Frequently Asked Questions – Dutch Summer School
When should you NOT book this course?
When should you NOT book our course?
We don’t have the goal of selling as many courses as possible. We really want to have the right mix of students, people who are motivated and like our concept. Only that way, we can create together the unique atmosphere of living and studying together, and go for the best learning results.
For this reason, we advise when you should NOT book our courses.
Don’t book our courses if you don’t master English
We use English as the instruction language on the lower levels -> from level 1 to 3 (0 to A2+). Many studies have proven that using an instruction language to explain things is more efficient than full immersion (where the teacher only speaks in Dutch). That doesn’t mean that the teacher only speaks in English, but during instruction she/he will. We strongly believe in this approach. Only on the higher levels 4, 5, R (A2/B1/B2) the teacher speaks only in Dutch.
Secondly, English is the organisation’s language (letters, announcements will be made in English, because we always have beginner groups and we want everybody to understand everything).
Don’t just send someone to our course…
Important remark for employers, parents, spouses and other sponsors…
Most of our students book and pay for this course themselves. The student has found us on the internet… perhaps is using our online materials (learndutch.org) and then decides to do an investment. This is the best possible motivation.
If you are an employer who wants to send an employee, or you are a parent and want to send your child… then please be sure that your employee or child have 100% motivation to learn the language and to do that in our way.
Our whole method is based on the inner motivation of the student to learn Dutch. This is not a strict school system, where students are punished when not doing the homework, or where they need to pass an exam in the end. Our students should have the true desire to learn this language (not because someone else wants this and pays for the course!).
We consider this one of our strongest points. Both students and teachers who had classes at other language schools, confirm that the overall level of motivation of the students is exceptionally high at our program, which boosts the group result.
This is programme for adults, not for children!
We are frequently contacted by parents who want to send their children. Please note: this is a programme for adults, not for children!
There is no supervision.
Those who are under 18 and want to participate, are expected to behave like adults… that means: that one should be able to travel independently, and as our accommodation is based on self catering, one should be able to prepare his/her own meals. Apart from that – our way of teaching is not like a children’s school system. As explained above, it is based on the inner motivation to learn the language: doing homework because you want to learn the language, not because the teacher tells you to do so.
It’s not a relaxing holiday!
Even though we are located in nature and the language campus is part of a holiday park and part of the class is in the open air, this is not a leisure activity! Our programmes are very intensive. Apart from the 3,5 hours/day in class, count on approximately 4 hours of homework. Of course you can spend the rest of the time as you want. But we’re not the type of language school as in Spain or Malta, where leisure activities and parties are as important as the classes itself. The people who book our courses have as a primary goal to learn as much Dutch as possible in a short time.
Don’t book this course if you don’t like to do homework
Our students visit us to learn the language. Our students want results. A very important factor to get results is self study. Count on 3-4 hours per day.
We work with the flipped-classroom principle. That means that each student prepares for the next lesson with our online materials. This way, we can focus on applying the acquired knowledge in class. That makes the lessons more efficient and interactive. It has no sense to come to class without having done the homework.
Don’t book this course if you plan to work at the same time
It is not recommended to work part-time during this course.
Our course is intensive and it requires your full attention. Count on 3-4 hours of homework additional to the hours in class. In the free hours… some rest is also important.
Of course, if it’s just answering mails for 30 minutes/day then it is not a problem.
The majority of our students are higher educated
We don’t have a strict requirement that everybody should have higher education. But people, who spend their holidays learning a language, are usually higher educated. Our students are doctors, programmers, managers, entrepreneurs etc. Our courses have a challenging pace and are designed for higher educated people.
That doesn’t mean that you can’t participate at our courses if you didn’t finish university… If you are lower educated, or you are extremely slow in learning languages… count on spending more time on your homework and a decent preparation prior to the course (with the help of our e-learning package) will definitely help.
If you come for 2 sessions or more, you might think about re-doing a level if the pace is too high, before going to the next level.
