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FAQ

Go directly to all questions concerning:

Registering for a course

How do I register?

You can register using the link 'register online' which can be found on each course page on the website.

Is there a registration deadline for the language courses?

Registration is usually open until two weeks before the start of the course. If the maximum number of registrations for your preferred course has been reached, you will automatically be placed on the waiting list. Most courses tend to fill up quickly, so it is best not to wait too long to register. Once the registration period has ended, you can still register in person at the Language Centre desk. To prevent wasting time and effort, we recommend that you first check whether there are still places available in your preferred course on the website before reporting to the desk.

Will my registration assure me a place in the course?

We can only guarantee your place in the course if the course fees have been paid before the start of the course, or if your payment guarantee is valid. Incorrect or incomplete registration forms will not be processed. It is not possible to reserve a place.

Registered persons are allocated a place in the course in the order of registration. Courses may be cancelled if an insufficient number of participants sign up.

When do the language courses start?

To check how many times per year a course starts, please check the yearly schedule for the language course of your choice. On our website, you can view the dates and timeslots for the currently available courses at each course page.

The language course of my choice is not (or no longer) available on the registration website.

If your course does not appear on the registration website, it is either not yet open for registration (check the annual timetable) or the course has already been fully booked. If your preferred course is indeed full, you can register for the waiting list via the link on the course page. The Language Centre secretaries will then contact you if a place becomes available or if an extra timeslot is added.

How do I know if my course registration was successful?

Once you have successfully registered via the website, you will receive a confirmation by email within 2 working days.

What should I do if my preferred course is full?

Some courses fill up quickly. It is therefore a good idea to register as early as possible. The opening dates of registration periods are announced in our newsletter. Many courses are offered at several different times and locations, and you may find that there is still a place available in another timeslot. If your preferred course is indeed full, you can register for the waiting list via the link on the course page. The Language Centre secretaries will then contact you if a place becomes available or if an extra timeslot is added.

Where can I find future course timetables?

The annual timetable can be found on the Language Centre website. More detailed timetables for each period (spring, summer, autumn) will be published on the Language Centre website before the start of the period in question. If you would like to be the first to hear about the new timetables, feel free to subscribe to the Language Centre newsletter.

Why have I been placed on the waiting list?

If the maximum number of registrations for your preferred course has been reached, you will be placed on the waiting list.

What can I do if I am placed on the waiting list?

There are three options:

  1. If the course of your choice has multiple timeslots available, you can register for another day/time
  2. If another day or time does not suit your schedule, you can stay on the waiting list for the original course and we will contact you if a place becomes available.
  3. If you are no longer interested, you can cancel your registration.

Course information

I have registered for a course. When will I receive the information that I need?

You will receive an email with all the relevant information about a week before the start of the course.

Can I switch levels after the start of the course if it is too easy or difficult?

No. Therefore, it is important to assess your level before you register for a language course. You can find all relevant information regarding the intake procedure here.

I want to change to a different day/time or a different language course.

You can cancel your registration via the website and register for another timeslot of the same (or another) course until two weeks before the start of the course, provided that there are places available. Changing groups less than two weeks before the start of a course is not possible.

Are ECTS credits awarded for Language Centre courses, and do these count towards my degree?

No, you will not receive any ECTS credits for following a course at the Language Centre.

Do I have to buy any course books?

The course description will tell you exactly which – if any – material you need for the course. In addition, you will receive an email listing the necessary books and material about a week before the start of the course. We advise not to purchase the books before you receive an email that the course will take place. The Language Centre does not issue any refunds for course material.

Are the books included in the course fee?

No, books are not normally included in the course fees. An exception applies to civic integration courses, for which the books are included.

Where can I buy the books?

All of the books needed for the Dutch courses are available from the Language Centre desk. Most of the books for other courses can be ordered from Study Store.

In some cases, the required books can be ordered via the teacher or via a different online bookshop. Information about the availability of the required books is clearly stated in the relevant course description.

In which language will my course be taught?

