Dutch Culture and Language

The Dutch Culture and Language (DCL) programme is organised specifically for University of California students who are spending a semester abroad at Maastricht University. The two-week orientation programme offers students a chance to immerse themselves in Dutch language, history, art, politics and more. The programme highlights a number of unique Dutch features that go far beyond the traditional Dutch stereotypes of clogs, windmills and tulips: from state-of-the-art water management to the role of the Netherlands in the European Union; from the complicated Dutch history during WWII to famous Dutch art.


The DCL programme combines academic lectures with interesting site visits, excursions and movies that bring the topics alive. Dutch politics for example, is taught on location in the Hague during a guided visit of the Dutch House of Representatives; visits to the American WWII cemetery in Margraten and the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam illustrate the painful history of the second world war.

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Programme dates:

Duration Semester (2 weeks)
Spring 2019: Friday 11- Friday 25 January 2019

Courses and curriculum

For each topic, we found renown academics and professionals willing to share their knowledge and enthusiasm: a lecture about the Dutch Golden Age of Painting for example is given by one of the former curators of the Dutch 'Rijksmuseum' in Amsterdam; the Head of the Hydro-informatics and Knowledge Management Department at UNESCO-IHE in Delft shares his knowledge of the latest Dutch water-management achievements.

The DCL programme prepares students for a semester in the Netherlands, so an important part is dedicated to helping students get comfortable in Dutch society. During a five-day language course, students get the opportunity to acquire the basics of Dutch language and understand more about typical Dutch values and customs. This prepares students for common situations like Dutch birthdays (extend your congratulations to the partner and family), meeting new people (when to offer a kiss on the cheek) or how to keep appointments (please be punctual). In addition, the DCL programme offers practical assistance with every day activities like grocery shopping and using public transport.

In two intensive weeks, the Dutch Culture and Language programme will give you the in-depth knowledge of your new home country that normally only emerges at the end of your semester abroad. With most of the common obstacles gone, you will find that settling in goes a lot faster: it will be easier to make friends, to get around, to participate in local events and to focus on your classes. With DCL you will feel like a local at the start of your semester abroad!

Website partner - University of California



Suzanne van der Laan

International relations officer
Monday - Friday

+ 31 43 388 4838