Do I need a Dutch language certificate to study in the Netherlands?

John Roman, U-Multirank

January 21, 2020 15:11 (CET)

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If you’re wondering if you’ll need to learn Dutch in order to study in the Netherlands, the quick answer is no. The Netherlands is one of the most fluent English speaking countries in Europe. Although the official language of the Netherlands is Dutch, most Dutch people speak English very well. With more than 2,100 study programmes available in English, prospective international students will have no problem studying in English if they’d like to.

However, all students looking to study in a programme in Dutch, must show proof of Dutch language competence. To obtain a Dutch language certificate like the CNaVT (Certificaat Nederlands als Vreemde Taal), a B2 Dutch language certification test has to be completed and passed (Educatief Startbekwaam (STRT)– B2). To receive a Dutch language certificate like CNaVT, several parts of the language are tested, including:

  • Reading comprehension
  • Listening comprehension
  • Oral expression
  • Writing expression

The Dutch certificate CNaVT is a language test for foreign learners of Dutch who plan to study in the Netherlands, or who require recognised certification of their language skills. Each section of the examinations is evaluated separately – therefore, in order to pass the exam, all sections have to be passed. The test can be taken at selected locations in the Netherlands, or abroad. All examination candidates receive the same tasks and the examinations are graded by trained raters.

More information about a CNaVT language certificate can be found, here.

What are the benefits of the CNaVT exams?

  • CNaVT can be taken in the Netherlands and other locations worldwide
  • Mock tests and preparation materials can be easily find online
  • All examination candidates can retake the exam if they are not satisfied with their scores

How can I find the best university in the Netherlands for me?

If you’re considering pursuing a degree in the Netherlands, then let us help you find the best university for you. U-Multirank’s ‘For students’ track offers personalised university comparisons, so you can find the university that best matches you. Create your own personalised university rankings today, and compare universities according to what matters most to you.  To start, make sure to select your desired study destination and we’ll help guide you through the rest.


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