The student’s side: ”I feel more at home in the Netherlands now”
Semachew, an engineer from Ethiopia, found his way to Babel in his search for a Dutch language course. This course proved to be a crucial step in his career, allowing him not only to increase his professional opportunities, but also to enrich his personal life in the country.
What made you decide to take a Dutch language course at Babel?
I was eager to learn Dutch to better integrate in the Netherlands. As a professional engineer from Ethiopia, I know how important it is for your career to speak the language.
What were your language skills like at the beginning of the course and how did you progress?
At the beginning of the course, I spoke limited Dutch and had difficulty understanding conversations. Fortunately, I progressed quickly thanks to the classes at Babel. My listening, writing and speaking skills improved significantly. I could express myself better and began to feel more confident.
What were some challenges you encountered during your learning process?
One challenge I encountered was that Dutch people often switch to English when they notice that your Dutch is not very good yet. This made it more difficult to practice the language. But I keep practicing and working on communicating more naturally in Dutch.
Can you talk a little more about the interaction in class and with fellow students?
In the beginning, it was a little difficult to communicate with fellow students, but we really appreciated the WhatsApp group. In it, we shared practice texts in Dutch and helped each other. It was a great way to keep practicing outside of class and support each other.
How did the Dutch language course at Babel help you?
The course at Babel helped me feel more at home in the Netherlands. It has improved my Dutch and enabled me to communicate more effectively, both in my professional and personal life. It has been a valuable step!
Do you have any advice for beginners who want to learn Dutch?
My advice for beginners is not to be afraid to speak. Be direct, just as Dutch people are; know that practice makes perfect. That is the key to success when learning a new language. Dare to make mistakes and stay motivated!