The Dutch-speaking Low Countries (the Netherlands and part of Belgium) are a unique cultural community of about 22 million speakers in North-Western Europe. The names of famous Dutch artists readily come to mind: Rembrandt, Rubens, Breughel, Van Eyck, Mondriaan, as do some of the cities where they lived: Amsterdam, Brussels, Leyden, Maastricht. But artists do not flourish in a vacuum. Each of these artists assumes a cultural, political, economic, and historical context that is worthy of study in its own right. The resources in Dutch Studies at Penn offer students and faculty the ability to learn more about:

  • The Dutch Economy
    A Major Investor in the US and an important player in the EU
    The Golden Age in history, art, religion, literature
  • The Dutch Language
    Comparatively easy to learn for speakers of English & German
  • The Netherlands and Belgium During the Nazi Occupation
  • The Literature and Culture of the Dutch Colonial Period
    South Africa, New Netherland, Indonesia, Surinam, the Antilles

Dutch Courses

DTCH 0100-401 (formerly DTCH 101-401) Elementary Dutch I
A first-semester Dutch language course covering the core Dutch grammar and vocabulary with the goal of providing the corner stone for developing overall linguistic proficiency in Dutch.

DTCH 0200-401 (formerly DTCH 102-401) Elementary Dutch II
Continuation of 0100-401

DTCH 0300-401 (formerly DTCH 103-401) Intermediate Dutch I
A third-semester Dutch language course emphasizing vocabulary expansion via the use of audio and video-taped materials and readings. Grammar is expanded beyond the basics and focuses on compound sentences, features of text coherence and idiomatic language usage.

DTCH 0400-401 (formerly DTCH 104-401) Intermediate Dutch II
Continuation of 0300-401

DTCH 2300-402 (formerly DTCH 230-401) Northern Renaissance Art

DTCH 5070-601 Dutch for Reading Knowledge
This course is designed for undergraduates, graduate students, and faculty who want to be able to read Dutch. Of particular interest to historians and art historians, people interested in international business and law, religious studies, social policy, and literature. Emphasis on reading skills; structures of grammar and pronunciation are taught as needed. Text selection will be tailored to individual student needs. No knowledge of Dutch required.

DTCH 4001/9999 Independent Study

University of Pennsylvania and Philadelphia Resources

The Breughel Professorship: Every year an eminent professor from a Belgian university spends a semester teaching and performing research at Penn.

The Penn/K.U. Leuven Exchange Program: Every year numerous Penn undergraduates spend a semester living and studying in Leuven.

De Nederlandse Taalunie: Annually the Dutch Studies Program receives financial support for its activities from De Nederlandse Taalunie.

Van Pelt/Dietrich Library: The library maintains an extensive collection of historical and contemporary books on the Low Countries, both in English and in Dutch.

The Netherlands-America Association of the Delaware Valley: This association, representing over 300 families in and around Philadelphia, is a frequent co-sponsor of lectures and other cultural events.

Related Websites

Dutch families in and around Philadelphia


Get connected with people learning Dutch: www.learndutch.org

Dutch search engine: www.ilse.nl

Dutch broadcasting: http://wwitv.com/television/148.htm

Things Dutch people like:http://stuffdutchpeoplelike.com/

Historic buildings within Amsterdam : www.bmz.amsterdam.nl/adam/index_e.html

New Netherland Institute (in Albany, NY): http://www.newnetherlandinstitute.org/

Dutch government: https://www.government.nl/

Further Information:

For more information please contact:

Rob Naborn, Lecturer
Dutch Studies Program
Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures
745 Williams Hall
University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6305