Eindhoven Expats – a language survival guide

Eindhoven is an Expat paradise. As I mentioned in my last blog, Dispatches Europe named Eindhoven the Best Expat City in Europe, and the quality of life and opportunities for work attract a great many people from all around the world. As of 2017 nearly 30% of Eindhoven inhabitants came from a Non-Dutch background, with nearly 160 different nationalities represented.

If you come to work in Eindhoven from abroad and become one of these Expats, it is likely that you will speak some English, and possible you will speak some Dutch. I say that as being able to communicate at work is a pre-requisite for getting a job in Eindhoven in the first place, and English is the language of business. Very often though, you will arrive with your family and they will have absolutely no Dutch or English (which most Dutch people speak). Survival without either language is very difficult and makes for a lonely existence. People don’t understand you and it’s not easy to make friends. Because of this, learning one or the other language should be a priority.

For children, this can be addressed through the school system. For adults though it is more difficult as they need to find a way to learn that both fits in with their life and suits their individual circumstances.

At Eindhoven English we have a number of options to address this.

On an individual basis for adults we offer One to One English lessons (all levels) or Dutch (from beginners to NT2).

On a group basis we also offer adult lessons, though at present only for English. These can be particularly effective as students help each other and pull each other along. They also often form friendships and meet up outside of the classroom. Social contact is invaluable for recently arrived Expats as having arrived from abroad, they know nobody in Eindhoven and are building a social life from scratch.

Lessons for school age children are English language only and will support them in what they are learning at school, which can include Cambridge English. These are all One to One lessons and fit round school hours.

I am the founder of Eindhoven English and have taught English at all levels, spending the last six years at local schools, most recently as a Cambridge English teacher in Eindhoven. I have prepared many students for these exams and to date have a 100% pass rate, with more than 90% being A and B grades.

In my next blog I will discuss how Cambridge English can help students get places at foreign Universities