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Murray Edwards College
University of Cambridge

Miriam Quinn: Learning the Dutch language

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    10 Dec

    Thanks to the generous support of Gateway Challenges Funding, I have been able to take a Dutch course. Having now graduated from Murray Edwards and moved to the University of Amsterdam to undertake my master’s degree, this is proving incredibly useful!

    Having no Dutch language background, I was somewhat nervous to begin the course, and found the pronunciation in particular rather a challenge. I quickly found that through the intensive sessions, where only Dutch was spoken, I began to improve my ability to speak and particularly to understand more and more Dutch. I also find the process of language learning a very enjoyable one, so was grateful for the opportunity to take Dutch lessons and begin the journey of learning a new language.

    I am now in Amsterdam, where I’m really appreciating doing the Dutch course. Although English levels are very high here, it really makes a difference to at least be attempting to engage with the local language. In my neighbourhood, in particular, not everyone does speak English, and so to attempt to go to the local market and undertake a transaction in Dutch certainly facilitates my ability to integrate into and appreciate my surroundings. 

    Whilst I certainly have a long way to go when it comes to the Dutch language, the foundations the Dutch course is providing me have been really valuable. I’d like to extend my thanks to the Gateway Challenges Fund for making this possible!

    Miriam Quinn
    Human, Social and Political Sciences