We don’t provide assistance in getting a visa
Most nationalities do not need a visa to come to the Netherlands.
If your nationality requires a visa to travel to the Netherlands, please make sure you’re able to arrange a visa. We do not provide visa support, so that means that you need a company or a private person who are able to provide a visa invitation letter and who can guarantee your stay and financial means.
You can’t book this course with a DUO-loan.
The Dutch governments provides loans to learn Dutch (for example to refugees). Our school does not work with DUO-loans. There are many language schools operating on this specific niche already. And we like to do our own thing… We want to focus on higher educated people who want to learn Dutch fast, and we like a mix of all nationalities. We don’t have the capacity to deal with related bureaucratic procedures, as we prefer to spend all our time on creating new and interesting learning materials.
Our courses are very intensive. You meet a lot of new people. During 2 weeks or more you intensively study together, live together and spend time together outside the classes. That may require a lot of energy, also psychologically. We sometimes see that for some people it can be a little overwhelming. And for some people it can be even too much… What one person experiences as a very relaxing language holiday, can cause stress to someone else… It is very difficult for us to tell when you should and should not book a course, but think twice if you have suffered from depressions or psychological disorders…
TIP: be fresh at the start of the course, if possible avoid a jetlag at the start of the course… if you travel from far, consider arriving a bit earlier… and don’t plan that busy work week right before the course (if you can). And the better you are prepared with our online materials… the smoother your start will be. That will give you a good feeling at the beginning of your course.
You don’t find a reason above NOT to book our course? Well, then probably this course is made for you!
For which level I should book?
It’s important to sign up for the right level and determine your level when you book your course.
You can read the level descriptions here.
- Doing one of the level tests when signing up is mandatory.
- If you want to sign up for a different level than indicated in the test result: an oral intake is mandatory.
Because our groups are usually full, it is important to realise that changing levels less than 4 weeks prior to the start of the course is not possible.
For the best possible advice, we recommend to do both tests and the oral intake:
STEP 1. Do the multiple choice level test
STEP 2. Do the extra level test
STEP 3. Call us for an oral intake / advise after you did the tests (+31648074618)
What is the deadline for application?
There is no specific deadline for application. As long as we have availability, you can book the course.
Attention: some Summer courses may reach full booking quite early. If you can come only on a specific date or want want a specific type of accommodation, it is recommended not to wait too long to book your course.
Please also note that the pricing can change: for the best price, sign up with the eary-bird discount.
When is the next course?
– the course dates for the next Summer School (July/August) on dutchsummerschool.nl
– the course dates for the next Winter School (January/February) on dutchwinterschool.nl
– the course dates for the virtual classrooms (year-round) on www.learndutch.org/learn-dutch-virtual-classroom/
* update 2022/2023: due to the increased demand in doing our courses in Drenthe, we offer additionally courses in March / April / May / October / November; the dates are published on the Summer and Winter School websites
What if... Corona-virus?
- At this moment there are no specific regulations in the Netherlands with respect to COVID-19.
- We follow the following guidelines: classrooms are ventilated / students who have symptoms are asked to do a test before coming to class.
- In case the situation changes: we will folow the government safety rules.
- In case the course can’t take place due to a lockdown: we’ll offer a full refund or to reschedule your course to a different date.
- For other situations: our regular cancellation terms apply.
Choosing Amsterdam or Drenthe?
Choosing Amsterdam or Drenthe?
We run our program on 2 locations. The content of the course is absolutely the same (books, methods) but the atmosphere is totally different. So the question, which one should you choose?
In Drenthe there is a strong group atmosphere. Students spend time together outside the classes. 95% of the people who book a course in Drenthe, stay at the language campus (located at a holiday park). Despite the different individual backgrounds (nationalities, ages, religions), in Drenthe we usually are able to create 1 large community.
