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Free Dutch practice at the Amsterdam Public library

Learning Dutch

Free Dutch courses

Some Amsterdammers with residence permits can follow free Dutch courses. There are special courses for people who have difficulties with reading or writing in their own language.

Who can apply for a free Dutch course

  • EU citizens that are residents of Amsterdam
  • non-EU citizens that are residents and have successfully completed the civic integration course (inburgeringscursus).

If you can't take the free course

If you work in Amsterdam as an expat (highly skilled migrant visa), you cannot apply. However, there are other free options below or you can attend a paid language course.

View the list of all officially recognised language schools.

Obligations during the free course

  • You have to attend 2 lessons each week.
    One lesson lasts 3 hours.
  • You must attend at least 80% of the classes.
  • You must complete the final test or examination.

Days, times and place

The language course has a duration of 6 or 9 months.

There are 2 lessons each week. One lesson lasts 3 hours.
Lessons start at 09.00, 13.00 or 19.00.

You will also practise your Dutch for around 3 to 4 hours a week by taking part in an activity.

The language lessons are now offered online.

How to enrol

If you are currently receiving benefits, call your client manager on 020 252 6000 between 08.30 and 17.00.

If you are not receiving social benefits, there are 2 ways to enrol:

Other free options for learning Dutch

Free Dutch practice at the Amsterdam Public library

The library is home to ‘The Dutch Place’ (Het NL Plein), a specially designated area with a variety of resources to help you practise your Dutch.

Dutch consultation sessions

Stop by one of the free Dutch consultation sessions (Inloopspreekuren Nederlands leren) for information and advice about the best ways to learn Dutch.

Language for Life (Taal voor het Leven)

An adult literacy programme for Amsterdammers who lack the reading and writing skills they need to take part in society. A basic level of spoken Dutch is required. Go to

In-home tutoring for women

Amsterdam Neighbourhood Women’s Contact (Stichting Amsterdams Buurvrouwen Contact, or ABC) provides in-home Dutch language lessons for women in Amsterdam. Visit


If you prefer to learn Dutch on your own, there are many valuable resources available online, such as the website and

More information and contact

For more information about language lessons and the different courses, please call the Education helpdesk:

020 252 6008.


More information: