Student facilities

Fostering Learning and Inclusion: the Language Centre at Maastricht University

Studying in a language that is not your mother tongue can be challenging. That's why the Language Centre at Maastricht University is dedicated to breaking down language barriers. This centre of expertise provides tailored solutions for students facing language challenges, delivered by specialised and knowledgeable language teachers. The Language Centre offers a range of language training courses, including academic language skills and intercultural communication skills.

But the Language Centre is not just for students. They also support university staff, professionals, and companies outside the university. In this way, the Language Centre actively contributes to an inclusive region with strong and sustainable human connections, deep understanding and many opportunities to thrive in an international environment.

One of the people who has benefited from the Language Centre is international student Alaa Aljbawi. She was born in Syria and spent most of her life in Saudi Arabia. Now she is studying for the Research Master of Drug Development and Neurohealth at Maastricht University.

I was looking for a place where I could learn Dutch fast from professional and experienced teachers. I came across the Language Centre’s website, where I read that they teach Dutch from level A1 to C1. I reached out and went for an intake interview, after which I started classes for A2 level Dutch. In less than a year, I finished A2, B1 and B2.” 

Alaa says her experience with the Language Centre was very positive. “The whole process was very smooth and well-organised. The teachers are very experienced. We worked on the four competencies – listening, speaking, reading and writing – and I feel strong on all of them.”

The pacing was perfect. It was pretty intense, and there was a lot of self-study, but that was what I wanted. There still was plenty of interactive study with other students as well. We worked in small groups, which was very nice.” 

The certificates you get from the Language Centre are very widely recognised. When I add them to my CV, people can trust that I was taught Dutch in the best way possible. I also liked the idea that at the end of level B2, I could do the state exam. The whole course prepared me very well for that.”

Outside of the university, Alaa feels that learning Dutch has been very helpful in day-to-day life. “I enjoy having conversations in Dutch. Besides, when you speak the language, everything is different. It is easier to immerse yourself in the culture, and Dutch people accept you on a different level. I definitely feel like I belong.”

Text: Letterdesk
Photography: Joris Hilterman

Alaa Talencentrum

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