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10,000 foreigners learn Dutch through serious game

How to order a portion of traditional Dutch bitterballen in a bar. That’s something people from more than 55 countries are eager to find out. A free Dutch language learning game has already hit the 10,000 downloads mark.

Launched in May, the Hoi Holland app offers non-Dutch speakers the opportunity to learn the language in a fun and enjoyable way. It is aimed at students who want to start practising their Dutch before starting their studies in the Netherlands. The app lets you practise everyday activities such as buying flowers, shopping for groceries and ordering bitterballen, together with your digital Dutch friends.

1,250 Chinese students
Most Hoi Holland users are based in Germany, Mexico, South Korea, the US or the UK, according to EP-Nuffic. ‘But the app is also frequently played in China. More than 1,250 Chinese students who will come over to the Netherlands to study, or are considering this, have downloaded the app.’

Most foreign students leave the Netherlands after graduation. The Dutch national government, however, is keen for them to stay given their contribution to the economy. The app is part of Make it in the Netherlands!, an action plan designed to strengthen foreign students’ ties with the Netherlands.

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