We apply the principle of ‘language of instruction = target language’ in our courses. We always aim to deliver our courses and materials in the target language (i.e. the language you want to learn). This helps you to better connect with the language and increase your communicative competence.

English is used at all times in English courses. In other courses, limited English or Dutch explanations can be given where necessary, depending on the composition of the group. For all Dutch beginners' courses, including the civic integration courses, English is used at all times. Therefore, it is required to speak English when you want to register for one of these courses.

For Arabic, Chinese and Russian, the course material is in English, which means that you must have knowledge of English if you want to study one of these languages.

How many participants are there in each group?

In general, a minimum of 8 participants is needed to start the course, and there is also a maximum number of participants, depending on the specific course. Please check the individual course descriptions for more detailed information.

Where will the lessons be held?

Language Centre lessons are held at various locations in and around the University buildings in Groningen. You will receive an email informing you of your course location about a week before the start of the course.

My language course overlaps with my University lectures.

Please check your lecture timetable before you register for a Language Centre course. You can cancel your registration via the website and register for another timeslot of the same course until two weeks before the start of the course, provided that there are places available. Changing groups less than two weeks before the start of a course is not possible.

I will miss the first lesson. Can I join another group for just one lesson?

Unfortunately, joining another group just the once is not possible. If you miss a lesson, you can contact your teacher to ask about your homework.

How will I know if I have passed the course?

You will receive a certificate of attendance if you have attended at least 75% of the course sessions. In addition, the teacher will issue a recommendation about the most suitable follow-up course for you. However, this should not be regarded as ‘hard evidence’ of your attained level. If you would like an official language level statement, please sign up for one of the various language level tests that the Language Centre offers.

Can I follow a course at the Language Centre to support my civic integration process?

Yes, the Language Centre provides Dutch courses for civic integration candidates. These courses allow students more time to learn Dutch than a regular course. Dutch civic integration courses are intended for highly educated people who are going through the civic integration process and whose mother tongue and/or cultural background is radically different from the Dutch language and Western culture. If you wish to follow a language course at the Language Centre as part of your civic integration process, you will first have to follow the intake procedure so that we can determine whether we have a suitable course for you. More information about the intake procedure can be found here.

Our course range

  • Group courses in Dutch, level 0 > B2
  • Orientation to the Dutch Labour Market (ONA: Oriëntatie op de Nederlandse Arbeidsmarkt)
  • Examination training for the NT2 State Examination
The Language Centre has been a Blik op Werk-certified provider of integration courses and dual programmes since 2014.

Cancellation

Can I cancel my registration?

Yes, you can. The easiest way to do this is via the website, by submitting a cancellation request via your profile in our online registration system. Note, however, that you will have to present proof of payment in order to qualify for reimbursement. You can also cancel your course in person at the Language Centre desk during opening hours, but note that cancelling via our website is much quicker.

The following cancellation fees will be charged:

●     If you cancel at least 5 working days before the start of the course, your course fee will be fully refunded, minus € 20 for administration fees.

●     You will not qualify for reimbursement if you cancel 5 working days or less before the start of the course.

If you qualify for reimbursement, the relevant amount will be transferred to your bank account within a few weeks.
Can I cancel my registration for a Dutch course that is paid by the UG?

Yes, you can, although of course you will not be financially reimbursed since the course is paid by the Board of the University of Groningen. Note that cancelling may affect your ‘hours balance’ (a maximum of 126 hours) for this course.

●     You will not lose any hours if you cancel at least 5 working days before the start of the course.

●     If you cancel 5 working days or less before the start of the course, the full number of course hours will be deducted from your balance (of up to 126 hours in total).

What if the Language Centre cancels my course?

We need a minimum number of participants to allow each course to go ahead. If too few people register, we may cancel your course. We will inform you about this by email at least a week before the course is due to start, and reimburse your course fee. You will need to give us your bank account number (IBAN), and if you have a non-Dutch account then we will also need the name, address and BIC code of your bank. Please note that it can take up to four weeks before the money is refunded.

