Many newcomers are eager to practice the language with a Dutch speaking person. Some might master Dutch already and are looking to improve their English. An hour’s time and a cup of coffee is all you need. We search for a good match and then you are free to find a format that suits your lives well. We do not demand a mandatory number of hours per week or a specific program for you to follow. Though we are off course always available for questions and support.
I have registered with OpenEmbassy because I am looking for, or want to become, a Language buddy. What should I do now?
How nice that you signed up! We will send you an email with more information after your registration. If a Language buddy is available, we will send you his or her contact details. Then you can make an appointment. If no Language buddy is available, we will try and find you one. We will send you a message as soon as we have found a suitable Language buddy for you.
How long do I have to wait for a Language buddy?
OpenEmbassy receives requests for Language buddies from people across the entire country. This means that it could be possible that there is no Language buddy available in your area. We always do our best to find a suitable match for you as soon as possible. Sometimes it takes longer than usual – from a day to a few months.
What is expected of me as a Language buddy?
Some Language buddies drink a cup of coffee once a week, go shopping once every two weeks, or go for a nice bike ride every once in a while. You can decide yourself how you spend your time as a Language buddy. OpenEmbassy encourages you to discuss what each other’s expectations are during your first meeting. For example about how often, when and for how long you meet one another.
Where do we meet?
We encourage you to choose a place that suits you both. The first time it can be nice to choose a public place, like the library or a cafe. Some Taalmaatjes meet at home, for a cup of coffee or some food. Others prefer to walk or do something else outside the house. Or they keep it at the library or the cafe.
What do we talk about?
Do not try to put too much pressure on finding a good flow of conversation. It is completely normal that in the beginning it can sometimes be difficult.
Nice to discuss during your first meeting is: What are you both good at? What do you typically find Dutch and why? You could also play a game such as Pim-Pam-Pet or Memory!
What if we don’t connect well?
It is possible that you and your Language buddy do not understand each other well, and / or that it turns out not to be a good match. In this case, please tell your Language buddy that it won’t work for you. And let us know, we will search for a new match!
We have noticed that encounters are perceived as positive when both Language buddies feel that they are doing something fun in the first place. Newcomers like to practice with the language, but also just talk to a Dutch person. And for a Dutchie it is nice to have a good conversation with someone he / she does not know yet.
All Language buddies are volunteers. It is precisely for that reason that it is important to keep to the agreements made, and to inform each other well if an appointment has to be changed.
You can always email us or send us a message via Messenger! Do not hesitate to ask for tips, or if your Language buddy has a specific question about the Netherlands that you do not know the answer to.