Drenthe – Dutch Summer School 2016 (English)

Thursday 25/08/2016

Today is a final day. I feel a bit sad as I really enjoyed lectures and being in a company of so many great people. Our last class was in the morning. We learnt how to make appointment with a doctor and how to describe illness and various illness symptoms to a doctor. Linda taught us how to describe parts of our body. I was amazed how many new words I had actually already known from English language. We again practised in pairs various doctors and patients dialogs.

We played our last game, we had to ask questions about our professions. We played it outside as it was so sunny and in a class so hot. We were asked by our teacher Linda what did we learn and what we think about this course. Most favourite students activity was speaking and listening exercises. Three from our beginner’s group would like to come back next year. I was one of them. I really hope to come back next year for level 3 perhaps 4 if I really study hard during a year. It’s going to be hard with full time work and part time college study but I am determined to continue learning Dutch.

After a class and before BBQ in the evening I decided to make a last cycle trip on my Gazelle bicycle to De Kibbelkoele which is on the road from Schoonoord to Noord Sleen. It was a 50 min easy cycle (16 km). De Kibelkoele is a little gem hidden in a forest, it is a sort of a lake with large sandy beaches.

De Kibbelkoele

In the evening we had our last BBQ where we got our certificates and our last group photo was taken. It was such a great evening and it was so hard to say to a lot of people good bye. Our group wanted to thank Linda for her patience with us and our appreciation for her lectures. We got her some nice flowers with chocolates and each of us signed a card and left a little personal message to her.

Every teacher and also Bart gave a nice little speech and then a farewell party began. Many of us exchanged contact details to keep in touch. Some of us went to bed at 2 o’clock:-)

I must say I didn’t know what to expect when I arrived two weeks ago here. It turned out to be one of most adventurous and enjoyable experiences in my life. It was a great experience for me. It was fun to learn new language. I am sure I will be back next year again in August.

Tot volgend jaar!


Wednesday 24/08/2016

It’s so great outside today. My class started at 9 am. I actually prefer morning classes as there’s more leisure time afternoon and for study. We practised various dialogs and a dialog with a real estate agent – how to rent a house or flat, how to describe what kind of accommodation you are looking for, furnished, unfurnished and so on. We also watched some videos and had to write down things we saw.

Tomorrow is our last class and we took today picture of our class. It was funny as we had to face sun and all of us tried to keep face straight for a picture. Well, here’s the picture!

Dutch Summer School Beginners Class 15th – 26th August 2016



After my class I decided to cycle to Emmen, which is 27 km away. Emmen is such a beautiful town with so many shops, cafes, restaurants and museums. Old Emmen’s ZOO was in the middle of the town but it was shut down and relocated not far away from an old town centre.

It took me about 2 hrs get here on a bicycle but it was totally worth it. I practised my Dutch in a local restaurant when a waitress was taking my order. It was such a hot day today!

On my way to Emmen I came across another three Hunebeden D50, D51 in Noord Sleen and D44 in Westenesch- Emmen and two windmills one in Aalden – Jantina Hellingmolen Mill and Albertdina in Noord Sleen.

We had a mini BBQ this evening. There is one final tomorrow but because few of students are leaving straight after their classes tomorrow, there was also BBQ tonight. It was a great atmosphere and I got to know some students I haven’t met before as they were in different classes. It was fun. I left early as I had homework to do and was also tired. My last class tomorrow starts at 9 am.


Tuesday 23/08/2016

I can’t believe that half of the course is already gone. I feel I learnt quite a lot so far. I got used to to an intensive studying and doing homework.

The beginners class didn’t start till 13.00 hrs today. The weather was not good, other roommates were in their classes. I practised some exercises I had difficulties with in previous lessons – the personal nouns as objects and the adjectives.

We reviewed our homeworks with our teacher Linda and quite a lot of questions were asked by some of my fellow students. We played a game where we had to find each other with help of opposite words such as long vs small.

Today’s lesson was a conversation in a clothing shop. We also practiced some listening exercises from youtube such as listening to a song and finding certain words in a text of the song.

