If you haven’t already guessed, I’m Conor. Ik ben Conor 😀
I am 17 and a student from London, United Kingdom, and an aspiring commercial airliner pilot – yeah that’s me sitting in a Rolls-Royce RB211, I’ve always wanted to do that – but that’s another story of aspiration alone. My blog (i suppose) is to create inspiration for anyone with even a slight consideration of learning a language, and it can be any language, but this is my journey to learning Dutch. Nederlands leren. I feel as though it is important to share my story so it can reach others that are in the same position as I am or to motivate others to seek new experiences and opportunities that can quite literally change your life.
In my opinion, the key to success in life does not derive from being the smartest or passing all of the tests. I have learned that entering the aviation industry is no longer about being great at Mathematics or Physics, but actually your personality and the way that you show commitment and skill gives you the advantage over academically gifted individuals. Although it isn’t a battle, the impressive personal statement really brings out the special parts of you that make you unique, and importantly to me, employable. Learning Dutch is just one way that I wish to achieve this goal, but it is the inspiration that will motivate me towards it.
I have always been inspired to travel from a young age. From the age of 15 I began my quest to discover some beautiful cities of Europe with my friends. Although it’s not something most groups of 15 year old wish to do on their free weekends, but I have gained a strong addiction to it… except this is more of a healthy addiction! Even if it’s for a day, it is an adventure.
… and some other exciting opportunities.
But that’s enough about my background.
But why Dutch? Waarom Nederlands?
Although not Dutch, my best friend, Niels comes Belgium! -But I thought they speak Flemish or French in Belgium? That is correct, Flemish (or Belgian Dutch) is a variety of Dutch spoken in the Flanders province of Belgium. It is similar grammatically but it has its differences with the way that t is spoken and some vocabulary plus proverbs. When I visit my friends in Belgium and stay with his family, I like to blend into society and everyday life. Although, it is hard and not so natural when you can only communicate in a langue not native to them. So, I chose to get my head down and start learning! Imagine how cool that is to switch from one life in one country, speaking one language to staying in another life in another country speaking a different language. My friend makes it look easy when he stays over in England and basically speaks perfect English. That is my primary motive for change! What is yours?
How I started the journey
I met a friend on the internet. His name is Bart. Bart De Pau. Do you know him? Well he is a Dutch language tutor, from the Netherlands and if you ask me – as well as many other Dutch language students – Bart creates the best quality online videos on how to learn Dutch available on YouTube and Learndutch.org . At a very reasonable price, he will help you gain a high enough proficiency in order to pass the Netherlands ‘Inburgeringsexamen’, integration exam, in order to become a Dutch citizen. But not everyone has the same motive for learning Dutch, like me, but it is a very effective way of achieving the knowledge and understanding you need to achieve your goal to speaking the language and its actually fun. He is always creating new high quality content which never fails to impress. Furthermore, other resources can be used to exercise your understanding. There a plenty of videos, news articles, websites that you can visit, integrating the language into your everyday lifestyle, but with a challenge. It’s not always fun without a challenge!
Dutch Winter School, Amsterdam 2017
This is primarily what my blog will include. I will take you through a once in a lifetime experience at the Dutch Winter School, Amsterdam, from a first hand point of view to share my experiences but importantly what you can gain from giving it a go. I want to be able nudge those viewers who are teetering on the edge of booking for Summer 2017 (I was once in that position) and allow you to be confident enough to travelling to the country where the language is spoken and really allow you to achieve your goal. I would like to inspire other language students who wish to take a similar route to learning their language and of course, encourage more to study the language.
I am confident when I think that there are people of any age in a similar position as me, even if you don’t think that it’s you but I want to stimulate greater confidence to make decisions outside of your comfort zone to prove that actually…
You can really do it!
Thank you for visiting my page, I appreciate any feedback.