Schooling for expat children in the Netherlands

Schooling for expat children in the Netherlands

Schooling for expat children in the Netherlands

If you’re relocating to the Netherlands with your family, you’ll need to ensure your children get international standard education.

One of the major draws for expats moving overseas with their families is the availability of quality international education able to satisfy the requirements of suitable universities once your children have graduated from senior school. The Netherlands is soaring up the popularity charts as a favoured reassignment destination, but its success is putting pressure on available international school places, especially in the capital, Amsterdam. It’s now necessary to apply for places at least a year in advance, with new expat arrivals who’ve missed the deadline now being confronted with rejection slips.

Relocating to the Netherlands without being assured of international education for your children can become the main reason for a failed assignment. It may well help if you’re on a short-term assignment, as international schools are known to rely on constant student turnover, with parents making plans to stay long-term often at a disadvantage as regards securing a place. One essential to determine before you agree to a Netherlands posting is whether your employer is ready and willing to pay for your children’s education costs. Private international school fees can run as high as 20,000 plus per year, with subsidised schools charging around 7,000 euros.

If you’re wanting to live close by your chosen school, you’ll find a big difference in rental charges as properties close by popular schools are invariable far dearer than those a good distance away. If you’ve found an affordable home close to your preferred school, does this mean an extended journey to work? Confronted with the above, some expats decide to take a chance on the Netherlands’ public education system,

Elementary schools admit pupils from the age of four, with final exams being taken at 12 years old. Moving on to secondary schools, parents have a choice of academic or vocational-based training, and the leaving certificate for both can lead to further education at university as well as vocational colleges. Importantly for expat pupils, bilingual schooling is possible. As with the international schools, primary schools with an excellent reputation have long waiting lists.

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