Dutch Courses (Or: Finding the right one in The Hague)

So Marco and I have sat down and started looking more seriously at Dutch courses. In The Hague it seems the choice (for us) is between two: Direct Dutch and Volksuniversiteit (aka something like “People’s University”).

Both organizations have a range of courses at the beginning – for example Voltsuniversiteit has an absolute beginners course (A1) and a half beginners course (A2), whereas Direct Dutch has a beginners basic course (A1) and a beginners elementary course (A2 I assume). Both require taking a short oral test if you are not starting at the very beginning, but that is to be expected (and makes sense).

One of the reasons we are thinking about choosing Volksuniversiteit is because of when the class starts. For Direct Dutch, the intermediate class would start February 6th, but the beginning elementary course (which they might put me in as my verbal skills leave much to be desired) starts March 19. I don’t really want to wait that long. On the other hand, at Volksuniversiteit, the two A2 sessions start February 6 or 12th.

The other consideration is where in The Hague the courses would be offered. The university has various locations depending on the class you are looking for, while Direct Dutch just has one location at Laan van Nieuw Oost-Indië 275, so I do not have to switch buildings every three or four months.

On the other hand, if I look at the university course, I have a choice of Tuesday mornings (9;15 – 12:30PM) at Sweelinckplein 42 or Tuesday evenings (7:00 – 10:15PM) at Oostduinlaan 50. And then at each you have the choice between a bus or a tram, and one or the other is closer but might require a transfer. It’s all about choices.

So sometime soon, I wil have to go get more information and I have to take the oral test to double check what level I am. 😉 I expect A2 but we will see how it goes…

Categories: Courses, Learning Dutch | Tags: | 7 Comments

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7 thoughts on “Dutch Courses (Or: Finding the right one in The Hague)

  1. Marco

    If anybody has any good recommendations for organisations or such, feel free to share 🙂
    For now nothing is set in stone..

  2. I know they have very good and quite cheap language courses in Leiden (at the university, I guess). Not exactly close to The Hague, but you can still give it a try!

  3. Look and see if your local Gemeente has a ‘Taalwijzer’. Amsterdam has them, and offers free Dutch language courses for legal immigrants, as long as you pass a few basic learning ability tests. Both my wife and I are getting a year of 3 hour Dutch classes 3x a week, and will take the NT2 when we finish, and it won’t cost us a cent. Even the books are included.

    • I looked it up and it seems that The Hague does not have the same offer, and that the Tallwijzer is for people who reside in Amsterdam. It’s okay though.

      Did you start already? What level are you guys currently in? What do you think of it (is it fun)? 🙂

      • We started in September actually at 3 nights a week. After a few weeks, more people joined in, and they split our class into two. Unfortunately, the teacher we got put with is not very good. She just lectures at us for 3 hours. We’ve had to ask her a few times to let us actually practice our Dutch in class, which she usually agrees to. Since the Christmas break, we’re down to only 2 nights a week now, and our class has again grown too large, but there are no more rooms to split us into, so we don’t get much individual help. When we had class 3 nights a week, we had a different teacher on the 3rd night who was wonderful. Unfortunately, when we dropped that 3rd night, we dropped her as well.

        We’d had some Dutch classes before, both with a private tutor and at the Volksuniversiteit. The class at the Volksuniversiteit was horrible. The teacher was a nice man, but could not teach, and we didn’t learn much of anything. I’d say I’m currently at an A2/B1 level. At this point, I know all of the important grammar rules, and a lot of the less important ones. It’s just working on vocabulary and sentence structure.

  4. Thanks for your comments. I hope it gets more enjoyable and beneficial soon. Admittedly I was an English major so grammar tends to be one of my favorite areas. ;p

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