two wheels, or if preferred, you may wish to hop aboard a canal boat.

For students interested in art, The Van Gogh Museum hangs the world’s largest collection of his work; the Rijksmuseum is home to some of Rembrandts finest work, whilst the Stedelijk Museum counts Matisses and Mondrians among its many pieces.

Other tourist attractions include a visit to Anne Frank House, Vondelpark, Dam Square, whilst boutiques, bars, market stalls and hip eateries can found in Jordaan.

Travel and accommodation

Accommodation and travel  will be booked by the faculty for this opportunity, and students will be expected to pay the full amount following confirmation of their place.

Contact details

Visa information

In order to participate in this trip, you are responsible for ensuring that you meet the Dutch immigration requirements.

EU nationals will not require a visa to travel to another EU country.

Non-EU nationals will require a visa to travel to the Netherlands and are responsible for obtaining a Schengen visa. Once accepted, should you require visa advice, please contact the Global Mobility Office.

The Global Mobility Office can provide visa support letters as required, and proof of enrolment can be obtained from the Student Gateway. You must ensure that you apply for your Schengen visa as soon as you have been formally accepted to this opportunity. You are responsible for checking processing times and meeting all application requirements in order to ensure that you receive your visa prior to departure. Be aware that immigration decisions are made by individual embassies.

Key Information

  • Departure date: Monday 13 July 2020
  • Return date: Friday 17 July 2020
  • Estimated cost of travel and accommodation: £365
  • Students will also be required to pay for: food & drinks, entry fees, and visa (if applicable)
  • DMU Global bursary: £150
  • Deadline for application: Monday 10 February 2020 9am