We learnt about the demonstrative pronouns which I found a bit confusing. I know I will have to work a bit harder on this subject. As a homestudy we had to learn about the prepositions, the negation and the modal verb hooven. Luckily our teacher always review our homestudy at the beginning of a new lesson and ask if we understood it well or at all.


Monday 22/08/2016

I had a class afternoon today. It was rainy in the morning and as I didn’t study yesterday, I studied for two hours in the morning. I reviewed all five lessons and looked at all words I should have known by know, some of them I completely forgot of course. I reviewed my #dutchgrammar notes and did some listening exercises from a website.

Today’s afternoon class was intensive. We practised a conversation in a restaurant, we practised various dialogs, how to order in a restaurant, how to pay and how to tip in a restaurant and we also learnt some grammar – the modal verbs.

A lot of homestudy was actually also about the modal verbs. We were asked to write an invitation to our friends inviting them to a party or to a dinner. It was a good exercise combined with all what we already should know from previous lessons.


Sunday 21/08/2016

Today is a day off. I already made plans to cycle to Assen which is about 20 km away from here. I left at 10.30 am and was back at 15.00. Just in time as it started rainy.

I liked Assen a lot. It is a capital of Drenthe region with many historical buildings. There is also a museum dedicated to this region but I didn’t go to visit this museum. Instead I walked through the town. There are many shops and shopping centres, cafes and restaurants.


The rest of the day I spent talking to my roommates and went for a coffee to a restaurant in our resort. There was not much to do, apart of studying lol.


Saturday 20/08/2016

I was so glad we had a morning class starting at 9 am. Sunday is a day off and my class on Monday doesn’t start until 13.00.

Today we practised what can we buy in the market. We played some card games and we were allowed to used google translator as we needed to make a list of more vegetables, fruit and other groceries we could not find in our text book. The most difficult word for all of us was to pronounce orange juice (sinaasappelsap). Somehow, we found this word so funny even though it’s just an orange juice!



We learnt how to ask for various groceries such as vegetables, fruit, meat, how to ask how much does a grocery shopping cost, how to write and make a list of groceries  and how to write a simple dish recipe or describe how to cook a simple dish.

We practiced also listening from various videos from youtube. One of them was also a risotto recipe and based on this listening exercise, one of our homework tasks was to pick one recipe of our own choice and write it down for a next lesson.

We got some homework for Monday. Most of the exercises were based on reviewing what we already know and learning new words. We also had to write a short recipe, as I mentioned above, about our national dish. As I am Czech, of course I wrote about the Czech goulash recipe.

There was enough homestudy from #dutchgrammar and Nederlands in gang website – the adjectives, the plurals and the imperatives.

Westerbork Transit Camp 

As I have a personal interest in matters of WWII, especially holocaust, I planned to visit a transit camp in Westerbork. Many people went through this transit camp during WWII before they were sent off to their final destinations. Unfortunately, most of them were gassed immediately or shortly after their arrival to infamous Auschwitz in Poland where almost all of the transits ended up.

I guess everyone is familiar with the diary of Anne Frank, a young Jewish girl from Amsterdam. She also spent some time in this camp before she and others were eventually transferred to Bergen-Belsen concentration camp where she died shortly before the camp was liberated.

There is a monument dedicated to all who had gone through this transit camp and never returned home. This monument is not far away from the museum. It represents every single man, women, child that stayed at Westerbork transit camp and died in one of the Nazi concentration camps.

More information about the Westerbork transit camp can be found at the at their website – http://www.kampwesterbork.nl


Friday 19/08/2016

It is Friday (het is vrijdag) and yet again so sunny here. I usually sleep six or seven hours and I got up at 7 am today. My today’s class was in the afternoon.

I made a cycle trip to the Hunebedcentrum in Borger in the morning. The centre is open from 10 am and I knew I would never make it on time for my class. It was 16 km on a bicycle one way which took me around 50 mins in a comfortable easy speed on bicycle. Don’t forget, cycling in the Netherlands is so easy as there are only flat terrains.

As the centre was closed, I didn’t mind since I wanted to see only the most famous hunebed (prehistoric stone tomb) in the Netherlands. It is called D27. There are many prehistoric stone tombs in Drenthe but this one is actually the largest and best known in the Netherlands. Entry to a stone tomb is free, there is admission is only in a centre.