In Amsterdam you won’t find this kind of group atmosphere. The majority of the students see each other only in class. That has a few reasons: only one third of the students books a room in our residence (others already live in Amsterdam or other nearby cities). But also, the people who book the course with accommodation, have each their individual reasons to visit Amsterdam. One wants to visit all the museums, while someone else wants to party. So there is no one large group, but there might be smaller groups of students with a similar mindset who do things together.
Is this the first time for you in the Netherlands? You want to see a lot? Not only Amsterdam but all the main cities? Then perhaps Amsterdam is the right location for you. With public transport you reach cities like Rotterdam, Utrecht and The Hague easily. Please note: our programme is very intensive, the time for sightseeing during the course is limited. If you want to see a lot, you might want to consider a few extra days in the Netherlands before/after the course. Our recommendation: let this not be the main factor choosing the your location. There are a lot of students who book Drenthe and then have a few extra days in one of the cities.
Our Amsterdam classrooms are conference rooms in a business center. Our Drenthe classrooms are in a house style setting (kitchen/living room)… gezellig!
Amsterdam is an expensive city. The Student Hotel offers a single room with private bathroom (+ shared kitchen + free use of a bike) for an absolutely super price. You won’t find anything cheaper in Amsterdam!
Nevertheless… Drenthe is still a lot cheaper… and depending on what type of room your prefer (single or shared) it can make quite a difference on the total price.
So, if you are on a budget, then consider Drenthe.
Cancellation terms – accommodation
Amsterdam – From 2022, the Amsterdam programme does not offer accommodation anymore. The reason that we don’t offer this as a part of the package is the cancellation policy of the hotel that is not in line with the NRTO general conditions. You can book the hotel directly at The Student Hotel – Amsterdam West.
Drenthe – contrary to the program in Amsterdam we are able to offer the same cancellation terms for course and accommodation. And in case of a situation where in-person training is not possible due to government regulations, you will be fully refunded for both course and accommodation.
Drenthe – 9 days of class, 11 nights of accommodation
Amsterdam – 10 days of class, (best rate when booking 14 nights of accommodation)
Amsterdam is a great city. It’s an international city, focussed on tourists and expats… If your goal is to speak Dutch, that can be a disadvantage sometimes. The Dutch people in Amsterdam are used to talking in English to foreigners… It might require some perseverance to have them speak Dutch with you (we provide batches to make that easier). On the contrary, Dutch people at the country side are less used to speaking English, and they usually have more patience than people in a fast city. Therefore, our program in Drenthe might be a better option if your goal is to practise your Dutch in shops, restaurants and with people on the street.
Nature vs city
In Drenthe you are surrounded by nature (fields, forest, lakes). Some people really become very relaxed… which helps a lot when you need to focus on your studies.
But Amsterdam has parks… and some people like to do their homework at Starbucks.
Leaving your daily life behind.
Some people live in Amsterdam and therefore book a course in Amsterdam.
Some people live in Amsterdam and therefore book a course in Drenthe.
The advantage of leaving your home and going to a different place to study: you leave your daily life behind which allows you to focus 100%.
You know Amsterdam, but you don’t know Drenthe
A lot of people book Amsterdam, because they know it. And Drenthe they don’t know. No idea to get there, no idea what to expect… well, watch this video that we made with our students:
Our school in Amsterdam is more like a ‘normal language school’. You go to class, you do your homework… and if you’re open for it, you will find some friends with whom you can do things together outside the classes. We only have a few social activities (which are attended usually by 25-30% of the students).
Drenthe is much more of an ‘experience’… the real feeling of being at a camp… a language learning camp for adults. We have more social activities (which are usually attented by 85-95% of the students). And 95% of the students books a course with accommodation.
We have many students who visit us more than once. We have also students who studied on both locations. Most of them prefer Drenthe.
Till when it is possible to book the early-bird rate?
It is possible to book with the early bird rate:
– for the Dutch Summer School – until the 31 March
– for the Dutch Winter School – until the 30 October
More information in the ‘prices’ section on the website.
How and when to pay?
