In the previous blog entry, I mentioned my husband and I decided to take part of camp for learning Dutch. Then, we travel to Drenthe, Northern Netherlands.
It was really long trip reaching Drenthe. It took us 3 hours from my residence, Den Haag. However, this 3 hours-long trip was not totally bad, it gave me time to review a text book which I borrowed from the library and enjoy the view from the train. Most importantly, it helps us detach from our daily life.
Once my husband and I finally arrived at the station, Beilen, we really felt we came far because of unfamiliar landscape. Provincial place reminded me the life of the Philippines. We stayed in Bicol region, southern Luzon Island for 1-2 years before we "came back" here in Netherlands.
It was a bright and sunny day. I finally feel warm since this summer in Netherlands is colder than previous year
We were headed for the our residential/learning place for two weeks, Vakantiepark Het Timmerholf by a car. We asked the organization to arrange car to fetch us at the station prior to our date of arrival. So, it makes us easy because there are not too much transport options from the station.
In very short trip between the station to the accommodation, we were with one participant from the U.S. We were quite impressed that she actively spoke to the driver in Dutch. We though she must be in the advance class. But surprisingly, she is one of our classmates in A1-A2. Hummm, she seems quite good..
At 8 pm, we had a welcome drink, which was informed via email.
Mr. Bart, directer of the institute welcomed us and also gave us certain pressure (in good way). We should fully attend and do not miss any assignments. We all here know that we came to study Dutch but the short speech reminded us very well to study hard.
Shortly after the speech, we started our welcome drink and dinner/BBQ which the organization hosted. All of the students of different levels are mixed. The occasion allowed participants communicate in the very friendly ambiance.
During the welcome drink, I could converse with several participants. It was nice to hear the reasons why participants decided to study Dutch. Why not French, German?
Some stays here for the study, some are going to enroll University here. Then, they need to know. Some are mother or father is Dutch, blood connection can be a strong reason.
Husband is Dutch.
Most likely, participants have connections with Dutch. But there are people who learn Dutch simply because of fascination. Some expects more job opportunity.
By the way, I always want to argue that husband has less fascination to learn wife's language. Yes, it is because wife usually migrate husband's country then wives have more necessity to study it for their daily needs. But I hope husband thinks importance of learning loved one's language. I met many Japanese men married to Filipina and stayed in the Philippines but they use only English (sorry, but yes, I bit accuse these people! )
The length of course are various, 2 weeks, 4 weeks, 6 weeks and 8 weeks...My husband and I chose 2 weeks but how I wished to stay there for 8 weeks.
In the Philippines, there are many English language school, then some schools do not accept students if they stay only one month. Minimal stay is 2 months. And JICA (Japan International Cooperate Agency) gives intensive language training for 2-3 months before volunteers are deployed. So, for 2 weeks, it is not long-enough to acquire language but it is, I believe, good starting point.
Other articles - Dutch summer school 2016 -
1. Why I need to learn Dutch?
12. Preparation-MUST do! before joining Dutch summer school
14. Epilogue: After the camp - what remains