The intake procedure (determining your level)

How do I know which level I should register for?

Although registration for many courses can be arranged online, in some cases you will be required to attend an intake interview in advance to make sure that you register for the right course level. This intake interview will comprise a brief conversation to determine your starting level and, if relevant, the required intensiveness of your course.

Intake interviews for Dutch courses are obligatory and are held during the open office hours every Monday and Thursday from 1.30 to 2.30 p.m. No appointment is needed. Office hours may be cancelled during school holidays and due to unforeseen circumstances. Therefore, you are advised to keep an eye on our website.

Intake interviews for English courses are held once a week and are by appointment only. Please book your appointment via this link. Also, there are special Writing Skills office hours, read everything about this here.

Office hours for Spanish, German and French courses are held less regularly, usually in the spring and autumn, and are also by appointment only. Please click on one of the following links to make an appointment:

Extra office hours are held just before the start of each new course period.

No intake interview is necessary to register for a course in any of the other languages available.The level determined during the intake interview is binding for Dutch and English courses, whereas for all other languages, it should be regarded as strong advice.

To attend an office hour, please report to:

Language Centre secretariat
Harmonie building, 1st floor
Oude Kijk in 't Jatstraat 26, Groningen
(building 1315, room 0129)

Additionaly, at the IWCN we offer a free consultation hour every two weeks on Wednesday for Dutch (9:00-10:00) and English (11:00-12:00). Check the website of the IWCN for dates and more information.

Why do I need an intake interview?

The aim of the intake interview is to determine your language level so that we can place you in an appropriate course. An intake interview comprises a 10 to 15-minute conversation with a teacher about your experience with the language and your learning goals. You may also be asked to take a brief test.

Is an intake interview compulsory?

Yes, unless stated otherwise in the individual course description. However, you will not have to follow the intake procedure if you took a course at the previous level at the Language Centre less than one year ago and were issued a recommendation that qualifies you for the course that you now wish to register for. If you followed a previous course (and were issued your language level recommendation) more than a year ago, we advise you to book an intake interview, especially if your level has improved in the meantime.

Fees and payment

How much do the courses cost?

The fees vary per course. Please check the individual course descriptions.

Can I get a discount on the course fee?

Special student rates apply to:

  • Bachelor’s and Master’s students and exchange students at the University of Groningen
  • Students of the universities of applied sciences in the three northern provinces

Special staff rates apply to:

  • Staff of the University of Groningen, the University Medical Center Groningen and the universities of applied sciences in the three northern provinces
  • PhD students, postdocs, etc. of the University of Groningen

Students and staff of the University of Groningen can follow selected Dutch courses, which are partially compensated by the Board of the University, under certain conditions.

All other course participants must pay the full course fee.

Can I pay online?

You can make your payment via the University of Groningen payment system. When you have registered, you will receive an electronic payment link within several working days, via which you can pay online using your debit card (via the iDEAL system) or credit card (VISA or Mastercard). Transaction costs (4.5% of the total amount) will be charged for credit card payments. Your registration will be cancelled if we have not received the due amount within the terms of payment stated in the email.

Can I pay by card or in cash at the Language Centre desk?

Yes, you can also pay your course fees at our desk using your Maestro or V PAY card. Payment in cash is also possible, but we cannot accept € 200 and € 500 banknotes. Credit card payments are not accepted at the Language Centre desk. If you indicate in your registration form that you want to pay the course fee at the Language Centre desk, we kindly request you to do so within 5 working days. Please bear in mind the opening hours of the Language Centre desk.

Can I pay in instalments?

Unfortunately not. You have to pay the entire amount in one go.

Can I get an invoice?

Yes, we can send you an invoice by email. Your temporary registration will then be valid until the end of the term of payment stated on your invoice. Your registration will be cancelled if we have not received the due amount within the terms of payment stated on the invoice. The term of payment is generally set to 5 days from the date that the invoice is sent. The possibility to register online and choose the option of payment by invoice is available up to 10 days before the start of a course. After that, we kindly ask you to register and pay at our office (by card or in cash).

