Terms and Conditions
1.1 Our Dutch school is anti-racist, apolitical and non-religious. Dutch First is proud to accept all students for who they are, regardless of what they look like, believe in or who they love. Students and teachers come here to learn and not to convince others of their beliefs or convictions.
1.2 Both teachers and course participants should work in pleasant conditions. Quarrelling, swearing and using offensive language are forbidden. Do not laugh at or criticize other classmates’ mistakes. Remember that everybody is here to learn
1.3 It is forbidden to smoke inside the building. Persons smoking outside the building are asked not to throw any cigarette ends or anything else on the building stairs or around. Persons caught smoking inside the building will be charged a fine in the amount of €50,-
1.4 Persons under the influence of alcohol will be asked to leave the school with no right to compensation for missed lessons.
1.5 Teachers are there to help the Course participants within the school’s syllabus. They do not translate letters or other texts nor do they fill out application forms, etc. The teacher’s task is to teach according to the Dutch syllabus.
* Violation of regulations #1.2- #1.4 will be followed by an official warning; repetitive behavior will ultimately lead to expulsion from the school with no right to any refund of the value of the remaining classes of the participant’s course.
2 General course regulations:
2.1 Everybody is expected to come to class on time. When someone is late, they will disturb others in the class and distract the teacher. Please inform our reception in case you can’t come to a lesson in advance by sending us an email at [email protected] or calling us at +31302919884.
2.2 Mobile phones need to be switched off or changed to a vibration mode. If a student is expecting an important call, they should turn down the volume to level 1, sit down near the door and when receiving the call, leave for the reception.
2.3 Questions connected to the lesson can be asked only during the lesson. The teacher has the right and duty to rest during any breaks and before/after the lesson.
2.4 Any questions regarding our courses or school should be asked at our administration, not to the teachers.
2.5 (Does not apply for One-Year Program) Changing from one course group to another during a given course due to extraordinary and unexpected circumstances (e.g. illness of a close family member) can be arranged after approval of the administration, but will be charged with a fee. The course participant will continue lessons in another equivalent group from the point where they ended lessons in the old group. Changing the course group can be arranged ONLY after notifying the reception with a valid ground in written form and presenting the cause (i.e. doctor’s note regarding illness). The school does not accept course change requests by phone. The fees for changing are 20% of the full course fee for all our courses.
2.6 If the student is no longer able to participate in the course due to illness, they need to present the right medical documentation to the reception in order to change to another group. The change is effective from the day the documentation is received. A 20% changing fee is charged. In rare occasions where the participant is not able to change to another group, they can be allowed to have the remaining hours of the course refunded. The amount of the refund will count from the day the school has received the documentation (NOT from the date that is stated on the document). A service fee of € 40,- will be added by the school.
2.7 The participant’s forced decision to change the course group must be presented in a written form in the reception. We do not accept any course changes over the phone.
2.8 Students have the possibility to take a free placement test at Dutch First to check their level before signing up for a course. Dutch First does not allow students to change or withdraw from a course due to their mistaken estimate of a course level.
2.9 A scheduled course will start when the required minimum number of participants has signed up. The school holds the right to cancel or postpone a course when the number of confirmed participants is lower than required. The school also holds the right to change/adjust starting dates, times and teachers.
2.10 Participants have the right to purchase additional Dutch lessons in other groups, so called drop-in classes, on the condition that there is a place available. Drop-in classes cost €45,- per session of three lesson hours and € 35,- for a lesson of two lesson hours.
2.11 Participants taking part in drop-in sessions are allowed to postpone a lesson at the latest 24 hours before the scheduled meeting. In case the school is notified too late or in case of a no-show, the participant will be charged for the missed lesson.
2.12 When it concerns courses which are on special offer, the conditions of the given promotion apply. Each participant is also supposed to be acquainted with the general school regulations before enrolling in a course which is on special offer.
2.13 The use of course books and material is obligatory. The cost of books is NOT included in the course fees. Course books can be purchased at Dutch First, in a Dutch bookshop or online. Only when the school clearly provides the information that the Dutch course materials are included in the price, there will not be any obligation for purchasing books.
2.14 Our courses progress at a fast pace and require familiarity with the Latin alphabet. Courses are taught all in Dutch for a more immersive learning experience. We ask all participants to not speak any other language with each other or with the teacher during the lessons.
2.15 At the end of the last lesson of each course, each participant who has been attending more than 80% of the courses classes will receive a digital course certificate. This certificate is included in the course fee. A hard copy of the certificate can be requested at our administration for €5,- per copy.
3 Additional regulations for online courses:
3.0. We offer virtual classroom group courses with a teacher on a digital platform. The number of lesson hours you receive varies and is clearly stated in the course descriptions. All lesson hours last 45 minutes each.
