Céline Schouten, a teacher at the UT Language Centre, explains that the summer course is a response to a high demand for Dutch courses: ‘During the last couple of years there have been a lot of people on waiting lists. Moreover, a recent survey showed that international students have troubles adjusting to life in the Netherlands and making contact with Dutch students. This is also due to the language barrier, which is why we want to give them the opportunity to start studying Dutch as soon as possible.’
Order beer or bitterballen
The Dutch Intensive Summer Course will start on the 12th of August and last 10 days. All international students are welcome to sign up. ‘It is open to everyone, not only first year students. We want to give everyone the chance to get to the A1 level so they can order a beer or “bitterballen” or get someone’s phone number at the Kick-In,’ says Schouten.
Because the main idea behind the course is to help students ‘find their way and meet new people’, it will also have an important social aspect. ‘Student assistants will be involved and – after the classes in the morning – we will offer homework support in the afternoons, as well as activities in the weekend,’ says the teacher. ‘But the goal is to get the participants to the A1 level, so it will require work and there will be a test at the end.’
Besides the intensive course, the UT Language Centre is also offering the ‘Dutch is fun’ which is also held in August before the Kick-In, but focuses more on getting to know the Dutch culture. Apart from these summer initiatives, ‘the general course offer on Dutch and English will also be expanded during the academic year in order to meet students’ needs’, informs the UT Language Centre.