Learn Dutch among tech giants

8 May 2019
door Regina Coeli

Ayse, Prathibha and Boon round off their third short Dutch training course on the High Tech Campus with a presentation in Dutch. They speak slowly, choosing their words carefully, but their Dutch is understandable. Now that they have completed this course, they have had a total of ten weeks of training—three evenings per series with breaks in between. And they look forward to continuing.

The three expats started with a three-week beginners’ course a short time ago. It was their first time learning with Regina Coeli, which has had its own training location on the High Tech Campus for some time now. All three of them chose Regina Coeli thanks to the advice of their employers or partners.

When in Rome, do as the Romans do

Malaysian Boon Chong Cheah is an electronics engineer working for AMS in Eindhoven. He has been living in the Netherlands for eight months now and wanted to learn Dutch. “When in Rome, do as the Romans do. I want to integrate into society as quickly as possible, but I don’t need to learn Dutch for my job.”

For Prathibha Jain from India, the situation is a bit different. “I work for Amplexor and am now deployed on projects for which I don’t need to speak Dutch. But I would also like to work on Dutch projects, which is why I’d like to learn to speak good Dutch.”

You get to know the culture through the language

Ayse Selcen is a doctor from Turkey and has been living in the Netherlands for a number of months because her husband found a good job here. “I’d like to work here as a doctor, but for that I have to learn to speak Dutch very well. I’m currently looking into getting a PhD here; learning the language is the best way to get to know the culture.”

Challenged to speak Dutch

Regina Coeli’s training sessions on the High Tech Campus mainly take place in the evenings and during afternoon breaks so students do it alongside their jobs. The blend of work and a course is a tough one. Prathibha: “Doing all the homework between the lessons takes some time. On the other hand, the trainers are incredibly enthusiastic and helpful and the lessons are really fun. Sometimes we play games, and the language trainers challenge me to speak Dutch.”

Boon agrees with Prathibha. “And it’s only for three or four weeks at a time. Then life returns to normal again,” he laughs. The short training courses ensure that expats can start at different levels several times a year. All of Regina Coeli’s students enjoy the flexibility.

Having a spontaneous conversation is still difficult

The three participants do not need to speak Dutch in their everyday lives. It is even a challenge to practise to because of the international environment they work in. “Everyone at work speaks English,” says Prathibha. “Now and then I have informal chats with colleagues, but I prefer to think about things beforehand so I can find the words more quickly. I still find having spontaneous conversations in Dutch difficult.” Ayse shares: “In daily life I don’t get many opportunities to practice Dutch. That’s why I watch a lot of Dutch television.”

Speak, speak and speak some more

At the end of their third training stretch, the three students discuss what they would like to do during the next training series with their trainer, Wendy: speak, speak, and speak some more. “I know Dutch grammar fairly well, but I still find it difficult to speak Dutch,” explains Boon. “The training is really very good. Better than other courses people I know have taken. I’m really enjoying learning Dutch and notice that I’m making fast progress.”

Learn Dutch on the High Tech Campus

Regina Coeli provides short, intensive Dutch language courses on the High Tech Campus in Eindhoven. The training courses are based on the conviction that you learn better and faster when you come into a flow.

Read more about the Dutch courses on the High Tech Campus.

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