Relocating with your family abroad is a big endeavour. Your employer usually organizes short-stay accommodation (ideally with us!) and easy onboarding at your company. However, tasks like arranging education for your child are left to you. In a previous article, we explained the Dutch education system and what options it offers to expat children. Foreign children can either enrol at an international school or a Dutch school (where they receive integration classes). Before you decide whether to send your child to an international school, consider the following points:
- How long do you plan to stay?
- What is better for your child: to study in English and quickly make international friends or immediately begin learning Dutch and integrate faster?
- What is your budget?
- How old are your children and how quickly will they pick up the language?
- How often do you want to travel?
It’s important to know that international schools have more flexible attendance systems, meaning you can take your child on holiday throughout the year. Whereas, Dutch schools are fairly strict towards absences during the school year, so you will be limited to travelling during the school holidays. International schooling curriculums are usually internationally accepted, which is useful for those of you who are here for a short stay or for a limited time. Enrolling your child in such a school will take away the stress of not understanding their classmates, because the lessons are led in either English or in the primary language of the school.
Below, we have listed the international schools in Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague and Eindhoven:
You will find the biggest choice of international schools in The Hague. The schools range from private organizations teaching in English to Foreign National schools with core languages in French, Polish, German, and Indonesian. The latter is subsidized by the government of the country they belong to, which saves quite a lot on yearly tuition. Let’s skim through the options:
- American School of The Hague (ASH)
- British School in the Netherlands (BSN)
- Szkola Polska / Polish School in The Hague
- Deutsche Internationale Schule (German International School)
- European School The Hague (ESH)
- Haagsche Schoolvereniging (HSV)
- International School of The Hague (ISH)
- Lighthouse Special Education (dedicated to developing children)
- Le Lycée Français Vincent van Gogh
- Sekolah Kedutaan Republik Indonesia di Wassenaar / Indonesian School in the Netherlands (SIN)
As a European business hub, Amsterdam boasts a total of twenty international schools. It’s no wonder because it is estimated that around 100.000 expats live in the Dutch capital. – some of the more popular ones include:
- British School of Amsterdam
- Amity International School
- Amsterdam International Community School
- International School Hilversum Alberdingk Thijm (easy and quick commute by train)
- Florencius International School
- International School Haarlem
- Optimist International School
- Amstelland International School
- International French School
- International School Almere
- Gifted Minds International School
- Lycée Francais Vincent Van Gogh
- The Japanese School of Amsterdam
Rotterdam is a thriving, lively port city with a large international community (51% of the inhabitants are foreign-born!). The diversity of the city is reflected in the variety of international schools specializing in foreign languages:
- Nord Anglia International School
- Rotterdam International Secondary School
- Harbour International
- Korean School of Rotterdam
- Foundation Matryoshka
- Danhua Chinese School
Eindhoven is known for its technology and design corporations employing expats from all over the world. The city offers two international schools:
We advise writing out a list of criteria (location, language, costs), researching the websites of these schools, and once you have shortlisted a couple – get in touch with the front office. There, you can ask any other questions, such as about the waiting lists. Relocating is quite a leap out of the comfort zone, but with the right beforehand planning things can be simple. Best of luck with your search!