Just as the not-so-obvious city has become a popular alternative for the classic city trip, more and more students discover the not-so-obvious-language as an alternative, exciting, and rewarding option. Dutch is a case in point and its popularity was underlined during the lively Student Days at the University of Sheffield on 19th and 20th March 2015.
Students and staff from Cambridge, Nottigham, Newcastle, UCL and Sheffield flocked to Yorkshire to find out more about Dutch and Flemish culture, to meet employers and to learn about their prospects as students of Dutch. And – not insignificantly – to meet new people and to have fun.
Participants were offered a 24-hour programme of workshops, lectures, performances, an employability forum, and an after party. In addition to the student event, there was an evening programme for the general public: Closer to Low Countries Cultures in Sheffield’s Workstation. Here is a short video of the event:
The Flemish poet and performer Maud Vanhauwaert, the Dutch standup duo Johan Fretz and Marcel Harteveld were responsible for the student workshops and the evening performances. Dr Betsy Wieseman, curator of the Dutch and Flemish collection of the National Gallery in London, offered a talk on the challenges of putting together an exhibition of global significance such at the recent Late Rembrandt Exhibition. The Students Days closed with an Employablity Forum where students put questions about Dutch Studies and future opportunities to a panel of experts: Christina Barningham (MA Sheffield), Dr Nick Piercey (Lecturer UCL), Dee Bodle (E Exchange), Michel Vanhoonacker (Belgian-Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce), and Andrew Maycroft (Eclipse Translations).
The ALCS Student Days were organized and coordinated by Louise Snape and Henriette Louwerse and sponsored by the Dutch Language Union, the Netherlands Embassy and Flanders House in London. A full photographic impression can be found HERE.