Netherlands, Amsterdam

The Gentle Art of Helping: Practical Lessons for Young Professionals

when 5 August 2017 - 19 August 2017
language English
duration 2 weeks
credits 3 ECTS
fee EUR 1150

Many recent graduates face the same problem as they enter the professional arena for the first time. They have learned to solve problems from an academic perspective, not in a manner that serves their new employer or customer in a memorable and meaningful way. The devil is always in the detail, and they overlook the relevant details.

The results can be disheartening, even traumatic. At the very least, the graduate, their employer and their customer fail to reap the benefits of years of university training. At worst, fear and insecurity can turn an academic high-flyer into a professional flop.

This course is designed to smooth your passage from classroom to career by addressing some of the novel intellectual challenges you are likely to encounter in the workplace, be that in the public or the private sector. We call our approach the “gentle art” of helping: you learn to deal with the complexity of helping clients, to benefit from the help of senior colleagues, to navigate new processes of problem inquiry and to apply new ways of exploring customer needs.

With its unique approach, you will find the course an unorthodox experience. The facilitators practise what they preach, so you will be placed in unfamiliar situations and set unusual tasks. Even poetry could come into it… But by the end you will be better equipped to build helping relationships in a new world: the world of work.

Course leader

Dr Meindert Flikkema (winner of the 2015 Best Senior Lecturer title at VU Amsterdam and 2016 nominee for the national best tutor award)., Peter Tack

Target group


Final-year undergraduates and professionals with a true interest in serving society at both the micro and the macro levels.

Course aim

Learning objectives:
• You can explain and illustrate the complexity of helping relationships.
• You can apply and propagate the “humble inquiry” methodology.
• You can benefit effectively from “helping moves” and non-verbal communication in helping processes.
• You can reflect effectively on your own helping efforts.
• You can improve the value of personal interactive services.

Credits info

45 contact hours

Fee info

EUR 1150: Included in the tuition fee are:

• Airport pick-up service
• Orientation programme
• Course excursions
• On-site support
• 24/7 emergency assistance
• Transcript of records


• Early bird discount of €150
• €250 discount for students from partner universities.
• 10 scholarships available that cover the full tuition fee of one course.
• Combine 2 courses: €100 discount.
• Combine 3 courses: €200 discount.

Register for this course
on course website