Study Guide

The Academy for International Relations helps central government staff with an international role to learn and develop. We provide learning activities in both Dutch and English, geared to staff with an international role at every stage in their career.


The Academy for International Relations’ learning activities fall into three categories:

  1. International and diplomatic curriculum
  2. Personal development: this is how we work at BZ
  3. Current affairs series

Below you will find some examples of learning activities within the various categories and sub-categories. This will make it easier to find your way in all of our learning activities.

  • Staff at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (BZ) will be automatically logged in the learning portal. For a complete, up-to-date overview of learning activities, go to the online catalogue.
  • Are you a Dutch government official but not working for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs? Complete this form to create an account for the Academy of International Relations learning portal. If you are already registered, log in here.

In addition, on this page you will also find information about other learning options, conditions and rules of play for learning at BZ.

1. International and diplomatic curriculum

This part of the curriculum is oriented towards developing knowledge and skills for jobs with an international focus. Topics include trade and investment promotion, gender, migration, EU policy, religion and various regional studies. Many of the courses are open to civil servants from across central government.

See below for learning activities that are both useful and necessary if you have an international role and are also available in English.

2. Personal development: this is how we work at BZ

Staff at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs are committed and want to excel in their field. But these days, you need more than expertise in your own field. Make sure that you develop other skills and keep them up-to-date.

The learning activities within themes like personal leadership & cooperation, digital skills, Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) and leadership & management focus specifically on the professional development of all staff at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, whether they work at the ministry in The Hague or at the missions.

View the complete, up-to-date list of learning activities for staff at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

3. Current affairs series: on foreign policy and working in the international arena

In addition to its broad curriculum, the Academy regularly organises lectures and events. The lectures combine academic research with policy and practice. They take place online as much as possible so that every colleague can connect, wherever they are at that moment. This offers colleagues the opportunity to acquire (new) acquaintances in addition to knowledge. Government employees in The Hague and at the missions can register. Our events align with current developments and international strategic themes. Consider, for example, the EU, geopolitical power shifts, economic security, digitalisation and international cultural policy. The events also offer room for reflection on our work and for sharing experiences.

View all lectures and lecture series (for MFA employees). 
View all lectures and lecture series (for Dutch government officials).

Do you want to stay informed? We announce new activities through internal messaging (SBV) and our LinkedIn page

Other learning opportunities: getting a PhD at BZ

View the options for combining your work at BZ with a scientific PhD track.

Information and conditions for learning at BZ

Read about education support, conditions and rules of play for learning at BZ.

Need help?

We hope this online study guide will help you choose your next learning activity.

If you need help choosing a learning activity, see our tips or make an appointment for a consultation session.