Academic Director - Netherlands

World Learning
  • Location
    Amsterdam, Netherlands
  • Sector
    Non Profit
  • Experience
    Mid Career / Advanced
  • Posted
    Apr 22

Position description

SIT Study Abroad, a program of World Learning, is recruiting for an Academic Director for its study abroad program located in Amsterdam, Netherlands. The program's theme is International Perspectives on Sexuality and Gender. This position is available for Fall 2019. Learn more: .


This program follows the SIT semester model with its focus on experiential learning to complement traditional classroom instruction. Students carry out independent study project in addition to academic coursework composed of two thematic courses, research methods and ethics class, and Dutch language instruction. 


General Description:

SIT Study Abroad Academic Directors (AD) manage SIT’s undergraduate study abroad programs located in 42 countries worldwide. The program themes vary from development and social change to arts, environmental studies, post-conflict transformation, health, and human rights. All SIT Study Abroad programs emphasize field study while examining critical global issues in keeping with the broader organizational missions of peace and social justice. SIT’s educational model focuses on cultural immersion as its primary heuristic component and uses theories of experiential education to inform its curricula and augment student learning. The academic centerpiece of most SIT Study Abroad semester programs is the independent study project. This component weaves together theory and practice and synthesizes the other program coursework.

Scope of work: 

The Academic Director(AD) is responsible for the planning, delivery, and supervision of the academic program offered by SIT Study Abroad at its assigned program location. 

The AD is responsible for ensuring program academic excellence and facilitating student learning experience in a safe environment, is also the primary manager for the program site, and is responsible for supervision of local staff, budget planning and oversight and financial reporting.  

The AD represents SIT Study Abroad at the program location and is responsible for developing and maintaining positive relationships with local partners.

The AD must remain current in their areas of expertise and familiar with in-country issues and practices in higher education.

The Academic Director will have a local employment contract.  The position is full time for the entire contract period.  

Key Responsibilities:

1.     Academic Management

  • Curriculum development and academic oversight;
  • Advising in matters regarding academic program delivery and scheduling;
  • Organizing and delivering the students' initial cross-cultural orientation and components of the thematic and research methods courses, in their areas of expertise, as appropriate; 
  • Where appropriate and in consultation with the Academic Dean, teach one or more of the academic components;
  • Designing and coordinating a fully-integrated educational experience to facilitate student learning through classroom sessions, language instruction, field-based activities, and homestays. Facilitating the linkages between and among each of these various components; 
  • Where applicable, working with the language coordinator and language instructors to ensure highest quality, field-based language instruction;
  • Generally guiding and advising students in both their cross-cultural learning processes and academic experiences - thus serving as an educator/teacher in the broadest sense by assisting students to draw substantive connections from among different aspects of the experience;
  • Conducting the program review and academic evaluation at the end of the program and, in programs with an independent study project or internship, submitting a narrative and rubric-based evaluation of the student’s work. 

2.     Program Management

  • Managing program administration and operations in compliance with local laws and regulations; 
  • Negotiating cost-effective program services and managing the program budget;
  • Making recruitment and termination decisions for local program staff in collaboration with the Academic Dean and World Learning Vermont Human Resources office;
  • Supervising local program staff, including mentoring, training, and regular performance evaluations;
  • Maintaining regular communication with the headquarters of SIT Study Abroad in Brattleboro, Vermont, USA and submitting detailed, timely reports, as required;
  • Facilitating a constructive relationship between SIT students and host country nationals and program partners;
  • Negotiating and maintaining updated agreements with local partner organizations;
  • Participating, when requested, in the writing and editing of program materials, advertising materials, catalog copy, country information. 

3. Student Health and Safety

  • Providing student support for medical, personal and security issues in collaboration with Student Affairs division, the supervising Dean, and local staff;
  • Maintaining up-to-date program contingency plans, based on current and reliable information concerning health and safety risks of the local environment;
  • Communicating emergency procedures and protocols to student participants, program staff, home stay families;
  • Providing culturally appropriate strategies and advice to maximize safety and well-being.

4. Program Development & Promotion

When possible and doable, collaborating with the SIT Graduate Institute and Comparative and Custom Programs division in developing proposals for customized programs and participating in their successful implementation; 

Meeting with program visitors and assisting in the development and implementation of Faculty site and other program visits;

When required, representing SIT Study Abroad at professional conferences or meetings;

Participating in SIT governance and visiting sending schools, when required;

5.  Other duties as assigned.


  • While Master in Sexuality and Gender Studies applicants will be considered, priority will be given to Ph.D. holders in LGBT studies or a discipline related to the program theme, as well as academic and practical knowledge of the country and region.
  • Proficiency in Dutch is a plus but not required.
  • College teaching and experience with U.S. undergraduates is highly desirable. 
  • Further, the candidate must be attuned to the educational philosophy and expectations of SIT and possess both commitment to academic excellence and the personal leadership qualities required by the program. Among the latter are cultural sensitivity and adaptability; intellectual curiosity and enthusiasm for challenge; tact and diplomacy in working with host nationals and American students; organizational ability; budget management skills; computer literacy; energy; and a sense of humor. 
  • Eligibility to work in the Netherlands required


The position starts July 1st, 2019 with a training period either in the US or online. The program start date is August 26th, 2019. Salary is commensurate with experience and academic qualifications.

Application instructions

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