Start Learning Dutch: A Guide for International Students in the Netherlands

While almost everyone in the Netherlands speaks English, learning Dutch can be highly beneficial. Speaking the local language helps you integrate into Dutch society and connect with fellow students. Additionally, knowing Dutch can be essential for internships or part-time jobs, as some positions require proficiency in the language. Improving your Dutch skills will also enhance your interactions with friends and colleagues and look impressive on your CV.

Starting Your Dutch Journey

start learning dutch
start learning dutch

Before Arriving in the Netherlands

You can begin learning Dutch even before you arrive in the Netherlands. Here are a few ways to get started:

  • Hire a Dutch Teacher: Find a Dutch teacher through the Dutch Embassy or other online resources.
  • Connect with Dutch Students: Ask your institution’s international office to connect you with Dutch exchange students who can teach you basic Dutch and provide insights into Dutch student life.

Learning Dutch in the Netherlands

Once you arrive, there are several options to continue your Dutch language education:

start learning dutch
  • University Language Courses: Many universities offer Dutch language courses at various levels (beginner, intermediate, and advanced). Check with your university’s international office for more information.
  • Evening Schools: Enroll in Dutch classes at local evening schools.
  • Online Resources: Utilize free online resources and courses to learn Dutch at your own pace.
  • Language Buddies and Cafés: Find a language buddy or join language cafés to practice speaking Dutch in a casual setting.

Studying in Dutch

If you wish to pursue your studies in Dutch instead of English, you must pass the NT2 (Dutch as a Second Language) state exam. Some institutions may have additional admission requirements, so it’s essential to inquire about specific details from your chosen institution.

For information on Dutch-taught study programs, visit Studiekeuze123.

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Advanced Dutch Courses for NT2 Exam Preparation

Several institutions offer courses to help you prepare for the NT2 state exam. Below is a list of universities and their respective language centers:

  • Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences: Language Centre
  • Delft University of Technology: Centre for Languages and Academic Skills
  • Eindhoven University of Technology: Center for Languages and Intercultural Communication
  • Erasmus University Rotterdam: Language and Training Centre
  • Hanze University of Applied Sciences: Language Centre
  • Leiden University: Academic Language Centre
  • Maastricht University: Language Centre
  • Radboud University Nijmegen: Radboud in’to Languages
  • Tilburg University: Language Center
  • University of Amsterdam: Institute for Dutch as a Second Language
  • University of Groningen: Language Centre
  • University of Twente: TCP Language Centre
  • VU Amsterdam: Department Dutch as a Second Language
  • Wageningen University: Wageningen in’to Languages

Additional Resources

Here are some useful links and apps to aid your Dutch language learning:


Learning Dutch can significantly enhance your experience in the Netherlands, helping you integrate into society, improve your job prospects, and enrich your social life. Start your journey today and make the most of your time in the Netherlands.

For more information, visit the official Gripe Web website.

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