Dutch Studies

Dutch is spoken by approximately 23 million people in Europe and by an additional few million inhabitants of the countries Aruba, Curacao, Saint Maarten, and Suriname. It holds official status in the Netherlands, in Belgium, and in Suriname. Two of Europe's most internationally important cities, The Hague, home of the International Court of Justice, and Brussels, the capital of the European Union, fall within the Dutch language boundaries. Afrikaans, which is widely spoken in South Africa, grew out of seventeenth-century Dutch and is similar to modern Dutch. The Dutch language is also an important source-language in countries including Indonesia, the United States, Brazil, and Japan.

Why learn Dutch?

Dutch is an easy language to learn! If you are a linguist with an interest in Germanic linguistics, including the history and linguistic features of Frisian and Afrikaans, it makes sense to start with Dutch. And if you already know German, learning Dutch will be relatively easy.

  • If you are an international relations student seeking to do an internship at the state department in Belgium, the Netherlands, Suriname, or South Africa, then Dutch is the language for you! All these countries have a strong connection to Dutch.
  • If you work for an American company that does business oversees in Europe: 20% of large foreign companies have their main office for Europe in the Netherlands. Over the past eight years American investment in the Netherlands was twice what it was in Mexico and ten times what it was in China.
  • If you want to work for a Dutch multi-national company such as Heineken, Philips, Shell, or Unilever (these companies support more than 700,000 jobs in the United States): the Netherlands is the third biggest foreign investor in the United States with the world's 8th largest GDP.

Online courses

All Dutch language courses can be taken online. This way, students who are living or staying abroad have access to and can continue with their Dutch studies. Online classes are synchronous with on-campus classes (N100 in fall, N150 in spring, etc.). Students will meet twice a week in a virtual classroom for speaking activities. Indiana University students can only enroll with permission from the department.

Culture courses

The Dutch program offers three Dutch culture and civilization courses, which are taught in English: E341, E342, and E343. The courses focus on varying topics in the Modern Netherlands, the Dutch Golden Age, and Topics in Dutch Literature, respectively.

Previous topics offered include:

  • E341 Film & Literature about World War II
  • E342 The Dutch-America Connection and Painters & Writers of the Dutch Golden Age
  • E343 Contemporary Dutch Literature

Dutch Studies degree options

Adding Dutch Studies to your undergraduate program offers many advantages. Whether you are considering a minor or certificate, you have a number of options to choose from.

Learn more about the Dutch Studies minor + certificates