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Introduction to Dutch Studies



Language acquisition is one of the main objectives in the first year of the Dutch Studies curriculum. However, learning a language is far more interesting when you study the culture in the same time. The Department of Dutch Studies uses a broad definition of the notion ‘Culture’, and therefore a wide range of subjects are studied in our BA-program: linguistics, literature and (art) history.
This course aims at giving a first introduction to Dutch culture and society. It also offers a first taste of what it is like to study Dutch Studies. Many different subjects will pass in review: Geography – History – Population – Economics – the Multi-Cultural Society – Politics – the History of Dutch Language – Dutch as a World Language – Second Language Research – Dutch Literature – Migrant Literature – Harry Mulisch’ The Assault (novel and film)
To stimulate students to see more of the Netherlands than just Leiden and Amsterdam, an individual fieldtrip, rounded off with a City Report (2000 words), is part of the course.

Teaching method

Individual field trip and City Report

Admission requirements


Course objectives

After this course, students

  • have basic knowledge of various topics of Dutch Culture and Society

  • have a first impression of the field of research of Dutch Language and Literature

  • have basic knowledge of the city they visit for their City Report

  • are able to write a report

Course load

Total Study load is 140 hours:

  • 25 class meeting (incl. test)

  • 35 class preparation

  • 25 individual field trip and city report

  • 55 preparation for the test

Required reading

Reader – available at the Studiepunt Letteren.
Other materials available on Blackboard.
Harry Mulisch, The Assault (novel, translated in many languages).

Test method

City Report 25%.
Written test with essay questions 75%.

Time table

Click here for the time table of Dutch Studies.


Coordinator: Mrs. L. Winkelmolen (
Study coordinator Dutch Studies: Mrs. I. Zagar (


Please contact the study coördinator.


Blackboard is used in this course to:

  • give general and detailed information on the course

  • put course materials at student’s disposal

  • give sample questions for the test

  • communicate with students if necessary
    Please enroll in Blackboard.


This course is compulsory for Dutch Studies students.