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Nuffic developing Dutch language game

The Dutch government has committed financial support for development of a game that will give international students a head-start on learning the Dutch language and Dutch culture before they arrive in the Netherlands.

More Dutch students are gaining international experience through learning languages, taking part in an exchange abroad or using an international curriculum. Photo: Nuffic

"English turns from a blessing into a curse once students stop studying"

In its early stages of development the game is set to be rolled out in 2015 by non-profit organisation Nuffic as an extension of the Make it in the Netherlands! programme that aims to promote the country as a welcoming study and employment destination.

International students are attracted to the country because nearly half of all Master’s programmes and many Bachelor’s programmes are currently offered in English.  However, Nuffic spokesperson Guus Staats told The PIE News that the common use of English also has a downside.

“It has been shown that speaking Dutch is necessary to achieve genuine social integration”

“It has been shown that speaking Dutch is necessary to achieve genuine social integration,” he said.  “And speaking English is often not enough to find a job in the Netherlands, especially among SMEs. English therefore turns from a blessing into a curse once students stop studying.”

Nuffic hopes that once they arrive to the Netherlands, students will be able transition to traditional Dutch courses on campus and will find it easier to mix with Dutch student associations, find part-time work and build a strong relationship with the country.

Students will be able to play the game on their smartphones and will be awarded points for advancing though levels as they expand their knowledge of Dutch society and language.

Last year, 91,000 international students studied in the Netherlands mostly coming from Germany, China and Belgium.

Nuffic said it will promote the game at its eight Netherland Education Support Offices (NESO) in Brazil, India, Mexico, Russia, China, Indonesia, Korea and Thailand as well as through the Studyinholland and Careerinholland web portals.

Founded in 1952, Nuffic supports internationalisation in higher education, research and professional education in the Netherlands and abroad.

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