As a teacher, I have a nice chunk of summer off and sometimes I feel that I don't take advantage of that as much as I could. I've been pondering a plan for next summer for a sort of immersion (possibly for say the entire month of July?). I enjoyed my trip back in the summer of 2012 to the Netherlands, where I stayed at a B&B in Haarlem and spoke every morning to the B&B hostess in Dutch; I could only communicate at a very basic level at the time. During my two week trip, I did usual touristy things, visiting museums, historic sites and parks in Amsterdam, the Hague, Delft and Haarlem. I'd be happy to do more of that if I go back in the summer of 2015 , but I remember yearning to meet people in some sort of natural social context. The question is "how". My Dutch comprehension has improved considerably as I've been listening to nos.nl (funny enough, I now use it as my news source as I feel it has a more international focus than many broadcasters) although my opportunities to speak have been very few here in Canada.
A Dutch language conversation course I thought of, but one issue with that is that in such courses, one meets people who are learning and struggling to learn the language, which is fine and could be enjoyable but I was hoping to meet more mother-tongue Dutch-speakers. The best idea I've come up with is this: this summer (summer 2014) I'm taking the German A1.2 course at the Goethe Institut here in Montreal; my idea was to possibly finish the A1 level by doing the intensive German A1.3 course offered at the Goethe Institut in Amsterdam, Rotterdam or the Hague. There, I would be in a class with more people who speak Dutch as their native tongue who are wishing to improve their German.
Any other ideas? Has anyone tried a similar immersion (not necessarily in Dutch, could be any language)?
Thanks for all ideas you may have, Daniel
PS For sure, I'd like to do some usual touristy things. (I was planning to go to Trier to Aachen for example while there.) I just find being a tourist, one can be socially isolated in a way.
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Month in the Netherlands: A Way to Meet People & Use My Dutch?