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 and Asia 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 go on a trip to Singapore and Malasia.


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, considering 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 students for this, it is important that 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. Currently, the programme is only accessible for Dutch speaking students. Yet, from the 2024 edition onwards, the NAHSS will also be open for non-Dutch speaking students studying at a Dutch university. 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. Due to Covid-19 regulations, the number of students participating was reduced to 70 in 2021 and 2022. Besides the increasing alumni base of the NAHSS, the number of visited locations in Asia has also been growing. From just Hong Kong in 2012, to Beijing, Chengdu, and Taipei in 2016. In 2019, Shenzhen was added and in 2022 the students traveled to Singapore due to Covid-19 restrictions in China. The NAHSS 2023 will also go to Singapore, with Kuala Lumpur as extra destination. Who knows what the future holds for next NAHSS locations!



  • NAHSS students attend China-related courses at the University of Leiden during the Take-off ahead of the summer programme in Asia. The courses cover economics, politics, management, engineering, and social sciences.
  • During the preparatory track, students follow lectures by China experts and follow several soft skill workshops to prepare them for the summer program.


  • 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 and Malasia, the participants come in 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. Also 1/3 of the Malasian population is of Chinese descent.
  • 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

The summer programme is the highlight of every NAHSS edition, which takes places during the Dutch summer holiday. For the NAHSS 2023, the summer programme starts with a three-day Take-Off in the Netherlands. After this, participants travel to Singapore and Malasia for three weeks between mid-July and the beginning of August. Students will experience the academic world, business life and culture themselves during the trip. In Asia, they will perform field work, visit various leading multinationals, take part in a two-day academic program at the National University of Singapore, visit the Dutch embassay, partake in cultural activities, and share knowledge and experiences among each other. The trip to Asia 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. The teams will get supported by their project coaches (NAHSS alumni) and project supervisors (partner representative). 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 2023, the theme for the projects will be Reinventing Growth & Globalisation. 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.