Hoi? Hello? Is it really important to know Dutch language to studying in Holland?

When you go abroad to study or live, one of the most concerns that you have must be the language. But in the Netherlands, one of the most fluent English speaking European countries, your concern to be able to communicate with people must be mild. However, as Dutch is the native language in Holland, how important would it be to know Dutch? Here, I share my experience related to Dutch language in Holland!

Posted by Boeun Park at Mar 16, 2017 10:45 AM


One of the most concerns about studying in abroad can be the language. If you speak the native language of the foreign country it, of course, would be easier to decide, but if not, you might need to consider learning its language.

However, in the case that you go to study in The Netherlands, the situation can be pretty much different. It is easy to find out with one googling that Dutch people are very fluent English speaker, one of the best English speaking countries as non-English native country. So at this point you must be confused, “So should I learn Dutch or not?”

Hereby, I share my experience and what I felt about learning Dutch language during last 7 months of study in Holland!


For daily life in Holland? Absolutely no problem with speaking English only!

When you are in abroad, especially non-English speaking country, you must have felt that, other than the touristic area, you can not communicate with people at the shops, restaurants or on the street. But in Holland, there is no problem with communication in daily life. At a shop and restaurant, there is always someone who can help you out in English. On the street, not only students but also older people can speak English to help you to find a location. 

So for general communication in daily life? Only English could be enough!


For studying in Holland? I might want to learn Dutch!

For studying in Holland, speaking Dutch could be little more necessary than the daily living. Although master program in Holland is taught in English, you will get to know Dutch students and become friends with them! Of course, Dutch students speak Dutch when they speak to each other. There is no problem with this as they quickly switch to English when they notice that you are in the conversation as well. It is like, poof! so easy and fast!

However, Dutch student association or some other student events in a university are different story. Dutch student association, called fraternity, takes huge part of student life in Holland. They are usually set up from Bachelor study, recruiting and organizing group in a purpose of socializing. They make friends from fraternities and it usually becomes life-long friendship. As it starts from freshman year of Bachelor, it is mostly only for Dutch students or Dutch speaking people.

And although in many internationalizing Dutch universities most of student events such as company visits, job fairs or special lecture/lunch are organized in English, there are sometimes some events that are only for Dutch speakers.

So my conclusion is, that there is no problem with speaking English only for studying in Holland but if you want to understand the Dutch culture and people better and make more Dutch friends, knowing Dutch language can be important.


For working or staying in Holland for longer period? Knowing Dutch language can be necessary!

Although there are so many international companies and organizations that you can work in English in Holland, speaking and understanding Dutch can become critical when you get a job. For those job positions that you don’t need to speak Dutch, of course the competition can be harder than Dutch speaking requiring jobs. And even in the position that you only need to speak English, the task given to you can be different than the people who can speak Dutch.

It does not mean that you can not get a job without knowing Dutch language, but it could be little harder to get a job than for the Dutch speaking people.

In a case of living longer period in Holland, knowing Dutch can be also important for communicating with Dutch people and getting used to their culture. For instance, it can happen for you to have a Dutch partner. You will be introduced to his/her Dutch friends and family. In this case, knowing Dutch language can be very important for understanding them better and building stronger bond. Not only in this particular case, in general, knowing their language helps you to understand the true Dutch culture and people.


Hereby I’m finishing my post regarding Dutch language for now, but I promise I will come back with this topic but more about how hard/easy to learn Dutch language!

Do you want to know more about my experience with Dutch language? Or do you also have a special experience with Dutch language?

Please leave it as a comment below!

Posted by Boeun Park at Mar 16, 2017 10:45 AM
Milad says:
Mar 17, 2017 04:14 PM
Thanks you and i hope you'll finish next topc soon.
Adam says:
Mar 17, 2017 11:43 PM
Which way of learning Dutch language do you find best? Are there special schools for students trying to learn Dutch from the beginning?
Boeun Park says:
Mar 18, 2017 02:39 PM
Thank you for your comments!
And Adam, I will deal with that topic in my next blog post about "How to learn Dutch language studying in Holland?"
Thank you for your interest!
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