Who are we
The School of Oriental Languages and Communication (OTC) is a four-year programme of higher education offered by Zuyd University of Applied Sciences in Maastricht, the Netherlands.

The educational staff consists of a supervisory team of sinologists, japanologists and arabists (near-native or native speakers of the oriental language), complemented by a number of foreign visiting staff from institutions and universities which we partner with. In addition, the English staff and lecturers
from a variety of subject-related disciplines make an important contribution to the curriculum as well. The school has about 400 students.

If you opt for the School of Oriental Languages and Communication, you will have to make a first foreign language choice between Arabic, Chinese and Japanese. During the first two years of the programme, you will spend more than half of your time learning how to communicate in the
oriental language of your choice, both orally and in writing. At first, this is limited to ordinary conversational communication, but at a later stage, there will be a shift of focus to language skills in a business context: e-mail correspondence, translation, interpreting, writing letters and making phone calls, all of these in the oriental language of your choice. You will also follow a programme of English, which is, after all, the number one language of international business. Students of Arabic who are interested in improving their French language skills can join French classes in other programmes offered by the Faculty of International Business and Communication. This is on a voluntary basis.

Apart from the foreign language, you will also learn a lot about the history, culture, economy, political situation and social structure of the oriental country and its adjacent region. You will learn how to deal with different norms and values, habits and attitudes. There is also a wide range of business and communication courses, and you will enhance a number of practical skills such as presenting and negotiation skills, interviewing and other speaking skills. In the curriculum a number of different teaching formats are used: lectures, workshops, working groups, projects and trainings.

Options for specialisation
In the second year, you can choose from a number of options for specialisation that have their own graduation tracks. If you would like to study the oriental language in greater depth, you can opt for the Language specialisation. In this programme, there will be a focus on language skills, but communication and business courses will be part of the curriculum as well. If you are more interested in communication or business, however, you can opt, instead, for one of the other two specialisations, with the number of hours for language skills decreasing to a level that is adequate to maintain the language competencies you obtained before.

Study abroad
In the third year, you will spend a five-month period in China, Japan, Morocco or Jordan. During this stay abroad you will follow an intensive language course at one of our partner universities. Living and studying in the foreign language will actually entail a realistic, intensive encounter with the oriental
country, its people and the language spoken. Please be aware of the fact that this stay abroad will bring additional costs (for travel, accommodation and living). These expenses can add up to c. € 4000 - € 7000, depending on the destination, partner university and currency fluctuations.

In the fourth year, you will do a five-month practical period as an intern with a company or organisation, either in the Netherlands, in an English-speaking country, or in China, Japan or an Arabic-speaking country. On completion of this internship you will write an extensive report which demonstrates your
foreign language skills, your knowledge of international trade and / or communication.

Professional prospects
The main aim of the programme is to train prospective professionals who, for the benefit of international companies, governmental institutions and non-profit organisations, can act as liaising officers in order to establish and maintain contacts with relations in China, Japan or the Arabic-speaking world. These contacts can be commercial, cultural or social. In the list below you will find a few examples of the type of professional roles we have in mind:

  • Country or Account Manager in a multinational company
  • Office Manager in an overseas branch office
  • Business Adviser or Export Managing Assistant
  • Embassy or Consulate Assistant
  • Travel Guide or Location Manager with a tour operator
  • Policy-making Official
  • International Relations Coordinator
  • Communication Manager
  • Immigration Officer
  • etc.

Please be aware:
This programme is taught entirely in Dutch. Therefore students that do not have Dutch as their mother tongue will not be able to enroll!

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