You will get a payment link when your course is confirmed (usually within 24 hours after making the application).
The payment terms:
– within 2 weeks if the reservation is made more than 2 months prior to commencement
– within 1 week if the reservation is made between 2 weeks and 2 months prior to commencement
– within 2 days if the reservation is made less than 2 weeks prior to commencement
You can pay per bank transfer, per credit card or with iDEAL.
How many students?
Our Summer School atracts usually around 300-350 participants.
Our Winter School atracts usually around 150-200 participants.
Usually there are approximately 40-60 students at the same time at one location.
What’s the age of participants?
We have students of all ages:
– 30% of our participants is below 25
– 40% between 25-40
– 30% is above 40
The minimum age for participation is 18 years. We are willing to accept students above 16, in case the parents write a special letter declaring that the student behaves like an adult, is independent, able to travel and cook by him/herself, or if the parent travels together with the student.
Where do the students come from?
Middle & South America: 15%
Middle East: 3%
Australia & New Zealand: 2%
I am Dutch/Belgian, but I don’t speak the language. Is this for me?
Yes, of course!
About 10% of our students has the Dutch nationality, but never learned to speak it. Typically children from a transnational marriage, with 1 of the parents being Dutch; who always lived outside the Netherlands.
How to get to Drenthe?
Some people are worried about booking Drenthe, because they think it’s difficult to get there. No reason for that!
In the first week of June we send a briefing letter with exact instructions on how to get to Drenthe. It’s just 2 hours from the Amsterdam Airport and you reach it by train (railway station Beilen) with 1 stop-over. At the arrival and departe day, we have a driver available for transfers between the railway station and the resort.
Learn more here.
How to get to Amsterdam?
Amsterdam Airport is one of the largest airports of Europe. It won’t be a problem to find a convenient flight. From the airport to the student residence it’s just 20 minutes by public transport.
All participants get a briefing letter in the first week of June, with clear explanations how to get to the residence and school.
If you are looking for a budget flight, please check Eindhoven airport used by airlines like Ryanair and Wizzair. There is a direct train from Eindhoven to Amsterdam (less than 1,5 hour).
How much homework?
Count on approximately 3-4 hours of homework per day.
For a good result, it is extremely important that you review the lesson of today, before you enter the classroom tomorrow.
Please note: you can use the #dutchgrammar videos to prepare for the course. A good preparation can boost your results. And you can work a bit ahead prior to the course in order to reduce the self study load during the course.
Are meals included?
No, meals are not included. In all our residences, there is a shared kitchen that you can use to prepare meals.
Nearby grocery stores:
– 10-15 minutes by bike / 25-30 minutes walk*
* In 2023, most likely a small shop will be opened at the holiday park in Drenthe
Are flight tickets included?
No, sorry. We are a language school, not a travel agency.
Do I need a visa?
Most nationalities won’t require a visa to travel to the Netherlands for a short stay (less than 3 months).
NO VISA FOR SHORT STAY:
That counts for: EU countries, US, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, most non-EU European countries and more.
SHORT STAY VISA REQUIRED:
Countries that do require a visa: most Asian and African countries and former CIS countries (like Russia, Kazakhstan etc).
If you don’t know: please check the Dutch Migration Service.
If you already have a Schengen visa, issued by another country for the same period, you don’t need to apply for a Dutch visa.
Do you provide visa support?
No, unfortunately we don’t provide visa support letters and we don’t provide assistance in obtaining a visa.
You can register for the program if you already have a right to stay in the Netherlands, based on:
– a (temporary) residence permit
– if you have a nationality that does not require a visa for stays up to 90 days
– if you have or are able to arrange yourself a valid visa for a the Netherlands / a different Schengen country
More information here: https://www.netherlandsworldwide.nl/travel/visas-for-the-netherlands
We recommend to check official government websites for the latest information on travel bans regarding with respect to the pandemic. Don’t book a course if you’re not sure you can travel to the Netherlands.
Is there internet access?
