Figuring out international schools in the Netherlands can be quite the palaver, but we’re here to help. Here is all you need to know in 2020 when it comes to picking out an international education in the Netherlands.
First of all, what are international schools?
International schools in the Netherlands are schools where children who are not native to the Netherlands (usually) study. The schools, therefore, have students from a variety of different cultures and nationalities and they provide an international education.
The schools either have an international curriculum, which is recognized everywhere, or they take up the national curriculum of a different country (for example a British International School would follow a British curriculum).
If you’re new to the whole school system in the Netherlands and wondering what we might be yammering on about, then be sure to check our other guide to schools in the Netherlands first. Otherwise, this whole thing about international schools in the Netherlands may get a tad confusing if you’re new here. 😉
Now let us give you the low down on international schools in the Netherlands:
How do you qualify for international schools in the Netherlands?
Not everyone qualifies to go to an international school and this is set by the Dutch Ministry of Education, so be sure to check that you qualify (well, that your little one does) before you make this kind of decision. You must be:
- A child who was not born into a Dutch family and is planning on staying in the Netherlands for a limited amount of time.
- A child with Dutch nationality, however, the parents are due to be temporarily stationed abroad for at least two years and will leave within two years.
- A child who is from a Dutch family, but who have pursued their education abroad themselves and therefore want to have their child in a similar learning environment
Without one of these conditions being met, you won’t be able to put your child into an international school in the Netherlands. Sorrrryy.
How much does it cost to go to an international school in the Netherlands?
The costs of international schools in the Netherlands?! That’s the big scary question that people would rather avoid.
Well, international schools in the Netherlands certainly aren’t cheap (for private education especially). You have a choice of Dutch public international schools and private international schools. A public primary charges around €3,600 to €6,600 per year and a secondary costs around €5,500 to €8,500 per year. Private international schools are much, much more — you are looking to pay as much as €25,000 per year! These are all mandatory fees and don’t include extracurricular activities and other school trips.
What is the curriculum in international schools?
Each school varies, so it’s worth looking up the actual school to see what curriculum they follow. However, I will give you a quick low-down on what curriculum and what language is usually used at international schools in the Netherlands.
If you are looking for a school that teaches the curriculum in your native language, try a Foreign National School — these schools will teach in their native language. For example, a ‘British International School’ will teach in English. However, in general, the language of teaching for private international schools and private Dutch schools is usually English, therefore this would be the best option for your child if you want your child to learn in English.
In terms of national diplomas, both British and American schools always teach in their own curriculum’s, along with offering additional diplomas. The British School offers A-Levels however, which are the qualifications taken as you leave school at 18 in the UK.
What about bilingual education in the Netherlands?
Although the Dutch speak English well, there are only a few official bilingual primary and secondary schools. This is called ‘Tweetalig Onderwijs’ AKA TTO. Here your child will get awarded with proficiency certificates, such as CPE diploma, CAE and English A2. Children are taught in English around half of the time and the rest is in Dutch. For this to happen though, the child already needs to have great proficiency in both languages.
Oh, and on a side note, if you’re interested in the inspection of schools in the Netherlands. It’s the Inspectorate of Education in the Netherlands that’s responsible for that.
Pros of international schools in the Netherlands
- Your child will be taught in an international learning environment — this is always good as we’re living in a globalised world.
- Lots of international teachers teach at international schools — this also enhances their international learning environment and also means that the teachers will understand any of your child’s concerns and even yours.
- Your child gets taught an international curriculum and one that suits their circumstances – it will enhance their employment, especially when they are working abroad.
- The child will get a multilingual education and it’s the perfect opportunity to learn not only your native language well, but the Dutch language and other languages at the same time.
- Your child will get to engage with people from all different backgrounds, cultures, religion and will make friends with a variety of different people — also very valuable in this day and age.
Cons of international schools in the Netherlands
- They can be very expensive and so you need to ensure that you have the finances to meet that (however, sometimes companies will pay this for you, if you’re working somewhere great).
- Some people argue that it is a negative thing that your children will not meet ordinary Dutch children (and that therefore their integration will be limited).
- You may have to travel further to go to an international school.
- There are less international schools to choose from than regular Dutch schools.
Where are the international schools in the Netherlands?
Brace yourselves, there is a long list here, so you’ve got A LOT of research to do.