My employer/an authority is paying for my course. How can I register?

External payment

If your course fee is to be paid by an external organization, we ask you to choose the ‘Payment Guarantee’ option and fill in the necessary information, including the name of your contact person. This contact person will need to issue an agreement to pay the course fee. We will then send the invoice for your course to the indicated address. You are responsible for completing the payment guarantee truthfully. If the payment guarantee is not filled in truthfully or the contact person does not agree to pay, you will have to pay for the course yourself.

Internal payment by a University of Groningen faculty or service unit

If a University of Groningen department will be paying for your course, we ask you to choose the ‘Payment Guarantee’ option and fill in your department, the name and email address of your HR contact person and the assigned project or ITB code. You will also need to indicate that the contact person has approved the payment. We will then send an internal invoice to your department. The contact person is responsible for the payment. You are responsible for completing the payment guarantee truthfully. If the payment guarantee is not filled in truthfully or the contact person does not agree to pay, you will have to pay for the course yourself.

How can I register and pay with a DUO loan?

You can pay for Dutch courses at the University of Groningen Language Centre in preparation for the civic integration examination or the State Examination in Dutch as a Second Language with a loan from the Education Executive Agency (DUO: Dienst Uitvoering Onderwijs ). Read here which steps you should follow.

When should I pay the course fee for my civic integration course?

DUO will pay your course fee directly to the Language Centre using the loan assigned to you. To this end, you must present proof of your DUO loan before the start of the course. You can do this by uploading a scan or photograph of a recent letter from DUO in your online course registration. If you are unable to complete this process, you can also email your scan or photograph to talencentrum rug.nl or hand in a photocopy at the Language Centre desk. Once you have registered for your course, you will remain responsible for checking that you have sufficient funds in your DUO loan to pay for the course. If it turns out later that your DUO loan does not suffice, for example because you have also used it to pay for other civic integration courses, we will send you an invoice which you will then have to pay yourself.

General information

When is the Language Centre desk open?

The opening hours of the Language Centre desk are as follows:

Monday: 12 noon – 4 p.m.
Tuesday: 12 noon – 4 p.m.
Thursday 12 noon – 8 p.m.
Friday 12 noon – 4 p.m.

The Language Centre desk is closed all day on Wednesday.

We advise you to check our contact page, before your visit. Here we let you know whether we're closed due to holidays or festivities.

Can the Language Centre help me to get a visa?

Unfortunately, it is not possible to get a visa for following a language course. We do not offer long-term intensive courses and, as such, we are not authorized by the immigration authorities to issue letters of invitation or to assist in any other way to obtain a visa for the Netherlands.

Does the Language Centre issue advice about admission and admission requirements for Bachelor’s and Master’s degree programmes?

No. The Language Centre provides level tests for almost all languages. You can use the result of your test to prove your proficiency level in the relevant language. However, you are responsible for checking the required entrance level with the degree programme in question. In addition, you are also responsible for proving that you have indeed reached the required level, possibly based on the result of a Language Centre test. The Language Centre will not do this for you.

Does the Language Centre also offer private lessons?

Yes, we can also offer individual coaching or group courses (e.g. for companies) tailored to your wishes. More information and contact details can be found here .

I need proof of my language proficiency (e.g. for study abroad)

The Language Centre offers language proficiency tests in several languages. The Language Centre Testing Unit (LCTU) is responsible for all language testing and assessment activities within the Language Centre. The LCTU is a one-stop shop for all language testing and assessment inquiries from within and outside the University of Groningen. We offer:

  • language tests for students who need a statement of their language proficiency for a grant, scholarship application, degree, research or work experience abroad
  • various language testing services to companies and the faculties within the University (such as staff assessments)
  • language-related workshops, for example in the fields of the CEFR and standardization
  • training courses for testers, to ensure standardized and reliable assessments.

Check for all our information on testing the page of the Testing Unit. For all remaining questions on testing: testingunit rug.nl.

Last modified:22 May 2020 11.38 a.m.
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