The Netherlands-Asia Honours Summer School (NAHSS) is a national honours programme that aims to prepare excellent Dutch students for a future with China as big player on the global stage. Participants gain knowledge on China through a preparatory track and summer programme that include academic, business, and cultural aspects. Students from various universities and studies work together on a consultancy project, participate in lectures by China experts, visit large multinationals and take part in a summer school in the Netherlands, and a trip to Singapore.


China has become one of the largest markets in the world. For the Netherlands – an open and export-oriented economy – the country is of vital importance, seen as China is one of the Netherlands’ largest trading partners for both import and export. Provided China’s expected economic growth will make it the largest economy globally, its importance on the global stage will only increase. No matter the type of career Dutch students will pursue, they will come into contact with China and its influences. To prepare Dutch students for this, it is important that Dutch talent is offered an opportunity to gain knowledge on China. The NAHSS hands students this opportunity, and by doing so helps to assure that this generation is prepared for a future in which China plays a big role in all sectors.


The NAHSS chooses to select second- and third-year bachelor students with a wide variety of study backgrounds because these students still have to decide on a post-graduate direction. The NAHSS aims to prepare these students for their future careers in a world in which China plays a big role in all sectors. A growing percentage of the NAHSS alumni network still comes into contact with China after their participation in the NAHSS through internships in China, studies in/about China, or work for the NAHSS partners.

In 2012, 30 students participated in the first edition of the programme. A year later, this number rose to 75 students. From 2014 to 2019, 100 students participated in the NAHSS programme. In 2021, 70 students participated due to the Covid-19 regulations that year. Besides the increasing number of students, the NAHSS has also increased its number of visited locations in Asia, from just Hong Kong in 2012, to Beijing, Chengdu, and Taipei in 2016. In 2019, Shenzhen was added and in 2022 the students will travel to Singapore due to Covid-19 restrictions in China.



  • NAHSS students attend a summer school at the Leiden University, in which they participate in China-related courses for a week. The courses cover economics, politics, management, engineering, and social sciences.
  • During the preparatory track, students follow lectures by China experts to prepare them for the summer.


  • Participating students conduct a consultancy project for one of the partners of the NAHSS. They do so in multidisciplinary project teams, consisting of students from various studies and universities.
  • The participants take part in various inhouse days during the preparatory track of the NAHSS. During these, the students get an insight into Dutch parties collaborating with Asian parties, and Dutch branches of Asian parties.
  • In Asia, the students also visit a multitude of companies and organisations operating in various sectors. By doing so, the students get a broad impression of the local market and working life.


  • During the preparatory track in the Netherlands, students are offered the opportunity to follow Chinese language and culture classes.
  • During the trip to Singapore, the participants come into contact with various Asian cultures. The Chinese culture is largely inherited in Singapore as well, due to the fact that 75% of the inhabitants of Singapore have Chinese roots.
  • Every year, various cultural workshops are integrated in the NAHSS programme for the participants to experience the Chinese culture.

Summer programme: summer school in the Netherlands and trip to Singapore

Every year the NAHSS edition is closed off by the summer programme, which takes places during the Dutch summer holiday. In this period, students are dedicating themselves fulltime to gain knowledge on China. For the NAHSS 2022, the summer programme consists of two parts: a summer school at the Leiden University and a trip to Singapore. The summer takes up a single week between July 11 and 15. After this, participants travel to Singapore for two weeks between July 25 and August 11. Students will experience the academic world, business life and culture themselves during the trip. In Singapore, they will perform field work, visit various leading multinationals, take part in a two-day academic program at the National University of Singapore cultural activities, visit the Dutch embassay, partake in cultural activities, and share knowledge and experiences among each other. The trip to Singapore connects the various components of the NAHSS programme and thereby forms the perfect way to close off the edition.

Overarching theme: projects

Participants of the NAHSS work on consultancy projects for one of the partners of the NAHSS. The teams consist of students from various universities and studies to form multidisciplinary groups in which various working methods can be explored. Every year, the projects are closely related to an overarching theme relevant for both the Netherlands and China. During these projects, the students are actively supported by the assigned partner. In 2022, the theme for the projects will be Curbing Climate Change. Please click here to read more about this theme.

After arrival back in the Netherlands, the participants present their findings and recommendations to all partners at the Closing Ceremony. During this event, the participants, partners, and alumni join each other to exchange experiences, ideas and knowledge.