3.1 About Zoom-meetings: The duration of the Zoom-meetings varies for the various online courses. In general, group courses are two lesson hours of 45 minutes per lesson.
3.2. Our virtual classroom group courses follow a preselected fixed schedule. All course schedule times are stated in Dutch time (Central European Time or Central European Summer time). All other, one-to-one Zoom-meetings must be scheduled in the period 08:00 – 20:00 (Central European Time), Monday to Friday unless you and your online teacher have agreed otherwise.
3.3. You are responsible for the working order of your own equipment (such as pc, microphone, keyboard and internet connection). If there are problems with your equipment or internet connection, the meeting will be considered lost. If your online teacher has problems with their equipment or internet access, we will make sure you recoup the lost (part of the) lesson at a later stage.
3.4. If you experience that your teacher does not follow you up adequately or you want to change your teacher, you must contact Dutch First or the pedagogical advisor immediately.
3.5. About sickness: If you are sick, you must notify Dutch First in writing on the day of your illness. A doctor’s note in Dutch or English must be sent to Dutch First within a week from the date it was issued. Scheduled one-to-one online meetings will be rescheduled without extra costs. For virtual classroom group courses, please contact Dutch First.
3.6. About course certificates: To receive a course certificate for completing your online course, you must fulfil the following criteria, you must attend a minimum of 80% of your scheduled sessions.
4 Individual one-on-one lessons:
4.1 Individual lessons are held on our premises one-on-one or in small groups (up to three participants) at our school location in Utrecht.
4.2 Individual online lessons are held one-on-one or in small groups in a virtual classroom with face-to-face Zoom-meetings.
a) It is expected that you will be on time for scheduled Zoom-meetings with your online teacher. For one-to-one Zoom meetings, if you are more than 15 minutes late for the meeting, your lesson will be considered as a “no show” and lost. If your online teacher is more than 10 minutes late for the scheduled meeting, you can cancel the meeting and reschedule without any extra costs.
b) If you need to reschedule an individual lesson, in our classroom or for a one-on-one Zoom-meeting, you must notify your online teacher or Dutch First in writing (by e-mail) at a minimum 24 hours (Saturday and Sunday are not workdays) before the scheduled meeting. If the notification is received less than 24 hours before the scheduled meeting, your meeting cannot be cancelled and will be considered lost.
4.3 About sickness: If you are sick, you must notify Dutch First in writing on the day of your illness. A doctor’s note in Dutch or English must be sent to Dutch First within a week from the date it was issued. Scheduled one-to-one online meetings will be rescheduled without extra costs.
4.4 For individual lessons, we use lesson hours of 50 minutes. The first lesson hour is bought separately to try out the teaching style and see if the participant wants to continue. After the first lesson, individual lessons can be purchased in packages per 5 lessons.
a) Discounts are offered per package as follows:
– For 10 or more lessons, a 5% discount on the course fee is applied.
– For 20 or more lessons, a 10% discount on the course fee is applied.
– For 30 or more lessons, a 15% discount on the course fee is applied.
b) Discounts do not accumulate and only apply once (e.g. for 40 lesson hours, not 5 + 10 + 15% is applied, but just once a discount of 15%)
4.5 Individual lessons have a certain validity and expiration date. Applicants have to use their individual lessons within a set period of time after the start date (first lesson) of the purchased package:
a) 5 purchased lesson hours have to be used within 2 months from the start date of the first lesson.
b) 10 purchased lesson hours have to be used within 3 months from the start date of the first lesson.
c) 20 purchased lesson hours have to be used within 6 months from the start date of the first lesson.
d) For other amounts, above-mentioned validness periods accumulate (e.g. 25 purchased lesson hours are valid for 8 months, 40 purchased lesson hours for one year).
4.6. Participants taking part in 1-on-1 individual lessons are allowed to postpone a lesson at the latest 24 hours before the scheduled meeting. In case the school is notified too late or in case of a no-show, the participant will be charged for the missed lesson.
5 Registration and payment:
5.1 Registrations are only accepted in writing: one can sign up for a course online, by email, or by visiting our school in person.
5.2 A registration for any course will be confirmed and binding, when the school has received:
a) a completed online registration form through Dutch First’s website
OR b) an e-mail which includes the applicants name, address, phone number and date of birth, plus the name and starting date of the course, and a confirmation that they have read and accepted Dutch First’s school regulations;
OR c) a completed and signed course agreement (‘cursusovereenkomst ‘) which is available at the school’s reception.
d) In case of a registration for individual lessons, the applicant will have to register on our general individual lesson course on our website, after which Dutch First will contact them regarding their registration and specific requirements.
5.3 If the invoice for the course is not to be addressed to the course participant, but e.g. the employer or host family, then this third party needs to confirm this to the school by e-mail using our TPBS form. As long as this confirmation has not been received by the school, the applicant will be held responsible for covering the costs for his/her course.