International schools in Holland:
The European School
1862 BC Bergen NH
International Primary School Almere
Roland Holststraat 58
1321 RX Almere
International School Almere
1362 JA Almere – Poort
Arnhem international school
Rivers International School Arnhem
6846 RB Arnhem
HSV International Primary Schools
2514 JT Den Haag
Koningin Sophielaan 24a
2595 TG Den Haag
Van Nijenrodestraat 16
2597 RM Den Haag
Lighthouse Special Education (Primary)
Curriculum: Individual SEN-programme taught in English
Amalia van Solmstraat 155
2595 TA Den Haag
The International School of The Hague
2554 BX Den Haag
The European School of The Hague
2566 HA Den Haag
The American School of The Hague
2241 BX Wassenaar
The British School in the Netherlands
2592 AA Den Haag
2592 GH Den Haag
Vrouw Avenweg 640
2493 WZ Den Haag-Leidschenveen
Jan van Hooflaan 3
Elckerlyc International School
2353 RE Leiderdorp
International Secondary Dept. at Het Rijnlands Lyceum
2341 BA Oegstgeest
De Blijberg – International Primary Department
Graaf Florisstraat 56
3021 CJ Rotterdam
Rotterdam International Secondary School at Wolfert van Borselen
3039 KK Rotterdam
Nord Anglia International School Rotterdam
3055 WJ Rotterdam
The Japanese School of Rotterdam
3055 WJ Rotterdam
Looking for an international school near Amsterdam?
International schools in Amsterdam
1182 HL Amsterdam
Amsterdam International Community School
Prinses Irenestraat 59-61
1077 WV Amsterdam
British School of Amsterdam
Nursery & Infant School
Anthonie van Dijckstraat 1
1077 ME Amsterdam
Lower Junior School
Jan van Eijckstraat 21
1077 LG Amsterdam
Fred. Roeskestraat 94A
1076 ED Amsterdam
Florencius International Primary School
De Savornin Lohmanlaan 2
1181 XM Amstelveen
International School of Amsterdam
1185 TB Amstelveen
Annexe du Lycée Français Vincent van Gogh
1073 GK Amsterdam
The Japanese School of Amsterdam
Karel Klinkenbergstraat 137
1061 AL Amsterdam
Other international schools in the Netherlands
International School Breda
4837 EH Breda
International School in Hoofddorp
Optimist International School
2134 XL Hoofddorp
+31 23 303 5924
International school in Brunssum
Afnorth International School
Ferdinand Bolstraat 1
6445 EE Brunssum
International school in Delft
2628 BX Delft
International school in Eerde
International School Eerde (Boarding)
7731 PJ Ommen
International School Eindhoven
5651 GC Eindhoven
International School Twente
IST Primary Dept. at Prinseschool
7541 AN Enschede
IST Secondary Dept. at the Stedelijk
7541 WG Enschede
International School Groningen
Primary Dept. at Groningse Schoolvereniging
9722 JV Groningen
Secondary Dept. at IS Groningen
P.O. Box 6105
9702 HC Groningen
9752 AE Haren
International School Haarlem
2014 XR Haarlem
Deutsche Internationale Schule (German School)
Van Bleiswijkstraat 125
2582 LB Den Haag
Le Lycée Français Vincent van Gogh
2584 AA Den Haag
The Indonesian Embassy School in the Netherlands
2245 CB Wassenaar
International Primary School Hilversum
1213 BH Hilversum
Frans Halslaan 57A
1213 BK Hilversum
1221 KH Hilversum
International School Hilversum
Alberdingk Thijm (Secondary Dept.*)
1213 AL Hilversum
United World College Maastricht
6225 XP Maastricht NL
International School Utrecht
Van Bijnkershoeklaan 8
3527 XL Utrecht
3527 VX Utrecht
Overall, sending to your child to any school, whether that be a normal public Dutch school, an international school or a private school, is not a quick decision. Make sure you research extensively, go and see the schools for yourself and try to work out what will be best suited not only for your child, but for your family. Good luck on your search. 😉 (urgh, adulting).
What do you think about international schools in the Netherlands? Have you sent your child to one? Let us know your experience in the comments!
Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in January 2019, and was updated for your reading pleasure in November 2020.
Feature image: Free-Photos/Pixabay