African Languages and Cultures
In the Netherlands, Africa is a relatively unknown continent. Naturally, people are familiar with the stereotypical images of Africa as a disaster area, but little is known about the people who inhabit this continent, their (hundreds of) languages, their socio-economic systems of organisation, the role religion plays in their life, or the developments in the fields of education and the arts.
Language of Instruction: Dutch
The programme in African Languages and Cultures is unique in the Netherlands. During the first year all of the main study areas are introduced: language learning (Swahili) and linguistics, history and society, and media and the arts. Language learning is central to the programme. Besides Swahili, the “lingua franca” in large parts of East Africa, students also learn another, regionally-important language. The linguistic classes provide students with a deeper understanding of the structure of African languages and show the close link that exists between language and culture. The other courses, just as important as the language classes, include the study of African History (from 500 C.E. to the present day!), literature, media and the arts. In the summer following the first or the second year, students follow a course in Swahili in Africa.
See for more information the department website (in Dutch) and the timetables (partly in English)
Following the basic programme, the African Languages and Cultures programme can be combined with one of the 'practical studies' or PraktijkStudies (International Management & Culture, European Union Studies, Journalism and the New Media, Book and Publishing or the Educational minor) or with other options and, possibly, an internship.