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About Kickstart School


Kickstart helps motivated expats to improve their Dutch and/or English communication skills in a professional yet personal manner in order to help them settle more quickly into their new environment and improve their career prospects. This is facilitated by a group of highly-skilled teachers, supported by a management team that continually strives towards optimising the language-learning process, all within the inspiring atmosphere of a traditional Dutch townhouse.

About us

Kickstart School offers Dutch and English language training for motivated people who wish to achieve tangible results under the expert guidance of our highly-skilled teachers. Our regular courses and tailor-made programmes cater for individuals, companies, expats, students, children, and au pairs, and can be taken in groups or privately. We also offer exam preparation courses for a wide range of internationally-recognised language qualifications.

Josien Deknatel founded Kickstart School in 2001 with the goal of offering both good quality and value for money. She is continually developing and expanding the school based around her vision of a healthy, strong, knowledge-based company that is run in an effective and personal way. Kickstart’s staff is now made up of around 25 teachers supported by our administrative team, ensuring that the school runs smoothly and flexibly.

Kickstart has a proven track record of consistency and quality. Our goal is to provide a pleasant, supportive, and challenging learning environment for both teachers and students, where personal attention and care are paramount. In particular, our limited group sizes ensure that each student receives individual attention and has ample opportunity to put their skills into practice.

Our courses are carefully programmed to meet specific learning goals while also exploring interesting cultural aspects related to language learning. Lessons are adapted to suit the needs of each particular group of students, incorporating a variety of learning methods and providing space for spontaneity and flexibility.

Kickstart uses a range of different learning materials, including our online learning platform, KickstartNet. KickstartNet enhances students’ opportunities to develop their language skills by providing a wealth of extra resources, while also providing a forum where students can better communicate with their teachers and peers.

In all things, Kickstart seeks to provide the highest quality of teaching and service with a level of individual care that flows from personal nature of the company. We are truly pleased to teach you!

Click here to view our General Conditions and here to view our brochure.

Kickstart team

Kat / Valentina / Marina / Josien / Fernanda / Isobel


 What our students say about us

  • My experience with Kickstart has been highly beneficial in both developing language skills and improving my knowledge of the Dutch culture. Josien's support is always spot on and very intuitive in relation to personal circumstances. She spends a lot more than the official time allocated to really get to know her clients and her approach is customised accordingly. She was recommended to me by other Shell colleagues who expressed the same sentiment and I was fortunate enough to benefit from this during the time I spent with her.

    Vennasa van de Ven, Migration Manager working at Shell

  • Entering the Kickstart school premises alone gives you a push of energy and the commitment this will help to create is hardly unmatched in any other language school. The methodology and the approach used in the lessons also helps smoothly unlock the secrets of everyday Dutch. Kickstart School has helped me get in touch with the 'undutchable' culture of the Netherlands and its people. The individual language training I could experience at Kickstart School has been one of the best educational experiences I could have in Europe.

    Alessandro d’Addario, European Law Enforcement 

  • I really enjoyed my English lessons with the Kickstart School. The teacher was professional and really knew the subject. The way they teach is also great! The classes are presented in a clear and professional manner and the online exercises completed at home are very helpful. The teacher always provided useful feedback. It's a great experience to join a Kickstart course with such a friendly atmosphere of students and teachers.

    Beatriz Pedroche, Spain 

  • Kickstart has been the ideal place for me to learn. The teachers are very helpful and friendly and have always gone the "extra mile" to help me learn in a positive way. Their teaching is practical with elements that can immediately be applied to everyday living situations. Included in the lessons are cultural aspects of living in the Netherlands that make learning Dutch dynamic and fun; you learn the language and about the place and the people! The teachers took an active interest in my progress and provided valuable customized sessions that maintained my strengths and developed my weaknesses; all in a patient, fun and friendly style.

    Graeme Ting, dentist from New Zealand 

  • My first contact with Kickstart School was after 1 month of living in The Netherlands, when I started to study Dutch. At the time I didn’t have any knowledge of the language, but with their courses organized by levels I developed important language skills and learned about the Dutch culture. They all do a great job at Kickstart because their motto it’s not just a motto – they are really pleased to teach you. You learn a language in a friendly atmosphere, make new friends from all over the world, and all in a cosy building right in the heart of The Hague.

    Anca Boros, mathematics and physics teacher from Romania

  • During my time with Kickstart I have learned a lot and gained confidence. I was always challenged by the interesting assignments, but never too much. I have really enjoyed the classes!

    Sabine de Bruijn, Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment of the Kingdom of the Netherlands

Kickstart blog

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    Five Tips for Surviving the Dutch Weather   It’s no secret that Dutch weather can be erratic but nothing quite prepares you for it. I still remember the first time I saw a weather forecast on the morning news – I was shocked to see 4 different icons in one day – sun, rain, clouds and […]


Latest news

  • DSC_0613

    NEW – Chinese courses at Kickstart School

    We are happy to inform you that we are now offering Chinese courses at different levels. From September 2019 we will be offering the course Communicating in Chinese Level I.  This is a course for beginners and is designed to develop the basic language skills necessary to start communicating in Mandarin in everyday situations.   The course...