In a time like today, the world has become prone to sudden change:
borders are rapidly shifting and disappearing, economies no longer rely on the
cooperation of states and provinces, but of nations, and the idea of
citizenship is no longer limited to a country, but of the world. The
importance, then, of an individual fluent in foreign languages and
their cultures cannot be muted. People now must be well versed in the
tongue of their fellow man.
The Netherlands, a small nation in the heart of Europe, plays a
critical role in the health of the world’s economy, is the home of the United
Nations, and is the birthplace of a language that over centuries has
supplanted itself over many continents, from the islands in
Caribbean to densely populated areas of South East Asia. The world finds itself
comfortably saturated by the influence of the Dutch culture.
A small program in the humanities program at the greatest public
university in the world, the Dutch program at the University of
California, Berkeley is comprised of some of the world’s best
educators. Ranging from social studies to history, linguistics to literature,
the Dutch program is thorough in preparing its students to enter a
multicultural society. The Dutch program at Cal didn’t just teach me
the facts and statistics of life in the Netherlands, but rather
incorporated the language and culture of Holland into my Berkeley degree,
making it applicable and attractive to prospective employers of the world’s
most influential enterprises.
Finn Hutton, Class of 2011
The Dutch Studies Department at U.C Berkeley provides its students with a thorough and multifaceted education of Dutch language, culture, and history that is unparalleled. From conversational courses exploring the relationship between language and culture in the Dutch Antilles to practical and collaborative Dutch writing classes, the Dutch department offers a wealth of diverse courses taught by truly remarkable instructors. The professors and lecturers have quite literally written textbooks on the material, and are clearly very knowledgeable and intelligent.
As if this wasn’t impressive enough, the department stands out considerably due to the approachability of the instructors and their commitment to teaching and engaging their students at the highest possible level. The result of the instructors’ noteworthy efforts is an interactive and dynamic learning environment that has drawn students from many different backgrounds to the Dutch program.
Prior to joining the Dutch Department as a student, I had never encountered such passionate, approachable, and knowledgeable instructors. I will always be grateful to the instructors for the impact they’ve had on my education and life.
Roelof Grootenhuis, Class of 2015 (Expected)