Preparatory Year of Dutch

Registrations closed - The UCT accepts applications from 15/12/2023 until 1/5/2024

1. Programme

The Preparatory Year of Dutch is especially organized for non-Dutch speaking students who want to prepare themselves to academic studies in Dutch. The programme consists of 6 modules, from level 1 (A2 of the CEF) till level 6 (C1 of the CEF). The final test of the level 5 module is the Interuniversity test of Dutch for Speakers of Other Languages (ITNA). By passing the ITNA, you meet the language requirements of higher education and can thus enroll at a Flemish university (college).
You can find more information on the content of the different modules on our website.

In the academic year 2024-2025 the Preparatory Year of Dutch (VJN) starts on 23/9/2024 and finishes at the latest on 20/9/2025. Classes are held in the morning or in the afternoon. You have to be available in the morning and in the afternoon.

You are present as of the first lesson. Late arrivals will not be accepted. All classes will be organized on campus. There are no online classes.

There are no lessons:

  • during the mid-term break (28/10/2024-1/11/2024)
  • the Christmas holiday (23/12/2024-3/1/2025)
  • the Easter holiday (7/4/2025-21/4/2025)
  • July (1/7/2025-27/7/2025).

You must reside in Belgium legally. Your classes will take place in one of the buildings of Ghent University, located in the center of Ghent. Ghent is a medium sized city, easily accessible by public transport or by bike.
If covid-19 or another situation beyond our control prohibits us to teach on campus, we will switch to online classes.

It can be quite a challenge to master Dutch in one year in order to function on an academic level. It is therefore best to consider this study as a full-time task. The trajectory is taught at a fast pace, which means that you will have to process a lot of information in a short amount of time. This requires a substantial amount of effort from the student. You will have to attend nine to fifteen hours of class tuition per week, depending on the level. Furthermore, we also need you to invest three more hours a day for further study. Finally, you are expected to engage in conversation in Dutch outside of the UCT as often as possible.

We advise you to come to Ghent at latest one week before the start of the programme. This provides you with ample time for further administrative arrangements regarding your stay in Belgium.

If you have not passed a certain level, you will have to retake this level because it is not possible to proceed to the next level if you have not passed the previous one.
You can follow a level two times.

If you have followed a certain level two times without passing the final test, your registration will be cancelled. We will refund the amount of the tuition fee that has not been used up at that moment, without costs.

If you do not pass the level 4 course, you will retake this level unless you take this course in March-May or April-June. We will then give you the opportunity to purchase a self-study package and retake the final test of this level. If you pass this new test, you can take the level 5 course in August-September so that you can obtain a B2 certificate before the start of the academic year.
You cannot choose the timing of this test. If you have followed the course in March-May, you will take the test again at the end of June. If you have followed the course in April-June, you will take the test at the end of July or the beginning of August. You can only take this new test once.

2. Admission requirements

Proof of acceptance university or university college

You can only apply if you have a written proof that you have been accepted by a Flemish university or university college (academic year 2025-2026).

Please pay attention: an acceptance letter is not a proof that you are enrolled at a Flemish university or university college. An acceptance letter is a proof that you have been accepted to a certain programme. After you have successfully followed the Preparatory Year of Dutch and thus have obtained a B2 certificate of Dutch (for applied linguistics a C1 certificate, you can enroll at the school of your choice. You do not need to be enrolled at a Flemish university or university college in order to be accepted for the Preparatory Year of Dutch.

Future students with direct access to Ghent University do not need this written proof of acceptance.
See the website of Ghent University for more information.

Language requirements

You need no prior knowledge of Dutch before you can enrol but you do need basic knowledge of English as an intermediate language (required level: A2 of the CEF). The teachers will only speak English as a supporting language. All information is only available in Dutch and English.

Once we have all application documents (see ‘3. Applications, registrations and payments’), we will send you an email in which you will be asked to have an interview with one of our staff members by MSTeams. We can then assess your command of English. You only have one opportunity to prove your level of English. There is no resit possible! We will also ask you a few questions on the Preparatory Year of Dutch and the programme you are going to follow after the Preparatory Year of Dutch.

If you are accepted for the Preparatory Year of Dutch, we will send you an official invitation to register.

3. Applications, registrations and payments

You can only apply by filling out the VJN application form on our website.

When uploading a copy of your passport and your proof of acceptance:

The UCT accepts applications from 15/12/2023 until 1/5/2024, as long as places are available.

We advise you to apply well in advance and not to wait until 1/5/2024. This especially applies to students who want to study at Ghent University or to students who need a student visa. A visa procedure can take up to three months, but is unpredictable and can thus take longer.
If you want to study at Ghent University, please make sure that you apply at Ghent University well before the deadline!

The APS-certificate is required for students from the People’s Republic of China.
More information can be found on the website of Ghent University on the APS screening.

After you have been accepted for the Preparatory Year of Dutch, you will receive an invitation to make an official registration. Once you have registered, you will receive an invoice by email. The payment has to be executed before 1/6/2024! When the payment is not executed on time, we will cancel your registration.

Your registration is only valid once the UCT has received the full fee (this means once the fee is visible on the account of Ghent University). Once the payment has been received, the UCT will send you a letter of admission which you can use to apply for your student visa.

Bank charges have to be paid by the student.

4. UGent account

Ghent University will send you an email with a link to activate your UGent account. You must choose a password to activate your UGent account.