5.4 After the course registration is confirmed, an e-mail or letter which includes detailed information about how to make the payment for the course will be sent to the applicant not later than five days before the start of the course. The course fee(s) must be paid latest on the payment due date (‘vervaldatum’).
5.5. The invoice for the course can be paid by:
– using an online bank account
– paying in cash at our school (an additional fee of €7,50 will apply for each invoice)
– paying at a post office or bank
5.6 It is important to bear in mind that most banks charge additional service fees regarding international bank transfers.
Dutch First does NOT cover these additional costs: the service fees plus the fee(s) charged by the course payer’s own bank are to be covered by the course payer.
5.7 For all courses (except the One Year Program) the total amount for the course has to be paid LATEST ONE DAY before the first lesson of the course start date. Dutch First has the right to ask for a proof of payment on the first day of the course.
5.8 The full course fee for the One Year Program has to be paid within 10 days from the date of receiving the payment information letter. The students admission to these courses is only confirmed after the payment of the full course amount (additional bank service fees NOT included) has been recorded on Dutch First’s bank account.
5.9 If desired, an official letter confirming the admission to the course can be sent to the student, e.g. in order to apply for a visa (more information to be found under the paragraph ‘Visa and Student Deposit Account’). This letter will only be sent after the payment of the full course amount (additional bank service fees NOT included) has been recorded on Dutch First’s bank account.
5.10 Registration for the course, either through internet or course agreement (‘cursusovereenkomst’), is binding. However, Dutch First does allow participants to resign from a course registration list before the start of the course in certain situations. See paragraph ”6 Resignation and Cancellation fees’ for more detailed information.
5.11 In case on the first day of the course the participant decides not to start the course, they will nonetheless be obliged to pay the full course amount as stated on his/her invoice/payment information letter.
5.12 The course fee for the One Year Program can be paid in four equal instalments after consultation with the reception. The first instalment will include an additional fee of €25,-. This possibility applies only to persons with residence in the Netherlands and who have a Dutch Personal number (BSN). Due to administrative reasons, this option is only possible when the participant informs the school about this directly when signing up.
5.13 Invoices/payments which are not paid by the due date (‘vervaldatum’) will be processed and executed according to the Dutch law and the amount due will be registered in the Dutch debt collection office (‘Incassobureau’). The ‘Incassobureau’ is an external institution that calculates and charges forced additional costs to the actual amount due.
5.14 Dutch First has the right to withhold the participants course certificate (‘certificaat’) on the last lesson, when the participants course has not yet been paid.
6 Resignation and Cancellation fees:
6.1 Resignations for courses are only accepted when they are presented on time in a written form. For an official cancellation, the course participant can use the cancellation link in the email that is received after the course participant confirms participation. If the course participant is no longer in possession of the link to cancel, course participant can send an email to [email protected] stating full name of the participant and course details of the to cancel course. Dutch First does not accept any resignation over the phone. A registration for a Dutch course will be considered as binding until a written resignation is received by the school.
6.2 The reflection time is 14 calendar days, counted from the day the course participant signs up for the course (confirms participation). In case the course participant signs up for a course that has a start date within 14 calendar days of the sign-up date, the course participant gives up the right of the 14 days reflection time and our standard resignation policy applies (#6.3; #6.4).
6.3 Dutch First has the following policy regarding resignations (does not apply to visa applicants):
- Dutch First allows resignations from the course list free of charge when the resignation is received 8 or more calendar days before the course start date. (Example: if a course starts on 15 January, the participant can resign from this course free of charge up to and including 7 January.)
- Registrants who have already paid the course fee but decide to resign 8 or more calendar days before the course’s start date will get their full course fee refunded.
- Registrants resigning from the course 7 calendar days or less before the course start date will not be obliged to pay the full course amount, but WILL be charged a resignation fee (see regulation #6.4). (Example: if a course starts on 15 January and the participant resigns in the period 8 – 14 January, they will be charged a resignation fee.)
- Registrants who have already paid the course fee and decide to resign 7 calendar days or less before the course’s start date, will get their course fee refunded, minus a resignation fee (see regulation #6.4).
- Resignations received on or after the first day of the course are not accepted. Registrants will be charged the full course fee as stated on the course invoice(s).
- Registrants who have been accepted to the One-Year Program and do not require a visa can cancel their registration up to 30 calendar days before the program start date. An additional resignation fee applies (see regulation #5.12; 6.4). Resignations received 29 calendar days or less before the program start date are not accepted.
6.4 Dutch First’s resignation fees are as follows:
a. One-Year Program: 10 % of the full course fee.
b. All other courses: 20 % of the full course fee
c. Other than regulation #2.6, the participant holds no right to any form of refund or compensation for the paid course amount or amount due in case they decide to leave/are forced to leave the course earlier than the scheduled course end date.
