Who are we?
MORE than les offers in-company and online Dutch courses and private coaching for New Amsterdammers in an interactive and fun way that helps you feel more at home. Customized to your needs – wherever and whenever it suits you. – For New-Amsterdammers, by Amsterdammers, in Amsterdam
Our goal is to help students learn Dutch and feel more at home through informal, interactive classes in small groups (max. 10 students) with a focus on each other and on Amsterdam. Our enthusiastic, proactive, ‘gezellige’, well-trained and qualified teachers know how to engage students who have worked 10 hours that day. They understand what it is like for an expat in a new city and help our students feel more at home by sharing tips about Amsterdam culture, the best markets, festivals, bars, and more! And, if you need to pass the integration exam, we can help coach you.
Our origin story
The founder of MORE than les, Noémie Winkel, first became committed to helping New Amsterdammers while welcoming refugees to Amsterdam, in September 2015 (AT5). Winkel kept in touch with many of the refugees she had met during that time, who had since become status holders and needed to pass Dutch exams to able to integrate. They communicated their wish to Winkel that they wanted to learn Dutch in a more informal, ‘gezellige’ and personal way; the way that Winkel taught expats as a freelance teacher for several companies.
To be able to help more students in a sustainable way, Winkel opened her own language school in a wing of the former Bijlmer Bajes in December 2016, right after she graduated her Masters International Development Studies at Wageningen University. The school grew in popularity and together with ±20 teachers, MORE than les helped more than 500 students during this time (Parool, NOS, JAN Magazine).
Companies showed a growing interest and so from 2017 on, MORE than les started organizing in-company courses at a growing number of companies. When the Dutch government announced in early 2019 that the policy for teaching status holders would change drastically, Winkel decided to switch gears and focus mainly on organizing in-company courses.
MORE than les has worked with over 20 companies in and around Amsterdam and continues to grow and adapt to the changing reality by now also offering online courses so new Amsterdammers can still learn Dutch in the same fun and informal way from the comforts of their own home (NRC).
Since 2016, MORE than les helped more than 700 new Amsterdammers not only learn Dutch but also connect to new people, and feel more at home in Amsterdam. The community of Dutch teachers, expats, and status holders created a new and broadened network that offers support when students are looking for new jobs, need help with bureaucracy, and gives them a sense of community in their new home town.
Through learning more about Dutch culture and fun activities in Amsterdam, expats often want to stay in Amsterdam and with their current company longer due to the enriched connections to other expats, coworkers, and their company that were made during the in-company course.