Together with your UGent account you receive a UGent e-mail address. It looks like this: first name.family name@ugent.be

After activating your UGent account, you must also set up Multi-factor authentication (MFA). It is very important that you choose several methods and certainly also a method that you can use when you have arrived in Belgium! So DO NOT choose a phone in your home country if you don't bring that phone with you to Belgium.

ALWAYS USE your Ghent University account! You can send emails with it, you can use it on websites that are very important to follow your lessons: Ufora, OASIS, Athena, etc.

You can check your UGent email via OWA.

5. Communication via email

All communication regarding the Preparatory Year of Dutch (VJN) should take place via email. We cannot answer questions about a specific record by phone.

The moment you have your UGent email address, you use this email. You always send an email to uct@ugent.be. As soon as we have given you a student number (which can be found on the invoice and consists of 8 digits beginning with 0) you have to mention this number whenever you contact us.

6. Fee and reduction

The fee is €3,955, including the application fee of €600 and €3,355 for the classes (€630 for level 1 and €545 for levels 2-6). Course materials and all tests are included in the fee.

Additional cost if you need to repeat a level:

 

  • Do you repeat 1 level: 0 EUR (we use the money provided for level 6, which will be cancelled)
  • If you repeat more than 1 level: 545 EUR per level
  • Do you repeat level 1: 85 EUR

    Students of Ghent University (academic year 2025-2026) who have passed the course Dutch for Speakers of Other Languages level 5 of their VJN, can get a refund for all levels provided that they show us their valid student card. The refund is the student reduction(€205 for level 1 and €180 for levels 2-6). The student reduction can be applied for until 1/12/2025. After that, reimbursement is no longer possible.

    7. Cancellations

    Cancellations at the latest on 15/8/2024

    Cancellations can only be done by the students themselves and have to be done by email. If you cancel at the latest on 15/8/2024, administrative costs of €700 will be charged. Bank costs have to be borne by the course participant.

    When you cancel you provide us with the following data:

    Cancellations AFTER 15/8/2024

    If you cancel after 15/8/2024, then the general cancellations rules of the UCT apply: you can cancel up to two weeks before the start of a module. You will be refunded the course fee minus 600 cancellation costs and 50 administrative costs per module that you cancel. After this term you can no longer cancel nor ask for a refund.

    Problems with obtaining the VISA

    Obtaining a visa takes time. We therefore strongly advise you to start the visa procedure as soon as possible.

    You can find more information on the website of the Immigration office of the federal government home affairs.

    The visa application procedure is your own responsibility. This is outside the scope and responsibility of the UCT. The UCT will therefore not intervene.

    8. Frequently asked questions

    1. How many times can I follow the Preparatory Year of Dutch?
    You can follow the Preparatory Year of Dutch only once.
    2. Where can I find the UCT and how can I reach it?
    You find all the information about the location and directions on our website.
    3. Can I get a discount if I come by train?
    Yes, if you are younger than 26 and do not live in Ghent. You can find an attestation on Oasis. You log in with your UGent account.
    • You click on 'UCT student'.
    • You go to 'My Oasis'.
    • You click on 'Certificates'.
    • You select the academic year 2024-2025.
    • You select the certificate type 'NMBS'..
    4. Can I get a proof of my registration of the Preparatory Year of Dutch?
    Yes, you can find an attestation on Oasis once the full course fee has been paid.
    • You log in with your UGent account.
    • You click on 'UCT student'.
    • You go to 'My Oasis'.
    • You click on 'Certificates'.
    • You select the academic year 2024-2025.
    • You select the certificate type 'Enrolment certificate UCT'...
    5. Am I already an official student of Ghent University when I am doing the Preparatory Year of Dutch?
    No, you are only a student of Ghent University if you are enrolled. This is only possible if you have obtained the certificate of Dutch (level 5).
    Ghent University does offer you a number of facilities as a VJN-student. You can find information on the website of Ghent University.
    6. Can I get a student card of Ghent University?
    No, see point 3. However, during the first lesson you will obtain a card that you can use in the university restaurants and the sport facilities of Ghent University (GUSB).
    7. Who can I contact for a 'blocked account'?
    More information about a blocked account can be found on the website of Ghent University.
    Contact: international@ugent.be
    8. When and how do I enrol at Ghent University?
    You can find all the information about when and how to enrol at Ghent University on the website.
    You can only enrol if you have proof that you have a B2- or C1-level of Dutch. This B2-level equals level 5 at the University Language Centre (UCT), the C1-level equals level 6.
    9. Who can I contact for a student room?
    You find more information on the website of Ghent University.
    Please keep in mind that there is a shortage of student rooms in Ghent and that you will not be able to rent a student room of Ghent University yet.
    10. Where can I collect a certificate to prove that I attended the Dutch classes?
    You can obtain a certificate of attendance after each module at Oasis.
    • You log in with your UGent account.
    • You click on 'UCT student'.
    • You go to 'My courses' under the academic year 2024-2025.
    • You select the course for which you want a certificate.
    • You click on 'print certificate'.
    11. Where can I find a certificate of my Dutch classes?
    You can obtain a certificate after each module at Oasis.
    • You log in with your UGent account.
    • You click on 'UCT student'.
    • You go to 'My courses' under the academic year 2024-2025.
    • You select the course for which you want a certificate.
    • You click on 'print certificate'.
      • account number (= IBAN number)
      • name of the account holder
      • address of the account holder
      • SWIFT code of the bank
      • If you use a Moroccan account, you also add a bank certificate, mentioning the account number and name and address of the account holder