HOW TULP CAME TO BE...
Tulp started because of the drive of one person, Sandra Sewcharan, our founder who decided to challenge the status quo. With years of career achievements in the banking industry, Sandra decided to follow her passion: teaching. Starting over in a completely different career path, it really was a fresh new beginning for Sandra, as she built up her academic career by teaching in many different levels and formats of the Dutch education system. During her decade of teaching Dutch in the most prestigious colleges in Rotterdam, she saw the difficulties her students were facing trying to learn Dutch with a “one-size-fits-all” type of methodology.
“I don’t create companies for the sake of creating companies, but to get things done”
- Elon Musk
“I feel happy that I get to do this. I have an enormous passion for this work, because it allows me to help people in any way I can. I believe I was sent with a mission on this earth, and I think that is to help others in any way I can. I want to make it nice, so people feel comfortable here. I feel happy seeing others happy. A human connection is most important, a simple “How are you?” can make a huge difference. I feel that human connection with everyone who comes here, and that is what drives me to help my students achieve the best possible results.”
“Every Saturday, my living room was full of students coming and going. I was helping everyone for free. Students who passed their exams, gave me the idea to start on my own. That is how Tulp started.”
“Working for a school, I would get groups of over 30 people in a class, with different Dutch levels. I did not think this was fair on my students who were preparing for their exams, while having different levels. I wanted them to understand what I was teaching, not just memorise to pass an exam.”
“These are not just numbers! They are people, first of all! People with real lives, who feel happy and sad, who face good and bad news, with great moments and real problems. Those are more important than anything else, and cannot be treated like numbers. Besides, how can you expect someone to focus on a lesson when they are facing a huge issue in their lives?!”
Within such institutions, speaking English is not supported, despite the students’ inability to understand Dutch as beginners. Putting herself in her students’ shoes, Sandra would make time to explain everything and leave no questions unanswered, until all of her students understood.
Seeing students coming to her classes from work, tired or facing problems, Sandra organized her classes in a different way. She would first ask how they were, if something was bothering them, if and how she could help. She would only start her class after making her students feel comfortable.
The institutions she was working for at the time, did not approve of her approach. She was not only a teacher, but she was also an aunt, a mom, a sister, a coach, a friend, a shoulder to cry on, a supporter, and of course, the biggest fan of her students. Disappointed with the approach these institutions took towards their students, she resigned from her teaching positions.
Shortly after her resignation, her former students started asking her for help. On her free days, Saturdays, she would volunteer and teach students who needed extra help, making sure they fully understood those language difficulties they were facing. The word spread quickly, and soon enough she had her own language school.
From giving free lessons in her living room, Sandra started Tulp Educatie in its first ever location in Noordsingel. As Tulp Educatie grew rapidly, it relocated to its current Bergsingel location, with 5 classrooms fully equipt for private classes, group lessons, or corporate training. Today, Tulp Educatie is the leading language school in Rotterdam, with many professors teaching Dutch, English and French to students and companies from all across the world.