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The mind should always be free to learn new things

25 may 2022

Aayushi Yadav (28) moved from India to Eindhoven in June 2019. Learning Dutch was
her first priority. She took a big step by enrolling on an intensive Dutch language
training course. Now she is ready for more and is eager to learn: ‘Never
underestimate the impact of language.’


Why did you decide to attend a Dutch course?
‘When I moved to Holland, I felt a real urge to learn Dutch. I love to communicate with
people, to interact. Learning the language helps to communicate better and to feel more
integrated.’


How did you get in touch with STE Languages?
‘I was just casually browsing the internet when I came across STE. Their institute
appealed to me and so I started to read the reviews and then came across a nice article
on www.iamexpat.nl. After that I decided to give it a go. The staff were very friendly and
welcoming, right from the start.’


What are your personal goals?
‘Right now I’m focusing on learning the language. I believe that will help me find a
suitable job. I have a degree in Biotechnology and it would be great to work in my field.
I’m also interested in life sciences, public health and social work. Besides that, learning
Dutch is of course also important for daily life.’

Can you give an example of that?
‘Well when you go shopping, visit a restaurant or even if you just want to greet
someone, it’s very helpful if you understand the local language. After a while I started to
recognize the signs on the street and I was able to understand what the NOS Journaal
was about. I became better at framing sentences and that gave me more confidence
and made me feel happier.’


You just finished an intensive training course. Why did you opt for that program?
‘I had time and I wanted to learn at a faster pace. You practice a lot and so you learn a
lot. It’s like a quick start. We worked in a multicultural group of six people and I loved the
interaction we had with each other. The classes were very fun and involving. We had an
incredible teacher, Marie-Claire Gijsbers. She helps you understand the basics and
makes sure no one is left behind. She is very approachable and knows how to keep
students motivated.’


How was the training course designed?
‘It was a good mix of listening, reading, speaking and writing. Well organized, very
extensive and dynamic. There was lot of practice during class combined with
homework. During this time of Covid we couldn’t go to class but STE made it possible to
learn online by means of their online classroom. There was always a good atmosphere
during the lessons and right from the beginning of the course I could feel the confidence
was building up inside me. I never felt pressured to learn the language, which was
helpful. The mind should always be free to learn new things.’


Do you have any advice for other students?
‘Speak as much Dutch in your daily life as possible. Whenever you go outside practice!
The Dutch are kind. If you tell them you’re trying to speak Dutch, they will help you.
Besides that, go through the material and learn the basics of grammar. It takes time and
energy but it’s worth it. Never underestimate the impact of language.’


What is your favorite Dutch word or expression?
‘Gefeliciteerd! A difficult word to pronounce but always nice to say. I also like the word
lekker.’


What is your general impression of STE?
‘A very good institute to learn Dutch. I highly recommend STE to everyone who comes
to Holland and wants to learn the language. The staff at STE made me feel very
welcome. Language plays a very important role and the whole process allowed me to
feel more confident, more connected and more at home in the Netherlands.’