Article provided by UvA Talen, an IN Amsterdam partner

Amsterdam: an ideal place to learn English

It may not be your first choice when thinking about English-language courses, but Amsterdam is an ideal place to learn English. There is nothing more romantic than riding through narrow streets on a bike, drinking a coffee at a pavement café and talking to people from all around the world. This relaxed atmosphere makes Amsterdam the perfect city to learn the language.

Here are five reasons why learning English in Amsterdam isn’t such a bad idea.

1. Everybody speaks English

For several years, the Netherlands has been in the top three countries of the English Proficiency Index, which rates the level of English proficiency around the world. The Netherlands even reached the number-one position in the index in 2016 and 2017. Almost everybody speaks English here − whether you want to buy groceries at the market, contact your council office or buy a metro ticket. This will help you practice the language in informal situations, which can help you feel more confident when speaking English at work or in more formal situations.

2. Amsterdam has one of the most diverse populations in Europe

The Dutch city is home to more than 180 nationalities, making it the most culturally diverse capital in Europe. English is by far the most used language, not only by expats, but also by those who are not (yet) proficient in the Dutch language. You will never feel alone since you will come across so many different nationalities in shops, restaurants or in one of the many activities organised by − and for − foreigners. So there's no need to feel homesick.

3. There’s an international work environment

Even at the office, Dutch is not automatically the standard language. More and more multinationals are choosing to settle in the Dutch capital or to use Amsterdam as a base for a branch office. These include Uber, Nike, Adidas, Tesla and The language used here is predominantly English, so you will be able to practice during work. A decade ago it was a hard task to find a job in Amsterdam without speaking Dutch. Now, thanks to these multinationals (and an explosive growth in tourism), you can speak English everywhere. And as most of the expats who come to the Netherlands stay here for a short period of time ­– two years on average – they do not need to learn Dutch, stimulating a massive use of English in the workplace.

4. Even the Dutch make mistakes

Speaking another language other than your mother tongue can be really challenging. Most people in Amsterdam speak English as a second language, but nobody is perfect. In Amsterdam, you don’t have to worry about making mistakes or taking a long time trying to find an English word. Amsterdammers love to talk to people on the streets, they are open and experience the same difficulties you might have while communicating in English.

5. Great cities attract great teachers

There are plenty of opportunities to learn English in Amsterdam. The open and cultural nature of the city make it a hub of diversity in Europe. This attracts expats from all over the world, including some of the best English teachers, who have chosen to settle in Amsterdam.

Take the plunge and come to Amsterdam − you won't regret it!