Yes, at our residences there is free wifi access.
Cost of living?
The Netherlands is approximately equally expensive as any other Western European country. How much money you spend additionally will depend on yourself. You can make it as cheap and as expensive as you want.
In cheap grocery stores (like the German discounters Aldi and Lidl), you really don’t pay much for decent quality food. Some students are surpised to see a whole bread priced at 2 euros, bottles of soda for less than 2 euros or wine bottles for less than 4 euros. Good to know that even in the village next to our resort in Drenthe, there is a Lidl grocery store.
If you go to a bar, you will pay between 3,00 and 4,00 for a drink. The cheapest restaurants (even in Amsterdam) provide tourist meals or pizza’s for about 10 euros. But if you want quality dining, you may spend 30-40 euro on a meal in a restaurant.
Tickets for museums usually rate at 10-15 euros. Public transport: travelling within the city 1-3 euros per ride. Train tickets: 50 km approximately: 10 euros (one-way), cross the Netherlands: 30 euros (one-way).
Is there free time during the course?
Yes, the time next to the classes you can spend as you want. As long as you don’t forget to do your homework!
If we organise additional activities, participation is not obligatory.
Do I get a certificate?
Yes, we issue a certificate, when 80% of the lessons are attended.
What is the value of the certificate:
It will proove your participation. You can show your employer, put it on the wall or on your resume. You can use it as an indication when taking a language course elsewhere.
What it is not:
Our certificate will not exempt you from any exam of the Dutch government. Such as the ‘inburgeringsexamen’ (civic integration exam) or the ‘basis examen inburgering buitenland’ (Basic Civic Integration Examination Abroad). In the Netherlands, only the government can issue certificates that have legal value, and language schools can only help you to prepare for that.
Is it possible to extend my stay?
In Drenthe, we offer the option to book an extra weekend at the end of the course. So you will check-out on Monday in-stead of Friday.
Costs: check this
How to apply: complete the intake-form that we send 1 month prior to the course.
Q: Is it possible to check-in earlier?
A: No, for logistics reasons (cleaning and check-in on Monday) this is not possible.
Q: Is it possible to book a different amount of extra nights
A: No, only the full weekend. Of course, you can leave on Saturday or Sunday, but that would not influence the price.
Do you have courses in other seasons?
We run a Summer School (in July/August) and a Winter School (in January/February).
In 2022/2023: we have added extra courses in March / April / May / October / November.
We also offer year-round classes online (virtual classrooms), more information here: https://www.learndutch.org/learn-dutch-virtual-classroom/
Can I combine a course in Drenthe with a course in Amsterdam?
Yes, that is possible if you. You can always book one level at one location and the next level at the other location.
It’s also possible to do a level online (in a virtual classroom course) and then do the next level at the Summer or Winter School.
How? You book it as 2 separate courses on our website.
Are there extra discounts possible?
We offer partial refunds:
– refund 100 euros – if someone writes a blog during the stay: contact the course coordinator if you are interested
– doing a translation assignment (subtitling our elearning videos) – work/refund to be discussed
In all other situations: we do not negotiate our pricing.
Do you offer scholarships?
Are you a national and full time university student from one of the countries below?
Albania, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Kosovo, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Moldova, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Ukraine
Well, then you’re eligible for a scholarship that covers 80% of the costs of your course and accommodation.
From the founder Bart de Pau:
When I was a student, I learned Russian by myself, as I was interested in what used to be the world behind the Iron Curtain. I did not have the money to travel to Russia to stay there for a longer time. But I was lucky to meet the right people who sponsored my internship and training in St. Petersburg. That experience was essential for my later career, and it’s the reason I do what I do today.
I believe that learning a language is the ultimate way to build connections between people from different countries. A better mutual understanding will lead to a better world. The current situation in Europe shows this need even more.
