What do you know about the Netherlands’ education system for expats?
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Answer ( 1 )
You have various options. I live in The Hague as an expat, so my answer is based on that, but other major cities will have something similar, although probably less expat choice:
• Send to a regular Dutch school. Your child will be taught in Dutch and have a good, Dutch education. Teachers will tolerate communicating with you in English. At the secondary school level, there are a few select schools for high achievers that will deliver a bilingual education (Dutch/English). Advantage is that normal Dutch education is free. The best choice if you plan on permanent immigration to the Netherlands or cannot afford the international system.
• Send to a private national school. In and around The Hague there is the British School of The Netherlands (BSN), American School of The Hague (ASH), French School, German School, Indonesian School, etc. These will follow the relevant national syllabus and charge around Euro 15-20k per year in fees. Generally an excellent education with an international student community but largely monoculture teaching community, with overall school culture based on the national system.
• Send to an International School. In The Hague there is the International School of The Hague (ISH) and the European School. These are private schools as well, but affiliated with a Dutch schools foundation so enjoy a 50% state subsidy of fees (so typically around €7000 per year). Very international environment with typically children and teachers from all over the planet, following the International Baccalaureat system. A very broadening experience for the children in this increasingly xenophobic world, and the one I would personally recommend – particularly given the cost advantage.
My children have been through all three approaches (Dutch primary, ISH primary and secondary and BSN secondary) and all three were excellent. But my preference was the ISH – the international viewpoint, school culture, quality of education and community are superb.
Hope this helps. You have plenty of options.