The Netherlands-Asia Honours Summer School (NAHSS) is a national honours program that aims to let excellent Dutch students experience China by means of a summer programme. The summer program includes academic, business, and cultural aspects. The program offers a talented group of multidisciplinary students the opportunity to prepare themselves for the ever-changing labour market and makes them aware of the opportunities that China offers.
China is one of the fastest growing countries in the world. For the Netherlands – an open and export-oriented economy – the country is of vital importance; Dutch export to China rose significantly over the last few years. However, as a result of limited international mobility of Dutch students (i.e. only 0.10% of the Dutch students study in Asia), Dutch students have limited knowledge of and experience with the Chinese culture and the Chinese business network. To prepare Dutch talent for the international labour market and the ever-growing demand of knowledge of the Chinese culture, it is important that Dutch talent is offered an opportunity to experience China. The NAHSS enables them to experience China and by doing so, this generation can further strengthen the bilateral relationship.
FOR BACHELOR STUDENTS
The NAHSS aims to serve second- and third year bachelor students with a wide variety of study backgrounds, as they still have to decide on a post-graduate direction, which the NAHSS aims to influence in an China-oriented manner. A growing percentage of the NAHSS alumni network is actively involved in the bilateral relationship through internships in China, studies in/about China, or projects for NAHSS partners.
In 2012, the first edition of the bachelor program, 30 students participated; 75 students participated in the program of 2013. In 2014 this number extended towards 100 participants. Besides the grown number of students, the NAHSS extended her summerschool locations in Asia from just Hong Kong in 2012, to Beijing, Chengdu and Taipei since 2016. Since 2019, the NAHSS cities are Beijing, Chengdu, Hong Kong, Shenzhen and Shanghai.
- Next to the academic aspect, delegates visit organizations in the preparatory trail in the Netherlands as well as during their stay in China.
- While visiting local branches of Dutch and Chinese NAHSS partners, they will learn more about the organizations’ views on and adaptions to the Chinese market.
- After the five-week long summer schools at the different locations, all NAHSS delegates reunite to participate in the so-called Business- and Culture week in Shanghai, in which the delegates visit many local branches of Dutch and Asian firms.
- To complement the experience, the delegates will learn a lot about the differences of and similarities with the Chinese culture.
- During the preparatory trail in the Netherlands, the NAHSS delegates participate in a Chinese culture and language course at Utrecht University.
- In China, they participate in culture- and language courses during the summer school, they get appointed a buddy (i.e. an Chinese student) to show them around, and they participate in several cultural excursions.
Business and Culture Week
The business and cultural week is the final week of the program in Asia. During this week, all participants will gather in Shanghai. The aim of this week is to bring together the academic, business and cultural aspects of the programma. During this week the students will work on their project, conduct (extra) research in Shanghai, visit different multinational companies, participate in cultural excursions, and naturally share their experiences among all participants. This business- and culture week connects the dots between the different aspects of the program and is therefore the perfect way to finish off.
Overarching theme: projects
Next to the academic, business, and cultural aspects, delegates work on a project in close collaboration with one of the NAHSS partners. Every year, the projects are closely related to a relevant and topical overarching theme for both the Netherlands and China. Within these projects the participants work in close collaboration with and assigned by one of our partners on real-life cases, after a preparatory trail in the Netherlands. During these projects the students are actively supported by the assigning partner. The overarching theme of 2019 was Sustainable Growth. In 2020, the theme will be The Power of Connectivity. Please read here more about this theme.
After arrival back in the Netherlands the delegates will present their findings and recommendations to all partners during the closing ceremony. Every edition a closing ceremony is hold at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in The Hague, during which the participants and all partners exchange their experiences and ideas during a closing reception.