International Summer School

Are you excited to learn more about music, art history, or film production over the summer? Join one of NHL Stenden’s International Summer School courses in the beautiful city of Leeuwarden, the Netherlands!

The International Summer School brings you vibrant and stimulating courses set against the backdrop of the historic city of Leeuwarden. Leeuwarden is the capital of the province of Friesland in the northern part of the Netherlands. The city bursts with creativity, which is why it was the European Capital of Culture in 2018.

You are invited to join one of our modern, informative and fun courses that are both creative and practical. Offering full immersion in your chosen field, but with unique crossovers between various disciplines. A socially and culturally rewarding experience. Lecturers from the field will encourage you to get the most out of yourself.

We offer:

  • highly-skilled and experienced professionals who teach the courses;
  • excellent facilities provided by NHL Stenden and the multi-functional cultural hub Neushoorn;
  • the chance to meet and collaborate with creative people from around the world;
  • the academic credits of an established university of applied sciences (ECTs available at bachelor level).

Find out more



This is a 10-day music production course with a twist. It does more than simply recount the tips and tricks you need to make good dance or hip-hop. We work on the techniques and skills that will make you a better and more creative producer. The content of the course ranges from listening and analysis to recording and mixing skills, sampling and synthesising and creative use of effects. Each day you will work hands-on on a track, surrounded by other aspiring producers and assisted by professional producers with years of experience. At the end of the course you will not only have new music to take home with you but also a wealth of skills, knowledge, tips and tricks and hopefully a fresh mindset that will allow you to continue improving and developing for years to come.



If you are serious about your filmmaking, this course provides the knowledge to improve your storytelling skills. In this course, you will learn the essence of making (fiction) films including production, funding, writing, directing and cinematography. With the support of proven experts in the field of filmmaking, you will experience new ways of making films. These days, it is easy to grab a (mobile) device and to capture footage of everything you want. But when it comes to a professional approach, what you need to process and handle a complete film production depends on the kind of story you want to tell. This course will offer you a broad selection of skills, knowledge and training about everything you need to know to take a big step forward in filmmaking; guided by professionals who will help you out, unveiling the secrets of indie (independent) cinema. You will also have the chance to learn non-fiction filmmaking from acclaimed European masters in film. Enjoy this course in an international environment, with our centre of activities right in the middle of Leeuwarden.



There is a vast catalogue of paintings from the 17th Century Dutch Golden Age. Approximately 10 million. Many are beautiful, but just as many are puzzling. Why are the subjects often foolish-looking, ugly, or drunk? Why so many flowers and cheeses? Why did Rembrandt leave some of his subjects in the dark, and why did Vermeer bother to paint a woman pouring milk into a bowl?
This course is a quest for answers to these and many other questions. We will examine some of the most loved paintings of the Dutch Golden Age, explore the close relationship between Dutch culture, mentality and art, gain insight in the intentions and inventions of Dutch masters such as Rembrandt, Johannes Vermeer, Frans Hals and Jan Steen and discover the (often hidden) meaning of the best examples of Dutch painting. The highlight of the course will be an excursion to The Hague, where a visit to the Mauritshuis will leave you open mouthed… but a lot less puzzled.



If you are serious about your songwriting, this course will provide the tools and skills to improve yourself in what you do. We will work on basic songwriting tools such as phrasing, lyric writing, harmonies, and more, but there will also be a strong emphasis on hands-on training and improving the way you write and the way you work. This summer school course will offer you a wealth of skills, knowledge and training on everything you need to take a big step forward in your songwriting. It will do so in a relaxed and friendly international environment, with our hub of activities right in the centre of Leeuwarden. Its canals, beautiful old buildings and rich cultural life is sure to inspire you.



Visiting an art museum in The Netherlands can be a wonderful, but quite overwhelming experience. There are the famous paintings of great masters of the so-called Golden Age, by, for example Rembrandt, Johannes Vermeer and Frans Hals, but also the more modern paintings of Vincent van Gogh. There will be as many questions as there are answers: How did Rembrandt manage to depict details without painting them? How did the Frisian artist M.C. Escher come up with his sometimes seemingly impossible compositions? Why would a bunch of artists in Groningen form a group and call it The Plow? And how ‘Dutch’ were the paintings of one of the most famous Dutch painters, Vincent van Gogh?