Universiteit Leiden

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Dutch Studies (BA)

For international students who want to not just develop true fluency in the Dutch language, but also dive into the culture, history and mind-set of the Netherlands, there is no better place than the Leiden University bachelor's programme in Dutch Studies!

Why study Dutch Studies?

The historical, cultural and philosophical impact of the Netherlands and the Dutch language is internationally significant – but while virtually everyone can recognise a painting from Vincent van Gogh, few can properly pronounce his name! Hence the unique Leiden bachelor in Dutch Studies: the only programme in the Netherlands for international students who wish to specialise in the Dutch language, culture, history and society at a high academic level.

One-year programme 

Are you unable to follow the full three-year bachelor’s Dutch Studies? If so, you have the option to follow our one-year programme. This programme is less comprehensive, and allows you to combine to combine language proficiency modules from the first or second year with other courses such as Art History and Dutch Debates.  

Read more about the one-year programme 

Why Dutch Studies at Leiden University?

  • The only academic programme in the Netherlands that offers international students the opportunity to specialise in Dutch language and culture.
  • Language immersion for rapid proficiency: from the first semester onwards you will attend classes that are taught in Dutch.
  • Also, being part of Dutch student life will give you plenty of opportunity to get to know the Dutch and Dutch society. 
  • Flexible study options depending upon your own ambitions, and the level of Dutch you already have: from zero to relatively advanced.
  • Study in the historic city of Leiden, the international centre of Dutch studies.

Laura Pereira

First year student

Laura Pereira

"I grew up in the United States, but I have a Dutch mother, so the culture is part of my heritage. That was one of my main motivators to come to Leiden. First, I orientated online, afterwards I e-mailed someone from the programme. I couldn’t come to the official Open Day, but when I came to the Netherlands someone showed me around. It really attracted me that this course is not only about the language, but also about the culture and the history."

Ceren Spuyman

First year student

Ceren Spuyman

"I chose to study Dutch Studies because I was interested in Dutch culture. I wanted to learn more about it but wanted it to be more than just learning the language. That’s why I chose Leiden University: it’s more than just the language. I really like the mindset and the openness of the Dutch culture but I also like learning about the Dutch history and the literature."

Rick Honings


Rick Honings

"The three-year BA Dutch Studies offers international students a unique chance to gain a specialised qualification in this rich and valuable knowledge area. During the programme you will rapidly develop proficiency in the Dutch language. You will also meet many Dutch students as part of your experience studying in the Netherlands and join a lively, welcoming international classroom full of ambitious students from all over the world."

Is this the programme for you?

The unique combination of Dutch Studies and your own native language and culture will turn you into the ideal person to build intercultural connections after your study.

  • Are you fascinated with Dutch language, history and culture?
  • Do you want to learn Dutch at a high academic level, or bring your current level of Dutch to the point where you are highly fluent?
  • Do your ambitions include teaching Dutch, working in an international organisation connected to the Netherlands, or focusing on a specific aspect of Dutch for further Master study?

If your answer to those questions is ‘yes’, then Dutch Studies is for you! Check out the programme structure

Online experience Dutch Studies

Want to know if this is the right study for you? Check out our online experience and find out more. This experience consists of online mini-courses with a few assignments.
Take the online experience!

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