ACCESS NL > Education in the Netherlands > Learning Dutch > General questions on learning Dutch > Who can attend classes at a volksuniversiteit?

General questions on learning Dutch

I am an expat. Are there any government subsidised Dutch language courses available?

Is it important to learn Dutch? I am in doubt as to whether I should learn Dutch as everyone here seems to speak English.

What is the most effective way for me to learn Dutch? I am not a natural linguist, so I might find it hard to learn Dutch.

It is not compulsory for me to learn Dutch but I would like to learn it. Can you suggest some good language institutes and learning centres for me?

Who can attend classes at a volksuniversiteit?

Volksuniversiteiten (Dutch public universities) are open to everyone regardless of previous training, age or background. Courses are followed in groups in an informal atmosphere. Although the wide variety of courses offered at a volksuniversiteit (Dutch public university) are taught by expert teachers, they do not lead to a diploma or degree. There are about one hundred Dutch public universities, reaching about 200,000 students annually. All are autonomous, non-profit foundations. Some local governments have subsidised these schools with financial or material aid, so fees from school to school will vary. You can find schools near you at

It should be noted that the courses offered by these public universities can sometimes be quite intensive. Therefore, students who have little or no experience in studying other languages before starting to learn Dutch may experience difficulty in keeping pace with the progression of the course.

Can I teach myself Dutch?

Is there any organisation that can help me practice my Dutch and help me feel at home?