Learning Dutch is subsidized in Belgium, and it can be very cheap (as long as you already have a residence card or Orange Card). It is also possible to enrol in Dutch classes as a tourist or even if you do not have your Orange Card yet, but you will need to pay full price.
Note: Orange Card is a temporary ID valid for 6 months issued while you wait for your residence card.

Huis van het Nederlands is the Belgian institution that is responsible for teaching newcomers the Dutch language. In Antwerp, however, people intersted in learning Dutch need to go to Atlas. NT2 (Nederlands als tweede taal) is the term used for Dutch courses given to non-native speakers.

Overview of Dutch Course Levels

Dutch Language Courses

  • You have an option of classes in the morning, afternoon, or evening
  • Classes are 2, 3, or 4 times a week
  • I am currently signed up in an intensive course, which is 4 times a week. One intensive module/niveau lasts 9 to 10 weeks
  • There are multiple starting times during the year
  • The duration and the price of the courses differ per school
  • In the diagram above, you will see some of the different institutions that give Dutch lessons (UT, CVO, CBE, and Alfa). I am enrolled in a CVO institution, Encora. In a CVO there are 10 modules/niveaus: 1.1, 1.2, 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 2.4, 3.1, 3.2, 4.1, and 4.2

Institutions in Antwerp that teach Dutch

  • Centrum voor Volwassenenonderwijs (CVO) (Adult Education Centre) | They organize Dutch language courses for average to fast learners (over 16 years of age). There are 4 CVOs in Antwerp that teach Dutch to foreigners: Encora, CVO Antwerpen, LBC, and SOPRO. CVOs are public schools and have a slower pace comapred to UTs
  • Linguapolis at Universiteit Antwerpen | It is a Universitair Talencentrum (UT). They organize Dutch language courses for higher educated adults who have studied a European language. Price per module costs minimum 300 Euros
  • Centrum voor Basiseducatie (CBE) (Basic Education Centre) – Open School Antwerpen | They organize courses for slow learning adults and adults who cannot read nor write
  • Hello Languages | A small private school that teaches different languages courses on a 1 on 1 basis or in small groups. Group lessons are €50 per week. Contact them directly to enrol/inquire.

Atlas in Antwerp

In Antwerp, people may go to Atlas to enrol in Dutch classes (and not to Huis van het Nederlands). Atlas offers civic integration programs and information about learning the Dutch language. Other functions of Atlas:

  • Accompanies non-native, minor newcomers in their search for a school
  • Offers support to organizations in dealing with ethnic-cultural diversity and in conducting a language policy for non-native speakers
  • Social Interpreting and Translation service
  • Legal services about the residence and legal status of foreign nationals in Antwerp
  • Organizes activities on diversity and urbanity
  • How to make an appointment with Atlas
  • You can make an appointment on their website and you will receive an appointment letter via e-mail
  • You can make an appointment in person at Carnotstraat 110, 2060 Antwerpen. I find this option to be better because they give you an earlier appointment date. Just bring your passport, Belgian ID card/Orange Card/Aankomstverklaring (Arrival Statement)

Amount to pay per module (CVO & UT)

  • For CVOs: I was enrolled in the school Encora, and since I had no Orange Card yet, I had to pay the full price of 80 Euros per module. Those with an Orange Card or other Belgian ID card only need to pay 10 Euros for a module in Encora. Fees vary per school, but the maximum amount to pay is 114 Euros for CVOs
  • For Linguapolis (UT):

What to bring to your appointment at Atlas

  • Appointment letter
  • A valid passport
  • Belgian ID card or residence documents, such as Aankomstverklaring (Arrival Statement)
  • Money for school and books
  • Certificates of OCMW, VDAB, asylum centre, or civic education (if applicable)
  • What to expect during your appointment at Atlas
  • You get information about a Dutch language course
  • You might take a test, after which, you get specific information about your course, such as the location of the classes (I myself was not given a test)
  • You register for a specific course or will be put on a waiting list