Amsterdam, with its legendary canals, plentiful cyclists, and masterful mixing of new with the old, must be among the most famous of European cities. In addition to being an incredibly popular tourist destination, it is also a cornerstone of global economy, and boasts a very high standard of living for its lucky inhabitants. With such a track record – is it a wonder that people from everywhere flock here, making it one of the most diverse cities in Europe?
Being such a kaleidoscope of different cultures, Amsterdam is also a language learner’s paradise. If you’re looking to get some excellent conversation practice, you should definitely check out the events organised by the Amsterdam Language Cafe Meetup group.
Amsterdam Language Cafe is an incredibly active Meetup group filled with language enthusiasts looking to improve their target languages. The group has over 7000 members on Meetup and even more people liketheir Facebook page. With such an impressive following, you can be sure that you’ll find willing partners for you language practice at their events.
Speaking of their events, these are organised in a way that each of their major languages gets a night dedicated to practicing it. So, you might keep an eye out for Dutch, English, French, Spanish, Italian, Norwegian, Japanese, Russian, or Arabic evenings, or just head to an All You Can Eat Language Buffet which welcomes all language learners.
Possibly the biggest downside to the events organised by Amsterdam Language Cafe is that they’re not especially suitable for beginners, but are more focused on intermediate and advanced language learners.
Like we already mentioned, the group organises regular single-language nights and larger events that mix together all of the different languages. Unfortunately, however, none of these events are regularly on schedule, making it somewhat difficult to give an exact location.
Quite a few of the single-language evenings take place in various language schools that sponsor the group. So, you might find Dutch or Spanish conversation exchange events taking place at Koentact, or Portuguese language practice being sponsored by Mixtree Languages. While you should maintain a healthy suspicion of all sponsored events, the presence of professional language teachers also definitely adds to the process.
As with location information, an exact schedule for this group is difficult to give, since none of their events are regularly recurring. They claim that their single language evenings take place on Wednesdays, and All Language Parties on Fridays, but plenty of other times also feature on their calendar.
To get the best and most up-to-date info on their upcoming events, keep an eye on either the group’s Meetup or Facebook events calendar. Since a lot of the events only allow a limited number of participants, and fill up quickly – be sure to RSVP to let the organisers know you’re coming.
As we already mentioned, there are both up- and downsides to this group. The events they organise are definitely well structured and provide a great way of getting conversation practice, but they’re not scheduled, so it’s difficult to plan anything in advance.
Additionally, while most language exchange events we cover are free, this group asks for a donation of 3 euros per event. Granted, some of the money goes towards charity, teaching children struggling in school better Dutch.
But, if you’re in Amsterdam and looking to get some conversation practice in your target language, it might pay to give them a visit.
Photo credit: Amsterdam Language Cafe Facebook photos.