I also know that university students have limited means, especially in countries where the price level is different. In that sense, there still is a difference between East and West; even though the ‘Iron Curtain’ was brought down more than 30 years ago. I’m grateful for the opportunity that I got myself from, and I want to do something in return to give other people the same chance. Besides, I want to contribute in my way in creating a better mutual understanding.
Starting form 2022, I will offer up to 5 scholarships every year for people who want to join the Dutch Summer School / Dutch Winter School.
– you are a full time university student
– you are between 18-27 years old
– you’re a national from one of the countries below AND you study at a university in one of these countries:
Albania, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Kosovo, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Moldova, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Ukraine
– you can show a proof from your university
– you haven’t lived in the Netherlands/Belgium before for a period of more than 1 year
– the scholarship is for: 1 course level including accommodation in Drenthe
– accommodation: a shared room (you stay in a double room with someone that has the same gender)
– own contribution = 150 euros, the rest is sponsored, the book you will get for free
– count on extra costs = costs for traveling to the Netherlands, 15 euros per day for food/expenses, transfer from/to the railway station (8 euros/transfer)
– high season course periods are excluded
– we ask you to write a blog about your stay in your own language (we hope to reach other people in your country, and inform them about the Netherlands and the Dutch language)
– you can do any level; from total beginner to advanced
– maximum 5 scholarships per year will be granted
How to apply?
Please complete this form.
We’ll let you know before 1st of June if the scholarship was awarded to you.
I need to do the ‘inburgeringsexamen’ (civic integration exam), can I participate?
Yes, you can. An intensive Dutch language course like ours, is a very good way to prepare.
An important note:
Our courses are focussed on acquiring Dutch language knowledge, with the goal to use it. Developing conversation skills is important. Not all students do our course with the purpose to pass an exam. Therefore, our courses are not specifically aimed at learning how to pass the exam (such as training exam questions) and covering certain additional topics (like KNS). However, that is something you can learn and practice by yourself.
Can I take a non-studying guest?
Yes, you can.
Most suitable for this purpose is Drenthe: here you can rent a holiday house for yourself and your family. There are different options available: 2-4 bedrooms, 4-8 people. Some of the houses allow to bring pets. Send us an e-mail to find out the options.
Our rooms in Amsterdam are single rooms. There are some double rooms, but in general the total cost of 2 single rooms, equals the cost of 1 double room.
What do you recommend to families?
In Drenthe, it’s also possible to rent a house. This might be an option if you plan to travel as a family and/or want to take family or friends who don’t participate in the course.
If you’re interested, please ask us for a quote and indicate:
– the period
– how many people
Can children participate?
The minimum age is 18 years.
However, if someone is just below that age, participation can be discussed. Under certain conditions we do allow:
– students below 18 years old travelling with a parent (or other adult who is responsible)
– students who are above 16 years old, in case the parents write a special letter declaring that the student behaves like an adult, is independent, able to travel and cook by him/herself
– good command of English
– familiar with learning foreign languages
Our course is adult education: based on the idea that the student has an inner motivation to learn Dutch. We do not force people to attend classes, or to do the homework. We just expect that. This is not a summer camp under full supervision. We have no resources to provide extra attention to youngsters, to correct behaviour or to take responsibility for what they do outside the classroom.
If you are a parent, and thinking about sending your child(ren), feel free to contact us for advice.
Do you work with DUO loans?
No, unfortunately, we don’t work with DUO-loans.
What is the timetable of the lessons?
Timetable of the lessons
Please find the timetable here.
What are the arrival and departure days (for the room)?
Drenthe – Summer:
– arrival Monday (check-in: after 15:00), departure Friday (check-out before 10:00).
– welcome event: arrival Monday at 19:30
Drenthe – Rest of the year:
– arrival Friday (check-in: after 15:00), departure Monday (check-out before 10:00).
– welcome event: arrival Friday at 20:00
Do you work with agents?
We prefer to work directly with students. Direct contact is important for logistics reasons and level assessment. We aim at having the best possible prices. That means a low margin: not sufficient to pay agent commissions, that are usual in the market.