The Koentact team

Our team is composed of five young professionals who love languages, cultures and making new international friends. We put every effort into making foreigners feel welcome in the Netherlands.

Koen Gijzel

My name is Koen Gijzel and I am the founder of Koentact. I studied French and Dutch linguistics in Amsterdam and Paris, and started Koentact in 2009. I was born in Utrecht and I have been living in Amsterdam since 2003, still passionately support my home football team FC Utrecht though!

One of my favorite places in Amsterdam is the market, from Dappermarkt to Noordermarkt, on account of the enormous variety of different cultures and great foods that you find here side by side.
I love listening to French rap music, studying Arabic, making my own ravioli, going to classical concerts and cycling on my racer in the great nature around the city.

I am fortunate to be surrounded by so many wonderful and interesting people and I love connecting those people to each other. In my opinion learning Dutch is actually the perfect excuse for internationals to simply enjoy themselves, network and meet new people in Amsterdam.

See you soon!

Timo Bruinsma

My name is Timo Bruinsma and I’m responsible for the financial, legal and strategy aspects at Koentact. I studied Business Studies and Psychology in Amsterdam, but I was born in Limburg, which is the most southern province of the Netherlands.
Taking pride in my southern background, I’m quite a ‘bon-vivant’ and I love a good glass of Scotch. Besides my own culture, I love the American culture, especially American sports and late night shows. So yes, I did follow the Super Bowl in the middle of the night!

I enjoy working in a small team and Koentact’s international environment suits me perfectly. For me it’s very inspiring to meet all those internationals who have their personal stories and reasons why they have moved to the Netherlands.

If you have any questions for example about getting an invoice for your company, you can always send me an email.

Work hard, play hard!

Natascha de Vries

My name is Natascha de Vries and I have been with Koentact since February 2019. In my position as course coordinator, I’m responsible for the contact Koentact has with students. Besides that, I help with the coordination of the open day and the start of the new courses. I join the field trips as Koen’s sidekick and photographer and I’m responsible for the Spreekwoordenwoensdag pictures in which we explain Dutch sayings!

I was born in a village in Noord-Holland and moved to Amsterdam in 2018. I love living and working in Amsterdam, the city has so much to offer. In my free time, I love to dance, travel and get together with friends.

I’ve met a lot of different people since I started working at Koentact. It’s amazing to see so many people progress while learning Dutch!

Paulina Albrecht

My name is Paulina Albrecht and I am the financial and group course coordinator at Koentact. Together with my colleagues, I am also responsible for planning and organising all kinds of events, such as the Open Day and other activities for everyone interested in learning Dutch!

I was born and raised in Germany and moved to Amsterdam in 2020. I think it only took me a few weeks to fall in love with the city and I am more than happy to call Amsterdam my home. I have met a lot of fun and interesting people over the past few years and I am excited to see what the future has in store for me.

I have been working for Koentact since 2022 and I am very lucky to have such a great team and working environment around me. If you have any questions about a payment or an invoice, feel free to contact me! I am also still working on my Dutch skills, so you might see me in one of the classes as your fellow student. Tot gauw!

Petty van Katwijk

My name is Petty van Katwijk and I have been working at Koentact since May 2024 as Private program and level assessment coordinator. I am responsible for the private as well as the incompany courses and together with my colleagues I will coordinate all other activities such as open days and field trips.

I studied International Business and Languages and worked for several national and international companies. Since 2017 I am also a certified teacher of Dutch as a second language. Ever since I have been combining my daytime job with my work as freelance teacher.

I was born and raised in a small village in Noord-Brabant but moved to Amsterdam in 2012. As I am passionate about languages and other cultures, Amsterdam is the perfect place to live. Even after 12 years I still enjoy to get around on my bike and to discover new areas of the city. In my free time you can find me on the dance floor dancing salsa, making long hikes in the beautiful nature of the Netherlands or exploring new restaurants and bars.

I am looking forward to meeting you at our Open Day or on a field trip!

Our teachers


Our teaching team is composed of young and enthusiastic language and culture specialists. Our teachers are carefully selected and will make sure you are fully engaged at all times. At Koentact, new students are always encouraged to tell their teachers why they wish to learn a new language (and to tell them their hobbies, interests and how they would like to apply their newly-gained knowledge) and bring any questions they might have to the lessons. Our teachers are always happy to teach their students exactly what they wish to learn.