The Netherlands-Asia Honours Summer School (NAHSS) is a national honours programme that aims to prepare excellent students for a future with China and Southeast Asia as big players on the global stage. Participants gain knowledge on this part of 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 Asia experts, visit large multinationals, and travel to Asia or the summer programme.


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. At the same time, the relationship between 'the West' and China is rapidly changing. This development is also felt in the nearby Southeast Asia, where companies are relocating their operations. To prepare students for a rapidly evolving world with strong Asian influences, it is important that they have the opportunity to broaden their knowledge of China and Southeast Asia. The NAHSS provides students with this opportunity, aiming to prepare the next generation of students for a future in which this part of Asia plays a significant role in all sectors.


The NAHSS chooses to select second- and third-year bachelor students with a wide variety of study backgrounds. From the 2024 edition onwards, the NAHSS will 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 programme each year. Due to Covid-19 regulations, the number of students participating was reduced to 70 in 2021 to 2023. In addition to the growing alumni network of the NAHSS, the number of visited locations has also increased over the years. In 2012, students only visited Hong Kong; starting from 2016, Beijing, Chengdu, and Taipei were added. In 2019, Shenzhen replaced Taipei. In 2022, the delegation travelled to Singapore, and in 2023, the summer program took place in Singapore with an additional destination, Kuala Lumpur. In 2024, the NAHSS will explore Asia, with 70 talented students. Who knows what the future holds for next NAHSS locations!



  • During the preparatory track, students attend lectures by Asia experts and participate in various workshops on soft skills. This ensures that they are optimally prepared for the summer programme.
  • Furthermore, participants attend lectures at Dutch Universities during the Take-Off, focusing on Southeast Asia and China in relation to the Netherlands. This takes place leading up to the summer program in Asia, covering themes such as economics, politics, management, technology, and social sciences.


  • 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 businesses.
  • 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. Furthermore, various cultural workshops are integrated in the NAHSS programme each year for the participants to experience the Asian cultures.
  • During the summer programme in Asia the participants come in contact with various Asian cultures
  • 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 Hong Kong and Ho Chi Minh City

The summer programme is the highlight of every NAHSS edition, which takes places during the Dutch summer holiday. For the NAHSS 2024, the summer programme starts with a two-day Take-Off in the Netherlands where the students follow lectures and workshop at Dutch Universities. After this, participants travel to Hong Kong and Ho Chi Minh City for four to three weeks in July and 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 an academic programme, visit the Dutch embassy, partake in cultural activities, and share knowledge and experiences among each other. The trip to Asia connects the various components of the NAHSS programme to experience Asia is the best manner.

Overarching theme: projects

The participants 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 representatives). Every year, the projects are closely related to an overarching theme relevant for both the Netherlands as well as China and Southeast Asia. In 2024, the theme for the projects will be Navigating 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.