Free language course attracts hundreds

If you started studying in Groningen this year as a Bachelor’s, Master’s or PhD student, you can take free Dutch language lessons.

Last year a 26-hour course would have set you back €160, while a 50-hour course would have cost you €310! However, starting this year, they’re both free.

‘The course is really popular’, says Jasper van de Kamp of the Language Centre. ‘We have a lot of student applicants every year, but this year there are hundreds. This proves that a lot of international students want to learn Dutch.’


The fear that students might be less motivated now the course is free is dispelled by Berna de Boer, Head of the Dutch section. ‘Of course there are dropouts, but most of them stop due to problems with their timetable. Not because they didn’t care or were put off by the course fee’, she says. You can’t argue with that! Students completing the 50-hour course will earn five ECTS credit points, while the 26-hour course will earn them two extra ECTS.


Since German is a lot like Dutch, there is a special course for native German students. ‘They are able to learn the language much quicker, so within the same period they are able to reach a higher level of proficiency’, explains Van de Kamp. At the end of the course native German students are expected to have a CEFR B1 level, while other international students and PhD students should reach the A2 level.

Students who want to learn Dutch can sign up for the regular course starting in February in November and December. Once enough students have signed up, a new evening group will be created.