6.5 Any interest accrued on funds held in any Dutch First bank account is the sole property of Dutch First.
7 Regarding visas
7.1 It is up to the applicant to find out about the possibilities and requirements regarding visa, residence permit and Dutch citizenship. This can be done at the local Dutch Embassy / Consulate or at the Dutch Immigration Department (www.ind.nl), Dutch First does not give information about this, we only provide information about our school and courses.
7.2 In no case the school will guarantee in advance that the student will be granted a visa or a residence permit; the school is thus not liable in the event of visa or a residence permit refusal or expiry.
7.3 Applicants who wish for an official Admission Letter from Dutch First in order to apply for a visa/permit are obliged to pay the full course fee (additional bank service fees NOT included) before such a document will be issued and sent. This rules supersedes rules 6.3 and 6.4 regarding course resignation/changing courses and fees linked to course resignation/changing courses.
Applicants who need an official Admission Letter from the school in order to apply for a visa/permit have the following two options:
7.3.1 If you register and pay for one of our courses with less than 96 lesson hours, the course is non-refundable. Choose your course with care.
7.3.2 If you register and pay for one of our full level courses (96 lesson hours), your payment is considered an “open payment” and is valid for 12 months. If you are not able to join the course that you sign up for, you have the right to cancel the course you signed up for, 8 or more calendar days before the course start date, for free. You can rebook the course to any other course without any fee. However, if you choose to complete the level on more expensive courses you will be charged the difference. Your payment includes a 35% non-refundable cancelation fee. You will be refunded 65% of the course fee only in case your visa application is denied (you will need to send the letter from IND confirming that your visa was denied).
7.4 The following rule regarding course resignation applies to registrants who have applied for a visa: Registrants who require a visa, have been admitted to a course/program, and have received a Letter of Admission can only resign if his/her visa application is rejected/denied. No other resignations are accepted.
8 Complaints procedure and policy
8.0. Dutch First Complaints Procedure: If you wish to make a complaint to Dutch First please send an email to [email protected]. In order to make sure we can handle and give feedback on your complaint, please ensure that the email complaint includes:
• Your name and contact details
• A description of the complaint
• A suggested solution
8.1. Definition of a complaint. A complaint is any expression of dissatisfaction, whether justified or not, about any aspect of Dutch First and the services it provides.
8.2. The aim of the complaints policy is to:
- Provide a complaints procedure that is fair, clear and easy to use.
- Publicize our complaints procedure so that people can contact us to make a complaint.
- Make sure all employees at Dutch First know what to do if a complaint is received.
- Make sure that all complaints are investigated fairly and in a timely manner.
- Make sure that complaints are, if at all possible, resolved and that relationships are repaired.
- Gather information that helps us to improve what we do.
8.3.1 Notification of customer complaints regulations. Customers are informed about the complaints regulations via the conditions on the Dutch First website. When registering for a course, customers agree to these conditions. The complaints regulations can also be requested by e-mail. Upon receipt of a complaint, the customer is informed of the complaints regulations. For Inburgering courses, Dutch First additionally sends the complaints procedure by email before the course.
8.3.2. Notification of complaints regulations employees. The employee familiarizes himself with the complaints procedure and the privacy regulations of the organization through the appendices to the employment contract.
8.4. Anonymous complaint. If you want to file a complaint anonymously, it is possible to do so through our anonymous online feedback form at https://www.dutchfirst.nl/en/survey. Please keep in mind that if you file a complaint anonymously, we will not able to give feedback on your complaint because we do not have access to your contact details. However, complaints received in any form are processed internally and taken seriously.
8.5. Handling of complaints. After receipt of the complaint by Dutch First, a confirmation of receipt will be sent within 2 weeks. The complaint will be handled within 4 weeks by an employee who is not directly involved in the dispute and a substantive response to a complaint can be expected. If the complaint is not processed, you will be notified within four weeks. The maximum handling time for the complaint is 6 weeks. All persons who file a complaint will be treated with respect. If possible, complaints will be resolved by reaching an agreement between the customer and Dutch First.
8.6. Escalation of unresolved complaints. Escalation of unresolved complaints. If the complaint cannot be resolved through consultation, Dutch First will inform the customer where they can take further steps externally. If no solution is found, the dispute can be submitted to the Disputes Committee for Private Educational Institutions (Geschillencommissie Particuliere Onderwijsinstellingen). For students with a DUO loan, the unresolved complaint can be submitted to the Arbitration Board of Blik op Werk (College van Arbitrage van Blik op Werk).
8.7. Confidentiality. All complaints information will be handled carefully, involving only relevant persons. Relevant data protection rules are adhered to (see the Dutch First Privacy Regulations). To file an anonymous complaint, see #8.4.
* Last update 16.02.2024