Welmoed Nijhout has a diverse role at NedLes. As well as being a member of the management team she has also been working as a teacher of Dutch as a second language since 2015. She loves being a language teacher because it gives her the chance to meet people from all over the world without having to leave her favorite place: the city of Amsterdam. ‘What I love so much about this city is the fact that it is a home to more than 180 nationalities. I feel very blessed to have a job where I can meet some of these multicultural Amsterdammers as well as internationals throughout the entire country.’ She loves helping people to find their way in the Netherlands. ‘Being a language teacher is about so much more than language alone. Many students feel nervous about speaking Dutch at first. It is great to be able to help them gain confidence in using the language. This is an important step in starting to feel at home in a another country and I love being a part of this journey.’
Welmoed doesn’t only like to help others learn new things, she is also a great fan of learning herself. ‘When I have done something several times before, I tend to get bored, but as long as I can learn something new, whether that is acquiring knowledge or a new skill, I am happy and focused’. Over the last years Welmoeds role has expanded into management activities. This is a part of her job she enjoys just as much as teaching because it not only allows her to learn new things every day, it also gives her the chance to influence what goes on at NedLes outside her own classroom. ‘We have a really nice team, front office, back office and teachers alike, and it is a thrill to work together to make sure that students get the best possible experience.
Welmoed has her roots in Amsterdam Oost, where she grew up and still enjoys living today. After completing high school she spent a few months in Granada, Spain, to follow an intensive language course. Back in the Netherlands, she did a Bachelor’s degree in History at the University of Amsterdam and a Bachelor’s in film making at the Dutch Film Academy. While learning how to do research on passed societies during her history studies and learning how to make documentaries at Film School, she realized her passion lies less in observing and portraying society, than in playing an active role in society herself. Therefore she decided to move into teaching, a decision she hasn’t regretted for a moment.