University Students Go Dutch

At the end of last month, our Senior Translator, Andrew Maycroft, was one of five panellists at the Employability Forum, that formed part of the ALCS Student Days hosted by the University of Sheffield.

Organised by the Association for Low Countries Studies and sponsored by the Kingdom of the Netherlands, the Government of Flanders and the Dutch Language Union, this bi-annual event brings together Dutch language students from universities across the UK.

Students took part in a 24-hour programme of workshops, lectures, performances, the Employability Forum and a post-event party. In addition, an evening programme ‘Closer to Low Countries Cultures’ was open to the public in Sheffield’s Workstation with  Flemish poet and performer Maud Vanhauwaert and Dutch stand-up duo Johan Fretz and Marcel Harteveld  leading this and the student workshops. Dr Betsy Wieseman, curator of the Dutch and Flemish collection of the National Gallery in London, spoke on the challenges of putting together an exhibition of global significance such as the recent Late Rembrandt Exhibition.

Andrew explains: “The Employability Forum closed this diverse and exciting event. Its aim was to provide students with insights and ideas about how to utilise and leverage their knowledge of the Dutch language and of Dutch and Belgian culture (and of other languages) to seek employment and develop a career after graduation.

“A lively debate ensued, with students putting questions to myself and my fellow panellists. More informal discussions continued during lunch where students could speak individually to the panel members.

“Employability events such as this make a substantial contribution to Modern Languages students’ ultimate success in their chosen careers and it was an absolute pleasure to take part and pass on useful insights to the latest generation of students following university-level programmes in Dutch.”

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