More information about prehistoric tombs, ice age in the Netherland and many more information can be found at museum’s website –  http://www.hunebedcentrum.eu/en/.

D27 stone tomb

Our class started at 13.00 and finished at 16.30 and because it was so sunny, we had a partial lecture outside. I liked it a lot. I think it was a very good idea from our teacher Linda.

We practiced a simple conversation in the street, learnt how to ask someone how she/he is doing, how to answer to this question, how to arrange to meet someone, how to ask to do things together and we did some listening exercises too.

Doing homework today seemed to be a little bit easier. Learning new words it’s not so hard but grammar is still a little bit difficult for me. I also have been struggling with various accents. The Dutch people seem to speak too fast but I am getting there and slowly getting to used to understand through listening exercises from provided websites.


Thursday 18/08/2016

We had a class afternoon today from 13.00 until 16.30. After my breakfast I spent some 30 mins on reading and learning new words. I was surprised how much I remembered from yesterday.

I went for an hour easy bicycle ride around Westerbork. It is such a nice little town with many shops such as Jumbo where you can find anything including Dutch cheese with I totaly love. There is also Lidl (grocery shop), Kruidvat (drugstore/pharmacy store) and many nice restaurants. There are some daily markets just in a place near Jumbo store. Local farmers products such as fresh vegetables and cheese but also old books and other things for sale.


Our class was today actually very good. It was sunny so we had a partial class outside. Today we did a lot of written exercises and played some games. That was fun.

Our third lesson was about practicing conversations in a cafe. Some of the phases and sentences sounded familiar to me from my travels with my partner to the Netherlands as my partner is Dutch (mijn vriend is een Nederlander). I was glad I understood quite a lot and that I knew some words already.

We had second BBQ from 17.30 in the evening. That was a right time for BBQ as we had a lot of homework (huiswerk) and I didn’t want to study till late night. I started my homework straight after school for an hour and so did my roommates Joanna, a Polish girl, and Mireille, an American girl. I finished my homework after BBQ where I stayed for about an hour and half. To my surprise it took me just 2.5 hrs in total. I also went back to review previous two lessons and just had a look if I still remember all of it and I did.


Wednesday 17/08/2016

It was a very sunny day. My class was in the morning again. All my homework done. I could not resist 30 mins cycle before my class and a quick grocery shop in Lidl in Westerbork.

There are 13 of us now in a class. One of the students swap the class as her level was not so good. I actually originally signed up for A1 – A2 but had to swap it few weeks before the beginning of the course to 0 – A1 level. I was not sure about my level at all. I am glad I did swap to a beginner class as I had a lot of studied continuously before coming to Drenthe.

We got a lot of homework – some listening exercises from #dutchgrammar and from Nederlands in gang study book plus its website. We got our first writing exercise – to describe in short sentences what can we see from pictures in textbook.

Orvelte village

It was so sunny and I decided to cycle to nearby village called Orvelte which is just 6 km away from our accommodation. Some 25 mins cycle. By the way, all cycle routes are so well signposted here! This beautiful village is actually an open air museum with many attractions and live demonstrations such as cheese making, baking classes, Dutch wooden clogs (shoes), you can find also a sawmill, shop with all necessities for making pancakes. There is also the Apple Museum (all what you need to know about Apple computers and it’s history), mini ZOO and many other attractions with a lot of cosy cafés, restaurants and also a tourist information centre right in the middle of the village.

More information can be found at Orvelte website http://www.orvelte.net/.

I studied for 3.5 hrs in the evening. It was again hard as I am not use to study for so many hours and so intensively. I did some exercise twice again as I made a lot of mistakes. As a homestudy we had to learn from #dutchgrammar about the adverbs, the main clauses, the inversion and the possessive adjectives.

We also have an intern teacher, a lady called Corry, she can help us with our homework in a study room. I haven’t used this study room yet but it’s good to know that if I don’t know anything or don’t understand, there is always someone who can help.

I wrote my first proper sentences in Dutch with a help of my vocabulary of course. I felt happy that I managed to do both – a lot of homework and a bit of explorations of this area.


