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About usFaculty of Theology and Religious StudiesEducationProspective international studentsExchange programme Religion and Culture

Language Requirements

English language requirements

One of the challenges many students from non-English speaking countries encounter is the required level of English when they attend courses taught in English. In the Netherlands, the level of English proficiency is high, and lecturers expect all students in their class to have adequate language skills to participate in their course.

The English language proficiency requirement for the exchange programme can be met by passing:

  • TOEFL with a score of at least 79 (internet-based) or 550 (paper-based); or
  • IELTS with a score of 6.0-6.5 or higher (6.0 on the parts speaking and writing); or
  • Cambridge Proficiency with a score of Grade B (scale 173 - 175) - Grade C (scale 169 - 172); or
  • English language certificate of your home university, with a score of at least CEFR B2 for first year Bachelor's courses, and B2/C1 for second and third year Bachelor's courses and Master courses.

If your results fall below that, you will probably have trouble understanding books and lectures and participating in discussions. The consequence may be that you fail courses or get bad results, or even that you are denied admission to courses or are evicted from courses.

In order to avoid this, prospective exchange students whose mother tongue is not English are required to do the following:

  • Take a TOEFL or IELTS test. You can find examination locations by clicking on the hyperlinks. When your results equals TOEFL 550, IELTS 6-6,5 or higher, you will be admitted to the exchange programme; or
  • In case you have finished a Cambridge language course successfully, you can send your Cambridge certificate with your exchange application; or
  • Have your level of English tested at your home university (’s Language Centre). If you have done an official language test, please, send the certificate with your exchange application; or
  • To get a general idea of your English language proficiency you can do a self-assessment such as the online language assessment system Dialang , which you can download onto your own computer. Dialang has separate tests for reading, writing, listening and speaking, and we advise you to do them all. The results are not accepted for admittance to the exchange programme, but it will give you a fairly good idea about your English skills.
  • If necessary, we advise you to take an intensive language course before you leave for Groningen so that your English proficiency is adequate before your arrival.

Dutch Language


The Language Centre of the University offers courses to learn Dutch . Two types of courses are on offer:

  1. is especially designed 3 week crash course to finish with a national recognised level of Dutch. This course is designed for students who will follow all courses in Dutch language
  2. a regular course, 13 weeks to learn how to communicate in Dutch.

Please note, the Language Center is a commercial part of the University, so the courses are not free of charge and are NOT part of the exchange stay and will not be registered at the Learning Agreement or the transcript. Registration and payments are handled by our colleagues of the Language Center.

Dutch Survival Kit

The Dutch Survival Kit contains phrases that can be helpful when living and working in the Netherlands. There is an overview of useful sentences and phrases in Dutch with an English translation.

MOOC: Introduction to Dutch

When you are really enthusiastic about learning Dutch you can also sign up for the MOOC on FutureLearn, Introduction to Dutch .

Laatst gewijzigd:20 juli 2018 10:04