Tuesday 16/08/2016


Morning classes are from 9 am until 12.30 and afternoon from 13.00 until 16.30. My class today started at 9 am. There are 13 of us in our class, some of us with some knowledge of Dutch from #dutchgrammar. First class was very hard. Not knowing what to expect. I felt a bit anxious because of my pronunciation, my reading, making mistakes. It turned out that I worried too much. That’s why we are all here, to learn, to do mistakes and to be corrected by our teacher.

I must say that our teacher Linda was a very patient person with so many various nationalities and so many different accents to understand.

I was very pleased that our teacher was Linda. As I mentioned a lot of patience with us and a lot of encouragement from her side not to be afraid to speak and make mistakes.

Today we learnt our first Dutch words, we learnt about the nouns, the personal nouns and the verbs. We finished at 12.30 and it was such a sunny day. As I rented out, just like many other students, a bicycle from Het Timmerholt resort, I decided to explore the area and do a bit of shopping in near town Westerbork (3 km away).

Cycle to Beilen

I ended up in Beilen which was just 9 km away from our accommodation. I am used to hilly terrains and busy roads but cycling here is so easy and relaxing. Everyone cycles here! Young, old, visitors, locals, students… everyone has at least one bicycle in the Netherlands.

I walked a little bit around a town and sat in a local cafe. It was a nice tiny cafe and with my broken Dutch I victoriously ordered Ik mag een kopje koffie, alstublieft (I would like a cup of coffee, please). After a nice refreshment it was time to cycle back, do some grocery shopping and start studying!


We got our first homework (huiswerk) on our first day of course. I must say it was hard for me first two days. I spend 3.5 hours doing all exercises, learning new words and reading texts. The websites provided and lessons from #dutchgrammar for listening and explaining grammar were excellent. I very much appreciated that we could listen all dialogs from the book we study from – Nederlands in gang  (www.coutinho.nl) and also its website. My other roommates had their classes either in the morning or afternoon. I think it was well divided as we all had some time to learn while the others were in their class.


Monday 15/08/2016


I arrived to Beilen from a train departing in Groningen as I stayed two days there prior my Dutch Summer School in Drenthe (http://dutchsummerschool.nl/). I arrived a half hour before a train arrival from Amsterdam. There were already a couple of other students awaiting and we got into talking. I was so excited to be here.

We were picked up shortly by few cars and dropped off at reception of our future home for next two weeks – Het Timmerholt near Westerbork (http://www.timmerholt.nl/).

I share a bungalow accommodation with three other girls who came from Poland, the Netherlands and USA. We all had different levels of our Dutch language skills. I had a very little knowledge and I was at the beginners class.

We all came here for a diferent reasons why to study Dutch. Some of us wanted to learn Dutch because of their studies or work, some of us because one of the parents is Dutch, some because it is simply a lovely language to speak and many of us because our partners are Dutch (my case).


At 20.00 we all met our future tutors and the BLC Dutch Summer School course coordinator  Bart de Pau. Bart gave us a warm welcome in a course and wished us all veel success (good luck).

Some of you may already know Bart from on-line #dutchgrammar lessons available at http://www.learndutch.org/. That is how I found out about this course and choose to study in a beautiful area called Drenthe.

We had a nice welcome BBQ where we all got to know each other. There were many participants coming from China, Hong Kong, South Korea, Poland, Argentina, Czech Republic, Ireland, USA, Israel, Iraq, Brazil, Belgium, Italy, England, Germany, Russia, SPain, Mexico, Ghana, Romania, Venezuela, Brazil  but also from the Netherland (foreign nationalities living or working in the Netherland) and many other nationalities.

The evening was success. I was so excited to be here and be a part of all this. I could not wait to start my first class and do my first proper homework in Dutch!

4 thoughts on “Drenthe – Dutch Summer School 2016 (English)”

    1. Thank you! We had two bad days but luckily just showers. There is so much to do too. Also demanding with studies but doable:-)


    1. Dank u Linda. Het was geweldig en plezier. Ik ontmoette veel geweldige mensen en had een zeer geduldig leraar 🙂 Zie je volgende zomer!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s